Ryan's Meta Analysis [Denizens of Shim'zar]


(Reddit Link)

Link to all of my Shim’zar decks; one for each faction! Go check it out!

Greetings, friend! Are you lost after the Shim’zar expansion? Confused with the new status quo? Don’t worry, so am I! Therefore, that makes me the most qualified person on this planet to judge what’s going on in the meta!

Seriously though, I’m glad Shim’zar hit because now pretty much every faction* is viable. If you disagree/agree with me, post a comment below and we can have a friendly discussion! If you also have any lists, post it below!

S Tier
Generals are here because they truly are the best of the very best. Unless you tech specifically against this deck, it is very difficult to win against it without another S / A Tier deck.

Midrange Zirix
Shim’zar single handedly made this faction great again with cards like Pax, and most importantly, Nimbus. This new minion is the new hotness and she/he/it/apache helicopter/ seems to be steamrolling all over the ladder with no stop in sight.

Spell Kaleos/Reva
Songhai got some tools, but they weren’t as flashy as the others. Simple yet effective cards like Katara, Mirror Meld, Xho and Ki Beholder only helped solidify Songhai’s position in S tier. Otherwise, nothing really changed about Songhai. We do see a rise in Onyx Jaguar, Hamon Bladeseeker and Grandmaster Zendo. Mirror Meld in particular combined with Tusk Boar has got many people yelling “OP”.

Control Sajj
The Scioness is finally on top of the meta for once! (Shameless self promotion deck here.) With her new toys like Pax, Nimbus but most importantly Spinebreaker and Falcius. Falcius combined with Sajj’s BBS allows her to clear any minion for free, and even spawn a nice Bloodfire Totem which gnaws away at the enemy’s health.

A Tier
Generals are here because they can handle themselves very well, but may or may not struggle against S Tier decks. Generally good enough, but lacking small things to make them S Tier.

Argeon Midrange
After Shim’zar, Argeon recieved tools like Afterblaze that really helps the early game, as well as Solarius which solves the late game card draw problem Lyonar has. Overall, still A Tier.

Midrange Kara
Although the meta has began to move faster, it seems that Kara can still keep up. She didn’t get many tools, but don’t forget about this General who managed to dominate the meta for 2 months straight.

Shadow Creep Cassyva
From the Shim’zar spoilers it was obvious that although Creep was going to be reworked, it was still going to be powerful as all hell with cards like Klaxon, Ghost Azalea and Obliterate. Especially with Sphere of Darkness, Abyssal Crawler and Cassyva’s BBS, Creep Generation became infinitely faster. Although a bit slow, don’t be surprised when an angry Cassyva with 20+ attack punches you off the board, or if a 25 damage nuke hits you on turn 15.

B Tier
Generals are here because they lack several things like consistency to be good. However, still a decent deck nonetheless, but expect it to crumble against more consistent decks like S and A tier decks.

Battle Pet Starhorn
What started off as a fun idea quickly proved itself terrifying through the use of Magmar’s Nature’s Confluence. Pokemon Starhorn, as it’s called, is a fun deck yet a bit inconsistent and weak against the face of the Vetruvian bullies. Still, very very fun deck nonetheless, and poses a serious threat with the newest (almost always 0 cost) Mandrake.

Grow Vaath
How the mighty have fallen. Not only has Magmar lost it’s most powerful tool, Earth Sister Taygete, they’re now relegated to Grow decks. While Moloki Huntress and Gro are certainly very powerful, it isn’t enough to stay competitive within the Shim’zar jungle.

Kara Control
With Shim’zar, the meta got drastically faster, meaning the better Vanar sister is now Faie. Although Kara can still go on her old ways, prepare to outpaced by the other decks who are now fast as lightning (see: Faie Vespyr, or Vetruvian).

Aggro Vaath
With things like Thumping Wave and Mandrake, Aggro Vaath has managed to stay near the top. As decks begin to soldify, we’ll see what the future holds for our Magmar friends.

Vespyr Faie
With the newest spells like Wailing Overdrive, as well as minions like Snow Rippler, Vespyr Faie is back on the meta. Things like Frostfire and Frostburn keep the enemy down, while Snow Rippler just keeps generating value by punching the enemy General in the face. In fact, one card in particular has made a surprising return: Glacial Elemental. With the amount of Vespyrs this deck is pumping out, it makes sense to run it as a natural control deck. The deck lacks a bit of card draw, but it isn’t an issue when cards like Snow Chaser keep recycling themselves.

Heal Zi’ran
Zi’ran got a shiny new toy: Sunforge Lancer. This quasi-Overload-BBS minion gives a healthy boost to Heal decks, and the fact that her BBS can heal enemy minions in a pinch really helps. However, although Solarius helps with the lategame card problem Lyonar has, the body is rather unreliable.

C Tier
Generals here are rather poor because they are either inconsistent or can be easily dealt with, or have a shaky win condition.

Mech Decks
Although mech decks are still very much viable down in the lower ranks, it’s much better to be specialised. Even with Z0r, Mech decks are still as inconsistent as ever, especially with the 5 mana nerf to Spirit of the Wild.

MVP Cards
A special mention to these cards who shaped the meta as we know it.

With the new Creep mechanic as well as the zoo nature of the meta, Lightbender is here to clean everything up. Whether it be cleaning up a nice patch of Shadow Creep, or dispelling Nimbus and her Obelysks, Lightbender has skyrocketed up in popularity.

A controversial card, this new Vetruvian addition has helped make the Imperium great again. May Scion protect you against the mighty nerf hammer.

Inquistor Kron
Another controversial card which made many players cry “BS!”, Inquisitor Kron and his prisoners generate immense value, with a solid body and Provoke to boot; he’s like a Swiss army knife.

Obliterate/Ghost Azalea/Abyssal Juggernaut
Tactical Nuke Incoming!
With Obliterate and Ghost Azalea, Cassyva has certainly cemented her position once again at the top. Combine that with a massive juggernaut, Cassyva and her Shadow Creep rolls across the battlefield like an unstoppable locomotive off rails.

* =Most factions, but not every general. Keyword is most.

If I missed any decks / you have any objections, please comment below and tell us why!

Remember friends, stay civil, good luck and have fun!




We will make a great wall of Bloodfire Totems, and make the enemy General pay for it in blood!


The meta has become so zooish (read: there finally often are more than 2 Minions on board), i love it.

And Spinecleaver is da MVP, i literally just cleared an allomancer with it in the early game and stalled lol. The inevitability it provides is so good in some matchups.


I second this statement!
Her sword is Spinecleaver BTW.
Inb4 new expo gonna have Thunderclap as artifact


Uh, honestly, it hasn’t even been four days since Shimzar came out. There is not nearly enough time for the meta to settle so that anyone can make an accurate Meta Analysis. Decks are still being refined.

Regardless of that though, I’ll go with it just for funzies! I know for a fact that Solafid climbed to S-rank with a good winrate in the first few days and his best deck was Midrange Kara with no changes to it at all. Midrange Kara is still on the top and deserves S-tier. I don’t think Zirix deserves to be S-tier since playing dervish synergies isn’t that good and Sajj does control better. I definitely don’t think Faie is A tier right nowm either Vespyr/Infiltrate decks aren’t refined enough now or they will just never be good enough. Zi’ran should probably be S-tier, Sunforge Lancer is crazy good and she’s a great counter to aggressive decks. Also I’ve been playing my Tempo Reva deck with at 77%+ winrate so maybe she deserves S-tier too :stuck_out_tongue:


I like your tier list, it seems smoothest accurate currently. May I ask your thoughts on vespyr Kara decks and wall decks?


In my opinion, Kara is a bit slow relatively. Who cares about 6/5 Tigers when there’s a 3/8 Nimbus produced in half the time?

Wall decks rely solely on Winter’s Wake, which is why in my opinion it is weak. If perhaps we see other cards that help walls (like Inner Oasis for walls) or if Razorback buffed walls again, I’m sure we’d see a wall archetype. As of now, walls are sort of an annoyance and nothing but: Gravity Well either feeds Cassyva’s BBS or gets wrecked by Pax; while Blazing Spines and White Asp are strong, the lack of movement really kills the former, and the latter is a tad overcosted. Finally, Bonechill Barrier is nothing without Glacial Elemental, and at this point you might as well just play Vespyr Faie aggro.

However, Kara still has her place in Vespyr Cheese, which is summoning a huge Displacer 50 tiles away, then using Dryad and Huldra to OTK.

@aftermath123 pretty much no one is playing Zirix for the “Dervish Synergy”. They’re all playing it because cards like Falcius, Pax, Allomancer and Nimbus outvalue and generate so much tempo that they leave the opponent in the dust.

I’m a bit reserved on Reva since I haven’t seen that much. Then again, the ladder experience is different from person to person.

Regarding Solafid, like you said: it’s only been four days since Shimzar came out. Most people are still experimenting. No doubt he’s a good player, but you can’t deny that the dust is beginning to settle.

Faie’s Infiltrate/Vespyr is frightening fast. Not only does she play quasi-control with Glacial Elemental, Wailing Overdrive like I stressed is an immensely powerful card. It gives +/5+5, which is unrivaled stats.

IMO Zi’ran doesn’t deserve to be S Tier yet. Once decks get refined (which is probably in 1-2 weeks), there’ll likely be a shuffle between tiers. I’m interested in your Zi’ran deck actually.


If you don’t play Zirix for Dervish Synergy with Obelysks, Wind Slicers, Dunecasters and the like, then why are you playing him over Sajj?

I wasn’t talking about specific players, more the fact that midrange Kara deserves to be S-tier. Instead, she’s not even on the list.

I guess we’ll agree to disagree about Faie. We’ll see who is right at the end of the month.

I rate Zir’an highly mostly because she’s the only deck that can consistently beat my Reva. I have a Zir’an list but I haven’t played it past the first day.


Magmar RIP. Second season of Magmar RIP.


New meta didn’t even form yet. This is basically a list of decks that people are currently experimenting with and are getting good results. Those decks mostly being fun new archetypes CPG is trying to force into existence. Those results are achieved in a very unstable environment so they’re not a real indicative of good the decks are.

Personally I’m playing an unoptimized faie midrange deck with tons of dispels and removals as it’s able to deal with all those new decks while keeping up the pressure so I’m inclined to say it’s really good but I know that’s not how it works, especially in this really early stages of the patch.

All that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this list actually ends up being spot in few weeks or so. But I wouldn’t call it so at this moment.


I don’t see how Kara doesn’t end up S tier, its inevitable.


How does Kara not end up S tier? Simple. The meta moves so quickly that Kara’s stall tactics doesn’t work anymore.

That being said, I won’t be surprised if someone finds some Kara Vespyr deck that crushes ladder.

@raqyee Yeah I agree, right now we’re in a bit of a chaotic zone but you can see that things are forming soon. I don’t think this tier list will change much, except some gimmick decks change/be removed.


With all the new toys vanar has, I don’t see it happening. Especially with Kron. I could be wrong though XD


Kara was only strong because stats are the strongest when there is nothing else broken in the game. During kara’s reign the only really strong mechanic was shadow nova and even that was starting to fall out of favor. Now we have shit like obliterate, structure decks, meld songhais, zoo lyonars, aggro mags with even more bursts and what not. And meantime kara didn’t get anything special really, she’s still all about controlling the board with the same high quality 2 drops and lots of draw while buffing up those tigers.


She got AOE witch covered vanars only weakness, along with strong minions and a new weapon. I still think she will be great, but who knows.


Lack of AoE and good artifacts are not kara’s weaknesses. Either way, it’s a whole another discussion and I’m not getting into it here.


I encourage any discussion related to the meta.

With that being said, I agree. Lack of AoE was never a problem, and Artifacts was never a main concern either.

Again like I stressed, I think the fast-paced meta will slow Kara down.


Do an analysis of lilithe, with all the zoo decks it’s easier to swarm, though it still usually loses to s-tier


The problem i see with your analysis is that you seem to focus completely on the new stuff shimzar introduced and totaly ignore the old archetypes. You even go as far as saying that Kara is B tier now and that Magmar has lost Taygete? Taygete was utterly broken with 5 life, do you really believe she is unplayable now with 1 life less?

Tempo Argeon, Midrange Kara, Midrange/Aggro Magmar and arguably Arcanyst Reva have been strong tier 1 and tier 2 decks that dominated the meta. Yes they didn’t get many new toys, but they haven’t lost much, if any of their power. Do you really think they will just seize to exist now? I highly doubt it. My prediction is that, when the dust settled, most of these will still be top decks accompanied by some new archetypes that Shimzar brought, Vet stuff for the most part as they got a very significant buff with Pax and Nimbus.

However, just going ahead and claiming that Sajj and Zirix are now the top 2 generals just because of some new toys when they were the bottom of tier 4 before shimzar might also be a bit to rash. I mean they sure have the capability now to make at least tier 2 but from best to worst because of 2 strong cards? Doubt it. Nimbus might be an incredible value play and can win the game on his own if he remains unanswered for a while (like so many other cards for that matter) but he has no immediate effect on the board state and as long as the opponent doesn’t attack him he generates just 1 obelysk per turn, that’s won’t save you from aggro decks rushing you down. And Midrange/Control decks have dispel/hard removal to just get rid of him.


Lets be real here, that jump from 5 to 4 health matters a lot. It’s still good, but it gets traded by 2 2 drops now, dies to makantor and whatnot, it lost much of its luster.