The Ascent of Zir'An: Tier List update for Patch 1.80


“Since when was Zir’An this good?” Tier List here


Today, we’ve pushed a major update to the tier list for Patch 1.80. Surprisingly, however, the biggest changes to the list have have occurred independently of the nerfs to Gaze and Variax.

The big meta change has been the ascent of Zir’An. Only two months ago one of the worst archetypes in the game, the development of Heal Zir’An now with Scintilla and Trinity Oath has hit a critical mass. In this update, Zir’An was moved from 9th to 4th on the orderings, and it is very likely that she will be moved further up to 2 or 3 in the next update. This build was largely developed by tundranocaps during the early weeks of the Bloodborn expansion, who was actually, along with Zyx and EnderMan, originally trying to make Meltdown work in all factions. From meme beginnings come great results. Zayne was also a major proponent of Zir’An during this time, especially in tournament play, but regrettably we never had the chance to touch base :frowning:

Zir’An’s unexpected impact has forced many decks to change to deal with her annoying survivability. Decks that could not change-- most notably Cassyva, who is terribly reliant on Kelaino-- have started being pushed out of the meta by this newcomer. The next victim will very likely be Faie.

With regards to the nerfs, Burn Vaath was undoubtedly hit the hardest. Now, Vaath has largely returned to more midrange builds, and thus the archetype has been renamed to Midrange Vaath. On the other hand, Starhorn is largely unaffected by the nerf, since it has not encroached significantly upon his two most significant combos-- Decimus-Spikes and Rush-Thump. However, other players are trying out weirder builds, like CrankyPanda’s Sphynx Archon list.

The nerf to Variax will likely end up being the death of Variax Lilithe, but not the death of Swarm Lilithe. Several top players have been experimenting with more classical variants of Swarm, relying once again on DFC and Grimwar to win. Personally, I think that the classical variant has always been stronger, and we shall see how effective it truly is in the coming weeks.

Otherwise, the most interesting development to look out for is new Songhai builds. Most notably, Meltdown is being tested as a curve topper for both the old Midrange Reva build as well as Control Reva (guess who’s responsible?). As such, look out for more Reva and more Meltdown in the coming days.

That’s all for this update!




Thanks for the update!


Yeah, this sounds about right.

Thanks for writing it all out!


I wish you’d also mention Zoochz in the development of Zir’an, as he was one of the main players who showed the strength of Zir’an using Meltdown in tournaments, and even won (at least one to my knowledge) tournament using the deck. Great write-up though!


I saw mythical brit running the deck before tundra and zooch but the core of the deck kinda builds itself so their isnt much wiggle room for innovation but It is always interesting to see who gets “credit” for a deck


Zoochz was one of the first to take a look at Heal Zir’An after the expansion, but it was ultimately tundra who pioneered Meltdown and brought incredible refinements to the archetype. (I even have chat logs of him brainstorming Meltdown Zir’An-- I saw this happen with my own eyes.) PandaJJ, who used tundra’s build both in tournaments and to get #1 on ladder, wrote a pretty thorough writeup on it here.

Zoochz’s original build, which you can find here, is very far distanced from the current builds we see, and the Meltdown lists you’re referring to were actually slight variants on tundra’s conceptions well after Zoochz’s original build. PandaJJ and Zoochz both have utilized this build to great success (off the top of my head, there may be others), but I wanted to highlight the people who conceptualized the major innovations. It’s why I noted Zayne as well-- I haven’t had the chance to speak with him, but I know that he’s been doing very well with his independent build.


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