Draft Tier List Changelog

This page houses the most recent change to the Draft Tier List. For previous changes, you can go to this forum thread.

As always, the draft tier list document can be found here.

September 24TH UPDATE:

Ancient Grudge release:

With the release of set 7.2, we got a brand new draft pool.  Today we publish our first draft of the tier list for this new draft meta.

You’ll see the return of some of the card-by-card rankings.  We kept factions separate on each two-faction-pairing tab, but there is some ordered valuation within the factions.  Some TICers are too eager to just sort alphabetically.

July 28th Update:

General List Overhaul:

We have removed card-by-card rankings from the commons and rares within each faction pair. Heroics are still ranked in relation to each other, but other cards are not. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Time constraints. If it is possible to accurately rank every card in relation to each other, it would take a very long time to get the list to a place where we would be completely satisfied with it. People have different opinions and playstyles; drafts are not 100% cut-and-dry where one card is definitely better than another. The time it would take to continuously move every card on the list as we gather more drafts and data is overwhelming.
  2. The intricacies of drafting make strict tiering difficult, especially for commons and rares. It is very difficult to order cards that are very close to each other. That pick between two close cards should be determined by the cards you already have and the playstyle you are going for, not an order on a list. Tier lists are good for a general overview of a format, but I believe they fail when people over-rely on them and simply follow blindly, not thinking for themselves. Reducing the tiering within the majority of the draft pool lessens this and helps people think for themselves.

Now, we will still be doing strict tiering for Heroics. This is because… heroics just don’t show up as often. They are easier to compare, and picks between them don’t come up that often other than that first pick.

New Heroics from Raiders Unchained: Front Line

Cypien Experimentation:
– Added to Great in First Picks & all Alloyin Pairs

Ceaseless Grimgaunt
Added to Awful in First Picks & all Nekrium Pairs

Cyclone Rider
Added to Okay in First Picks & all Tempys Pairs.

Leyline Vermin
Added to Okay in First Picks & all Uterra Pairs.

Factions:

1. Nekrium (previously 2nd)
2. Uterra (previously 1st)
3. Alloyin
4. Tempys

Uterra not in first? Blasphemy! Are you not aware that Spring Dryad and Stinging Invocation are in the draft pool?

We are! Uterra is very strong in this draft pool. But Nekrium is simply more powerful due to its heroics and the presence of Xithian Rotfiend. Uterra does have Spring Dryad and a crazy amount of things that go with it. However, it’s heroics are not nearly on the level of Nekrium’s with cards like Contagion Lord, Sorrow Maiden, Necromoeba, and Onyxium Phantasm, and most of its commons lack high attack. This leads Uterra decks to rely heavily on their secondary faction for removal or board control, or else they enter an “arms race” board state where they race to create a threat that the opponent has trouble dealing with, giving more time to gain board control.

Nekrium also has access to the best removal spell in the format – Grave Pact – it is well suited to deal with many large build-up threats that many factions struggle to deal with (Spring Dryad, Cypien Experimentation, Spiritsteel Infiltrator, etc). This plus the obvious power in the faction’s heroics leads us to put Nekrium over Uterra.

Faction Pairings:

1. Dysian
2. Onyxium
3. Umbruk
4. Esperian
5. Byzerak (previously 4th)
6. Oratek (previously 5th)

We finally put Oratek where it belongs – dead last. Oratek is the faction pair without access to either Uterra or Nerkium. It also has a strange “encourage Defenders/encourage Raid” thing going on that makes neither piece really work. This makes Oratek both the weakest and worst designed faction pair of the bunch.

Byzerak / Esperian – These are very close in power level. The average Esperian deck will have better commons and rares than the average Esperian deck, but the average Byzerak deck will have more access to more powerful cards and removal.

First Picks:

Onyxium Phantasm from Great to Amazing

– Onyxium Phantasm is faction gated – you need to be both Alloyin and Nekrium in order to play him. Despite this downside, he is without a doubt one of the best heroics in this format. A huge threat and difficult to kill, Phantasm makes trades favorable across the board for as long as he lives. Extra potent with Gloomreaper Witch and Sorrow Maiden.

Necromoeba and Stinging Invocation moved down within Amazing

Ebonskull Knight moved down significantly within Great

– Ah Ebonskull Knight, how far you’ve fallen. With creatures like Iceshard Berserker, Vault Intruder, and Xithian Rotfiend polluting the draft pool, 7 health just doesn’t cut it enough when paired with the downside suicide-trigger. I knew it was time to knock this guy down a peg when I saw myself taking Rotfiends over it.

Kitaru Sprite, Gemhide Ravager, and Fleshfiend all moved up within Great.

Zombie Dreadknight from Great to Good

– Sometimes, Zombie Dreadknights has those games where it dominates and just crushes the game. Most of the time, it does nothing.

Automaton Prime from Great to Good

– Though very good at level 1 and when played in formation, the scaling on this creature leaves much to be desired, and playing information isn’t always possible. Therefore, this card has been nudged down from almost the top of Great.

Undying Legacy from Good to Great

– This card is the ultimate underdrop. Casting this on a level 2 or higher creature essentially copies that creature. Casting this on a Spring Dryad or similar hard to deal with creatures makes this card carry a lot of weight when draws are otherwise poor.

Umbruk Icecrusher moved up within Good.

Pyre Giant moved from Okay to Bad

– This card is too small and the damage it deals isn’t high enough to make up for its fragile body. Its raid utility also doesn’t make this card playable, unless you were lucky enough to land a Lorus, the Unrivaled.

Cultivate moved from Bad to Okay

– There are a lot of tokens that are also plants running around – notably from Grove Matriach. Being able to turn these into 9/9s or 14/14s is pretty good. This doesn’t always happen and is fairly situational, so Cultivate is not moving up much.

Onyxium Allomancer moved up within Okay

Patron of Kadras moved down within Okay

Sigmund Fraud moved up within Bad

Univeral Changes:

Alloyin Pairs:

Palladium Wave raised to Good
Defense Spire raised to Okay

Nekrium Pairs:

– We considered adding a seventh category above Amazing labelled “Xithian Rotfiend“, but ultimately decided against it.
Abyssal Brute lowered to Great
Grave Pact raised to Great
Scourge Knights raised to Great
Nyrali Symbiote lowered to Good
Blight Walker lowered to Good
Disciple of Vyric raised to Good

Tempys Pairs:

Cloudcleaver Titan lowered to Good

Uterra Pairs:

Deepbranch Prowler lowered to Good
Strength in Numbers raied to Bad
Chiselhearth Archer lowered to Bad

Onyxium

Gloomreaper Witch from Good to Great
Palladium Wave from Good to Great
Palladium Pulsemage from Okay to Good

Oratek

Metadata Redactor from Great to Good.

Byzerak

Avalanche Guardian from Great to Good.

Dysian

– Moved Abyssal Brute from Great to Good
– Moved Ossuary Spirit from Awful to Bad

Umbruk

Cloudcleaver Titan from Good to Great

Esperian

– No changes other than universal changes.