Which are the best decks? This is a question card game players will always ask and seek to answer. What performs well, what cards should they buy, which archetypes are hot and which are not.
In this article, we present arguably the five best, most popular decks in the current Constructed Artifact meta. These decks have proven themselves both in tournaments and are popular in the Constructed Gauntlet, and they’re a good place to start if you aspire to rack up wins in the format.
1. UG Selemene’s Storm
The blue/green Selemene’s Storm deck, also known as UG Combo, has been the king of Constructed for some time now. Unfortunately beginners, it isn’t easy to play. It isn’t very cheap either, running a lot of powerful cards and S-Tier heroes.
George “Hyped” Maganzini used the UG Combo to win the WePlay Mighty Triad: Strength, the first Constructed tournament in Artifact. The deck performed well against both slower midrange decks (like the RG Ramp) and even against aggro decks designed to kill it.
There’s a lot to say about the deck and an in-depth guide is needed to fully master its fundamentals. Here, though, we’ll just cover the basics. The UG Combo uses various board control mechanics to clear as many lanes as possible, while it establishes dominance in a selected one via Kanna. Once it goes wide, it ramps up to Incarnation of Selemene and starts playing all the card it can. It then deals a lethal blow through Prey on the Weak into Emissary of the Quorum, going for the Ancient kill.
You can see the deck in action, played by Hyped himself here:
2. BR Oath Aggro
This black/red aggro variant using Tinker and The Oath is perhaps the most aggressive deck in the current meta. Created by Frederik “Hoej” Nielsen, the list goes blitzkrieg, using a variety of tower damage and board-buffing techniques. The deck opens strong with big flop heroes: Axe, Legion Commander and Phantom Assassin. Once it takes a lead in one of the lanes, it deploys Sorla there and starts bashing down the tower.
The Oath aggro sacrifices its top end of the curve for speed. There are no Times of Triumph or Spring the Traps in the list — it’s all about aggression. Apart from the heroes themselves, the list runs three major win conditions: Disciple of Nevermore, Assault Ladders (Sorla’s signature card) and the namesake, The Oath. Disciple and Ladders work in similar ways by effectively adding 2 additional tower damage per unblocked unit. The Oath is more tricky. It forbids its caster from playing units or spells in that lane but buffs every unit with +6 attack, so even lanes that don’t have too many units become threatened.
This list struggles a bit against a plethora of mass removal. A timely At Any Cost or an irritating Burning Boil can kill the aggression, crippling the deck.
Watch Hoej run people down with that deck below:
3. RG Midrange
The red/green archetype has been on top of the metagame ever since the closed invite beta. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s stat-efficient, relying on high-value cards. It doesn’t rely on any gimmicks or any “cool” cards. It puts power on the board, moves to the next turn, puts more power on the board and so on and so forth. The late-game comes in the form of Time of Triumph and Spring the Trap — red’s strongest finishers.
There are a couple of variations of the RG midrange that you can try. Lifecoach’s deck, for example, run no ramp mechanics besides Selemene’s Favor and instead relies on more tech cards like Burning Oil and Smash Their Defenses, which are used to fight specific decks, namely the UG Combo. If you run into a lot of blue/green in Constructed, then use that list.
Alternatively, you can try the more ramping list of MieGod. The Chinese players cuts a lot of early game aggression, including Bronze Legionnaires and tries to ramp up to the power cards with Stars Align. MieGod’s list also runs Emissary of the Quorum which, due to the many ramp mechanics, he can deploy early and snowball the lane.
Below, you can see two RG Midrange variations fighting each other in a classic mirror:
4. BR Bounty Aggro
The BR Bounty Aggro, a.k.a. Payday aggro, was also a popular archetype in beta. For a moment, it disappeared from the meta but is now back in full force and you will often see it played in Constructed.
The goal of the deck is to generate heaps of gold through Track, Iron Fog Goldmine and Payday, while applying constant aggression. Once rich, the deck starts digging for Horn of the Alpha, which is its primary win condition. This is why most of the deck has mostly cheap items too — you’ll want to buy them out to get a better chance of Horn of the Alpha spawning.
Once equipped, the Horn starts summoning 14/14 Thunderhide Packs every two turns, which are hard to kill even for Time of Triumph’d lanes. Since the rest of the deck is fairly aggressive of itself, you often won’t need more than a single swing by the Thunderhide pack to take down a tower.
5. BR Midrange
This black/red midrange is the slowest list of all BR decks you’ll encounter. Players who gravitate towards robust units as opposed to raw speed will appreciate it the most.
Some call this list “hero killer” and justifiably so. The two black heroes it runs are Phantom Assassin and Bounty Hunter, who can attack heroes for 10 and 11 damage, respectively. Even the red cards are designed to weaken the enemy heroes. Spot Weakness is an unusual tech but one that works against other red heroes, ignoring their armor for a turn. Viscous Nasal Goo, Bristleback’s signature spell, permanently modifies units with -2 armor, not to mention Bristleback tends to become quite the hero brawler the longer the game goes on. And when you need just a few more points of damage, in comes Legion Standard Bearer for a +4 attack buff.
Once all heroes have been put to the grave, the deck transitions to the standard red late game: Spring the Traps and Times of Triumph. No tricks, no gimmicks, just good old value.