April 2018 TES Legends Meta Report by Karakondzhul & Warriors7

The primary purpose of this meta snapshot is to capture the most popular and powerful decks on ladder. It will offer insights to the decklists as well as its matchups. The decks have been organized into four tiers by top ladder player finishers Warriors7 and Karakondzhul. It is by no means the perfect tier list, but it will depict the ladder at the legend ranks.

Tier One

Optimized and adaptable decklists – these decks dominate the high legend ranks.

Midrange Battlemage

The addition of Tel Vos Magistar and Ash Berserker pushes midrange Battlemage to the top of tier one. Previously it was weak to burst damage, but Tel Vos now solves that problem. Against control it would run out of resources, and Ash Berserker solves that issue as it replaces Mystic Dragons. Vigilant Ancestor is also a nice addition to help trigger Ash Berserker, defend against Mammoths, and stop the early aggression. It has less synergy with wards as opposed to Skavens, but does increase the blue count for cunning allies.


Midrange Battlemage has no particular weak matchups in the current meta. It is strong against other midrange and aggro strategies with the early blue creatures and Breton Conjurer/Tel Vos/Giants to close the game out. It has a potential weakness to yellow control, but yellow control does not really exist in the ladder. Even so, Ash Berserker gave the deck valuable recoures extension against those decks.

Sample Decklists:

Karakondzhul’s BM: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Battlemage/merric-mid-bm-by-karakondzhul/

Warriors7’s HoM Giants: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Battlemage/warriors7-mid-bm

Aggro Hlaalu

After the release of The Houses of Morrowind, House Hlaalu seemed to be the least favored House Archetypes when in came to House card quality and applicability in the current meta. As the weeks went by, Aggro Hlaalu stormed to the top of the leader boards as one of the strongest low to the ground aggro decks around. The key to Aggro Hlaalu success is Haunted Manor. Haunted Manor allows the vast amount of charge creatures at the archetypes disposal to become massive threats for very little investment that hard removal control type may struggle. What makes aggro Hlaalu so dangerous is that it can go tall and wide at the same time very quickly and can over whelm an opponent in 1 or 2 turns. With the additions of Divine Fervor, Fifth Legion Trainer, Orc Clan Captain, and Ambitious Hireling, Hlaalu can make small creatures become powerful charging maniacs very reliably.


Aggro Hlaalu has the ability to beat every deck on the ladder. It has the ability to be very flexible when waiting for its manors with most of its creatures drawing an additional card or providing a trick to maintain board positioning.

50/50 Matchups:
Control Telvanni is strong because of its ability to have access to effective single and mass removal, extreme resource extension, reliable self healing, Tel Vos Magister, and a strong late game win condition with Tullius’s Conscription. It is possible to beat them before they draw their combos but the deck has many ways of recovering the board state if it is un-favored.
Control Scout: Much like Telvanni, Scout has ways of effectively removing targets, resource extension, and self healing.

Control Tribunal: With access to Good Prophecies, Strong Guards, Tel Vos Magister, and removal in spades. Control Tribunal can be a nightmare to fight against as a dedicated Aggro Hlaalu deck. However, due to Tribunal Controls much large top end, its victories are very dependent on drawing its bottom end early to deal with your snowballing board state.
Prophecy Battlemage/Mage: Aggro Hlaalu cannot deal with creatures in the shadow lane effectively. Thus aggro decks such as Prophecy Battlemage and Mage can be favored by being more aggressive and rely on their Prophecies to snowball the game faster than Hlaalu can deal with the damage.

Mirror Match: Aggro Hlaalu vs Aggro Hlaalu can be frustrating because it boils down to who pulls manor first and can play it without losing too much tempo. It is usually wise to not play Manor on turn 3 if the opponent is building their board. The loss in tempo can be unrecoverable since most games are decided very quickly.

Sample Decklists:

Aquaman’s Conscription Hlaalu: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Hlaalu/tempo-conscription-hlaalu/

Jsilver’s Token Hlaalu: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Hlaalu/token-hlaalu/

Tier Two

Although not as strong as decks in tier one, they are still popular and can even find favorable matchups against tier one decks.

Midrange Dagoth

Dagoth’s theme is 5 power minions, and midrange Dagoth utilizes that strategy very well. It has powerful minions such as Dagoth Oatman, Hand of Dagoth, Tel-Vos to provide both aggression and defense, as well as good tempo plays such as Nix-ox and Belligerent Giant. There are also powerful engines such as Awakened Dreamer and Ash Berserker that benefits from powerful minions. Gambler, Quartermaster synergy is a new powerful combo that helps with resource extension and green’s Shadowshift is a very powerful utility card that can win games when used in the correct situations. The deck occasionally struggles with curving out, but a Hand of Dagoth on curve usually means a win. The addition of Cliff Racer and Tazkad helps with the consistency of the burst potential; if the right draws happen, the deck is one of the most powerful decks as it seems to be as powerful as Midrange Battlemage with more utility and even more burst. Fortunately the 75 card requirement is also a hindrance to its consistency, keeping the power level in check by occasionally bricking hands or not allowing smooth curves.


The aggro and other midrange matchups are both favoured as midrange dagoth has a very good balance between tempo plays and resource extension. Moreover, with power cards like Hand of Dagoth and Tel Vos, it’s really difficult to go below the deck’s curve and win before dagoth stabilises – something that midrange battlemage used to struggle with. It has similar problems as traditional merric when it comes to facing heavy control lists – it’s possible that you never find your late game and they starve you out of resources. However, if the deck finds the right curve, it will win against any kind of control.

Sample Decklists:

Joe’s Dagoth: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Dagoth/midrange-dagoth-by-traitor-joe/

Karakon’s Dagoth: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Dagoth/karakondzhul-mid-merric-dagoth/

Midrange Warrior

Midrange warrior did not gain too much from the expansion, and with other colors receiving buffs, it brought this deck to down to tier two. Ald Velothi Assassin is a good new tool, but it does not affect the early development turns too much. Ash Berserker is often seen as an upgrade to Jarl, but it does make the 4 drop slot clunky and he could be utilized more effectively in other decks. Tel Vos and Hand of Dagoth completely shuts down the aggressive strategy, and midrange warrior very often struggles to effectively deal with them. This archetype is no longer the uncontrollable force that it was before the Houses of Morrowind but it’s power level was so high that it is certainly still a force to be reckoned with.


It is still very powerful against control, especially on the ring and if it is allowed to snowball field lane. With Tel Vos and Hand of Dagoth, it struggles against Midrange Battlemage and Midrange Dagoth, two popular decks on ladder. Previously, it had issues when dealing against token strategies – such as the very popular aggro Hlaalu decklists that have sprung up recently.

Sample Decklists:

Joe’s Midgro Warrior: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Warrior/agromid-warrior/

Telvanni Conscription

Conscription assassin was on the verge of becoming a powerful deck, but it lacked a few tools and answers to make it a good control deck. Now with the splash of purple, it is allowed to have silences and Shadowfen without the cost of too much consistency as it can add Indoril Mastermind and Scout report. Furthermore, 75 card decks allow for a wider variety of 2 drops, further increasing the power of Conscription. Sun in Shadows and Laaneth allow the deck to consistently hit Conscription on turn 11, maybe even more so than 50 card decks.


The deck does quite well against aggressive strategies, as over half the deck is under 3 cost. With Journey as its win condition, it has inevitability over most control decks, unless they pack insane greed. It does struggles versus midrange decks with a lot of resource extension and big creatures, but it can turn the tide by turn 11 after it has casted conscription.

Sample Decklist:

Warriors7’s Telvanni Conscription: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Telvanni/warriors7-s-telvanni-conscription/

Token Crusader

As with most token strategies, it centers around Willpower cards such as Fifth Legion Trainer, Scouting Patrol and Pit Lion to swarm the board early and overwhelm your opponent. Tokens have proven to be a really effective strategy against decks that rely on establishing an early board (such as midrange warrior or token hlaalu), so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they do relatively well when such strategies are as popular. The consistency of 50 cards make it easier to have a more consistent curve. While tokens were already a good and refined deck before the expansion, they can also can benefit from some of the new cards such as ambitious hireling and khuul lawkeeper.

Matchups: The ability to go wide and under opponents makes the deck favored against midrange strategies and control decks that do not run many area of effect (AOE) removal. It also has the ability to recover from behind with healing cards like Bruma Profiteer or Dawnstar Healer. On the other hand, it is unfavored against control decks or midrange decks that run AOE such as Skaven Pyromancers, Cradlecrush Giants, Drain Vitality, Ice Storm. Tokens struggle a lot against midrange battlemage because it’s really hard to come back from their swing turns but they do seem to do relatively well against anything else currently on ladder.

Sample Lists:

RiverYowie’s Token Crusader: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Crusader/old-token-crusader/

Earlmeister’s Token Crusader: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Crusader/new-token-crusader/

Shout Scout

Shout scout has been present in the meta for a very long time now and it looks like it’s not going away anytime soon as it just got access to new tools. Ordiniran necromancer and indoril mastermind quickly became staples in this archetype. As always, the threat of enabling early level 3 shouts is a comeback mechanic that means no matchup is unwinnable but the extra cycle and the possibility of bringing back a word wall from a necromancer means that this happens even more often.

Matchups: Traditionally, control scout has always struggled in midrange metas and even the new tools have proven to sometimes not be enough to reliably win against some of the most common aggressive lists on ladder – such as midrange battlemage and warrior. Moreover, aggro hlaalu is far too quick and not even a level 3 drain vitality is sometimes not enough for the scout player to come back on the board. However, given the room to breathe in the early turns, the new scout lists can cycle through their decks and very quickly find the answers and threats they are looking for.

Sample Decklists:

Puddleglum’s #4 scout list: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Scout/uprising-shout-scout/

Aquaman’s shout scout: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Scout/shout-scout-13/

Redoran Midrange/Aggro

If you thought midrange warrior was strong, you should try out midrange redoran. It has a similar playstyle of developing huge threats until your opponent can’t keep up but it has access to new tools to control the board – powerful tempo plays such as Cloudrest Illusionist or Grisly Gourmet. With access to the best midrange colours, redoran can build a curve in any way – there are so many strong 2, 3, 4 and 5 drops that most of the time you won’t have space to include everything even in 75 cards.


In terms of matchups, midrange redoran is somewhat similar to midrange warrior. However, it can fight for the board better – especially the decklists that play a lot of small chargers such as firebrands. This comes at a cost however – midrange dagoth sometimes doesn’t find the end game it needs to close the game against decks with removal. As a result, it does well against aggro and other midrange because of its powerful racing tools but somewhat struggles against dagoth and midrange battlemage as there is no way to efficiently deal with powerful threats.

Sample Decklists:

Link’s Aggro Redoran: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Redoran/link-s-aggro-redoran/

Karakondzhul’s Aggro Redoran: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Redoran/midrange-redoran-by-karakondzhul/

Tier Three

Average in terms of power level or in need of refinement.

Tribunal Control

The nerf to Mantikora crippled the deck’s lockout card, with no card really able to truly replace Mantikora’s unique effect. Even so, the deck does not have the best late game, and although its midrange and aggressive matchups are decent, they are not significant enough to bring this deck to a higher tier.


With most control decks, it preys on aggressive and midrange strategies. It packs a lot of removal, and with the versatility of 3 colors, it should draw its answers most of the time. Yet it can still draw the wrong removal at the wrong time, especially with 75 cards. It does not have the best lategame, and can be run over by control decks with better win condition such as Telvanni Conscription or simply greedier decks.

Sample Decklists:

Aquaman’s Control: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Tribunal/super-control-tribunal/

Midrange Mage

Despite lacking the depth of efficient 2 and 3 drops that endurance provides, mid mage remains a very powerful alternative to mid sorcerer largely because of its significant gains in interactive and racing tools which enable it to lock down the board in aggressive matchups rather than hoping that its larger creatures will dominate aggressive opponents. In general the deck is much better at flipping losing positions against aggressors and thanks to a smattering of card draw effects is less prone to gasing out in slower matchups than sorcerer.


Dawnstars, as many as 8 6 health guards, ~20 prophesies, and a handful of shackle effects mean that this deck is extremely adept at recovering losing positions against aggressive opponents. Against more controlling opponents the deck plays as a resilient aggressor, utilizing many beefy and warded threats that are hard to deal with as quickly as they can be played out and turning its opponents losing positions into insurmountable defecits through snowballing tools such as haafingar and golden saint. The deck contains a surprising amount of reach and it can be quite difficult for opponents to truly stabilize against it.

Sample decklist:

EndoZoa’s Jund: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Mage/midrange-magy/

Midrange Assassin

While largely unexplored, this archetype was piloted by EndoZoa to a #6 legend finish this April with some pretty absurd win rates (there was one point while in the top 10 that his match history contained 28 wins and 2 losses with the deck). A dedicated tempo deck, it aims not to permanently answer its opponents threats but instead maximize its mana efficiency and provide enough temporary protection for its threats to overwhelm its opponents before the creatures they deploy can meaningfully interact. With a very large suite of shackle effects, warding abilities, and cover granting abiliies the decks brittle yet potent threats are well protected. The deck takes maximum advantage of what is arguably one the powerful cards in HOM: cornerclub gambler. By playing several cards that the deck wants to play already that produce fodder for gambler the deck rarely feels too bad about its downside and gets to take full advantage of the absolute insanity that is its upside. A surprising amount of card draw and generation allows this deck to dig deep and find its many reach tools which help it close out the game.


Tempo Assassin’s curve is quite low and as a result it quite consistently hits its early drops, many of which are able to interact quite favorably with those of other low to the ground decks. The addition of its many shackle effects and sources of fast damage give it the ability to race very effectively against most fast decks, identifying when it is important to fight for some amount of board is key however as while the deck frequently tries to deflect its opponent there are many times where some level of direct interaction will increase its ability to push its opponent aside in later turns, particularly fighting to protect its efficient threats is key. Against slower decks face is the place and the difficulty involved in interacting with tempo assassin makes it quite challenging to adequately answer it in time. Hiding from and shackling down threats is not very effective against guards however and so yellow midrange and control decks can prove somewhat of a challenge requiring the deck to dig deep to find answers.

Sample Decklists: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Assassin/midrange-assasin-5/

Rage Dagoth

Rage archer with a splash of blue on paper appear to be a very strong control deck. However, 75 cards and blue makes the lethal synergy with cards such as Gambit and Crossbow unreliable. It still has decent control tools, especially with cards like Tel Vos and Hand of Dagoth.


Hand of Dagoth and the early blue cards allows the deck to be quite good against aggro, but like archer, it struggles to find a solid win condition against other control decks.

Sample Decklists:

Eyenie’s Rage Dagoth: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Dagoth/eyenie-s-control-dagoth/

Aquaman’s Rage Dagoth: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Dagoth/rage-dagoth-1/

Midrange Sorcerer

The introduction of HoM brings new options on the table for midrange sorcerer. Indomitable Ordinator has been generally accepted as a good 5 drop to fill the weak spot, replacing the likes of Whiterun Protector. The exalt feature makes it more flexible and playable as a 6 drop which is sticky against yellow/blue removal. Tel Vos Magister should in theory improve matchup against other midrange decks but does not help as much against aggro and tokens, which midrange sorcerer usually struggles the most against. Therefore, many lists do not run it. Sixth House Amulet gives the deck more combat tricks and help them take over field lane more easily, but that is more of a personal preference. In general, midrange sorcerer stays as a strong deck that excels at field lane control.


The deck is still really good at punishing top heavy decks. The stickiness of creatures is really strong against control. Corrupted Shade and the amount of silence it runs gives the deck a chance against Hand of Dagoth. Still, the deck struggles against faster decks even with the inclusion of Indomitable Ordinator.

Sample Decklists:

Providence’s Midrange Sorcerer: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Sorcerer/mid-sorcerer-4/

Midrange Tribunal

The splash of yellow makes the deck more resilient to aggressive strategies and the purple adds raw power to mid-mage. However mid-mage and sorcerer seem to achieve a more reliable curve when compared to mid-tribunal, and are probably more powerful decks on their own.

Sample Decklists:

Ikarus’ Midrange Tribunal: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Tribunal/midrange-tribunal-by-ikarus/

Nix-ox Combo

The power level and influence of the Nix-ox Combo is substantial enough to be captured in this meta snapshot. The elegant nerf of 1 mana made this once tier 1 deck into a tier 3 if not tier 4 deck. The 1 mana nerf is extremely relevant to the combo as it is an indirect nerf to Night to Remember, Dark Rebirth, Doppelganger and Uprising.


Before the nerf, it would win games if it survived to t6-9, where it usually found the combo. It had decent early game to stall to the late game, especially with Harpies, Sanctuary Pets, BlackHand Messenger and the beloved Drain Vitality and Word Wall super combo. Most control decks got obliterated, except those that hit a lucky Deathpriest on Laaneth.

Sample Decklists:

Warriors7’s Nixox: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Assassin/nix-combo-wombo-assasin/

Namira Journey Scout

Petamax’s abomination takes maximum value of disciple of namira. With 30 cards that cost 0-1, your first step is fill a lane with disciple of namira on it. Once you do that, the next step is getting crazy.
Sacrifice your own creatures. keep drawing cheap creatures. Keep summon and sacrificing. With fence and namira on board, you can easily draw half of your deck in one single turn. With 2 fence and namira, you can draw your entire deck. Once your deck is on the discard pile, play Journey and just start drawing your cheaps creatures once again and set an easy lethal for next turn.

Matchups: The good matchups for this deck, as any other combo deck, are slow/ control decks: Telvanni, Tribunal, scout, rage decks… all of that are really easy to beat.

The bad matchups are aggro and aggro midrange decks.  Specially mid warrior, where Cultist and haunted spirit makes drain vitality (the only removal) less effective.

Sample Decklists:

Petamax’s Scout Abomination: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Scout/superscout-by-petamax/

Doomcrag Warrior

Aundae Clan Sorcerer was a cool addition to this style of control, and she is a playable 3 drop to fight for the board.  The deck uses cheap minions to fight against aggressive decks while able to convert them into value through Namira’s Shrine, Disciple of Namira or Doomcrag Warrior.

Matchups: It handles tokens and aggressive strategies well due to its ping strategy for removal. However it can struggle against resilient minions as it relies on Doomcrag as its hard removal, so Midrange Sorcerer and Warrior can be tough matchups. Against control, it is the best at finding Journey if the Shrines are left on board; control decks that do not run or draw their support removal will be favorable matchups while those that do will be unfavorable matchups.

Sample Decklists:

Warriors7’s Doomcrag Warrior: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Warrior/doomcrag-warrior-3/

Tier Four

Decks that struggle in the meta, but are popular and can find success when played at a high skilled level.

Justin Larson’s “Body Control Spellsword”

So right off the bat I’ve gotta say that I named this deck while listening to Pussy Control by Prince and am aware that it’s not a control deck. What the deck does aim to do is play for board control, and the 22 (25 if you count Knight of Gnisis tokens and 28 if you count Golden Saint clones) guard creatures in the deck let you do that. The Rally creatures in the deck, along with the Divine Fervors and Light of the Three help with your ability to generate card advantage in this way.

There’s a lot of cards that look and very well may be suboptimal choices. I built the deck initially because I wanted to run as many Morrowind cards as possible, and while I enjoy playing the list and have a good win rate with it, the responses to the deck are all over the place. Some people report great win streaks, some people can’t win a game. Because of the shitty curve, it’s going to happen. A more responsible approach to the deck – probably involving Bleakcoast Troll and no Light of the Three, for example, may ultimately be more robust, but nothing you can do to the deck is going to change the fact that if a spellsword deck full of creatures falls behind on board, it has no way to get back into the game.


Strengths: In my experience, the deck has a positive win-rate against aggro and tokens decks if you have the ring. Big caveat, that, but it’s true. I’ve never lost to Midgro Warrior with the ring, and never won without it. The deck’s curve is a bit of a trainwreck and hitting your powerful 3-drops on turn 2 leads to a lot of victories. When the deck curves out and hits a Golden Saint on 6, you’re likely to win, no matter the opponent. All of the single target removal – Javelin, Edict, Inquisitor – are good at creating huge tempo turns against midrange and control opponent seeking to use large guard or drain creatures to stop your progress. Penitus Oculatus Agent fills a similar role, with the added benefit of being a card that absolutely no one plays around. Generally speaking, playing for the board like this deck likes to do will win you a lot of games against “fair decks,” in my experience.

Weaknesses: Giants Battlemage is nearly an unwinnable matchup – I think I’ve beaten it once, and that was with a god-draw. Ramp Scout & Dagoth Rage are around 50-50 in my experience, but with the right draws, they have the tools to completely shut you down. You’re unfavored against combo decks without a strong start, because the deck doesn’t push damage very quickly very well. Any control deck that stops your snowball will also probably beat you unless you’re able to, say, chain multiple Saints together in the midgame.

Sample Decklists:

Justin Larson’s Midrange Spellsword: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Spellsword/midrange-spellsword-10/

Control Hlaalu

There has been experimentations with Rage, Slay and Control Hlaalu, or a combination of all 3. The lack of consistency makes these lists need refinement in order to find true competitive play, but these decks are still somewhat viable on ladder.

Sample Decklists:

Aquaman’s Control Hlaalu: https://teslegends.pro/decks/hlaalu/control-hlaalu/

Ksedden’s Slay Hlaalu: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Hlaalu/ksedden-hlaalu/

Unite the Houses

Unite the Houses brought a very interesting win condition to the game. It trumps Vivec, and is more reliable than Jarl Balgruuf. There are many random creature, item, support generation in the deck, notably Smuggler’s Haul, Mudcrab Merchant, Pawnbroker, Moment of Clarity, and even Heroic Rebirth to generate random cards. Petamax even added Barter to get rid of extra copies of Unite the Houses to brick the opponent’s hand.


Since a large amount of the deck is random card generation and requires setup, it is quite weak against aggressive strategies. That being said, it does have the blue early game and skulk to potentially control the board long enough to assemble its combo. It can find its combo as early as t6/7, and it can win through “racing” the opponent.

Sample Decklists:

Petamax’s Unite: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Telvanni/unite-by-peta/

Warrior7’s Unite: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Assassin/unite-by-warriors7/

Eyenie Tier (Special Mention for #1 Finish)

Eyenie always figures out the best decks for the meta, yet it is not very popular till the next season. The lack of popularity makes it not able to slot into any tier, but it his lists have all proven to be very effective. Here is the list he used to hit #1 this season: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Hlaalu/monk-strike-hlaalu-by-eyenie/

Top Season Finishes

According to TOP-100 rating:

  1. Eyenie: Monk Strike Hlaalu
  2. Karakondzhul – Tempo Doomcrag, Mid BM, Shout Scout
  3. Traitor-Joe – Mid Dagoth
  4. Puddleglum – Shout Scout
  5. TurquoiseLink – Aggro Hlaalu, Token Mage, Other
  6. EndoZoa – Mid Mage, Mid Assassin
  7. Warriors7 – Mid BM
  8. Irational – Token Crusader
  9. Earlmeister – Token Crusader
  10. TDCJason – Guybunal
  11. Jasniot – Aggro Hlaalu
  12. Emikaela – Shout Scout
  13. Frenzy1 – Mid BM
  14. Jsilver – Aggro Hlaalu
  15. Frame Layout – ?
  16. Teyi11 – Mid Warrior, Conscription Telvanni
  17. Superthx555 –
  18. Brigadoom – Aggro Hlaalu
  19. Inezz – Mid Dagoth
  20. Lifewithcena – Mid Dagoth

Blue: Tier 1
Green: Tier 2
Purple: Tier 3
Red: Eyenie Tier

Brought to you by:



With help from Brigadoom, Endozoa, Justin Larson, Providence, Aquaman88, TraitorJoe