It has been about 2 weeks since the Houses of Morrowind expansion has come out and the introduction of 3 colored decks has opened room for a lot of experimentation that has shook the ladder quite a bit. This is more of house and cards discussion rather than a “meta snapshot,” as we will be discussing the power level of the 5 houses and which cards have proved to be powerful. There will also be decklists provided that have been effective in high ladder or have done well in tournaments.
As much as we’d love to give an accurate representation of what the meta looks like, we’re only two weeks into the Houses of Morrowind. Decks are still unrefined and a lot of archetypes have not been tested yet. While it is very early to evaluate the meta (as it still varies day to day), this document aims to showcase some of the trends we have noticed on ladder. We wanted to share some of our thoughts on the emerging 5 houses and new decks that might help new players decide what to spend their time and resources in.
Dagoth appears to be one of the strongest houses – as Hand of Dagoth’s power level has proven to be top tier. Its control tools are board centric,and therefore has the ability to act as a proactive control deck rather than a reactive control deck such as tribunal. The green splash to existing battlemage decks such as Merric or Giant Battlemage has enabled it to have heal and comeback mechanics, which it previously lacked.
Karakondzhul’s Dagoth Merric:
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 merric 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. To summarise, it improves some of the matchups merric battlemage used to struggle with at seemingly no cost.
Eyenie’s Control Dagoth:
Aquaman’s Rage Dagoth:
Redoran was meant to be the class that utilizes rally as its unique legendary is Bolyvn Venim. Sadly, roleplaying rally relies too much on snowboarding and its minions are not resilient on their own to fight for the board – in a way, it has resemblance to pilfer monk. While 75 card aggro seemed to be suboptimal, perhaps the raw power of warrior and the snowballing cards of crusader gives this house enough power level to be a top tier aggro deck.
Karakondzhul’s Redoran Aggro: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Redoran/midrange-redoran-by-karakondzhul/
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 new tools to control the board. 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, it does well against aggro and other midrange because of its powerful racing tools. It somewhat struggles against dagoth as there is no way to efficiently deal with an early hand of dagoth or tel vos magister. Some control decks can find enough removal to control redoran but that depends on the draw and, more often than not, the control deck can’t keep up with removing your minions.
Link’s Redoran Aggro:
The marriage of Assassin and Scout offers this house an insane access to draw and removal. Scout traditionally lacked efficient removal spells such as firebolt and lightning bolt, being forced to play crushing blow or relying on drain vitality to act as a board wipe. Now it has access to Ice Storm as well as the powerful early blue package in Wardcrafter, Harpy and Daggerfall Mage to control the early game. Assassin lacked silence, and this is where cards such as Negation, Mummify, Shadowfen Priest comes in to give it more tools to deal with threats.
Warriors7’s Telvanni: Conscription:
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 the most popular control deck on ladder which is Blackfall’s Tribunal control. 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. There are flex spots in the deck that allows you to run 3 Shadowfen Priests to deal with support removal, such as cutting a Necromancer or a Camel to add more silence interaction.
Eyenie’s Shout Control: https://teslegends.pro/decks/Telvanni/eyenie-s-nix-shout-control-telvanni/
Control Mage finally has access to good support removal! Most people see it as the control house, the addition to purple made control mage evolve into a stronger control deck with even more removal. However, the deck still lacks reliable ways to close out games compared to other control decks out there. Part of the reason is that purple didn’t solve the drawing problem of mage. There have been experiments with mid tribunal, and SkyDN has reached #2 with a mid tribunal list. However mid-mage and sorcerer seem achieve a more reliable curve when compared to mid-tribunal.
Blackfall`s Control Tribunal:
Everything should be in the description of the decklist. The deck is solid against aggressive strategies and beats midrange quite well. It may struggle against other control decks as well as cultist decks.
Aquaman’s Control Tribunal:
Hlaalu Oathman and Haunted Manor are really strong cards, but they do require to be built around which has proven to be not a very strong synergy in 75 card decks. People have experimented with many archetypes in Hlaalu but nothing particularly strong has emerged so far. That being said, there are a lot of synergistic cards and it’s possible that this will change in the near future. Hlaalu seems to have a lot of potential, but it remains unsolved.
Aquaman’s Control Hlaalu:
Jsilver’s Token Hlaalu:
Ksedden’s Slay Hlaalu:
Matt’s Slay Hlaalu:
Infinite Nix-Ox Combo
Although Nix-ox is not a house, it definitely deserves a mention in this expansion discussion for shaking up the tournament scene, as it has won 3 tournaments in one week. The idea of t6 Paarthurnax was a cute one with Nix-Ox, Night to Remember, Uprising, Doppelgangers and Pathmage to manipulate magicka and summon him from deck. However it soon developed into a monstrosity with an infinite combo, especially with no turn timer. It utilizes the brokenness of DV to its full potential by running 3 Greybeard Mentors, 3 NTR, 3 Dark Rebirths to ensure level 3 DV. The final evolution of the Nix-Ox deck contains the Giant Bat and Mentor’s Ring for OTK as early as t6, and with its shackle and drain package, it has at least a 50% matchup against aggro. It is a tier 2, if not tier 1, deck that takes some time to master.
Top Cards From Houses of Morrowind
These are loosely ordered in terms of power level, and will be in top tier decks in their respective classes. These cards are worth crafting in the decks that use them.
Hand of Dagoth is essentially Sower’s nemesis. With Sowers, playing him on curve essentially closed the game out against the control player (bar Cast into Time). Hand of Dagoth, on the other hand, on curve is usually game against the aggressive player. It’s only weakness is to hard removal like Javelin.
The ability to continuously ward face has the power equivalent to draining each turn. The benefit of warding face versus draining is that the effect is immediate, and it has the benefit of not having to go face to “gain life.” It will usually shut aggro decks down as it forces the opponent to spend resources dealing with Tel Vos, and deal with the ward.
An insane engine for aggressive deck, and his condition is quite easy to meet especially with Fifth Legion Trainer, Captain, Scimitar, Bleakcoast Troll etc. Aela’s Huntsmate and Jarl can be replaced with this card in most midrange decks.
Indoril Mastermind is a better Merchant’s Camel. It can fight for board, thin the deck by 2 cards, and only costs 3 mana. It fits into almost all Endurance control or combo decks, just as Thieves Guild Recruit fits into almost all Agility decks.
Nix-ox is a strong play in a midrange deck, and its power level is much higher than Soulrest as it gives flexibility and it is unconditional. However it enables an infinite combo deck that has completely dominated the tournament scene ever it came to life. It is resilient against aggressive strategies due to the many shackles and Drain Vitality, and everyone on the discussion team agreed that they would like to see this archetype get some sort of balancing – be it in nix-ox itself or drain vitality.Odinarian Necromancer
In a control deck, Necromancer is an insanely flexible tool. It can grab defensive tools such as Dark Guardian, Sanctuary Pet, Histmage or it can grab card draw such as Daggerfall Mage, Indoral Mastermind. Galyn has particular synergy with Necromancer as it can shuffle 6/6 Necromancers into the deck and this seems to be a viable win condition in a shell such as Namira Scout.\
Fighter Guild’s Recruit counterpart as it is has the exact same statlines, just fits into a more aggressive strategy. The power level of the card is only hindered by the fact that it competes with other extremely powerful 2 drops such as WindKeep Spellsword, Barrow Stalker and Dragontail Savior.
Not a “must craft” card, but an extremely fun and powerful card in a slay deck with cards such as Morag Tong Assassin, Nightmother, Brotherhood Sanctuary etc. Who doesn’t want to be an Assassin like Naryu?
Despite being only 1 attack, it synergizes particularly well with stat boosting cards such as Fifth Legion Trainer, Orc Clan Captain, Scimitar and Hireling to make it a serious threat. With 6 health, it protects your early engines well, further allowing you to snowball with her rally affect.
Very strong with rally synergy, but even without it, it just needs an engine such as Clan Captain, Fifth Legion Trainer or Divine Fervor to make it a worthwhile card to run in a 2 drop slot.
Merchant Mudcrab: Viable in Unite the Houses deck and in some extremely aggressive deck. 1/3 is a good stateline for a 1 drop to contest field lane, and it was part of Dust’s aggro BM that won an ESL.