The first Singleton Gauntlet closed its doors last week, but don’t worry, the second one is already open! So what did we learn from the first weekend of the format, and how can we use that to dominate the competition?
What’s meta in Singleton?
The challenge of deckbuilding in Singleton is all about achieving consistency. When you can’t run any duplicates in your deck, the overall gameplan reliability of that deck is going to go way down.
This is a bigger problem for certain archetypes more than others. As covered in our overview of the format, aggro decks are going to struggle in Singleton. With only 2 regions in your deck, there aren’t quite enough options to hit a strong early curve consistently.
If you’re still looking to make an aggro deck in order to get this gauntlet run done quicker, I would suggest adding some big-time finishing cards because you most likely aren’t going to be able to burn the opponent down quickly. Cards like Captain Farron and Harrowing for example – they provide a ton of late-game value to get you back on board in a big way and make that final push.
Since aggro won’t be hitting as hard as consistently, control ends up being a strong choice for this format. There are a plethora of late game options in almost every region, so stacking your deck with some top heavy bombs is a great strategy. These decks can run a variety of early game units and spells to just stay alive till the later rounds, when they can start dropping large bombs turn after turn.
In the week 1 of the singleton, it was common to see people take known meta control decks, and adjust them to this format. Over the weekend we saw tons of examples of this as Deep, Anivia, Heimer, and other variants of late game meta decks began to take over the Singleton meta.
How to beat Singleton Gauntlet?
So with consistency being the issue, and control decks running rampant, what should we run? I took a stab at creating something to solve these problems, and ended up going 7-0! Here is the deck:
Deck Code: CEAAABAEAIAQEBQHBADQEAYBAIBQIBYIBIFACAYEAYFRIHI6EMXTGNYTAEAQGBAFA4EASCYNCULB2HQ7E4VDAMRUHA
The initial idea of this deck was to create a sense of consistency, and to have a lot of value options on different turns.
To achieve this level of reliability, I wanted to focus on finding champions. We all know champions are generically strong units for their price, and Freljord/Noxus offers a lot of valuable champs. Utilizing Draven’s Biggest Fan, The Leviathan, The Tuskraider, and Entreat we can guarantee to see quite a few champions each game. Pair that with a few more drawing cards like the Babbling Bjerg and the Avarosan Sentry and you can make sure cards keep flowing.
Freljord/Noxus is a very well-positioned region pairing with lots of synergy – lots of different cards work quite nicely together, which leads to a more overall consistency as well. Some examples of this are the Crimson package going very well with the buffing spells you have, and those same buffing spells going very well with your Overwhelm units. There is a lot of cross-synergy here that allows you to make various decisions depending on the situation.
The next main deckbuilding decision was to determine what speed this deck should try to push. At heart, I am a midrange player who wants to finish the game between turns 7-9. In a mode where aggro might not function perfectly, and control variants are everywhere, that is a great spot to be in.
Ideally you are ending the game before we get to max mana. The main way to do this is just flood the board with beefy units especially in the middle rounds of the game. Control decks typically rely on heavy removal options, and in Singleton they won’t be seeing them as often. That means when you play Swain, Tarkaz the Tribeless, Scarmother Vrynna, etc; they are going to stick on the board a lot longer. And they don’t need to be on the board for that many turns before they finish the game!
This deck has a ton of strong units that will cause problems for your opponent. The other main way to close out the game with this list is just in the sheer amount of Overwhelm you have, along with the few buff spells. If you hit a strong early curve and get some damage through, you can start looking to push the rest through with Overwhelm and end before control matchups get out of hand. Obviously there are some situations where you will be able to finish games even past this window, but typically this is the speed you want to go against heavy control decks. If you do run into aggro, just survive that early storm and once you stabilize you will be fine to close the game.
Have fun and experiment!
Finally, there was another guiding principle behind this deck’s creation – and it is all about having as much fun as possible. Fun to me is playing cards I normally don’t get to. When is the last time you saw Aurok Glinthron or the Armored Tuskrider hit the board? When was the last time you froze your opponent’s board with the Icy Yeti? Unless you’re a veteran Expeditions player, the answers to all of those questions is probably ‘never’. Being able to see some underplayed cards shine in this mode is what made it that much more fun.
You also have a lot of flex options if you wanted to try some other cards. To list just a few: Might, Kato The Arm, Ember Maiden, Take Heart, Ursine Spiritwalker, Battering Ram, Darius… Modify this list to fit some of the cards you’ve always wanted to try, because in Singleton, everything has value.
I hope this article leaves you ready and eager to dive into the second week of Singleton. As of time when this article is out, the Gauntlet is available right now, so good luck on your conqueror’s path!