Curiously following the Solforge Forgewatch Invitational, I decided to calculate some statistics about the Top 8’s card choices and deck types. I found the results rather interesting and some of them concerning. Important note: These numbers come from a small sample size (one tournament, eight players), are for a developing game with many new cards recently added, and are calculated with quick and dirty math. Thus, the math below is more useful for observing trends (Uterra is really popular!) rather than exact calculations (Deathweaver had 20.3% more representation than it should have!). With that being said, let’s get on with it!

### Uterra is the Dominant Faction… Maybe

I knew in advance that Uterra was both a powerful mono-faction deck, worked well as a primary faction, and was a solid support faction. However, I certainly didn’t expect nearly every player to be running it (thanks, Weirwood Patriarch!). Knee-jerk reactions may be that Uterra is too strong of a faction overall, but I don’t think this is actually the case. Instead, I think it is because Uterra works well with other factions, and is a fantastic support faction regardless of your primary faction. Uterra cards make up half of the support cards and 2/3 of the pump cards played – a pretty clear indication that Uterra is very popular support.

Moving on to other factions. Look at Tempys. Poor, poor Tempys. It only brings removal to the table as a support role – which only benefits one deck type heavily, Grimgaunt Removal. It is only made viable as a primary by Uterra support, which can prop up any faction as a primary at this point. Having played T/U Patriarch myself, it can be rather streaky and heavily relies on the Uterra support. Nekrium similarly brings mostly removal as a support role, albeit some of the best removal in the game, completely overshadowing Tempys in a support role. Alloyin, I think, is less flexible than at first glance. Despite being popular, it only shows up in one deck type – Patriarch robots. Despite being brought 4 times, it was only ever paired with Uterra, and all four decks were variations of each other.

### Rarer Cards Are More Popular

Legendaries: 81

Heroics: 109

Rares: 14

Commons: 36

Surprising exactly no one, the more difficult to acquire (i.e. more expensive) are much more popular in the tournament. What I found interesting is how dominant Heroic cards are, but in part I think that’s because there just aren’t a lot of Legendary cards right now in the first place. I think as the number of cards increases, this ratio of Legendary cards vs Heroic cards may flip. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting to see, but still, Top 8 decks averaged over 10 Legendary cards per deck.

However, what concerns me is that number is a bit misleading, Sure, acquiring 10 Legendary cards is not that bad. However, considering many of the popular cards (Weirwood Patriarch, Thundersaur, etc) are new, this required heavy investment to get a playset of them so quickly, which I don’t think is a good thing. Generally speaking, Legendary cards were played in sets of 3 as well. This means that until crafting and/or trading enters the game, playing at the top requires a huge $ investment for most. With some very rough math, it takes roughly 30 premium packs – or $250 to get enough legendaries for a random top 8 deck (i.e. you could expect, on average, that after investing this much money into premium packs, that you would have enough of just the legendary cards to make one of these decks). And that’s not even for a deck of your choice! It also assumes you get no duplicates past 3 (obviously possible) and you buy gold in $100 intervals, but ignores daily rewards (which I feel have a very, very small chance of giving you a legendary you may need). Since I rounded the math in favor of lowering the cost every time, I expect the actual cost is significantly higher than this. I may go and simulate the actual expected cost to get enough legendaries to make one of these decks.

### Weirwood Patriarch Dominated

Again, no surprise here, unless you’ve stopped queuing anything for the last month. I made a (very easy) prediction that the hermit would dominate the metagame, and it clearly has. Everyone that played him played 3 copies, and he was played by 7 out of 8 of the top players! I’m beginning to think that we need some “preventive” unit that stops comes-into-play abilities or reverses the abilities of a card. A lot of people are proposing a body nerf to the Patriarch, which obviously will matter some, but I think those miss the point. He’s almost as good as a Ferocious Roar (in the right deck, which just about every is playing) and still leaves behind a body or can be used to chump if need be. This is the issue. Even if you “counter” with Epidemic, your opponent is still up a body, which is huge for a faction that can turn around and pump him the following turn.

### The New Cards were greatly over-represented

This is what concerns me the most out of these results. 47 cards played were new, vs 193 old. With 210 cards (I think, going from memory here) in the entire game, the 24 cards from the new set are drastically over-represented. One would expect about ~28 new cards to see play, and instead we saw nearly double! I’m not one to cry the sky is falling, but I absolutely do not want to see dramatic power creep in order to keep players buying new cards constantly either.

Admittedly, I was expecting legendary cards to over-dominate and Weirwood Patriarch to be the most influential card in the tournament, so I expect there is some confirmation bias there. However, I was not expecting Uterra to dominate so completely, nor the new cards to be so popular, so I feel those probably lack any confirmation bias.

That’s all I’ve gone through so far for Solforge’s Forgewatch Invitational statistics. Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would want to see/discuss.

For reference, here are the players with their deck lists:

**Pesh021**

3 Weirwood Patriarch

3 Brightsteel Gargoyle

3 Battle Tectition

3 Thundersaur

2 Heart Tree

2 Alloyin General

2 Synapsis Oracle

2 Oreian Warwalker

2 Oreian Justicar

1 Echowisp

3 Ferocious Roar

3 Botanimate

1 Jet Pack

**Bludex**

1 Zimus, the Undying

3 Lightning Spark

3 Static Shock

3 Epidemic

2 Lyria, Muse of Varna

3 Grimgaunt Predator

3 Everflame Phoenix

3 Magma Hound

3 Cull the Weak

3 Dreadbolt

3 Grimgaunt Devourer

**Table1**

1 Arcflight Squadron

3 Battle Techtician

2 Botanimate

3 Brightsteel Gargoyle

1 Brightsteel Sentinel

3 Ferocious Roar

3 Gemhide Basher

3 Matrix Warden

1 Metasculpt

2 Oreian Justicar

1 Oreian Warwalker

2 Synapsis Oracle

2 Thundersaur

3 Weirwood Patriarch

**DarksoulSP**

3 Grimgaunt Predator

3 Grimgaunt Devourer

3 Witherfrost Succubus

3 Weirwood Patriarch

1 Heart Tree

3 Ferocious Roar

1 Doomwing, Dire Drake

3 Cull the Weak

1 Gloomreaper Witch

2 Thundersaur

3 Blight Walker

1 Dreadbolt

3 Epidemic

**TinyGrimes**

3 Ferocious Roar

1 Oreian Warwalker

2 Brightsteel Gargoyle

3 Battle Techtician

3 Brightsteel Sentinel

2 Matrix Warden

2 Alloyin General

2 Oreian Justicar

2 Gemhide Basher

2 Thundersaur

3 Weirwood Patriarch

3 Arcflight Squadron

2 Botanimate

**HolyLlama**

3 Arcflight Squadron

3 Brightsteel Gargoyle

3 Brightsteel Sentinel

3 Matrix Warden

3 Weirwood Patriarch

3 Thundersaur

3 Ferocious Roar

3 Battle Techtician

2 Mossbeard Patriarch

2 Gemhide Basher

2 Oreian Justicar

**Whytefyre**

2 Echowisp

3 Ferocious Roar

3 Everflame Phoenix

3 Lightning Spark

3 Thundersaur

3 Firefist Uranti

3 Ashurian Mystic

3 Weirwood Patriarch

2 Enrage

2 Rageborn Hellion

3 Ether Hounds

**Xtof**

3 Epidemic

3 Ferious Roar

1 Dreadbolt

3 Phytobomb

2 Zimus the Undying

3 Grimgaunt Devourer

3 Weirwood Patriach

3 Leafkin Progenitetor

3 Tarsus Deathweaver

3 Ether Hounds

1 EchoWhisp

2 Lifeblood Dryad