Ynnari are the kings of the meta, and no one knows how to stop them.
If the Las Vegas Open showed us one thing, it’s that the Ynnari, supported by Dark Reapers, are at the top of the North American meta. Not only did Ynnari containing lists make up a significant portion of the top players but the top table on the last round came down to a virtual mirror match between Ynnari lists. Despite plenty of warning, no one could top this list.
The winning list (you can read more about how it works here) is a blend of Ynnari and Alaitoc units, and focuses on using Dark Reapers and Shining Spears for maximum effect. This list, played with a lot of skill by Nick Nanavati took the top prize at the LVO this year. It was not a surprise. Similar lists have been cleaning up across the country, and a number of similar lists also did well at the LVO. No one could stop this list and it seems the only real challenge the list faced was in a mirror match vs a similar list. This is the list too beat.
This list doing well was not a surprise. Back in early December, two months before LVO, we wrote about the core combo that makes this list work. Between then and LVO we talked about various aspects of this list. We even streamed local events in both December and January that were won by lists similar to Nicks. All that is to say that this list, and its power, was well known going into the LVO. In fact talking to players before LVO most assumed it was the list that was going to win. Everyone knew it was going to happen, and then, almost inevitably – it won.
LVO saw many of the best players in North America playing their hearts out. Not all of them ran Ynnari/Alitoc list. All of them knew that this type of list was going to be heavily featured. Yet the fact is, as the results show, even with months to prepare no one came up with a real counter to this type of list. If the best players couldn’t figure out a counter, that’s a problem.
It’s at about this point that I am sure people will start shouting about how they totally beat this list. Or their friend did. Look, anecdotal evidence is great, and this list is by no means unbeatable. No list is, but the fact remains at a tournament level means it has no real weakness or counter. Yes it takes a good player to get the best out of it. Yes Nick, who won LVO, is a top player. A bad player can certainly lose with this list, but at that point the weakness is the player not the list . If there are good counters to this list they have yet to be effectively used in a major tournament. When it came down to it, no one could beat this list.
While this list is not unbeatable its one of the most broken lists I’ve seen since the good old days of the Leafblower. Confronted by this list the best players either choose to run it themselves or were crushed by it. Not one, but two of this same list advanced to the finals of one of the biggest events in North America. Nor is this an isolated incident as this type of list has been cleaning up at smaller events across the country for the past several months. It’s a list that seemingly does not have a real counter. As such its a big issue for the game. It’s never healthy for a meta when one particular type of list becomes too dominate. While we’ve seen other powerful lists in 8th, but none have been so specific, or dominated so much for so long.
GW will most like address some of what makes this list tick in the March FAQ. It’s also possible that one of the new books will provide a counter for the list. I however find that unlikely. This list is a pretty psychic heavy and the next three lists are known for being weak vs pyskers. Moreover the new Dark Elder Codex is likely to simply provide this type of list with more toys and options. What I would like to see is the community from the top players down to the newbies really take the list seriously and figure out solid counters. So lets put our thinking hats on and get to work.
How would you deal with this type of list? Let us know down in the comments!
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