Hey Cyriius here,
This format is really appealing for free to play players and also a good way to break the ladder routine in Constructed.
If you are new to the game and are interested in jumping into Constructed, this Rock format will be a smooth transition into Standard play.
So first thing to mention is that the Rock format has been played in the past, mainly in the form of player-run events (such as Kroan’s Rock League and lately Funktion’s HexFrenzy). But most iterations were a long time ago and not enough recent play has taken place to form any type of meta.
I will list some combinations of cards as backbones of certain archetypes and a metagame that is still hypothetical at this time. You will probably see that most of them are made up of top Common/Uncommon picks in Limited play.
If you’ve taken part in any Kismet’s Draft lately, you might have an rough idea about these cards.
Let’s now jump directly into some defining cards/champions of the format that I feel could shape it.
There are basically 2 types of approach one can have when tackling such a new format : make ‘budget’ versions of existing Standard powerhouse Decks or upgrade the strong archetypes that exist in Limited decks – which are mainly shaped by Commons/Uncommons anyways.
The Budget Standard Decks
These decks are basically little worse versions of their Standard counterparts.
This is an aggressive deck full of actions, card draw and some troops that synergize well with playing actions.
The card draws between Thunderfield Seer, Lanupaw’s Sight, Consult the Talon, and Arcane Focus are plenty in this deck which makes it really consistent.
So the plan here is to sneak in some damage with Flickering Gobbler over and over again while having some other troops that get buffed by actions like Embertongue Skarn or Eldritch Thunderbird, Feralfuel Guzzler, Luminarie Kindler.
This deck can play aggressive and also play the long game thanks to all the previously detailed card draw.
This deck is probably the easiest one to come up with.
It’s basically the standard version without all the Quick troops so it ends up being more combo-centric (Arcane Soil / Furiko). The deck is all about card draw, cheap troops, flooding the board with troops, and making one big lethal attack on your champion power turn.
The plan is to make sure to not trade too many troops with the opponent early on and have the ultimate swing be as large as possible.
With the format being less aggressive than the powered Standard, the loss of the potent Twilight Archon might not be noticed.
Here, you play constants with interesting effects and they all power up your all-star: Twilight Eclipse.
You can choose to either have a subtheme or go full on Constants and removals.
Mono Ruby (not giving a champion here because it can vary depending on the established metagame)
Aggression, aggression and maybe some more aggression. You’ve got here the most aggressive deck in the format for sure.
You’ll play small troops with high power in order to rush their life total as fast as possible before they can even stabilize. The gameplay is really straightforward, play on curve 1 2 3 4 and you should be fine for nearly every game.
This is one of the more straightforward decks to play probably as it’s all about sequencing and not really minding anything about the opponent but their life total.
The goal is to use your champion power to sneak as much damage as possible directly in the face of the opponent.
This archetype might be a midrangy one with removal like Strangle. This is also one that is in between low-power Standard and Improved Limited since it is one of the last newcomers on the competitive scene with all the deathcry synergies brought on by Frostheart.
Emperor’s Lackey or Giant Centipede or Warlock of Aettir can give you the power to decide when you want your troops to die.
Blightseed Cultivator is one of the all-stars here and allows you to trigger all the Deathcry effects from a troop which also synergizes well with the champion power.
The following decks are improved versions of their Limited counterparts.
Upgraded Limited Decks
Puff the Rainbow_ Transform
This archetype is very popular among top Limited players but imagine it with all the good transform cards as 4 ofs and it quickly and surely becomes scary! When you transform something, it either gets buffed or also transforms your Spellsong Sweeties.
This deck tends to be an aggressive tempo deck that usually flies over the opponent board to deal lethal damage.
Cassia Goldenlight_ Illuminate
An archetype that is usually hard to pull off in drafts since lots of cards are good on their own, meaning everybody can use Flamelick or Runic Candescence. Here you’ll get all of them meaning you’ll never have to play bunch of cards that doesn’t synergize or doesn’t generate candles.
Flooding the board with candle and making them grow is a potent strategy.
An archetype that uses Valors to power up the board and give them an ability or evasion that becomes really tough to deal with. Your troops are your valor generators themselves which allows you to pump whatever troop fairly easily. Most of the time those troop effects only trigger when you attack meaning you have to be careful to not forget to attack with some non-Valorous troops if they give effect to others.
This archetype is all about value even though it can be really aggressive on certain draws.
You basically use cards that give you additional effects and buffed cards out of cards that Conscript. If the games go long, you’re usually favored against the more aggressive decks. Sacred Stance is a card that can easily go out of control quickly.
The conscript archetype is the only one that can allow you to play Rares/Legendaries (except if the devs set it so you can’t Conscript for Rares and Legendaries). It is also RNG-dependent but if you consider the effect as a plus it will always be okay and sometimes insanely powerful.
Papa Goot_ Lifegain
This archetype is well-known in Kismet’s Draft. Basically, Papa Goot allows us with Daybreak to trigger the lifegain effect at the beginning of every turn. The goal is to have cheap interaction and then play your payoff cards like Chlorosaur (that is basically a 5/5 for 3) or Mesa Totemist (than can keep growing can sneak the lethal with Quick lifegain effects).
You are a true midrange deck here and you out-power aggro decks by a lot if you survive the early pressure.
Bonus Archetype & Building Your Own Deck
You can also choose to go out of the box and build your own deck. For instance, let’s says we decide we want a deck with the best removals.
Blood Ruby seems to fit that role nicely. You can choose which way you want to build around these removals for example:
Coupled with some good early troops such as:
Coupled with troops that reward you for playing lots of removals such as:
This one could definitely see play in a Wild Ruby ramp deck.
Thinking along these lines when first building a deck and adapting it to the meta that you expect to see, you will surely find something that fits your playstyle and that you can find success with given enough practice!
These are the decks that jump to my mind when it comes to playing in a Common/Uncommon-only format.
I might have forgotten some decks so I’m counting on people to find those hidden gems.
Let’s get brewing!