They are releasing the newest Epic expansion, Uprising, during the weekend and it will be used for the tournament as well. Check out my reviews of the new cards here:
Kark's Edict: http://amazingspidertank.blogspot.com/2016/11/epic-card-game-uprising-karks-edict.html
Flames of Scarros: http://amazingspidertank.blogspot.com/2016/11/epic-card-game-uprising-flames-of.html
Velden's Wrath: http://amazingspidertank.blogspot.com/2016/11/epic-card-game-uprising-veldens-wrath.html
Will of Zannos: http://amazingspidertank.blogspot.com/2016/11/epic-card-game-uprising-will-of-zannos.html
Players have undoubtedly been practicing with proxies or print and play for the new cards, but nobody has had too much time to play test, so the meta should be quite interesting.
In case people do not know, this is how the tournament will be run:
The World Championship will consist of 7 rounds of Swiss on Sunday, followed by a cut to the top 8 on Monday. Each round is 60 minutes and it is a best of 3 rounds.
The Tournament begins with an Epic Cube Draft with 8 player pods.
Rounds 1 and 2 will be played using decks created in the Cube Draft
Rounds 3 and 4 will be played using the Dark Draft Format
Rounds 5 through 7 will be played using full Construction rules.
The Top 8 will be single elimination, and it will be the best 3 out of 5 games each round.
Games 1 and 2 will be Dark Draft
Games 3 through 5 will be Constructed
That is a lot of playing, lol. I was a little disappointed to see that Limited wasn't going to be featured. It's especially odd since it was 1 of 2 formats used for the qualifiers, and yet it's not to be seen. However, a new format in Cube Draft was added. I love the concept of Cube Draft, but I still found it odd.
I would like to discuss my predictions for the Constructed portion of the event, as that takes up the majority of the games. I will probably be wrong.
We have had quite a variety of decks that have qualified, and I don't think we've ever seen a duplicate deck, which is awesome. That doesn't mean that there haven't been archetypes though. Wild/Sage burn/control decks have been extremely popular due to using the 2 best colors so far in Epic. The ease and consistency of the deck has made it very popular, especially among former magic players. Drinker of Blood combo decks have also been very popular, and Uprising gave even more tools for it to work. Straight burn has probably the biggest showing so far but it tends to suffer in the top 8 at qualifiers. Weird 4 color control decks and smatterings of Good decks have trickled in from time to time, but they have been fairly rare.
I think we will see a lot of the Wild/Sage Burn/Control decks at Worlds. It is just too good of a deck not to be used. Both Wild and Sage got several very good cards that will most likely be added. I expect to especially see Scarros, Hound of Draka, Velden, Fires of Rebellion, and Frantic Digging to be new additions in a lot of those decks.
I would also not be surprised to see a general Evil deck, a blitzing 0-cost champions deck, or maybe even a demon token spawning deck. Rift Summoner could be quite potent, as could Winged Death.
The biggest change to the meta I think will be Good decks. They haven't been used a ton but I think the release of Chamberlain Kark will turn that around. Kark brings with him a new win condition in life gain. A lot of slower decks might not be used since you will constantly have to bring pressure on a Kark healing deck in order to win. Kark may not win the championship, but he will change the meta and force players to think about how to deal with him. Helping Kark and other Good decks will be the new Angel of the Gate and Silver Dragon.
Any way we go about it I'm very excited to hear how the tournament goes, and what works and what doesn't. I wish all the players that qualified and those to attempt the Last Chance Qualifiers good luck! I hope you enjoyed this and happy gaming!