The Mirage Meta 1v1 PvP Tier List
This list is a comprehensive guide to the tiers present at level 120 (Mirage Meta) 1v1 PvP. This list is designed to help players visualize where a school falls relative to the others in the current meta and to help them gain a perspective into what defines a school’s position. This list is based on extensive knowledge and play experience at the warlord+ ranks along with leaderboard presence.
What is a Tier?
A Tier as it is defined here is the position of a school in terms of ease of play and expected success. A top tier school is relatively easier to play and has a high rate of success. A low tier school is a harder school to play and offers a more limited rate of success. In general a player utilizing a top tier school will have more success and find gameplay easier than the same player utilizing a lower tier school.
What defines a school’s Tier?
A schools position on the tier list is largely a result of the meta. The meta is the style of play and gamestyle that offers the best chance for consistent victory. Top Tier schools are acknowledged as such due to a combination of different factors such as:
- Are the school’s attributes advantageous in the current meta.
- Are the school’s spells advantageous in the current meta.
- Does the school have the tools needed to limit the other schools in this meta.
If my school is low tier does it mean I can’t win?/If my school is high tier why did I lose?
This is the biggest misconception about tiers that currently exists. Nearly every tier list in existence will be layered with naysayers spouting such truisms such as “Ice isn’’t top tier, I lost to a lore spamming noob” or “KI broke death – I’’ll never be warlord”. What these people fail to realize is that tier lists are only a measure of a school’s relative effectiveness in the current meta. Tier lists are not a measure of the players themselves. A smart player utilizing a low tier school can easily be match for a novice using a high tier school.
However tiers can influence battles when both players are cognizant of what they are doing. A smart Death will always have trouble against a competent Ice for example. The simple truth is that any school can do well, but if you want the highest chance of achieving a high rank, your best bet is to go with the highest tier you can.
The current mirage meta is dominated by offense. Offensive gear, offensive spells and damage spikes are a common sight in this meta. Defense in this meta is a lot less about negating damage as it is about mitigating it or limiting its effect. The saying: “A good offense is the best defense” definitely applies to this meta especially with the cheap damage spikes the 4 pip shadow enhanced spells offer. We will be going over the characteristics this meta favors in terms of offense and defense.
Favorable offensive traits
- Low Cost Offensive Spells (ex: Lightning Bats, Wildbolt, Loremaster)
- Low Cost Offensive/Defensive Spells (ex: Loremaster, Luminous Weaver)
- Low to Mid Cost Disruptive Utility (ex: Mana Burn, Guardian Spirit. Stuns)
- Combo (ex: Thunderbird, Burning Revenant, Gaze of Fate, King Artorius)
- Finishers (ex: Every shadow enhanced spell)
- Ability to get around through or past shields (DoT’s, High pierce and Infallible, Double Hits)
- Diversity/Variability in Attack Options(i.e viable meta effective attacks at different pip levels)
Favorable defensive traits
- High Health Buffer
- High Resist to Top Tier Schools
The Tier List
Top Tier(Tier 1)
Tier 1 schools are the dominant school in the mirage meta, they have all the tools necessary to succeed and have the easiest time dueling in the arena. Mirage has resulted in 3/7 schools being Top Tier. Here are the 3 schools presented in descending order of dominance (Highest-Lowest)
The Ice school has returned to its throne as the dominant 1v1 school at max level. Boasting an incredible health that is close to 8000 with 60%+ resist, Ices are defensive monsters. They are no slouch on the offense either. Ices are boasting 100%+ attack with 34%+ pierce, allowing then a strong offensive presence. Combine this with its powerful bubble and the utility of Ice Bird TC and Ice can hit surprisingly hard with very little commitment. The strong Offensive/Defensive utility of Abominable Weaver allows it to make favorable trades with other shadow enhanced spells and acts as a potent augment to an already massive defense. Finally it has the ability to both combo with wintermoon and to inflict damage around shields with frostbite.
Strong Defenses/High Health
Multiple Offensive/Defensive spell options
Strong damage augments(bubbles, blades)
Ability to combo
Ability to get around shields
Universally useful Dispel(Prevents tower shields and stun blocks)
Heavily Shadow Pip dependent(Main damage spike is Abominable Weaver and alternate damage spike is the 10 pip Lord of Winter)
Lack of Attack Diversity/Variability(Main spells: Wintermoon, Frostbite, Abominable Weaver are all at 5 pips)
Fire is a school that seems to always find its way to the top tier of most metas and the Mirage meta is no exception. Fire finds itself at the top of the Mirage meta by having an absurd degree of combo potential. The sheer variety of ways fire can kill has propelled it to the top.
Don’t have a stun shield? Prepare for an Artorious Combo. Do have a stun shield? Say hello to Efreet. Think you can chip? Howdy power link. Too many shields? Fire Elf or Fire Beetle. Need a guaranteed mega spike from first? Burning Rampage. Bubble Wars? Hephaestus. Need a fizzle combo? Krampus. Ever expanding offense? Fire Beetle, FFA, Fuel, Brimstone.
The simple fact is that fire is almost never in a position where it cannot create a kill scenario within 2 or 3 rounds and that makes it a top contender in today’s meta. Fire falls below Ice due to its relatively low health buffer hurting it’s longevity and it’s inability to recover sufficiently when damaged early on.
Strong Offensive presence
Expanding offensive capabilities due to trap stacks and bubble control
Varied Combo Potential
Ability to get around or outright ignore shields(Burning Rampage)
Strongest offensive/defensive spell in game(Efreet)
Relatively Low Health Buffer(second lowest health in game)
Slow Recovery Tools(only realistic healing capability comes from critical power link)
Balance once again finds itself a top tier school in the Mirage meta. Present since the utility spells introduced with Avalon, Balance continues to make itself known with mana burn and loremaster. The threat of supernova still keeps many a player from utilizing auras allowing Balance a statistical advantage (balance can freely use the benefits of an aura). Balance also benefits from a huge health buffer of 7k+ (behind only life and ice) with mana burn helping to limit incoming damage while acting as a potent combo breaker. Gaze of Fate allows Balance to accelerate it’s offense while hitting hard around shields.
Finally, Loremaster continues to do work this meta. The mantle is not nearly as effective as it used to be but it can still cause an occasional game winning fizzle. The stackable 20% weaknesses can help balance survive with just enough health to close out a match while Sandworm offers some of the damage spiking ability the school lacks.
Balance finds its way at the bottom of the top tiers for 2 main reasons. Its spells such as mana burn and loremaster are doing less damage than ever before due to the prevalence of ward pets. With a shield and a good ward pet a loremaster is only doing about 2-300 damage on most of the meta. Secondly, Balance has almost no way to stack buffs which is a disadvantage that is becoming more pronounced with the higher resist offered by the ghulture’s hoard boots and ward pets.
Strong Control Presence with Mana Burn and Supernova
Loremaster is still the best 4 pip spell in this meta
Gaze of Fate offers an accelerated offense and takes a multi-round commitment to shield from
Sandworm offers it a low pip damage spike
Ability to use auras while denying usage to other classes
Inability to effectively buff is more detrimental thanks to ward pets and the ghulture’s hoard boots
Lack of Attack Diversity/Variability(Loremaster, Sandworm, Mana Burn and Gaze of Fate are all predictably 4-5 pips)
Mid Tier(Tier 2)
Middle Tier schools have some of the tools necessary to survive in the Mirage meta but are held back by a number of factors. The Mirage meta has resulted in an interesting stratification of Tiers. High Mid Tier- Which is very close to top tier and Low Mid Tier-Which is slightly below the traditional sense of mid tier. Mirage has resulted in 3/7 schools being mid-tier- 1 in High Mid Tier and 2 in Low Mid Tier. Here are the 3 schools presented in descending order of dominance (Highest-Lowest)
Life(High Mid Tier)
Life finds itself in the interesting position of almost top tier but not quite. It has a high health buffer standing at 7k+, a spammable 4 pip offensive defensive spell and an offensive/defensive shadow spell. Couple this with it’s ability to heal and the Life school is definitely competitive. However, a number of missing tools keep it from the top tier position enjoyed by Balance, Ice and Fire. It has no trained combo spell whatsoever, no low pip DoT for clearing shields and it’s healing was significantly neutered by the critical system changes. Coupled with no control-relevant utility outside of guardian spirit and no trained damage bubble; we can see why the Life school fails to make it to top tier. However, Life’s tools do make it the top school of the middle tiers and with a little buff Life could very easily surge into top tier.
High health buffer(7k+)
4 pip offensive/defensive spell(Luminous Weaver)
Ability to heal
Reset with Guardian Spirit
Offensive/Defensive Shadow Enhanced Spell
No trained combo spell
No trained mid-pip or low cost DoT
Lack of Attack Diversity(main spells such as weaver, caterpillar, satyr, guardian spirit are at 4-5 pips)
Myth(Low Mid Tier)
The Myth School has finally made it out of the low tier it was relegated to after Aquilla and is now sitting in middle tier in the Mirage meta. The biggest changes that assisted the myth school are the extra resist offered by the ghultures hoard boots and the ability to damage spike at low pips offered by Snake Charmer. The ghultures hoard resist and health buffer increase allow Myth to do something it has not been able to in a while: survive to the higher pip levels. No school, I repeat no school can out-compete myth when it reaches the higher pip levels. The variety of potent options it has at the high pip levels was part of what made it a top tier school in the slower 1st age meta. At high pips a myth can stun you for 2 rounds(medusa), combine a combo and a DoT in one spell(basilisk), Spike around your shield(orthus), inflict grievous damage with the most backloaded DoT in the game(King Art) or launch a surprise combo and damage spike with celestial calendar. Combine this with the fact that myth now poses a threat at the lower pip levels thanks to Snake Charmer and we can see why Myth has risen to the mid tiers. However, Myth is still held back by a number of factors. It has a relatively low health buffer and no recovery tools. It also still struggles to deal damage at the low pip levels without a shadow pip. Nevertheless, myth has become a serious threat that is not automatically shut down with a stun block.
Huge variety of high pip utility
Best ability to get around shields
Snake Charmer gives it a much needed damage spike
Dimension Shift gives it the only realistic trained counter to Bad JuJu spam
Very dependent on high pip spells
Relatively low health buffer
No ability to recover
Storm(Low Mid Tier)
The biggest surprise of the Mirage Meta is that Storm is no longer the low tier school it once was. Thanks to the increased survivability offered with the ghultures hoard pack and ward pets the storm school has pulled itself out of low tier and is sitting in mid tier. The increased defensive properties offered to storm with the ghulture’s hoard boots/waard pets allows it to leverage it’s offense more effectively. Now, Storm’s offense…boy lets talk about Storm’s offense. It is the only school that has the potential to leverage 2k damage at any time at virtually any pip level. At 2 pips wild bolt and insane bolt are there(with some risk). At 4 pips there is Calypso. At 5 pips+ any direct storm hit will deal 2k+ damage. Rusalka deals 3.6k+ damage at base. It does have one trained combo with Storm Lord-follow up hit which can be game winning if the opponent is careless. It’s real combo potential comes from TC’s with such potent tools as thunderbird and rain beetle. However, storm’s long-standing problems prevent it from rising above mid tier. It has almost no real utility outside of treasure cards. It has no offensive/defensive spells and no DoTs. It’s health buffer is also a continuing problem particularly as the other schools continue to get cheaper and cheaper damage spikes. Finally the Storm school is still shut down by shield spam. Nevertheless the Mirage meta has seen Storm making progress and it is a fearsome school to face down in today’s arena.
Amazing ability to spike damage at virtually any pip level
Highest Damage Shadow Enhanced spells
Ability to win a losing match with insane bolt
Amazing amount of attack diversity(potent attacks at virtually all pip levels)
Lowest Health Buffer
Almost no cost effective utility outside of blade removal
No trained answer to shield spam
Low Tier(Tier 3)
Low Tier schools have very few of the tools necessary to succeed in the meta. They struggle to achieve consistent wins against higher tier schools and have very few methods to achieve victory. The Mirage Meta has resulted in one school being low tier. That school is the Death school. We will go over exactly why the Death school struggles in the Mirage Meta and what factors contribute to it’s position.
The Mirage meta has resulted in the death school being the only low tier school. Despite it’s advantages of a relatively high health buffer and access to a low pip DoT, the death school suffers for a number of reasons. It is the only class that is really dependent on blades for the majority of it’s damage. Skeletal Dragon remains it’s main non-shadow damage dealer and as such is very predictable. Qishmah’s Curse does offer death a way to spike damage at the lower pip levels but that is about it when it comes to sudden damage spikes. Death also suffers from the double whammy of low base damage hits and limited pierce from gear, further inhibiting it’s ability to burst damage. Drains are also relatively weak this meta and death has no spammable utility outside of them. Unlike myth, death does not benefit as much from building pips since it’s only realistic high pip option is skeletal dragon. Deadly minotaur is it’s only way to spike damage around shields and it is a relatively weak spell. Finally, it’s self hit utilities such as bad juju and sacrifice do more harm than good with an offensive set-up and consume it’s blades. With no real combos, limited ways to spike damage and heals and utility that are detrimental-death is hard pressed to succeed against most of the meta.
Relatively high health buffer
Low cost DoT
Ability to heal with drains
Very blade dependent
Severe lack of attack diversity
Very limited potential for burst damage
Self hit utilities do more harm than good with an offensive set-up
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