Season 8 Tier List
Tier lists are always a hot topic for discussion among the PvP community for Wizard101. We’ve seen them posted on all variations of social media from twitter to youtube videos and always with their own hot take or twist. I myself have even posted on twitter to try and throw my own spin on a PvP tier list for the current season. We are over a year deep into 5th age now, and we’ve seen every school be on top at one point or another. Now its time to further define what schools are on top and why.
What determines a school’s Tier
These PvP tier lists are drawn up from a multitude of factors. Stats, Spell quality, and how well they deal with ward talents as well as their counter matchups are all important details. Every change, no matter how small, can have a huge impact on what schools manage to do well. New spells, treasure cards, pet talents or spellements could also have a major impact on each school’s tier.
Below are the “Tier ratings” and what they mean for any one school:
|Tier 1||Top tier school, near unbeatable/very easy to win with.|
|Tier 1.5||Very good school, easy to play, but within reason.|
|Tier 2||Mid tier school, requires a little more thinking to play properly.|
|Tier 2.5||Low-mid tier school, takes a combination of luck/skill to win consistently.|
|Tier 3||Very hard to win, needs near-perfect draws.|
|Tier 3.5||Lowest of the low, very difficult to succeed with, may need a miracle.|
How “definitive” is this Tier list?
It’s important to remember, things can change throughout a season. This is by no means 100% accurate. This is simply my own opinion on how good each school will be based on what we know about the recent update or whats popular for each school. So take this with a grain of salt. Just because one school is listed LAST does not mean you can’t win or even do well on that school. PvP does ultimately come down to a combination of luck and skill.
Previous Tier List
From way back in the “Mirage” meta (late 2018), check out this PvP Tier List by Stormbringer and see how things have changed in the years since.
This past season ended very differently than it started. The change to shadow rating greatly impacted how well schools did simply due to a complete flip in what gear and stats were important as opposed to others. Fire for example went from being one of the top 3 schools starting out to one of the worst. However, with the recent Season Patch this has once again completely flipped things around.
This Season’s PvP Meta
Several changes were made with the recent patch. New rank 5 and 6 spellemented treasure cards and Rhoshambo spells no longer ignoring protection are among the biggest and most impactful changes so far, as well as no longer being allowed in the side deck.
7. ICE – Tier 3.5
Ice’s pros are far and few at the moment. The schools Ice is designed to be good against, aren’t as weak against Ice as the school is against its own counter matchups (Fire/Myth). The biggest upside to playing Ice right now is its surplus amount of Resist. If you can manage to capitalize off of it well with Brace, then you can come out on top. As for Strom, their heals being protected now means Snowdrift is all but useless to pack. If you can find the accuracy for it, Skeletal Pirate is the best way to counter their HOTs now.
Where do I begin? Ice’s worst matchups just got even harder with the Rhoshambo nerf. Oni’s Attrition no longer going through protection means spells like Fire From Above and spellemented Helephant are much harder to remove. This coupled with the fact Fire can also pack their 6 pip arc one spellement in side means they could pre-pull for it at a moments notice. Life is still a very hard school to beat without some sort of healing counter and even with them, its still a pain to kill them.
6. Myth – Tier 3
Myth’s spell quality is still insane. Their big hits didn’t change from last season and their stats are very good. Myth’s main strategy in the arena right now is straightforward and simple; PvE one shot. The benefit here is that it makes your deck very easy to cycle with and it’s just a matter of getting enough buffs up to kill your opponent in one hit. Even with the Rhoshambo nerfs, Myth’s in particular are still very good at what they do.
The downsides of Myth weren’t all that noticeable until the recent update. PvE Myth, while simple, is also predictable. Before, it was fairly easy to cycle for shield and weakness counters from side due to treasure card versions of Betrayal and Delusion. These no longer exist (and currently crafted versions will not appear in your deck when you go into a match). This makes countering debuffs a little more inconvenient.
It is clear to me that Myth was hard-carried by the quality of their Rhoshambo spells in the previous 7 seasons. We’ve seen this school take advantage of several very strong cards in the past, not just its Rhoshambo spells. Troll minion, the original 9 pip Jinn gambit, as well as the 8 pip Barbarian’s Saga have all since been changed/nerfed. In addition to this, their good treasure card hits are now PvP banned. Celestial Calendar and Medusa were crucial spells in the side deck that are now forced to be in the main deck.
5. Life – Tier 2
For the past few seasons, Life has been very good. So good, it forced players to pack Contagion and Doom and Gloom. If these weren’t in your deck, then odds are you were never going to out-damage a life if they had good outgoing. This school is still strong in what it can do. Its heals still need answered. That said, those heals have become easier to answer.
Before, spells like Snowdrift and Gearhead were unable to do much against Life as their HOTs were protected. This is no longer the case as they have lost their protection. The Rhoshambos no longer ignore protection, but they’re still good against most of Life’s HOTs despite being much worse against other protected hanging effects. This has made using Hungry Caterpillar and Goat Monk high risk spells, that could get removed much more easily or worse, stolen.
From what I have seen so far, most Life wizards have been making use of Regenerate as their go-to heal. This spell, despite being a slower HOT is now one of their most efficient heals and still has protection. We’ve also seen them all make great use of the newly updated aeon gear. They can now use Storm damage on their gear to really utilize the “Lorm” strategy to its full potential. Spells like Storm scion have become their main hits in place of their usual major attacks.
4. Balance – Tier 2
3. Death – Tier 1.5
Multiple schools are bladestacking as a result of the Rhoshambo nerfs. This is good news for Deaths. Banshee plus Jinn’s Larceny make for some very solid ways to interact with opponents determined to pull off a Storm tree. Ironically, this also makes death the best school to pull off its own blade gambit with Macabre Jinn. The blades from Larceny may only be 15%, but their main purpose is as fodder for your own gambit. Spell quality alone is still very high. Grim Reader is one of the best shadow hits introduced and it’s Arc one spellements are strong. Vampire giving -60% weaknesses? sign me up!
Death is hard punished by it’s own hanging effect when facing Myth or Ice. While this is an intentional design, it can be harder for Death to comeback against their counter matchups unlike other schools. Storm and Life can still recast their heals if you remove them. However, if your weaknesses get turned into shields or traps, then the loss in tempo is much more overwhelming. Death’s worst matchups now are the two lowest tier schools, while that is a plus, also means that a lower rank counter matchup can ruin their day. I would still recommend Myth/Ice ward.
Essentially, ward to the counter matchups as a Death, and you’ll have a good time. With that in mind, I wouldn’t fault you for deciding against it if there simply isn’t any Ices/Myths PvPing at any given time. Myths in particular have been bladestacking a lot. Even as a counter matchup, Death’s have found innovation by using Oni’s Naturalism to setup Macabre Jinn for a kill. Overall, Death’s spell quality is very high, and its a solid starter school for someone just learning to PvP.
2. Storm – Tier 1
This update did nothing but benefit Storm in nearly every way. Protecting their heals means Snowdrift and Gearhead are no longer concerns. That combined with Rhoshambos no longer ignoring protection means this school is just as good if not better than Life for its healing. The Balance matchup went from unwinnable to almost favorable if it weren’t for Storm’s low defensive stats.
One more notable benefit the school got was actually from a nerf to one of their own spells. Oni’s Attrition being -40% weaknesses hurt the Storm Elf item cards from various pets, making them more of a liability than an actual shield counter. Now the spell’s weaknesses are only 25%. Hitting through that is much more reasonable and without a doubt makes those Storm Elf pets much better.
This school’s only truly bad matchup is the school that’s on top. Balance is bad too if the Storm doesn’t time its heals very well. Low health and resist are what make Storm some what beatable at the moment. The recent Patch gave them so much, it’s actually hard to find real downsides to Storm other than their stats.
The biggest concern I would be afraid of is how much set resist I would run into. Ice, Death, and Balance can all run an extra 12% resist to them just on one shield pin slot. Anyone else could easily run a ward talent for 15% on their pet. By no means does this mean the school will auto lose to that extra resist, simply means you have to try harder.
This school has a huge advantage over anyone not packing counters to HOTs. However, in terms of gameplay skill, Storm is by far one of the hardest to play perfectly. One cycling mistake, and the match could be over for you. The best thing I can suggest for any Storm players out there, is to practice and continue adjusting your deck.
The more games Storm wizards play, the more comfortable they will become facing higher resist setups. Shrike is their best friend, and gives them an ungodly amount of power over any amount of set resist. A perfectly timed shrike will spell doom for anyone no matter how high their resist is.
1. Fire – Tier 1
When it comes to completely turning around from one update, Fire is the perfect example. Start of last season, This was a top 3 school easily. Couple weeks later, the developers fixed Shadow rating in PvP and then the school became much worse because all of their gear with shadow rating on it was significantly worse than everyone elses. Come back to this new update and we see a ton of huge buffs to Fire.
The biggest upside? Oni’s Attrition doesn’t go through protection anymore. Fire From Above and Helephant’s DOTs are very unlikely to get removed, and even if they do they won’t be getting debuffed anymore. The go-to counter now is Kraken, which costs the opponent 4 pips, 30% storm accuracy, and makes them vulnerable to something like Banshee as punishment. All this plus the fact the OT traps from S’mores and Naptha Scarab being 30% rather than only 15%, all of Fire’s DOTs are naturally insane now.
If you’re playing Fire, expect hate. This means several schools are going to try their best to be able to pack Kraken and of course have the accuracy to not fizzle them. Players will also try to ward to Fire, but it won’t work nearly as well as it would vs. Storm. Shrike greatly benefits Fire with spells that naturally remove shields for an effect (Helephant) or big overtimes like Ashen Bones in the side or Fire From Above. So while this will be a concern for them, it just won’t be as effective.
Fire’s only really bad matchup is likely a good death that can manage to sequence their weaknesses properly against them. Navigating around them isn’t that difficult, especially if they don’t blade and instead focus on auras and global control.
Fire easily got the most out of this update. Their good spells got nearly untouched, and every spell that was the bane of their existence got worse. Even with their overtimes being much harder to deal with, a lot of fires are still trapstacking. It is much easier for them to cast different fuels now with treasure card Rhoshambo spells being removed.
Most of the Rhoshambos were nerfed down to 20% or less, but Fire’s very own Jinn’s Reversal (convert up to 3 traps on self to 3 OT traps on the opponent) is not only still universal but also still at 35%. This really gives the school some flexibility in how to play and what strategies to use while in the arena.
Important to remember, this is just one PvPer’s opinion. Things change, some schools may move around. I’ll be jumping back into PvP myself fairly soon after a brief hiatus this past few weeks. Have your own thoughts? I’d love to hear other takes on what schools are at the top or even at the bottom!
Agree or Disagree with this tier list? Let us know in the comments!