The numbers are in. My colleague Corbin Hosler and I went through all 378 decklists, categorized them, and tallied up the totals.
Going into the weekend, the two most popular archetypes on Magic Online (where Amonkhet was released earlier than ever) had been Mardu Vehicles and Aetherworks Marvel. These two were also chosen by a lot of players here in Nashville, but there were also some new surprises. We got a Zombie outbreak, several New Perspectives decks, and a bunch of new brews involving Amonkhet cards.
A Broad Breakdown
This pie chart (which groups similar decks together into broader archetypes) indicates that there are three top decks in Standard.
The deck that won the last Pro Tour is still alive and well. Featuring some of the best threats and artifact-synergy cards along with efficient removal spells and planeswalkers to dominate all stages of the game, Mardu Vehicles was the deck everyone expected to see. Many players picked the deck because they had experience with it, because it was their "safe" backup choice, or simply because they felt it was the best deck in the format.
Behind Mardu, the second-most popular archetype was Aetherworks Marvel, mostly of the Temur variety. The ban of Felidar Guardian opened up the space for these decks to return, and a turn-four Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is still one of the most busted things you can do in Standard.
Mono-Black Zombies can be rightfully called the breakout deck of Pro Tour Amonkhet. Cryptbreaker and Dark Salvation have always been strong cards, but the Zombie tribe got a lot more support in Amonkhet. The synergy-driven tribal strategy can quickly generate a critical mass of Zombies. The deck can pressure planeswalkers well, go wide enough to beat Ulamog, and even boasts a strong late game. Supposedly, the deck has a good matchup against Mardu Vehicles.
A Detailed Breakdown
The pie chart that I started this article with sacrificed a lot of detail to give a crisp overview. Let's drill down a bit further into more detailed archetype descriptions.
|Archetype||Count||Percentage of Field|
|Temur Aetherworks Marvel||72||19.0%|
|Sultai Aetherworks Marvel||13||3.4%|
|New Perspectives combo||7||1.9%|
|Four-Color Aetherworks Marvel||6||1.6%|
|Bant Aetherworks Marvel||5||1.3%|
|Black-Green Cryptolith Rite||5||1.3%|
|Blue-Red Dynavolt Tower||3||0.8%|
|Temur Dynavolt Tower||2||0.5%|
|Red-Green Electrostatic Pummeler||1||0.3%|
|White-Blue Engulf the Shore||1||0.3%|
I'll leave you with these raw numbers for today. Check back tomorrow when I'll go over all the individual archetypes (including the ones that are currently named somewhat cryptically in the above table) to explain their game plans and key cards, describe their variations, and analyze their performance!