Posted in NEWS on April 7, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Throughout Day One we watched the top tables metagame progress closer and closer to what everyone had been expecting for the weekend: Black Devotion and Esper Control, with plenty of Blue Devotion, Monsters, and Burn – each of several flavors.

The truth is slightly more complex:

This is a pie chart of the top ten most played archetypes, and these are true archetypes: Distinct flavors of Black Devotion are broken out, and well as the two takes on the Monsters and Blue Devotion archetypes. For those that'd like to do the counting at home, this is the complete list of all archetypes in Day Two:

Archetype Count
Esper Control 25
Mono-Black Devotion 21
Jund Monsters 18
Mono-Blue Devotion 17
Blue Devotion (White) 10
Bant Control 9
Boros Burn 8
Red-Green Monsters 8
Black Devotion (Red) 7
Black Devotion (White) 7
Mono-Red Aggro 5
Azorius Control 4
Black-Green Dredge 4
White-Green Aggro 4
Big Naya 2
Black Devotion (Blue) 2
Black-Red Aggro 2
Junk Monsters 2
Naya Hexproof 2
Red Devotion (White) 2
White Weenie 2
White-Black Midrange 2
Blue-Black Control 1
Esper Midrange 1
Mono-Black Aggro 1
Mono-Green Aggro 1
Red-Green Devotion (Colossal Gruul) 1
White-Black Aggro 1
White-Black Control 1
White-Black-Red Burn 1
White-Blue-Red Control 1

However, summarizing the core archetypes together paints a familiar picture to Day One:

Archetype Percent Count
Black Devotion 22% 37
Blue Devotion 16% 27
Monsters 15% 26
Esper Control 15% 25
Bant Control 5% 9
Boros Burn 5% 8
Other 23% 40

When we pull together the different builds of archetypes, Black Devotion maintains its lion's share of the field. The rest of Day Two matches up to Day One, with Blue Devotion and Monsters both roughly equal to Esper Control's presence. These four archetypes combined are two-thirds of Day Two metagame, followed distantly by Boros Burn and, interestingly, Bant Control (which had one representative remaining undefeated through Round 10).

As Pro Tour Hall of Fame member William Jensen shared yesterday, it's clear the metagame tweaks among the core archetypes are what most players considered coming into Phoenix. How the emergent Bant Control deck fits into the metagame leveling the rest of the field brought is a question perhaps only the Top 8 will answer.