2008 Worlds Feature: Extended Archetype Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on December 13, 2008

By Bill Stark

Just a few months removed from Pro Tour–Berlin, the best Magic players in the world returned to the universe of Extended for Saturday play at the World Championships. So, what were the big winners and losers percentage-wise from Berlin? Zoo, Elf Ball, Storm, Next Level Blue, and Junk/Doran Rock were the Top 5 from that event. At Worlds? Three of those decks didn’t make the cut to top 5, and the other two saw drastically reduced numbers.

As you can see, Faeries has eclipsed Zoo this weekend as the most popular archetype by a wide margin. With 77 of 289 players opting to run the blue-black flyers, the pros are clearly demonstrating a marked shift in strategy from Berlin. With the advent of Elf Ball as a powerhouse in Extended, the innovative competitors shifted strategies to beat the small green hordes, and how. Zoo came in at second place with a fifth of the field using efficient creatures and burn. Elf Ball shifted from second to third and from 15% of the Berlin field to just 10% here at Worlds. The question coming out of Germany was clearly whether or not the DCI was going to ban one of the engine parts of the Elf deck for the PTQ-Honolulu season; early results indicate their decision not to was exactly the right call.

Rounding out the top 5 was Burn, featuring every “Lightning Bolt” in the format including Lava Spike, Shard Volley, and Spark Elemental and being piloted by as big a name as Jon Finkel. Death Cloud Rock and Kenny Oberg’s Berlin stormer Tezzerator Control were also tied with Burn at 14 players each piloting them. An interesting note, if combined into one archetype Tron supported 16 players which would make it the fourth most played archetype, but when split into Blue-Green, Blue-White, and Blue-Black divisions sees all three classes fall out of the Top 5, some considerably so.

The final few surprises came in not which decks are popular but which decks aren’t. Storm and Next Level Blue, which both put up big numbers in Berlin, were down to just single copies here at Worlds. All-in Red and Affinity were also down significantly while Goblins gained as much ground as those archetypes lost. So which deck will win the day at Worlds? You’ll have to keep reading the coverage to find out!

Elf Ball3010.38%
Deathcloud Rock144.84%
UB Tron113.81%
All-in Red72.42%
Gifts Rock72.42%
Doran Rock31.04%
UW Tron31.04%
BG Rock20.69%
Goblin Bidding20.69%
BRG Rock10.35%
LftL Rock10.35%
Next Level Blue10.35%
Orb Control10.35%
UG Tron10.35%
UR Tron10.35%

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