Extended Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on September 3, 2010

By Rashad Miller

Four hundred fifty-seven players were here to showcase the new Extended format. Would we see a lot of decks from the past, or would something fresh emerge from the minds of these talented competitors in Amsterdam?

Ad Nauseum418.97%
Pyromancer Ascension388.32%
Mono Red347.44%
White Weenie235.03%
Living End173.72%
5 Color Control112.41%
GW Mana Ramp81.75%
Fauna Shaman51.09%
Restore Balance40.88%
Cascade Swans30.66%
WBr Control20.44%
UW Control10.22%
Seismic Swans10.22%
GB Mana Ramp10.22%
GR Mana Ramp10.22%
Esper Control10.22%
Grixis Control10.22%
BW Tokens10.22%

Scapeshift topped the list with 72 players. The most popular version took the aggressive approach of attacking with Bloodbraid Elf and Tarmogoyf to soften their opponents then using the deck's namesake to finish them off. The more creative approach to the deck came in the form of blue-green-red Prismatic Omen builds. With this enchantment in play, all of a player's land, including Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, would be counted as each basic land type. Most importantly it would be a Mountain. This deck could dish out 24 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers as early as turn four.

The second most popular choice on the day was Doran. Forty-five competitors felt this was their best chance at success as Doran, the Siege Tower led his entourage of Treefolk Harbinger, Knight of the Reliquary and Noble Hierarch onto the battlefield. Some variants of this deck excluded mana producers in favor of creatures more resilient to Punishing Fire like Loam Lion.

Third and forth were two of the more dedicated combo decks in the field. Angel's Grace/Ad Nauseam accounted for 41 decks while Pyromancer Ascension was piloted by 38 players. The former players used Angel's Grace to draw their entire decks with Ad Nauseam. From there it was pretty easy to win the game as creatively as he or she wanted ranging from Conflagrate with Flashback to Flinging a Death's Shadow. The Pyromancer Ascension deck used cheap card drawing like Preordain and Ponder to power up Pyromancer Ascension. Once online, copies of Time Warp and Punishing Fire would devastate their adversary.

Blue-black Faeries and Mono-red round out our top six decks. Faeries was one of the first decks expected to define the new Extended metagame. Thirty-five players were fulfilling their Pro Tour desires with Bitterblossom tokens and Cryptic Commands. Thirty-four players felt that it was the "red deck that still won" and sleeved up Mountains, Goblin Guides and Lightning Bolts. While there was a splattering of Kiln Fiends and Boggart Ram Gangs, most players opted for the full-on burn approach. There may have been sightings of Quest of the Pure Flame and Needle Drop at the tables.

These were only the top 6 archetypes here in Amsterdam. Five more decks accounted for 5 percent of the field each, including White Weenie, Dredge, Living End, Elves and Mystical Teachings. Sixteen more archetypes make up over 80 rogue lists. This was quite the diverse field here on Day One. Will this diversity carry on through Saturday? Or will one deck rule them all? Find out in Saturday's coverage.

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