Feature: Extended Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on December 2, 2005

By Ted Knutson

Aggro Rock44
Boros 38
Psychatog (46)
Dredgatog 36
French Tog 7
Burning Tog 3
Scepter Chant 26
CAL 16
Slide 9
Gifts Rock 5
U/G Madness 4
Goblins 4
MadTog 20/20 3
South African Tron 3
Gifts Domain 2
R/G Beats 2
U/W Control 2
The Solution 2
Tooth 1
3-Color Rock 1
Balancing ‘Tings 1
The Phantom Menace1
Threshold 1
Ironworks 1
Fujita Black/Red 1
Golgari Madness 1
Mono-Black Aggro 1
Zoo 1
Enduring Ideal1
The keyword for this weekend's Extended Metagame is diversity. Roughly categorized, at least 21 different archetypes saw play here this weekend, though if you break out the two different types of Slide decks (Rift Slide and Black-Green-White Slide) and sundry other variations on Rock themes you could very well wind up with a number approaching infinity, give or take uh… numbers.

ANYWAY, as expected Aggro Rock, Affinity, Boros, and Dredgatog lead the charge here this weekend with nearly the same number of players running each deck. The second tier of decks seeing play are Scepter Chant (always a favorite of the Japanese), CAL, Astral Slide, and Heartbeat Combo. CAL? With only 16 players? That's clearly not enough for how powerful that deck is, but as I mentioned Thursday in the blog, most people haven't tested the deck or even seen it in action, so they appear to have no idea just how awesome it can be.

After that, you run into a giant mish-mash of pet decks and team archetypes including a slightly updated version of Blue-green Madness from Gabriel Nassif, another crazy Urzatron deck from the South Africans, and Gifts Rock, a deck that looks exactly like it sounds.

It's interesting to note how much things have shifted since Los Angeles, which was only a month ago. Billy Moreno's Mad Tog 20/20 still has almost no players running the deck, making you question just how good it actually ended up being. Perhaps it was only good for the specific field we saw in California…

Also notable is the almost complete disappearance of Goblins and Balancing 'Tings, though as of this writing, the only 'Tings player (Akira Asahara) is on the verge of clinching a Top 8 appearance. This will be the only day where intentional draws skew some of the archetype records, but we'll still give you a list of the 6-0 decklists at the end of the day.

As for my blogged prediction about important sideboard cards for Friday, it looks right on target. Affinity showed up in force, making Kataki very valuable, Suppression Field hits most of the good decks in the field (though almost no one is running it, perhaps due to splash damage on their own deck), and Blood Moon causes major mana problems in a format that is dominated by non-basic lands. Just keep these in mind if you still have PTQs left to play in your area.

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