Feature: The Top 43

Posted in Event Coverage on April 20, 2007

By Noah Weil

People generally enjoy the coverage for two reasons: to hear the stories and to see what decks are strong. We've given a lot of the former this weekend, so let's do some analysis on what decks are actually winning. Of the 43 players with a 6-2 record or better, what are the most popular decktypes? The most popular colors? The coverage team hit the floor to find out.

White Weenie, the most publicly talked about deck entering the Pro Tour, did shockingly badly with this group. Of these 43 players, there were only two playing a dedicated white decks, and both have a pair of losses. Within Day 2 there's a smattering of White Weenie decks about, but this was an archetype people were clearly gunning for. Respected power level or not, the white decks could not overcome the tide of anti-white measures most of the red and blue-black decks used.

Intet, the Dreamer

Speaking of red and blue-black, those two decks are the most popular of this elite 43. Within this group, 46% of the competitors are playing decks with red as a heavy component. There's a slight preference towards mono-red, with red-green nipping at the heels and very unique red-blue and red-blacks taking up the rear. Red offered a lot of power and flexibility to the pros, and it shows both in quantity of red decks and the number of variations.

The other popular color is of course blue. Blue-black control was also expected in droves, and the expectations were not frustrated. 41% of the 6-2+ are playing blue as a major color, again overwhelmingly with black. There are some mono-blue decks out there, including one at the very top tables, as well as some that have added red or white to their base. For the most part, the pros picked solid blue-black and were rewarded for the decision.

Rounding off the top of the tables are decks that defy easy categorization. There's a gentleman playing his first Pro Tour doing very well at 7-1 with an aggressive R/W/b sliver deck, featuring both burn elements and white weenie pieces. There are few Intet, the Dreamer decks doing well, and one R/U/B/W deck that continues to win.

It's nice to see that while the players have their preferences, there's still plenty of room for innovation in the field. Check back regularly to see which decks rise to the top and make Sunday's Top 8 competition.

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