Grand Prix Kyoto: Day Two Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on March 20, 2007

By Yukio Kozakai

Out of a field of 859 players, only 128 have advanced to Day Two, or about 15 percent. While only one in six players have survived the harsh battlefield that is Day One, a total of 36 different decktypes are being played Saturday. The field is very diverse, and there is no one deck that is dominant. Even looking at only decks that five or more players are using, there are nine different varieties.

Archetype DeckPlayers
Urza Tron 23
UG "CELL"(6)
Solar Flare 17
Solar Flare(14)
"ACQUA" flare(3)
Angel Fire 12
Gruul Aggro 11
Dralnu de Louvre 10
Dragonstorm 8
Morph 6
Boros Deck Wins 5
Project X 5
Stompy 4
Dredge 3
Battle of Wits 2
Junk 2
Orzhov Aggro 2
Selesnya Aggro 2
Zoo 2
Others 14

The most popular deck is Urzatron, being piloted by 23 players. The most prevalent version seems to be the orthodox blue-red Izzetron, being used by Yuuya Watanabe from Kanagawa among others. All in all, about 10 percent of the field have chosen this stable, reliable deck type. The next most popular type is the blue-green morph Urzatron deck dubbed "CELL". The leader of the pack of this subgroup is Naoki Shimizu of Tokyo, who has been using it since it first came out and has an impressive 10-match winning streak with it this weekend.

Just behind the Urzatron decks are Solar Flare and Angelfire (tricolor control), and Dralnu du Louvre decks. As Yuuya Watanabe said in his Quick Questions answer Friday, control decks that are reliable and can play through a long game seem to be the best choices. Or, to put it another way by quoting Brian Weisman, if you can consistently draw more cards than your opponent, regardless of what you draw, you will win.

Sulfur Elemental

Beatdown decks are always a popular choice, and this weekend the most popular flavor was Gruul Beatdown. Sulfur Elemental is a strong choice against not only control decks but Boros decks as well, which is likely why this version of beatdown has almost twice as many representatives in the field as that previously popular choice.

Gruul, Boros, and Stompy decks all seem to have been relatively successful. After all, there's not much that can go wrong: you play cards and turn them sideways. Red beatdown decks, or those that can splash red, have a huge weapon in Blood Moon. The beatdown deck's answer to a multicolor environment is the same as it has been since Eighth Edition came out.

Finally, we can't ignore Project X and Dredge decks, which have managed to climb into the top ranks. In this environment, where there are not many ways to deal with the graveyard when used as a resource, we can likely consider them rogue decks. Also, the fact that the Grand Prix field is so large helps them sneak under the radar.

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