Pro Tour–Austin Feature: Extended Archetype Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on October 16, 2009

By Bill Stark

Naya Zoo 53
Dredge 51
Next-Level Blue 38
Blue-Black Dark Depths 25
Affinity 23
Bant 17
Hypergenesis 16
Death Cloud 13
Burn 9
Meddling Zoo 9
Thopter Combo 9
Domain Zoo 8
Doran 8
Landfall Zoo 8
Trinket Control 8
Dark Zoo 7
Black-Green Dark Depths 6
Red-White Martyr 6
White-Blue Tron 6
White-Black Martyr 5
Doran Bant 5
Red-Green-Blue Scapeshift 5
All-In Red 4
Grove Control 4
Scepter Zoo 4
Tezzerator 4
Elves! 3
Grove Zoo 3
Mono-White Martyr 3
Blue-Black Tron 3
Black-Green Scapeshift 2
Gifts Depths 2
Red-Green Scapeshift 2
Red-Green-Blue Scapeshift Control 2
Turbo Martyr 2
Blue-Red Tezzerator 2
White-Blue Control 2
White Weenie 2
Four-Color Martyr 2
Archive Trap 1
Bant with Helix 1
Black-Green Rack 1
Black-Green Rock 1
Black-Red-Green Scapeshift 1
White-Black Aggro 1
White-Black Dark Depths 1
Dragonstorm 1
Faeries 1
Blue-Black Faeries 1
Faeries / Next Level Blue 1
Landfall Control 1
Lotus Wildfire 1
Meddling Naya Zoo 1
Red-White-Black Martyr 1
Red Bant 1
Red-Green-Blue Control 1
Scapeshift Zoo 1
Seismic Assault Control 1
Silent Scepter 1
Singleton Zoo 1
Trinket Mage Control 1
Tooth and Nail 1
Blue-Black Faeries 1
Green-Blue Merfolk 1
Green-Blue Tooth and Nail 1
Green-Blue 'Tron 1
White-Blue Faeries 1
White-Blue Martyr 1
White-Blue Merfolk 1
Vampires 1
Green-White-Red Scapeshift 1
Green-White-Red Scapeshift Control 1
White-Black-Red Martyr 1
White-Blue-Black Aggro 1
White-Blue-Black Control 1
White-Green-Blue Control 1

Whew! After much research, we present to you the 2009 Pro Tour–Austin Archetype Breakdown! The most popular strategy on the weekend is, unsurprisingly, Zoo. Of the 418 competitors here this weekend, 53 chose to run a traditional Naya Zoo featuring the best red, green, and white cards the format has to offer. However, there were also a host of Zoo spinoffs: Domain Zoo, powered by Tribal Flames and Might of Alara; Landfall Zoo, powered by Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede; Meddling Zoo, which splashes blue for Meddling Mage; and Dark Zoo, which utilizes Dark Confidant and Tidehollow Sculler.

Steppe Lynx
Meddling Mage

The runner-up in the popularity contest caught many off guard, however, with Dredge in full force at 51 decks. Ravenous Trap, a new Dredge hate card from Zendikar, promises to give those 51 players one more headaches on the weekend, but the power of the Dredge deck's draw engine can't be denied. Next Level Blue was the most popular control deck, with Tarmogoyf still a favorite win condition when backed by Ancestral Vision, Cryptic Command, Mana Leak, and Engineered Explosives.

Ravenous Trap
Ancestral Vision

The combo of Dark Depths and Vampire Hexmage drew a lot of attention headed into the Pro Tour, and it has turned out to be wildly successful amongst some of the best play groups in the world. Twenty-five players opted to run the deck in its blue-black form, with a smattering of additional players running black-green versions to utilize Scapeshift and/or Into the North. Whether the hype can stand up to some ten rounds of Extended play will be determined this weekend.

Vampire Hexmage
Dark Depths

Rounding out the top five was Extended mainstay Affinity. The robots have been a powerful Extended choice as sideboard hate like Kataki, War's Wage and Ancient Grudge wane in popularity.

Of course, there are a host of unique choices outside the top five. A crew of pros including Dave Williams, Mark Herberholz, and Patrick Chapin (amongst others) are playing an innovative Next Level Blue style deck featuring Grove of the Burnwillows and Punishing Fire.

Grove of the Burnwillows
Punishing Fire

A number of other competitors, drawn by the power of Emeria, the Sky Ruin, have opted to attempt Martyr of Sands strategies; the powerful 1/1 life-gain engine could prove a solid choice in a format where many archetypes are attempting to deal exactly or almost exactly 20 damage.

Martyr of Sands
Emeria, the Sky Ruin

Which decks will rule the weekend? Tune in all Pro Tour long for all the action here on!

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