Pro Tour–Honolulu Feature: Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on June 5, 2009

By Bill Stark

Archetype Count
Naya-Jund Control 96
Jund Control 75
Five-Color Cruel Control 62
Jund Aggro 31
Green-White Aggro 20
Sedraxis Aggro 19
Sphinx Control 19
Bant Aggro 14
Naya-Jund Aggro 9
Esper Aggro 7
Naya Aggro 7
Naya-Bant Aggro 6
Progenitus Control 4
Wargate Control 4
Aggro Sphinx 3
Five-Color Control 3
Sedraxis Control 2
Cruel Zombies 2
Naya Control 2
Five-Color Aggro-Control 1
Four-Color Blue Aggro 1
Five-Color Aggro 1
Where Ancients Tread 1
White Weenie 1
Bant Control 1
Blue-Black Aggro 1
Enigma Sphinx Control 1
Enigma Sphinx Jund 1
Esper-Grixis Control 1
Nicol Bolas Naya-Jund 1
Total 396

The rampaging hordes of pros have descended on Pro Tour–Honolulu, and here are the archetypes they're battling with for the Shards of Alara Block Constructed portion of the tournament! The top archetype, by far, is a control deck combining the most powerful cards in Jund and Naya. The dream play the 96 competitors running the deck hope to have every round: Enlisted Wurm cascading into Bituminous Blast cascading into Bloodbraid Elf cascading into a final free spell. Wow!

Just behind the Naya-Jund decks are straight Jund Control, featuring hits ranging from Violent Ultimatum and Violent Rebirth to mainstays like Bituminous Blast and Bloodbraid Elf. Five-Color Cruel Ultimatum Control was also a popular choice; the pros just love playing that sorcery!

After the format-leading control slots taking up the top three come three aggro decks in the form of Jund Aggro, Sedraxis Specter Aggro, and Green-White Aggro. The Jund take on a weenie deck features aggressive early beaters like Putrid Leech, Jund Hackblade, and even Bloodhall Ooze. Add a few burn spells, and you can expect quite a few beatdown elbows will be dropped this weekend. The Green-White Aggro deck, favored by the Japanese, eschews the triad mana shells most other players opted for in the main event. Instead, they're getting by on the best and brightest from green and white, with things like Behemoth Sledge tying it all together. Finally we have Sedraxis Aggro, a Jund shell that splashes enough blue for the unexpectedly good Sedraxis Specter. The 3/2 can put a hurt on the control decks, and gets around spot removal by popping up from the graveyard after being killed.

Of course, there are plenty of wacky decks left to tell their tales on the weekend. Could Nicol Bolas send someone to the Top 8? Will Where Ancients Tread finally see play at the top competitive tables? Is Luis Scott-Vargas really hard-casting Progenitus? Stay tuned for all that and more from

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