|Open the Vaults||5|
The Allies deck, it turned out, was either a ruse or a mis-classification. At Grand Prix–Oakland, a number of card dealers mentioned that numerous Japanese players had been scooping up various Ally cards from both Worldwake and Zendikar. That led to rampant speculation that players from the country, famous both for wacky decks and top Pro Tour talent, had come up with a strategy no one else was even talking about. Either the Japanese have pulled off the greatest ruse in Pro Tour history or they abandoned the idea altogether, because no Ally decks sat down to battle in San Diego.
What did sit down were over a hundred Jund players, making it the most popular deck in the field. Players varied over whether they wanted to use Vampire Nighthawk, Putrid Leech, Explore, Rampant Growth, and a host of other cards. We broke down the archetype into the subcategories of Leech and No Leech, which you can view below.
Second up was a bit of a surprise: White Weenie. The archetype isn't exactly a mainstay of Pro Tour competitors, who are occasionally guilty of considering "attacking" beneath them. Pro Tour–San Diego turns that conventional wisdom on its ear, as 41 players came to battle with the white creatures. Whether they also relied on Stoneforge Mystic, tokens, or color splashes was a different matter altogether.
In third was Vampires, and there were two distinct builds: traditional Vampires didn't look far removed from the decks we've seen in the past few months since Zendikar's release. The new versions have added Worldwake rare Kalastria Highborn as a means of getting extra edge out of interactions with Bloodghast and as protection against board-sweeper effects like Day of Judgment.
Bant and All-American Control rounded out the top five. Further down the list we found a host of smaller archetypes that were of particular interest for their roguey-ness. Numerous players are trying to abuse Howling Mine and Open the Vaults, either in Time Sieve, Turbo Fog, or Open the Vaults decks. Generally the plan is to abuse drawing extra cards with a big turn or series of back-to-back Time Warp / Time Sieve turns that results in a decked or otherwise dead opponent.
Also seeing some play are Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle combo decks that use green mana fetch to put a lethal amount of Mountains onto the battlefield all at once. Summoning Trap made an appearance as players accelerated into the instant with things like Rampant Growth and Trace of Abundance to plop fatties like Iona, Shield of Emeria into the path of their hapless opponents. Eldrazi Green is still proving to be a strong contender, and there were even a few copies of Runeflare Trap decks as well as Unearth lists. Those decks try to abuse cycling with unearth and Crypt of Agadeem to generate huge amounts of mana and overwhelm the opponent all in one turn.
For those interested, in addition to the main archetype breakdown above, here are a listing of sub-archetypes for Pro Tour–San Diego as well.
|Main Archetype||Sub-Archetype||Number||% of Archetype|
|White Weenie||Splash Green||6||14.63%|
|White Weenie||Stoneforge Mystic||5||12.20%|
|Eldrazi Green||Splash White||1||11.11%|
|Naya Ramp||Splash Black||1||20.00%|
|White Weenie||Splash Blue||1||2.44%|
Pro Tour–San Diego is shaping up to be an event of both things new and things old. Stay tuned to the coverage for the rest of the weekend to read more about deck lists, top plays, and more!