Pro Tour–San Diego Archetype Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on February 19, 2010

By Bill Stark and Rashad Miller

White Weenie41
All-American Control26
Blue-White Control19
Cruel Control14
Eldrazi Green9
Turbo Fog8
Summoning Trap7
Green-Red Valakut5
Open the Vaults5
Time Sieve5
Green-White-Red Ramp5
Runeflare Trap4
Esper Control3
Red-Green Aggro2
Warp World2
Green-White Ramp1
Green-Blue Control1

There were two questions on everyone's mind as the Magic world prepared for Pro Tour–San Diego: what would the impact of Worldwake be on Standard, and what was the Allies deck the Japanese were rumored to be brewing? We've patiently toiled through all the data from 413 contestants this weekend to bring you the cold hard numbers.

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 ArchetypeSub-ArchetypeNumber% of Archetype
JundNo Leech2421.43%
VampireKalastria Highborn2369.70%
ZooStoneforge Mystic1672.73%
White WeenieTokens1229.27%
White WeenieSplash Green614.63%
White WeenieStoneforge Mystic512.20%
Mono-RedSplash White420.00%
Mono-RedSplash Black315.00%
VampiresSplash Red39.09%
BantStoneforge Mystic13.33%
Eldrazi GreenSplash White111.11%
Naya RampSplash Black120.00%
Mono-RedSplash Green15.00%
NayaSplash Black1100.00%
White WeenieSplash Blue12.44%
ZooBig Zoo14.55%

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!

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