Saturday, 7:50 p.m. - Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on September 16, 2011

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.
Caw-Blade 31
Splinter Twin 28
Red Deck Wins 24
U/B Control 20
Valakut 17
RUG Pod 12
Pyromancer Ascension 7
Tempered Steel 5
BR Vampires 5
Mono Green Infect 2
Mono Green Beats 2
BGW Junk 1
R/G Aggro 1
Mono White Control 1
Eldrazi Green 1
U/G Midrange 1
BG Pod 1
Bant Pod 1
Mono Black Control 1
U/W Samurai 1

So what do we know? As players predicted here yesterday, there's a fair amount of mono-red, because it's relatively easy to put together. Perhaps the numbers for that are a little higher than they ought to be purely on the merit of the deck. Caw-Blade continues to be a pace-setter, and many will welcome the shakeup looming (and with a horror theme it must be looming) with Innistrad waiting in the wings.

Splinter Twin is a rock-solid choice, with plenty of better-known players opting for this deck (we won't say who to avoid giving bonus information for opponents tomorrow). U/B Control comes in at four, with Valakut rounding out the top 5. All of these five can do amazingly powerful things, but then so can many of the decks further down the standings.

The key word is consistency. When only a couple of slips across two days can see you on the outside looking in, making a deck choice that is ultra-consistent and resilient to any metagame is key to success. If there are surprises further down the list, maybe it's that Tempered Steel has so few advocates, with only five players sleeving up the cross between an aggro deck and a combo deck (any time you see all seven of your opponent's cards on the table on turn one, you feel like you're playing against a combo deck).

One lone player is trying to replicate Daniel Royde's success from Great Britain Nationals by piloting Eldrazi Green, while there are a host of what look like homebrews, players bringing their favorite deck to battle and hoping it will be good enough.

With six rounds of draft separating the first and last three rounds of Standard, there's no way to predict what might be sitting in the top 8 come tomorrow afternoon. Nonetheless, the big decks in the room are clear, and it's going to take quite a bit to shift the big five.

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