Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on August 20, 2011

By Josh Bennett

There really is a little bit of everything out there this weekend. Numerically, at least, the pillars of the format are the various builds of Caw-Blade and Valakut. With powerful, consistent draws and lots of game against random aggressive decks most people consider them the safest bet, especially if you're confident in your limited game and only need a few wins in constructed. Here's the full breakdown:

Caw-Blade - 37

About a third of these are the Hero-Blade version, with the rest banking on Emeria Angel. Phantasmal Image is popular, but by no means universal. There's even one Caw-No-Blade, run by self-proclaimed "Genius or Idiot" Nassim Ketita.

Valakut - 26

There are fewer Summoning Traps than you might expect, with more players banking on the versatility of Green Sun's Zenith.

Blue-Black Control - 14

After Ali Aintrazi's victory at US Nationals, this deck is more popular than ever. Only a few copied his exact list, with most trying to tweak the numbers.

Splinter TWin Combo - 12

About an even split between those running Matt Nass's version and those not.

Mono-Red - 11

Mixed in here are three dedicated Goblin decks, though none of them are Kuldotha Red. For the most part they're just Goblin Guides, Plated Geopedes, Koth, and burn.

Birthing Pod - 10

These are all over the place, color-wise. The most popular version seems to be Red-Blue-Green.

Pyromancer's Ascension - 8

All dedicated combo decks, no hybrids with Splinter Twin.

Twin-Pod - 3

Birthing Pod decks packing the Splinter TWin / Deceiver Exarch combo.

Tempered Steel - 3

On paper, it looks like a beating.

Red-Black Vampires - 2

Another dark horse aggro deck, hurt by the presence of Timely Reinforcements.

Grixis Control - 2

Building on Aintrazi's Blue-Black list with Grim Lavamancer

Miscellaneous - 15

Including Blue-Green Aggro, Big Red Planeswalkers, RUG, Boros, Naya, Eldrazi Green, Blue-Black-Green Tezzeret, White Weenie, Elves, "Turn 4 Titan" Black-Green, Esper Control, Blue-Black Tezzeret, Blue-Green-White no-Pod, Red-Green Aggro, and Monogreen Poison.

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