Sunday, 12:58 p.m. – Day 2 Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 11, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

"It's still between three decks: Affinity, Twin, and Pod. I consider them the best decks."

Patrick Dickmann shared his thoughts on the Modern metagame yesterday, but the story we've seen at every Grand Prix is different than such a pithy summary. One of the features of Modern is that it seems to reward playing "your" deck to its best. "I'm familiar with most of the top decks of the format, but once I decide on one I really want to master it rather than searching for the 'best' deck," Pro Tour Born of the Gods winner and currently 19-th ranked Shaun McLaren said. A believer of knowing one deck inside out paid handsomely for him in Valencia, and it's clear – like Legacy – players have taken it to heart to play their favorite deck wherever Modern may go.

Grand Prix Minneapolis Day 2 Metagame

Archetype Count
Melira Pod 29
Affinity 23
Jund 17
White-Blue-Red Control 17
Blue-Red Twin 12
Storm 8
Merfolk 7
Black-Green Rock 6
Red-Green Tron 6
Scapeshift 5
Tarmo Twin 5
Kiki Pod 5
Blue-Red Delver 4
Ad Nauseam 4
Gifts Ungiven 3
Zoo 3
Big Naya 2
White-Red Burn 2
White-Black Tokens 2
Naya Zoo 2
Hexproof Auras 2
Junk 1
White-Green Aggro 1
Amulet Combo 1
Mono-White Aggro 1
Soul Sisters 1
White-Blue Tron 1
Mono-Red Burn 1
White-Black-Red Control 1
White-Blue Control 1
Blue-Black Faeries 1
Black-Red Burn 1
Blue Moon 1
Cruel Control 1
8 Rack 1
White-Blue-Red Twin 1
Eggs 1
White-Blue-Red Delver 1
Living End 1

That's thirty-nine different decks, with even more if you dig into the smaller differences in builds of Zoo, Jund, White-Blue-Red Control, and others.

Archetype Percent Count
Pod (All Types) 19% 34
Affinity 13% 23
Twin (All Types) 10% 18
Other 59% 107

Dickmann may believe in just three decks being central to the format, but those three represent less than half of what you could expect to see here in Day 2. Of course, these three are definitively the most popular decks with Jund and White-Blue-Red Control – both popular decks given their performance over Modern's history thus far – chasing just behind.

Archetype Undefeated In Day 2
Melira Pod 1 29
Blue-Red Twin 1 12
Red-Green Tron 1 6
Kiki Pod 1 5
Tarmo Twin 1 5
Scapeshift 1 5

While popular decks will find their ways into Top 8s on the back of just enough players bringing, what sets the stage for the best chances is going undefeated on Day 1. Here, six players with six different decks started Day 2 perfect and there are a few usual suspects – Twin and Pod decks – but like in Richmond and other Modern Grand Prix there's more to the story. Going into Round 12, Barry Smith with Red-Green Tron held the King of the Hill slot with a record of 11-0, putting on a show with an archetype that was underwhelming at Pro Tour Born of the Gods.

Powering out early, massive threats or presenting the eventuality of searching and casting them is a powerful machine. Just because the format hasn't undergone a profound change between now and Pro Tour Born of the Gods doesn't mean the potential of off-the-radar decks diminished. Decks like Red-Green Tron and Scapeshift may not show up in force, but consistently putting playing into the undefeated bracket is an important note for anyone considering a new deck to practice and play.

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