Posted in NEWS on February 23, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

44 archetypes emerged on Friday. By the end of Saturday, many matches of Modern were played, and with the dust finally settled, we were able to crunch the numbers and discover the decks with the top average win percentage from the weekend. The below list only includes the eight decks that had the most games played, as a small sample size would not suffice for providing truly accurate data. Therefore, these decks offer a clearer picture of how they performed at the Pro Tour

Take a look at how the most played archetypes performed overall.

Deck Archetype Average Win % # of Matches Played
Storm 59.70% 110
Living End 55.25% 108
Hexproof Auras 52.66% 207
Affinity 50.30% 167
Scapeshift 50.13% 131
Twin 48.88% 343
Burn 48.67% 100
W/U/R Flash 46.47% 236


The top deck, on average, at the end of the weekend was Storm, a combo strategy that gained a lot with the removal of Deathrite Shaman from the Modern format. A month ago, the notorious one-mana creature made relying on Pyromancer Ascension, the Storm deck's best card for ensuring a huge supply of gas for the killing turn, a dangerous prospect. While you were still capable of triggering your Ascension and winning, it was a lot harder for the enchantment to, well, do something if your opponent opened on the first-turn with Deathrite.


Now, that is no longer the case, and with one of the best forms of controlling Pyromancer Ascension outside of outright destroying it no longer part of Modern, Storm's key enchantment has given the strategy new life. Storm still remains one of Modern's scariest threats, as it is one of the few combo decks capable of ending a game without a reliance on creatures (though to be fair, Goblin Electromancer can be a big help if you can get an opportunity for one to stick around).

The lack of Deathrite Shaman also put a serious dent in Jund, a deck strategy that also had various forms of discard that were capable of slowing down Storm's ability to combo out. As it turns out, there were fewer decks being played this weekend that had access to the standard main deck package of Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozileks that Modern has typically seen, making this the tournament for Storm. And, as a result, it ended up being the best performer on average for those who chose to pilot it.

Following up Storm is another deck that gained a lot with the loss of Deathrite Shaman: Living End. This deck relied on filling up the graveyard with cycled creatures before a cascade spell allowed you to cast the deck's key spell for free, oftentimes ending a game in about two turns once the spell resolved. It also capitalized on the lack of graveyard hate that ended up coming to this Pro Tour, and without much to keep the deck in check, it ranked as the Pro Tour's second-best average performer at 55.25%. Time will only tell if it can retain its solid numbers.

The third best performer from the decks with the most played matches was Hexproof Auras, a deck that aims to blank spot removal with hexproof creatures that it then suits up with many auras. The deck is particularly strong against decks leaning too heavily on Lightning Bolt and aims to win through the conventional means of combat, as it takes some of their only means of interacting with your game plan away from them. This deck spent a lot of the weekend preying on people who came equipped with decks sporting Wild Nacatyl, but it was also capable of stealing wins against anyone looking to deal a somewhat honest 20 points of damage in four or five turns.

Oddly enough, while Twin put up some big play numbers and got three players into the Top 8 with its variants, it only sits at around 48% in terms of average number of wins compared to the number of matches played. There was indeed a lot of variance in the records of Twin players this weekend, and as a result, the data matches in accordance.

Not listed in the above table are two of the decks that have been featured in the Pro Tour Born of the Gods Sunday stage: W/U/R Control (different from the Flash archetype above, which counts the more pro-active decks that forgo Sphinx's Revelation and sometimes also get more aggressive with Geist of Saint Traft), and Blue Moon (Team MTG Mint's Spreading Seas blue-control deck featuring a splash of red for Lightning Bolt, Blood Moon). You can see their average win percentages below:

Deck Archetype Average Win % # of Matches Played
W/U/R Control 54.43% 79
Blue Moon 52.97% 73


While both decks had fewer matches played in comparison to the above archetypes, they both have relatively solid win percentages, sitting above 50%. W/U/R Control is also sitting below only two of the best performing most played archetypes from the table above, and both can be particularly good against the top performer (Storm) due to its variety of permission.


Notable are a few archetypes which did not make this list, which you can see below:

Deck Archetype Average Win % # of Matches Played
Melira-Pod 45.88% 263
Zoo 43.23% 505
Jund 39.62% 175


Melira-Pod went into this event with a giant bulls-eye on its head. It was public enemy #1, surpassing even Zoo (which performed even worse with a little over 43% win percentage in 505 recorded matches). It is indeed one of the most powerful and flexible combo decks of the format, but its reliance on creatures makes cards like Anger of the Gods especially crippling against it. The sweeper, by the way, is also fine at hindering Zoo's game plan, and that alongside the prevalence of Hexproof Auras did a fine job of keeping fans of Wild Nacatl at bay.


Jund, the boogeyman from Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, suffered the most this weekend with a depressing 39.62% win percentage overall. The top dog has finally fallen. Prepare yourselves for what comes next.