Round 12 featured the rise of Blue Devotion decks – both mono-colored and white-splash takes – in an expected field of Black Devotion and Esper Control. With two rounds to go for the Top 8, this is what the field of players in striking distance looked like:
|Blue Devotion (White)||2|
|Black Devotion (Red)||1|
It looks a bit scattershot, right? But that's not the entire story.
|1||Holiday, Nathan||Mono-Blue Devotion||36-36||Berni, Robert*||Mono-Black Devotion|
|2||Froehlich, Eric^||Black Devotion (Red)||36-36||Bercovich, Brandon^||Mono-Black Devotion|
|3||Macurda, Art*||Jund Monsters||33-33||Mccoy, Kevin||Blue Devotion (White)|
|4||Ward, Daniel*||Bant Control||33-33||Lytle, Tyler||Mono-Red Aggro|
|5||McAtee, Brian||Red-Green Monsters||33-33||Ulanov, Denis*||Mono-Black Devotion|
|6||Mackl, Valentin||Blue Devotion (White)||33-33||White, Chad*||Red-Green Monsters|
|7||Arcuni, Philip||Naya Hexproof||33-33||Smith, Andrew*||Mono-Red Aggro|
|8||Wong, Gary*||Mono-Blue Devotion||33-33||Neal, Chris||Jund Monsters|
|9||Amato, Alex*||Mono-Red Aggro||33-33||Butakov, Dmitriy||Bant Control|
|10||Shenhar, Shahar||Esper Control||33-33||Levin, William*||Jund Monsters|
|11||Lee, Farand||Big Naya||33-31||Oliver, Neal*||Esper Control|
(Note: * denotes the winner of the Round 14 match; ^ denotes the match was an intentional draw.)
Here, things make more sense: Three Black Devotion decks and one Blue Devotion deck were the closest to securing their Top 8 place. The background of decks vying for Top 8 were Monsters varieties with several more of the smaller slices we watched throughout the weekend, and thanks to the tight clustering of results the Round 15 stage was set for seven matches that potentially matter.
At the start of Round 15, three Black Devotion decks looked locked with the strong chance that Bant Control would be there to. Blue Devotion and Mono-Red Aggro, and Monsters were all one more win away.
The strength of Blue Devotion had passed, just as it did for Monsters, from earlier rounds. This truly was the weekend apparent for Black Devotion. Would it be the Top 8 as well?