Day 2 Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 22, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Looking at the top 100 players in Day 2 of Grand Prix Charlotte, it's clear that the Modern metagame is basically nonexistent. Players looking to attack a particular deck will find themselves in a sea of diverse strategies that attack from wildly different angles. Let's take a look at the top 100 deck archetypes from Day 2 and see if we can draw any conclusions about the current state of Modern!

Archetype #
Affinity 11
Jund 10
Jeskai Harbinger 9
Red Green Tron 6
Burn 6
Abzan Company 5
Infect 5
Abzan 4
Bring to Light Scapeshift 3
White Black Eldrazi 3
Ad Nauseam 3
Red Green Valakut 2
Jeskai Control 2
Death's Shadow 2
Big Zoo 2
Jeskai Tempo 2
Bant Eldrazi 2
Elves 2
Grishoalbrand 2
Nahiri Chord 2
Black Red Moon 1
Four-Color Control 1
Red White Nahiri 1
Blue Tempo 1
Dredge 1
Blue Red Tempo 1
Grixis 1
Grixis Goryo's 1
Mardu Humans 1
Storm 1
Knightfall 1
Grixis Delver 1
Blue Tron 1
Nahiri Scapeshift 1
Mardu 1
Scapeshift 1

The sheer number of different archetypes at the top of the standings is a testament to Modern's diversity. There may be a lot of Affinity, Jund, and Jeskai Harbinger, but that is likely a result of those decks being more popular as opposed to being more successful.

Other decks that were less popular actually won a lot more matches. For example, there are only four copies of Abzan in the top 100, but two of those players entered Day 2 with undefeated records. Abzan may be significantly less popular than Jund, but it seems to be winning at a much higher rate.

Another surprise here is Death's Shadow. There were only two copies of the deck in the entire tournament and the two players piloting the deck only have a pair of losses between them.

The biggest lesson we can learn from the mix of decks here is that it's likely unwise to approach Modern with a focused reactive gameplan. Even the most controlling strategies are packing ways to win the game quickly and efficiently. There are far too many questions to answer for a deck to have all the right answers and it's important to have a good proactive plan for the game.

The biggest disappointment on Day 1 was definitely Bushwhacker Zoo. The deck has been doing very well on Magic Online and was very popular coming into this event. Despite the popularity of the deck, not a single copy managed to find its way into the top 100 decks as we enter Day 2.

Modern is more diverse than ever with only one deck accounting for more than 10% of the top 100 and over 35 decks represented. Which of these exciting strategies do you expect to see in the Top 8 elimination rounds? Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix Charlotte for all the Modern Weekend action as it unfolds.

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