Posted in GRAND PRIX DENVER 2015 - WELCOME on January 4, 2015

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

This weekend is players' last chance to play a major Standard event before the release of Fate Reforged. Coming into this weekend, Standard seemed to have oscillated to a place where decks that took full advantage of Sidisi, Brood Tyrant and Whip of Erebos were becoming a dominant force. This weekend marks the return of Abzan as the deck to beat. Of the archetypes in Day 2, three different Abzan variants account for three of the four most well-represented decks. Let's take a look at the metagame breakdown for the second day of competition here in Denver.

Archetype Notes % of Field
Abzan Aggro 29 18.50%
Ascendancy Tokens 18 11.50%
Abzan Midrange 17 10.80%
Abzan Whip 14 8.90%
Mardu Midrange 11 7.00%
White-Red Midrange 11 7.00%
Sidisi Whip 6 3.80%
Temur 6 3.80%
White-Blue Heroic 6 3.80%
White-Red Tokens/Aggro/Heroic 6 3.80%
Red-Green Monsters/Beats & Nest Combo 6 3.80%
Boss Sligh 4 2.50%
Green Devotion & Blue-Green Devotion 5 3.20%
Esper Control 2 1.30%
Jeskai 2 1.30%
Naya Tokens 2 1.30%
Jeskai Control 1 0.60%
Astronomer Ascendancy 1 0.60%
Black-Green Constellation 1 0.60%
Blue-Black Control 1 0.60%
Chromanticontrol 1 0.60%
Four-Color Cruise 1 0.60%
Four-Color Midrange 1 0.60%
Four-Color Sidisi 1 0.60%
Four-Color Whip 1 0.60%
Jeskai Midrange 1 0.60%
Mardu Aggro 1 0.60%
White-Blue Control 1 0.60%

Abzan is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the current Standard metagame, but there are quite a few surprises here too. Jeskai Ascendancy token strategies are making big waves this weekend. As we see fewer and fewer copies of Doomwake Giant at the top tables we can expect the Ascendancy Token strategies to perform very well.

The diversity of the field is impressive. There are well over twenty unique archetypes represented in the field today.

Will the Abzan decks continue to dominate here in Denver, or will one of the more unusual strategies rise up and prove itself to be the new top dog? Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix Denver to find out!