Day 2 Metagame Breakdown

Posted in GRAND PRIX KUALA LUMPUR 2016 on October 23, 2016

By Chapman Sim

After 9 rounds of contest, the field of 769 is down to just 245. All eyes are on Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur and Grand Prix Providence as we witness yet another evolution in Standard. We've looked through all the decklists of everyone who made Day 2 at Kuala Lumpur and here is the bird's eye view of what the Kaladesh Standard format has become!

Archetype Quantity Percentage
White-Blue Flash 85 34.69%
Black-Green Delirium 33 13.47%
White-Red Vehicles 27 11.02%
Mardu Vehicles 26 10.61%
Zombies (Dredge) 15 6.12%
Blue-Red Spells 10 4.08%
Red-Green Energy 10 4.08%
Others 39 15.92%
Total 245 100

A whooping 85 players chose to show up with White-Blue Flash, a deck that was perceived as one of the best decks to prey upon the metagame. It has a great matchup against the control decks which surfaced at Pro Tour Kaladesh, largely because it can operate at instant speed most of the time. Selfless Spirit and Archangel Avacyn are great tools to combat board sweepers such as Radiant Flames and Fumigate, and both these cards also join forces to wipe an opponent's board if required.

Spell Queller, Stasis Snare and Rattlechains reward the player for keeping their mana open, allowing them to react accordingly to whatever their opponent offers. Smuggler's Copter and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar are also threats that was difficult to handle, making White-Blue Flash an all-rounded deck that's also laden with power.

The next most popular archetype are the Black-Green Delirium decks, which has the ability to stand up to the White-Blue Flash menace. Grasp of Darkness matches well against Archangel Avacyn, while Liliana, the Last Hope are great against pesky spirits with a single toughness. Ishkanah, Grafwidow is also an excellent card against a deck that relies heavily on fliers and we should expect its popularity to rise in the face of the new boogeyman on the block.

White-Red Vehicles and Mardu Vehicles were also very popular, and a total of 53 players chose to run along with Veteran Motorist and Depala, Pilot Exemplar. Half of them opted to "keep it clean" and decided against complicating their mana base, while the other half chose to get a little greedy by splashing black for Scrapheap Scrounger and Unlicensed Disintegration, an innovation showcased by Lee Shi Tian at Pro Tour Kaladesh. The main difference is their choice of vehicles. The Red-White version is more inclined to run Fleetwheel Cruiser and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, while the Mardu version prefers Cultivator's Caravan to enhance mana stability.


Tomoharu Saito and Yuta Takahashi battling it out in the Vehicles and Flash matchup.

Quite surprisingly, Zombies (or as the community casually calls "Dredge") relying on the engine of Prized Amalgam, Voldaren Pariah and Haunted Dead were also decently represented. Cathartic Reunion might not stack up very well against Spell Queller but it did not stop 16 players from making the choice.

Rounding off the top 7 archetypes are two strategies that rely heavily on energy, even if both Blue-Red Spells and Red-Green Energy spend their energy in vastly different ways. The Blue-Red Spells deck seeks to accumulate energy with the aid of Glimmer of Genius and Harnessed Lightning before channeling it through Dynavolt Tower as their win condition. On the other hand Red-Green Energy wants to gain and use their energy to power out undercosted creatures in the form of Voltaic Brawler, Electrostatic Pummeler and Bristling Hydra.

For simplicity, every deck with less than 10 copies have been grouped as others and here are what the remaining 38 players brought to the tables. You'll find some very interesting choices here!

Archetype Quantity
Red-Black Aggro 6
Temur Aetherworks 4
Bant Midrange 3
Grixis Control 3
Sultai Control 3
Temur Emerge 3
White-Red Humans 3
Esper Control 2
Mono Blue Eldrazi 2
White-Red Tokens 2
Blue-White Control 1
Grixis Emerge 1
Jeskai Midrange 1
Mardu Control 1
Mono Black Eldrazi 1
Mono Green Eldrazi 1
Red-Green Ramp 1
White-Green Aggro 1
Total 39

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