Day Two Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on January 8, 2017

By Corbin Hosler

Let's not waste any time — here's what you came for.

Deck #
Miracles 17
Sultai Delver 12
Sneak and Show 10
Death and Taxes 9
Elves 6
Infect 6
OmniShow 4
Four-Color Delver 5
Four-Color Goodstuff 3
Black-Red Reanimator 3
Shardless Sultai 3
Dark Depths 2
Burn 2
Storm (ANT) 2
Eldrazi 2
Lands 2
Other 22

That includes 78 of the top 100 best-performing decks on Day One at Grand Prix Louisville. Of the 22 decks that fit into the "other" category, we saw a smattering of strategies, from Burn to Lands to Maverick to Storm to Enchantress to Eldrazi, with some truly rogue decks thrown in as well. That includes a Food Chain deck that went undefeated on Day One, a Canadian Threshold deck that looks like it was taken straight from 2010 (someone broke the Nimble Mongoose out of cold storage), a Big Red turbo Blood Moon deck, and rarely seen archetypes like Painter's Servant-Grindstone and Aluren.

It turns out Stifle and Grim Lavamancer are still good. Who knew?

The weekend marked the entrance of new cards into the Legacy format — Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Sanctum Prelate have made their mark — but it was the old standby Miracles that was the top dog on Saturday. It accounted for 17 percent of the metagame, while Sultai Delver, mostly with Leovold, was next up at 12 percent. Sanctum Prelate and Recruiter of the Guard were predicted to bring about the resurgence of Death and Taxes, and the 9 percent metagame share it accounted for reflected that.

The rest of this list is some of the typical fare for Legacy, though it's worth nothing that Eldrazi — the last set of cards to shake up the format — did not have a good day, with only two players piloting it into the top 100 spots. Strategies based around Show and Tell, however, are rising. If you count the Show and Tell decks that eschew Sneak Attack in favor of more ways to find Show and Tell and put into play Omniscience, the combined number jumps to 14 percent, making it the second-most popular strategy in the room.

Only in Legacy do you see a board state like this.

But nothing could dethrone Miracles. The flexibility provided by the best Brainstorm deck in the room made it an easy choice for the many of the format's top players, and the numbers demonstrate why. The combination of Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance allow the deck to simply lock out many opposing strategies, while instant-speed Terminus and Entreat the Angels courtesy of Top is hard to beat.

The only thing left to find out is just how these numbers translate to the Top 8 and Top 32. Will the established decks win out, or will some of the unexpected contenders this weekend rise to the top?

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