Top 100 Archetype Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 29, 2016

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Shadows over Innistrad Standard is one of the most diverse formats we've seen in a long time. It was really surprising just how many different archetypes were present among the Top 100 players at Grand Prix Minneapolis the weekend. Here's the metagame breakdown:

Archetype #
GW Tokens 17
Bant Company 11
White Humans 11
Grixis Control 10
GR Ramp 8
BW Control 7
4C Rites 6
Naya Midrange 5
BG Control/Ramp 5
White Eldrazi 3
Duskwatch Ramp 2
Esper Control 2
WU Humans 2
Blue Eldrazi Ramp 2
Sultai Midrange 1
UG Ramp 1
BR Control 1
UR Eldrazi Ramp 1
UR Flyers 1
GW Humans 1
Esper Dragons 1
BG Sacrifice 1

That's twenty-two different decks present among the Top 100 players and a surprising amount of diversity! If you like playing aggressive strategies the options available to you are White Humans, Eldrazi, and the new kid on the block, UR Flyers piloted this weekend by Tomaharu Saito.

Control decks are also incredibly diverse, ranging from Grixis to Black-White to variations of Esper. To my surprise, plenty of non-blue control decks have been performing well which is very different from previous Standard formats where blue-based control was the norm.

Ramp decks also fall into this control category and they also have a great deal of variety. The most common is of course the classic Red-Green Ramp with play sets of Explosive Vegetation, Nissa's Pilgrimage and World Breaker backed up by burn spells like Fall of the Titans and Kozilek's Return. Another popular ramp strategy is Black-Green Seasons Past, piloted by five of the Top 100 players this weekend including Reid Duke. My favorite take on Ramp is the innovative Duskwatch Ramp by Justin Cohen and Corey Burkhart. It will be interesting to see which ramp decks rise to the top this weekend.

Our last bucket of decks is the midrange category where we see everything from Collected Company decks to Cryptolith Rites decks to variations of Eldrazi. Green-White Tokens takes the top spot in this category, with seventeen percent of the field choosing to run the deck.

Despite the Top 100 being as diverse as it is, the very top tables consist of mostly creature decks including variations of White Humans and Company decks. We'll see if these decks remain at the top over the next few rounds.

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