Day 2 Metagame Breakdown

Posted in GRAND PRIX OMAHA 2015 on January 11, 2015

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

From observations and expectations, Day 1 of Grand Prix Omaha was all about Birthing Pod and Delver of Secrets decks. Across the top tables and among the top players both decks seemed popular, but was that really the case across the field as a whole?

We took a look at everyone that made Day 2 to get a sense of things. This is what we found:

Archetype

Count

Birthing Pod

31

Blue-Red Delver

15

Affinity

12

Scapeshift

9

Abzan

7

Hexproof Auras

7

Temur Delver

6

Jeskai Ascendancy

5

Red-Green Tron

5

Amulet Bloom

4

Four-Color Zoo

4

Splinter Twin

4

Merfolk

3

Domain Zoo

2

Four-Color Burn

2

Four-Color Control

2

Jeskai Delver

2

Naya Zoo

2

Black-Green Obliterator

1

Black-Red Burn

1

Blue Moon

1

Burn

1

Infect

1

Jeskai Burn

1

Jund Tron

1

Pyromancer Ascension

1

Red-Green BreachScape

1

Soul Sisters

1

Tarmo Twin

1

Rolling things up helps identify a few key traits:

Archetype

Count

Percent

Birthing Pod

31

23.3%

Delver

23

17.3%

Affinity

12

9.0%

Scapeshift

10

7.5%

Zoo

8

6.0%

Abzan

7

5.3%

Burn

7

5.3%

Hexproof Auras

7

5.3%

Tron

6

4.5%

Jeskai Ascendancy

5

3.8%

Twin

5

3.8%

Amulet Bloom

4

3.0%

Merfolk

3

2.3%

Black-Green Obliterator

1

0.8%

Blue Moon

1

0.8%

Infect

1

0.8%

Pyromancer Ascension

1

0.8%

Soul Sisters

1

0.8%

Birthing Pod and Delver decks (Blue-Red, Jeskai, and Temur flavors combined) make up 40% of the decks vying for Top 8. Unsurprisingly, the ever-popular Affinity makes a distant third with Scapeshift (including the Through the Breach variant) right behind. Those four deck combine to nearly 60% of the Day 2 metagame.

Rolling things up, however, lets us see some of the common threads behind the less-represented decks:

  • Colorful creatures like Rhox War Monk and Siege Rhino helps a variety of Zoo decks make a resurgence. Tribal Flames is a common way four, and sometimes five, damage was being dished out.
  • Siege Rhino has also led to a renaissance of Rock decks. Abzan, the natural update to Black-Green and older “Junk” decks, packs the traditional suite of Thoughtseizes and removal but with added oomph in the creature department.
  • Decks that commit to a powerful plan or combo were spread across a variety of decks. Different flavors of Burn as well as Hexproof Auras and Tron decks are to be expected in some number, but the new Jeskai Ascendancy as well as a surprising number of Amulet of Vigor combo decks made the cut as well.
  • Splinter Twin as an archetype seems to have fallen from its former glory days at the top of counts. The allure and power of Treasure Cruise in Blue-Red Delver, the overlapping color combination, is a likely culprit for cannibalization.

Looking into the decklists themselves yielded a few more tidbits to consider:

  • Siege Rhino is loud and everywhere in Modern. Often as three-of or four-of in Birthing Pod, it’s potency brought Abzan and Zoo back towards the top of choices.
  • Chalice of the Void is a consistent thread in many of the smaller archetypes. Everything from Zoo and Affinity to new builds such as the Black-Green deck with Phyrexian Obliterator are using Chalice of the Void to stymie the explosive power of Blue-Red Delver and Jeskai Ascendancy.
  • Khans of Tarkir fetchland reprints – Windswept Heath, et al. – have smoothed mana all over the place. From bumping up prominent decks like Birthing Pod to quickly enabling the right set of pain-free lands, mana has never been better in the format for any deck one chooses.

Where things go from here, of course, is an exercise only the players can complete. If history is any guide, we can expect Birthing Pod and Blue-Red Delver in to the Top 8 but everything else is anyone’s guess. We’ll have to wait, watch, and see the next steps unfold.

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