Top 100 Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on June 26, 2016

By Corbin Hosler

#BlameRubin.

Green-White Tokens dominated the top tables Saturday at Grand Prix Pittsburgh, and the deck that third-ranked Steve Rubin won Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad with has become the premier choice in the format. The combination of resilient token producers and flexible cards like Dromoka's Command mean that a walk through the top tables Sunday morning revealed no shortage of green-white players. In all, the deck made up 31 percent of the top 100 decks entering Round 10, with two of those players opting for Raphael Levy's Grand Prix Manchester-winning build with Chandra, Flamecaller.

Steve Rubin broke Green-White tokens to win Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad, and the deck has since become the undisputed top deck in Standard.

Next up was Bant Humans, a fairly recent addition to the format but one that has become a mainstay. Co-opting much of the previous Bant Company shell, the deck instead focus mainly on the human tribal theme and utilizes the power of Thalia's Lieutenant to take over games. The deck made up 20 percent of the field and seems to be the preeminent Collected Company deck in the format.

Next up was a throwback of sorts. Mono-White Humans was one of the first decks to emerge after Rotation, but after a string of early results it fell largely onto the back burner as other decks rose to the top. But as players increasingly contorted their decks to battle the green-white mirror or go over the top of the control decks, the field became weaker to aggressive strategies, and Mono-White Humans took advantage of that to place nine players into the Top 100.

Collected Company may only be in one of the top three decks here in Pittsburgh, but there's still plenty of the Dragons of Tarkir spell to be found. It's the lynchpin of two of the next three decks — Bant Company and 4-Color Rites — which along with White-Black Control each saw seven players finish in the Top 100. The only other choice to garner more than two percent of the field was Sultai Midrange, a deck that looks similar to the other green decks but features a better top end that includes Dragonlord Silumgar. Five players in the top 100 arrived Sunday morning with the deck in hand.

Those seven decks account for 86 percent of the field, while a dozen other decks make up the rest.

The full breakdown:

Archetype #
Green-White Tokens 31
Bant Humans 20
Mono-White Humans 9
Bant Company 7
White-Black Control 7
4-Color Rites 7
Sultai Midrange 5
Naya Planeswalkers 2
White-Black Eldrazi 2
Mardu Midrange 1
4.5-Color Dragons 1
Mardu Control 1
Seasons Past 1
Mono-Blue Prison 1
White-Red Humans 1
Black-Red Control 1
Esper Dragons 1
Mono-White Eldrazi 1
Grixis Control 1

Going deeper, we can see a clear advantage for certain colors, namely white and green. White cards comprised a significant portion of a whopping 83 percent of the top 100 decks — or 90 percent if you count 4-color Rites —while Green cards weren't far behind at 74 percent. Additionally, they were paired together in 60 percent of the field. By contrast, heavy-blue comprised 36 percent of the top 100, while black made up 27 percent and red came in at just eight percent of the field.

While the stats certainly tell a story, there is more to the format than simply bashing Gideons into each other. The top players in the room describe the green-white mirrors (including different green-white decks) as skill-intensive and interactive. In other words, green-white may be the best deck by a mile, but Sylvan Advocate is no Pack Rat. Of course, Eldritch Moon and Emrakul, the Promised End threaten to shake up the format, and it remains to be seen if Zendikar's voice and ally (Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar) can stand up to the impending Eldrazi threat.

Until then, blame Rubin.

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