DAY 2 METAGAME BREAKDOWN

Posted in GRAND PRIX SANTIAGO 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 2, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Seventy-one players managed to fight their way into Day 2. All the big players of Standard Constructed had their contingent of representatives, with a plurality of players sticking with the Abzan tribe and the indisputable power of Siege Rhino. Here's how things shook out.

Abzan Midrange - 12

Versatility without sacrificing power is a winning formula. Ari Lax gave a clinic on this subject as he ran over Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir to become a Pro Tour Champion. This deck seems to have it all - threats that also serve as answers, versatile solutions like Thoughtseize and Abzan Charm, and a long game powered by planeswalkers. It also takes the maxim "Play seventy-five cards, not sixty" to heart, making full use of its sideboard to become a foil for whatever deck the opponent has brought to the table.

Mardu Midrange - 8

With Khans of Tarkir packed so full of powerful three-color spells, it's no surprise to see the clans on display. Unlike its Abzan cousin, this deck leans more to the aggressive side of the spectrum initially, taking advantage of the synergy between Goblin Rabblemaster and the mighty Butcher of the Horde. However it also has plenty of planeswalkers, "answers" that can also build an advantage, and a wealth of dangerous sideboard options.

Jeskai - 7

Ah, Jeskai. The mad monks are still out in force continuing their swift and deadly work. Fast starts backed by a robust burn suite, including the eponymous Charm. Even the decks that can stabilize against the variety of threats presented will need to go one step further or risk incineration. However, here again we see that Siege Rhino is a cure-all. As its numbers increase, so much the worse for Jeskai.

Black-Green Devotion - 7

Piloted by Javier Luna to a perfect 9-0 on Day 1, this deck is a kind of hybrid of the base-green devotion decks from the last Standard enviroment, and the "Enchantress" decks that took advantage of synergies from Eidolon of Blossoms, Doomwake Giant, and the other enchantment creatures from Journey Into Nyx. It runs the full four Nykthos and four Voyaging Satyr. It tops the curve with the mighty Hornet Queen, but the real danger card is See the Unwritten. If you delay dealing with one big creature, you're suddenly facing three. With End Hostilities seeing less play this deck can really thrive.

Abzan Aggro - 7

The "other" Abzan deck that Mike Sigrist piloted to a Top 4 finish at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, this build cuts down on reactive cards to play more threats. The beauty of it is that cards like Fleecemane Lion and Rakshasa Deathdealer (even Heir of the Wilds to a lesser extent) retain their power in the late game, meaning fewer dead draws if things go long.

Red-Green Monsters - 7

This deck has been hanging around Standard for some time, thanks to the power of Stormbreath Dragon and Polukranos, World Eater. The ubiquitous Sylvan Caryatid / Courser of Kruphix duo help things along, and a smattering of planeswalkers round it out.

Boss Red - 6

The format's fastest aggro deck, the success of Boss Red has unfortunately caused players to prepare more thoroughly against it. Whip of Erebos is in a lot of main decks, not just those with Sidisi, and players making sure their sideboards have Drown in Sorrow or Anger of the Gods. Still, the deck has some frightening draws, and woe to those who underestimate it.

Temur Monsters - 6

"Savage Knuckleblade... I mean, that's a Kibler card." So said Randy Buehler at the recent Pro Tour and Kibler did not disappoint him, brewing up this list that has caught on with those looking for something a little different. It makes fast 4-power creatures, turning Crater's Claws into a powerhouse and even gets some staying power thanks to Ashcloud Phoenix.

Sidisi-Whip - 4

This deck made a big splash at last weekend's Grand Prix Stockholm. Stocking the graveyard with Sidisi, Brood Tyrant and Satyr Wayfinder means that Whip of Erebos can get out of hand in a hurry.

Blue-Black Control - 2

Poor Blue-Black Control. Across all the decks in the format the threats are simply too fast and too diverse. Still, players won't give up their counterspells easily. Maybe this duo have found a winning configuration.

Others - 5

Rounding things out are a few singletons. There's a Black-Green deck that goes hard on the Enchantress theme. There's a straight Blue-White Control. There's a Red-White Heroic deck, a Red-Green Devotion deck, and one Naya Planeswalkers.