The Pro Metagame

Posted in GRAND PRIX SEVILLE 2015 on February 14, 2015

By Tobi Henke

While the turnout for this Grand Prix wasn't quite as grand as some of the numbers we've seen at past events, and despite the fact that the Pro Tour was only one week ago but a whole continent away, a lot of accomplished pros made their way to Seville to do battle in Standard. And it's always interesting to look at the top players' deck choices, as they are usually the ones who pick up on—or set—the trends that will dominate formats for the months to come.

For this event, we have picked 21 players whose previous accomplishments warrant a closer look, including multiple Grand Prix and Pro Tour winners (among them last week's champion) and the reigning Player of the Year, for example, but everyone on this list has at least one Grand Prix Top 8 finish to his name:

Fabrizio Anteri, Eliott Boussaud, Lukas Blohon, Marcio Carvalho, Alexandre Darras, Antonio Del Moral León, (14) Jérémy Dezani, Javier Dominguez, Andreas Ganz, Immanuel Gerschenson, (19) Martin Jůza, Loïc Le Briand, Bernhard Lehner, Vincent Lemoine, Carlos Moral, Alessandro Portaro, Toni Ramis Pascual, Eduardo Sajgalik, Pierre Sommen, Aleksa Telarov, Nicolas Vanderhallen.

Of course, we're not going to reveal just yet who is running which deck exactly; we don't want to spoil anyone's fun, and, thanks to byes, some of these players haven't even had a chance to play a round with their deck. However, a breakdown of all 21 decklists isn't only fair game, it's basically in order. To wit:

8 Blue/Black Control (five of them splashing green)
3 Green Devotion
3 Red/White Beatdown
2 Red/Green Beatdown
1 Abzan Aggro
1 Abzan Midrange
1 Jeskai
1 Mardu
1 Temur

Crux of Fate

Because of the rather small sample size, one shouldn't overestimate these results, but there seems to be a clear trend here, or two. Maybe three. For one thing, Crux of Fate really appears to be the crux, the crucial puzzle piece that control decks were waiting for. Secondly, a somewhat midrange-y red-white beatdown deck is topping its curve with Stormbreath Dragon, asking the Crux of Fate players, "Well, what's it gonna be, pal? All Dragons or all non-Dragons?" And three, Standard continues to enjoy a high degree of diversity: There are aggressive decks, midrange decks, control decks, and with Green Devotion there even exists a strategy which often involves generating combo-esk amounts of mana via Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

What deck will come out on top? Stay tuned to our coverage to find out!