Pro Tour Aether Revolt Day Two Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on February 4, 2017

By Tobi Henke

425 players entered the tournament on Friday, but 266 of them reached the requisite record of 4-4 to qualify for the second day. Some of them undoubtedly made it this far based on the strength of their Draft game. Theoretically, someone could have gone 1-4 in Standard and be in the running still, while another player might have been 3-2 in Standard and eliminated anyway. The following isn't exactly all about Standard, although having a good Standard deck and having a Day One record good enough to continue playing are obviously connected.

Let's check out the numbers! Overall, 62.6 percent of all competitors made the cut. Some archetypes put all their players into the second day, while other archetypes failed to get anyone to Day Two. Naturally, such extremes were seen almost exclusively with those archetypes that were very low in numbers to begin with, and the percentage values don't mean much because of it.

Archetype # Day 1 #Day 2 Conversion
Mardu Vehicles 95 72 75.8
Jeskai Copy Cat Control 72 26 36.1
Black-Green Constrictor 66 45 68.2
Black-Green Delirium 31 23 74.2
Four-Color Copy Cat 25 14 56.0
Blue-Red Control 15 8 53.3
Grixis Control 14 6 42.9
Jeskai Control 13 9 69.2
Green-White Tokens 11 9 81.8
Black-Red Aggro 9 8 88.9
Four-Color Aetherworks Copy Cat 8 6 75.0
Grixis Improvise 7 2 28.6
Temur Aetherworks Marvel 6 4 66.7
Blue-Black Control 6 3 50.0
Jund Constrictor 5 5 100.0
Esper Control 5 2 40.0
Black-Red Zombies 4 3 75.0
Blue-Black Improvise 3 2 66.7
Blue-Red Fevered Visions 3 1 33.3
White-Black Midrange 3 1 33.3
White-Blue Flash 3 1 33.3
Blue-Red Zombies 2 2 100.0
Red-White Humans 2 2 100.0
Four-Color Constrictor 2 1 50.0
Bant Flash 1 1 100.0
Black-Red Control 1 1 100.0
Four-Color Control 1 1 100.0
Four-Color Energy Aggro 1 1 100.0
Four-Color Improvise 1 1 100.0
Jund 1 1 100.0
Jund Energy Aggro 1 1 100.0
Sultai Delirium Control 1 1 100.0
Temur Dynavolt Tower 1 1 100.0
White-Blue Paradoxical Outcome 1 1 100.0
White-Blue Spirits 1 1 100.0
Four-Color Dynavolt Tower 1 0 0.0
Jeskai Vehicles 1 0 0.0
Jund Aggro 1 0 0.0
Red-Green Energy Aggro 1 0 0.0
Total 425 266 62.6

But even among the top two most played decks, one could find some dramatic difference. To wit, Mardu Vehicles had more than three quarters of its pilots (pun acknowledged) cruise (ditto) to a Day Two berth, whereas only a little more than a third of Jeskai Copy Cat players did so, making this deck's performance one of the most disappointing of the tournament!

Let's split this up, and look at the good, the bad, and the more interesting but less definite cases, where data is slim but results look promising.

Certified Fresh

Included here is every deck type which fielded at least eight players and beat the overall Day Two conversion rate of 62.6 percent:

Archetype # Day 1 #Day 2 Conversion
Mardu Vehicles 95 72 75.8
Black-Green Constrictor 66 45 68.2
Black-Green Delirium 31 23 74.2
Jeskai Control 13 9 69.2
Green-White Tokens 11 9 81.8
Black-Red Aggro 9 8 88.9
Four-Color Aetherworks Copy Cat 8 6 75.0

Like Mardu Vehicles, the black-green decks also did well. Of note, those still including delirium cards like Grim Flayer, Traverse the Ulvenwald, and/or Mindwrack Demon did better than the versions without, despite the latter being wildly more popular.

Jeskai Control and Four-Color Aetherworks Copy Cat's presence on this list was notable in particular because of the absence of Jeskai Copy Cat Control and Four-Color Copy Cat without Aetherworks Marvel. It appeared that if one were to play Jeskai Control, one would do well to leave the combo of Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian out, and conversely if one wanted to copy Cats, the way to go seemed to be incorporating Aetherworks Marvel.

Green-White Tokens and Black-Red Aggro didn't have the absolute numbers for absolute certainty, but both had the relative numbers to raise eyebrows. 81.8 percent and 88.9 percent were impressive enough that I ran some additional numbers. On average, each of the eleven Green-White players got nine match points out of the five Standard rounds on Friday, and the nine Black-Red players got an average of eleven! Yes, Black-Red Aggro quite definitely belonged in this category.

Certified Rotten

The following includes every deck type featuring at least seven players and a Day Two rate lower than the overall 62.6 percent:

Archetype # Day 1 #Day 2 Conversion
Jeskai Copy Cat Control 72 26 36.1
Four-Color Copy Cat 25 14 56.0
Blue-Red Control 15 8 53.3
Grixis Control 14 6 42.9
Grixis Improvise 7 2 28.6

Captain Obvious couldn't contain himself and just had to say it: Copy Cat decks did terribly at this Pro Tour. The 25 Four-Color Copy Cat players got an average 6.72 match points out of the first day's five Standard rounds; the Jeskai Copy Cat Control players escaped those rounds with an average of 5.79 match points. Or rather, they didn't escape, seeing as a whopping 64 percent of them were eliminated.

As for blue control decks, it was already established that Jeskai Control without the combo was a reasonable choice. In any case, Blue-Red and Grixis Control couldn't compare. Unfortunately, Grixis Improvise didn't work out well either.

No Consensus Yet

This includes every deck with two to six entries and an above par Day Two conversion rate:

Archetype # Day 1 #Day 2 Conversion
Temur Aetherworks Marvel 6 4 66.7
Jund Constrictor 5 5 100.0
Black-Red Zombies 4 3 75.0
Blue-Black Improvise 3 2 66.7
Blue-Red Zombies 2 2 100.0
Red-White Humans 2 2 100.0

It would appear that news of the old Aetherworks Marvel deck's death were at least somewhat exaggerated. And there might be some sleepers worth investigating here. One could imagine that in a couple of weeks, everyone would be splashing red into their Black-Green Constrictor decks. Zombies might be everywhere, and Red-White Humans with the new addition of Metallic Mimic should become more popular too.

MORE DATA

While writing this piece, I looked up several decks' match point gains throughout Friday's five Standard rounds. Eventually, I figured I should probably work it out for all of them. Please note that the following does not figure in number of rounds that were actually played and makes no difference between dropped players and those who simply lost out.

Archetype # Day 1 #Day 2 Average Match Points Day 1 Standard
Mardu Vehicles 95 72 8.35
Jeskai Copy Cat Control 72 26 5.79
Black-Green Constrictor 66 45 7.70
Black-Green Delirium 31 23 7.16
Four-Color Copy Cat 25 14 6.72
Blue-Red Control 15 8 6.87
Grixis Control 14 6 5.14
Jeskai Control 13 9 7.38
Green-White Tokens 11 9 9.00
Black-Red Aggro 9 8 11.00
Four-Color Aetherworks Copy Cat 8 6 7.25
Grixis Improvise 7 2 5.57
Temur Aetherworks Marvel 6 4 6.00
Blue-Black Control 6 3 6.50
Jund Constrictor 5 5 9.00
Esper Control 5 2 5.00
Black-Red Zombies 4 3 9.00
Blue-Black Improvise 3 2 7.00
White-Blue Flash 3 1 8.00
White-Black Midrange 3 1 6.00
Blue-Red Fevered Visions 3 1 5.00
Red-White Humans 2 2 9.00
Blue-Red Zombies 2 2 6.00
Four-Color Constrictor 2 1 4.50
White-Blue Spirits 1 1 6.00
White-Blue Paradoxical Outcome 1 1 6.00
Temur Dynavolt Tower 1 1 6.00
Sultai Delirium Control 1 1 12.00
Jund Energy Aggro 1 1 12.00
Jund 1 1 9.00
Four-Color Improvise 1 1 6.00
Four-Color Energy Aggro 1 1 9.00
Four-Color Control 1 1 6.00
Black-Red Control 1 1 9.00
Bant Flash 1 1 9.00
Red-Green Energy Aggro 1 0 3.00
Jund Aggro 1 0 6.00
Jeskai Vehicles 1 0 6.00
Four-Color Dynavolt Tower 1 0 3.00
Total 425 266 7.27

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