Pro Tour Amonkhet Day One Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 12, 2017

By Frank Karsten

The numbers are in. My colleague Corbin Hosler and I went through all 378 decklists, categorized them, and tallied up the totals.

Going into the weekend, the two most popular archetypes on Magic Online (where Amonkhet was released earlier than ever) had been Mardu Vehicles and Aetherworks Marvel. These two were also chosen by a lot of players here in Nashville, but there were also some new surprises. We got a Zombie outbreak, several New Perspectives decks, and a bunch of new brews involving Amonkhet cards.

A Broad Breakdown

This pie chart (which groups similar decks together into broader archetypes) indicates that there are three top decks in Standard.

The deck that won the last Pro Tour is still alive and well. Featuring some of the best threats and artifact-synergy cards along with efficient removal spells and planeswalkers to dominate all stages of the game, Mardu Vehicles was the deck everyone expected to see. Many players picked the deck because they had experience with it, because it was their "safe" backup choice, or simply because they felt it was the best deck in the format.

Behind Mardu, the second-most popular archetype was Aetherworks Marvel, mostly of the Temur variety. The ban of Felidar Guardian opened up the space for these decks to return, and a turn-four Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is still one of the most busted things you can do in Standard.

Mono-Black Zombies can be rightfully called the breakout deck of Pro Tour Amonkhet. Cryptbreaker and Dark Salvation have always been strong cards, but the Zombie tribe got a lot more support in Amonkhet. The synergy-driven tribal strategy can quickly generate a critical mass of Zombies. The deck can pressure planeswalkers well, go wide enough to beat Ulamog, and even boasts a strong late game. Supposedly, the deck has a good matchup against Mardu Vehicles.

A Detailed Breakdown

The pie chart that I started this article with sacrificed a lot of detail to give a crisp overview. Let's drill down a bit further into more detailed archetype descriptions.

Archetype Count Percentage of Field
Mardu Vehicles 99 26.2%
Temur Aetherworks Marvel 72 19.0%
Mono-Black Zombies 63 16.7%
Blue-Red Control 16 4.2%
White-Black Zombies 15 4.0%
Sultai Aetherworks Marvel 13 3.4%
Temur Energy 11 2.9%
Black-Green Energy 10 2.6%
White-Blue Flash 10 2.6%
New Perspectives combo 7 1.9%
Four-Color Aetherworks Marvel 6 1.6%
Black-Green Delirium 5 1.3%
Bant Aetherworks Marvel 5 1.3%
Black-Green Cryptolith Rite 5 1.3%
Black-Red Midrange 5 1.3%
Black-Green Constrictor 5 1.3%
Blue-Red Dynavolt Tower 3 0.8%
Jeskai Control 3 0.8%
Jund Gods 3 0.8%
Sultai Delirium 3 0.8%
Blue-Red Emerge 2 0.5%
Mardu Planeswalkers 2 0.5%
Red-White Humans 2 0.5%
White-Blue Spirits 2 0.5%
Temur Dynavolt Tower 2 0.5%
Abzan Delirium 1 0.3%
Abzan Tokens 1 0.3%
Green-White Tokens 1 0.3%
Red-Green Electrostatic Pummeler 1 0.3%
Red-Green Energy 1 0.3%
Red-White Exert 1 0.3%
White-Black Control 1 0.3%
White-Blue Control 1 0.3%
White-Blue Engulf the Shore 1 0.3%
Total 378 100.0%

I'll leave you with these raw numbers for today. Check back tomorrow when I'll go over all the individual archetypes (including the ones that are currently named somewhat cryptically in the above table) to explain their game plans and key cards, describe their variations, and analyze their performance!

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