Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Day Two Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in PRO TOUR BATTLE FOR ZENDIKAR on October 17, 2015

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Thanks to the cut for Day Two, the metagame for Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar advanced to its second step. This is what remains:

Archetype Count % Field
Atarka Red 35 15.22%
Dark Jeskai 32 13.91%
Green-White Megamorph 28 12.17%
Esper Dragons 14 6.09%
Esper Control 11 4.78%
Red-Green Landfall 11 4.78%
Abzan 10 4.35%
Four-Color Dragons 7 3.04%
Blue-Black Aristocrats 6 2.61%
Esper Planeswalkers 5 2.17%
Jeskai Tokens 5 2.17%
Naya Megamorph 5 2.17%
Bant Megamorph 4 1.74%
Blue Abzan 4 1.74%
Five-Color Bring to Light 4 1.74%
Four-Color Control 4 1.74%
Jeskai 4 1.74%
Bant Tokens 3 1.30%
Black-Red Dragons 2 0.87%
Dark Jeskai Dragons 2 0.87%
Four-Color Megamorph 2 0.87%
Green-Black Aristocrats 2 0.87%
Jeskai Dragons 2 0.87%
Mardu 2 0.87%
Mardu Dragons 2 0.87%
Mardu Tokens 2 0.87%
Red Abzan 2 0.87%
Red-Black Dragons 2 0.87%
Abzan Rally 1 0.43%
Blue Mardu 1 0.43%
Esper Demonic Pact 1 0.43%
Esper Warriors 1 0.43%
Five-Color Control 1 0.43%
Four-Color Planeswalkers 1 0.43%
Four-Color Rally 1 0.43%
Green-Black Eldrazi 1 0.43%
Green-White Eldrazi 1 0.43%
Grixis Dragons 1 0.43%
Jund Company 1 0.43%
Jund Dragons 1 0.43%
Mardu Planeswalkers 1 0.43%
Naya Eldrazi 1 0.43%
Red Dragons 1 0.43%
Red-Black Aggro 1 0.43%
Temur Dragons 1 0.43%
Temur Landfall 1 0.43%
TOTAL 230 100.00%

Like before, the full breakdown was a bit unwieldy. Let's take a broader look across the major archetypes:

Archetype Count % Field
Red Aggro (All Types) 46 20.00%
Jeskai (All Types) 45 19.57%
Megamorph (All Types) 39 16.96%
Esper (All Types) 31 13.48%
Four/Five-Color (All Types) 18 7.83%
Abzan (All Types) 16 6.96%
All Other Archetypes 35 15.22%
TOTAL 230 100.00%

The results at a glance are in line with what we'd expect with a tournament cut at a record of 4-4: Everything has been more or less halved in count. Jeskai and aggressive red decks still take the top two slots, followed by Megamorph, Esper, Abzan and Four- and Five-Color conglomerates.

Nothing changed except, well, everything changed. Here's the high level summary for just players that started Day Two with a record of 6-2 (18 points):

Archetype Count % Field
Jeskai (All Types) 13 26.53%
Red Aggro (All Types) 11 22.45%
Abzan (All Types) 8 16.33%
Megamorph (All Types) 6 12.24%
Esper (All Types) 6 12.24%
Blue-Black Aristocrats 1 2.04%
Four-Color Control 1 2.04%
Four-Color Dragons 1 2.04%
Red-Black Aggro 1 2.04%
Temur Dragons 1 2.04%
TOTAL 49 100.00%

This informs the possibilities a little more. Gone are the amalgams of super colorful creations. Here, decisions by some of the top players and teams are clearer, as more of them elected for Jeskai and aggressive red decks than other options.

However, the rate the archetypes advanced to Day Two is interesting as well:

Archetype Day One Total Day Two Total Advancement
Jeskai (All Types) 69 45 65.20%
Red Aggro (All Types) 67 46 68.70%
Megamorph (All Types) 66 39 59.10%
Esper (All Types) 44 31 70.50%
Abzan (All Types) 34 17 50.00%
Four/Five-Color (All Types) 30 18 60.00%
Aristocrats (All Types) 12 8 66.70%
All Other Archetypes 45 26 57.80%
TOTAL 367 230 62.70%

With an overall advancement rate of about 63%, the winners and losers of deck decisions began to appear. Abzan was unpopular among many of the top teams, but still had an appreciable showing for Day One. However, the players those chose it advanced at a dramatically lower rate than Esper, a similarly popular option coming in.

After Esper, aggressive red decks had the best advancement rate among players, even if it dipped slightly among those at 6-2 to start Day Two. One of the more interesting stories is the Aristocrats deck built on Nantuko Husk, Zulaport Cutthroat, and others that harkens back to the Falkenrath Arisocrats deck of Gatecrash era Standard. While it's overall advancement rate for Day Two looks in line, one team of eight played the blue-black version of the deck and featured six players that returned for Sunday.

While the Day Two Battle for Zendikar Draft rounds decided who played Standard to round out the day, what looked likely to rise up for Top 8 began to take shape.

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