Day Two Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in PRO TOUR DRAGONS OF TARKIR on April 11, 2015

By Tobi Henke

The numbers are in! 408 players entered the tournament yesterday. They played eight rounds, split between three Draft rounds and five in Standard. Everyone who won at least half of those qualified for the second day of competition. This brought the number of players down to 260.

The following breakdown lists all of the Day Two decks, their numbers, and their relative share of the Day Two field. It also lists, for every archetype, the percentage of players playing that deck to make the cut to Day Two.

This number in particular is to be taken with a grain of salt. For one thing, some of the archetypes put a full hundred percent of their players into Day Two, but with one caveat: this feat is limited to decks which didn't show up in sufficient numbers to bestow statistical significance on the achievement in the first place.

Additionally, making Day Two is not solely based on Standard performance. A sub-optimal Constructed deck can slip through on the back of a strong Limited game. On the other hand, since there's no reason to assume that pilots of certain Standard decks do better in Draft than pilots of others, and it should all even out on average, at least among the better represented decks.

Deck # Played Day 2 % of Day 2 Field % to Make the Cut
Red Aggro 31 11.9 66.0
Blue/Black Control 29 11.2 90.6
Abzan Aggro 27 10.4 65.9
Red/Green Dragons 21 8.1 58.3
Abzan Control 20 7.7 71.4
Sidisi-Whip 16 6.2 84.2
Jeskai Aggro 12 4.6 57.1
Green Devotion with Red 11 4.2 73.3
Abzan Midrange 11 4.2 68.8
Green/White Devotion 10 3.8 45.5
Jeskai Tokens 9 3.5 42.9
Mardu Dragons 8 3.1 61.5
Green/White Aggro 6 2.3 54.5
Chromantiflayer 5 1.9 100.0
Red/Green Bees 5 1.9 83.3
Esper Control 5 1.9 83.3
Jeskai Dragons 5 1.9 83.3
Atarka Abzan 4 1.5 100.0
Jeskai Ascendancy Combo 4 1.5 80.0
Red/White Aggro 4 1.5 66.7
White/Blue Heroic 4 1.5 36.4
Naya Midrange 3 1.2 50.0
Blue/Red Dragons 2 0.8 100.0
White/Blue Control 2 0.8 100.0
Black/Green Constellation 2 0.8 50.0
Jund Dragons 1 0.4 100.0
Sultai Control 1 0.4 100.0
Red Devotion 1 0.4 50.0
Abzan Whip 1 0.4 33.3
Mardu Midrange 0 0.0 0.0
Temur 0 0.0 0.0
Rally the Ancestors 0 0.0 0.0
Black/Red Aggro 0 0.0 0.0
Blue/Red Control 0 0.0 0.0
W/U/B/R Control 0 0.0 0.0
Green Devotion with Blue 0 0.0 0.0
Total: 260 100.0 63.7

Other astonishing facts include the performance of the top two archetypes of Day One. Red Aggro and Abzan Aggro had been the most played, and both have remained strong, with about 66% of their pilots qualifying for Day Two as compared to the overall percentage of close to 64%. Also, Abzan Aggro couldn't retain its position in second place because Blue-Black Control has done even better: a whopping 29 of the original 32 made the cut. Note that these 29 include seven decks with a tiny splash of white for Dragonlord Ojutai. Not listed above are the non-Dragon versions of Mardu, as all six of the players failed to make the cut. Also eliminated were all four Temur builds, both Rally the Ancestors players, singletons of Blue-Red Control, Green Devotion with Blue, and Black-Red Aggro as well as one four-color control deck. Still, the number of viable decks in the format remains impressive.

Meanwhile, Red-Green Dragons hasn't done particularly well, but still keeps its fourth place status due to its big player-base in the original field. Jeskai Aggro, Jeskai Tokens, and Green-White Devotion didn't fare well either, and White-Blue Heroic literally crashed, delivering by far the worst performance of any deck that had more than ten copies in the running initially.

Decks which did well, astonishingly so in several cases, are Sidisi-Whip as well as Jeskai Ascendancy Combo, Esper Control, Jeskai Dragons, and Team Ultra PRO's Red-Green Bees. Among the pilots of the latter four, only one player each failed to qualify for the second day of competition. Even better were the results of people playing Chromantiflayer, the ChannelFireball Pantheon creation named for its splashy combination of Chromanticore and Soulflayer. Five of their team entered the tournament with said deck, and all five got through to Day Two. Looking at a sample size of five, one could argue that the number doesn't mean much, but the perfect 100% here surely looks formidable.

Also at a full 100% is Atarka Abzan, albeit with even fewer players running the deck. Nevertheless, all four of the teammates playing it qualified for Day Two. 

In any case, Standard continues to impress with large variety, new decks, old decks with new tricks, with Dragons, Chromanticores, and even Bees. Stay tuned for the second stretch of the competition, as we close in on the Top 8.