Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica Metagame Breakdown - Day Two

Posted in Event Coverage on November 10, 2018

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.

Headed into the weekend, Standard deck selection in Atlanta heavily favored Golgari Midrange, Red-White Aggro, Izzet Drakes, and Mono-Red Aggro, with a wide tail of control and aggressive options behind it.

Here's what's battling it out in Day Two at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica.

Archetype Day 2 Count % of Meta
Golgari Midrange 71 22.0%
Red-White Aggro 56 17.4%
Izzet Drakes 45 14.0%
Mono-Red Aggro 43 13.4%
Jeskai Control 32 9.9%
Boros Aggro 12 3.7%
Boros Angels 12 3.7%
Selesnya Tokens 10 3.1%
Mono-Blue Tempo 7 2.2%
White Weenie 6 1.9%
Dimir Control 5 1.6%
Selesnya Midrange 5 1.6%
Esper Control 4 1.2%
Turbo Fog 4 1.2%
Grixis Control 3 0.9%
Abzan Midrange 2 0.6%
Big Red 1 0.3%
Green-White Aggro 1 0.3%
Jeskai Midrange 1 0.3%
Jund Midrange 1 0.3%
Sultai Midrange 1 0.3%
Rainbow Lich 0 0.0%
Black-Red Aggro 0 0.0%
Naya Angels 0 0.0%
Naya Ramp 0 0.0%
Red-Green Dinosaurs 0 0.0%
Sultai Control 0 0.0%

That's only part of the story. Looking at the percentage of players carrying over illustrates what's over- and underperforming.

  Day 1 Day 2  
Archetype Count % of Day One Meta Count % of Day Two Meta % Conversion
Golgari Midrange 113 22.2% 71 22.0% 62.8%
Red-White Aggro 81 15.9% 56 17.4% 69.1%
Izzet Drakes 66 12.9% 45 14.0% 68.2%
Mono-Red Aggro 64 12.5% 43 13.4% 67.2%
Jeskai Control 56 11.0% 32 9.9% 57.1%
Boros Angels 19 3.7% 12 3.7% 63.2%
Boros Aggro 18 3.5% 12 3.7% 66.7%
Selesnya Tokens 13 2.5% 10 3.1% 76.9%
Mono-Blue Tempo 16 3.1% 7 2.2% 43.8%
White Weenie 8 1.6% 6 1.9% 75.0%
Dimir Control 9 1.8% 5 1.6% 55.6%
Selesnya Midrange 8 1.6% 5 1.6% 62.5%
Turbo Fog 9 1.8% 4 1.2% 44.4%
Esper Control 5 1.0% 4 1.2% 80.0%
Grixis Control 9 1.8% 3 0.9% 33.3%
Abzan Midrange 3 0.6% 2 0.6% 66.7%
Jeskai Midrange 2 0.4% 1 0.3% 50.0%
Big Red 1 0.2% 1 0.3% 100.0%
Green-White Aggro 1 0.2% 1 0.3% 100.0%
Jund Midrange 1 0.2% 1 0.3% 100.0%
Sultai Midrange 1 0.2% 1 0.3% 100.0%
Rainbow Lich 2 0.4% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Black-Red Aggro 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Naya Angels 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Naya Ramp 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Red-Green Dinosaurs 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Sultai Control 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%

With the Day One cut at 12 points—that is, at least a record of 4-4 on Friday—seeing around 63% of the Day One field convert makes sense. It also means that's our line for looking at what seems to be working well, and what isn't.

  • Golgari Midrange is still on top, but holding an average conversion rate. The biggest deck in the room looks to be the most average among all of them, not entirely uncommon considering the sample size. While Golgari Midrange was a favorite to play, it's also not breaking the ceiling or floor in terms of performance.
  • Control is faltering. With so many aggressive decks pressuring from multiple angles—from the tempo-oriented Izzet Drakes to the low-to-the-ground-in-different-ways Red-White, Boros, and Mono-Red Aggro decks—answering all of them is still a problem. When Mono-Red can use Runaway Steam-Kin to win through Settle the Wreckage, but Boros Aggro can mentor curve out into 4/4s across the battlefield, the same tools don't always work—but in the hands of the right players you can't count it out just yet. Jeskai, Grixis, and Dimir Control are all under the expected conversion rate, but Esper Control's handful of players boasted an 80% Day Two appearance. Perhaps white-blue-black holds the right set of answers for the weekend?
  • Aggro decks are finding the edge. All of the top aggressive decks—Red-White, Mono-Red, and Boros—share a slightly better than expected conversion rate. The reason may be just how well-positioned aggressive decks are in the Guilds of Ravnica Standard metagame, but it may also be due to their diversity: there's no way to have all the right tools to fight every kind of aggressive deck, and it gets complicated with Izzet Drakes adding another angle of attacking with disruptive blue backup to boot.
  • Mono-Blue Tempo ranked among the worst for conversion. Not all aggressive strategies are created equal, and Mono-Blue Tempo hasn't performed the way its players hoped it would. Again, you can't count it out of contention just yet, but unless it's all Draft performance that pulled those players down, it's hard to imagine aggressive Islands making a splash for Sunday.
  • Selesnya Tokens is a hit. With some of the best conversion rates, Plains and Forests look pretty good at the moment. The go-wide strategy goes big and long, which both slows down aggressive decks and puts consistent pressure for specific answers on control decks. Curving up from Emmara, Soul of the Accord into a massive March of the Multitudes means you gain tons of life attacking or blocking, and overwhelm the battlefield decisively if a battlefield sweeper isn't around.

Beyond reasonably counting on some combination of Golgari Midrange, a couple aggressive decks, and a solid control deck to make it into the Top 8, the rest of the slots will fall to any of several decks vying across the Saturday field—which will keep every player and spectator on their toes until the last match is in.

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