PTHOU Day One Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on July 28, 2017

By Chapman Sim

Together with the help of Marc Calderaro, we went through all decklists, categorizing every single competitor's weapon of choice into categories. With over 20 archetypes, this was an indication of an extremely diverse metagame. Let's take a look at what all our competitors brought to the tables!

Archetype Count Percentage
Ramunap Red 115 24.8%
Mono Black Zombies 53 11.4%
Black-Green Constrictor 45 9.7%
Mardu Vehicles 33 7.1%
Blue-Red Control 29 6.3%
Red-Green Ramp 24 5.2%
White-Blue God-Pharaoh's Gift 18 3.9%
Temur Energy 17 3.7%
White-Blue Monument 17 3.7%
Black-Red Midrange 16 3.5%
Blue-Black Zombies 9 1.9%
Red-Green Pummeler 9 1.9%
Black-Red Aggro 7 1.5%
Temur Emerge 7 1.5%
White-Blue Flash 6 1.3%
Mono Red Eldrazi 4 0.9%
Others 54 11.7%
Total 463 100.00%


Ramunap Red was the most popular strategy by far, occupying almost 25% of the metagame. It benefited greatly from the deserts in the Amonkhet block—namely Ramunap Ruins and Sunscorched Desert—and some players even included a couple of Dunes of the Dead and Endless Sands in the mix. Having upwards of 20 damage incorporated into the mana base provided a lot of reach, and this was one of the key reasons the deck had been so successful in recent weeks.

Earthshaker Khenra and Ahn-Crop Crasher punished opponents severely for holding back potentially-useless blockers, while the deck gains some long-term resilience thanks to Earthshaker Khenra's eternalize ability, Hazoret the Fervent, and Chandra, Torch of Defiance from the sideboard.

The next most popular archetype was Mono-Black Zombies, a deck which Gerry Thompson took down Pro Tour Amonkhet with. Adding all mono black, blue-black and black-red versions together, it amounted to 63 players who chose to put their trust in Cryptbreaker and Relentless Dead, along with all of their undead friends. Some versions splashed The Scarab God for end-game resilience, as well as Negate to stop nasty spells, while one player chose to supplement his removal suite with Abrade and Cut // Ribbons!

Black-Green Constrictor was the third most dominant archetype, and the prospect of quick, clean kills with Winding Constrictor and Rishkar, Peema Renegade was still very alluring. Dreamstealer showed up in numerous lists, since the deck had no problem enhancing its power with Blossoming Defense, Verdurous Gearhulk, and even Larger than Life!

Mardu Vehicles remained strong, but dipped in popularity compared to the past few Pro Tours. The Planeswalker plan was threatened by the existence of Hour of Devastation, so many players opted to adopt a more aggressive approach, which meant that Inventor's Apprentice was becoming more popular.

Torrential Gearhulk decks were also well-represented, especially when Abrade, Supreme Will and Hour of Devastation provided so many new tools for the control players. Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh was also the win condition of choice in several lists. Regardless of whether players were playing Blue-Red Control, Blue-Black Control or Grixis Control, the core remained mostly similar.

Moving down to sixth place were Red-Green ramp strategies as well as God-Pharaoh's Gift strategies. Big mana strategies made a resurgence, with Gifts of Paradise, Weirding Wood, Spring // Mind, or Beneath the Sands. This enabled a turn-four Hour of Promise (for two copies of Shrine of the Forsaken Gods) to accelerate into turn-five Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger! God-Pharaoh's Gift was immensely popular in the week leading into this weekend, but its popularity tapered down by Pro Tour time.

Archetype Count Percentage
Black-Green Rite 3 0.6%
Mardu Planeswalkers 3 0.6%
Black-Green Delirium 2 0.4%
Black-Green Pummeler 2 0.4%
Blue-Black Reanimator 2 0.4%
Blue-Red Eldrazi 2 0.4%
Blue-Red Prowess 2 0.4%
Four-Color Vehicles 2 0.4%
Jeskai Control 2 0.4%
Jeskai God-Pharaoh's Gift 2 0.4%
Mardu Control 2 0.4%
Mono Black Eldrazi 2 0.4%
Mono Green Eldrazi Ramp 2 0.4%
Mono White Eldrazi 2 0.4%
Mono White Monument 2 0.4%
Red-White Aggro 2 0.4%
Sultai Emerge 2 0.4%
White Weenie 2 0.4%
White-Black Control 2 0.4%
White-Blue Control 2 0.4%
Abzan Delirium 1 0.2%
Bant God-Pharaoh's Gift 1 0.2%
Black-Red Zombies 1 0.2%
Blue-Black God-Pharoah 1 0.2%
Esper Vehicles 1 0.2%
Grixis Control 1 0.2%
Jeskai Vehicles 1 0.2%
Mardu Aggro 1 0.2%
Mono Red Imminent Doom 1 0.2%
Red-Green Energy 1 0.2%
Temur Pummeler 1 0.2%
White-Black Midrange 1 0.2%
Total 54 11.7%

Just because a deck was not as well-represented doesn't mean we were going to leave it out of the metagame. Here is the exhaustive list of all decks with three or less copies. Some of these decks were rather innovative and interesting, and only time will tell how they fare against the pillars of the metagame!

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