Day Two Standard Metagame Breakdown

Posted in PRO TOUR MAGIC ORIGINS on August 1, 2015

By Corbin Hosler

Welcome to Day Two of Pro Tour Magic Origins! Yesterday's rounds brought us the best of what Magic has to offer, and the more than 300 players in attendance in Vancouver didn't disappoint.

There's no doubt that Magic Origins shook up the format and the Day Two numbers bear that out. While Green-red Devotion remained the deck with the most numbers, it was far from the only deck to find success on Friday. Aggressive decks found consistent success across the board, and both Red Aggro and Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact took their pilots into Day Two at a high rate.

There's a lot of numbers to process here, so let's start at the top with every deck comprising at least 1 percent of the metagame.

Deck # %
Green-Red Devotion 38 15.51%
Red Aggro 35 14.29%
Abzan Control 30 12.24%
Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact 28 11.43%
Blue-Black Control 20 8.16%
Abzan Rally 14 5.71%
Jeskai 10 4.08%
Sultai Control 10 4.08%
Abzan Aggro 7 2.86%
Atarka Red 5 2.04%
Goblins 4 1.63%
Jeskai Tokens 4 1.63%
White-Blue Heroic 4 1.63%
Four-Color Rally 3 1.22%
Mardu Dragons 3 1.22%
White-Green Constellation 3 1.22%
Other 26 10.61%

The top five decks keep their Day One order, while Sultai Control was the big loser, sending just 10 of its 25 pilots into Day Two and swapping places in the rundown with Abzan Rally, which put 14 of 24 players into Saturday.

Of course, raw numbers don't tell the whole story. It's a great snapshot of what's popular in the room, but the conversion rate—what percentage of players battling with a given deck advanced—is just as telling. Here are the conversion rates for the top 10 decks in Day Two.

Deck % #
Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact 84.85% 28 of 33
Abzan Aggro 77.78% 7 of 9
Red Aggro 64.81% 35 of 54
Blue-Black Control 64.52% 20 of 31
Green-red Devotion 64.41% 38 of 59
Abzan Control 63.83% 30 of 47
Jeskai 58.82% 10 of 17
Abzan Rally 58.53% 14 of 24
Sultai Control 40% 10 of 25
Atarka Red 33.33% 5 of 15

As you can see, this tells a much different story. While Green-red won a healthy percentage of its games, it was by no means the best-performing deck regardless of its total numbers in Day Two. While some of this is certainly due to its pilots matching up against each other in Day One, it's still a relevant statistic, especially given the rest of the field's numbers.

What's clear is that the aggressive decks were the best-performing decks in the field on Friday. While Abzan Aggro's numbers may be a result of small sample size (seven of its nine players advanced), there's almost certainly no doubt that the Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact deck was the breakout deck of the tournament, with 28 of its 33 players still battling on Saturday. Combined with Red Aggro's 35 of 54 players advancing, the top-three performing decks of Day One were all of the aggressive variety.

That's not to say that control decks weren't viable. Abzan and Blue-Black Control finished well above 60 percent, and within a percentage point of the tournament's more popular decks that weren't Blue-Red Ensoul Artifacts.

While that's the most salient information about the Day Two metagame at Pro Tour Magic Origins, here are a few other interesting notes to come out of the data.

  • Both Jeskai Ascendancy Combo players made Day Two.
  • Six of the ten Heroic players (Bant, Jeskai and straight white-blue flavors) advanced.
  • Constellation decks—both Abzan or just white-green—moved five of its six players into Day Two.
  • The traditional Abzan Rally the Ancestors deck wasn't among the top performing decks on Day One, but adding colors may have helped: five of the six players using four or five colors advanced.
  • The "Other" category. On Friday, the total percentage of the field made up by decks that individually comprised less than 3% of it (defined as "other" for our purposes) stood at 22.38%. It turns out you don't have to play one of the top meta decks to find success, since that "other" number increased to 24.5% on Saturday.