Day 2 Constructed Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on April 23, 2016

By Marc Calderaro

Standard is exciting here in the Constructed portion of Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad! There was speculation and fear that there would be nothing that could beat Bant Company and Mono-White Humans. That no Pros would find better, different, and exciting decks.

If you've been following the coverage at all, by now you clearly know that's not how things played out at all. Black-Green Aristocrats, Green-White Tokens, Esper Control, and two flavors of Red-Green Ramp are all sitting with large numbers near the top, and whole bevy of new decks are making their voices heard.

Let's see what we have in Day 2:

Archetype # % of D2 % of D1 Conversion %
Bant Company 49 20.8% 23.0% 56%
Mono-White Humans 30 12.7% 11.4% 70%
Red-Green Ramp 13 5.5% 5.8% 59%
W/U Humans 13 5.5% 5.3% 65%
Black-Green Aristocrats 12 5.1% 3.4% 92%
Red-Green Goggle Ramp 12 5.1% 4.0% 80%
Esper Control 9 3.8% 3.7% 64%
Green-White Tokens 9 3.8% 2.6% 90%
Mardu Control 9 3.8% 5.0% 47%
White-Black Midrange 9 3.8% 3.7% 64%
Jund 8 3.4% 3.4% 62%
Black-Green Control 5 2.1% 2.1% 63%
Blue-Red Thing in the Ice 5 2.1% 1.3% 100%
Red-White Eldrazi 4 1.7% 1.3% 80%
Red-White Midrange 4 1.7% 1.6% 67%
Sultai Midrange 4 1.7% 1.1% 100%
Abzan Company 3 1.3% 1.1% 75%
Esper Dragons 3 1.3% 2.1% 38%
Red-White Humans 3 1.3% 1.3% 60%
Blue-Black Demonic Tentacles 3 1.3% 1.3% 60%
White-Black Eldrazi 3 1.3% 1.3% 60%
Abzan Control 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Black-Red Midrange 2 0.8% 0.8% 67%
Bant Company/Humans 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Green-White Humans 2 0.8% 1.3% 40%
Grixis Control 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Mono-Red Goggles 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Blue-Red Goggles 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
White-Black Control 2 0.8% 1.3% 40%
White-Blue Eldrazi 2 0.8% 1.1% 50%
4-Color Dragon Reanimator 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Bant Tokens 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Big White 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Jeskai Control 1 0.4% 0.3% 100%
Jeskai Dragons 1 0.4% 0.5% 50%
Jeskai Goggles 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Naya Midrange 1 0.4% 0.5% 50%
R/W Goggles 1 0.4% 0.3% 100%
Totals: 236   Par: 62%

That's a lot of stuff. If it's a little too much, let's just consolidate a bit:

Collapsed Archetype # % of D2 % of D1 Conversion %
CoCo Decks 52 22.0% 24.1% 57%
All Humans 48 20.3% 19.3% 66%
Ramp 25 10.6% 9.8% 68%
All White-Black Decks 14 5.9% 6.3% 58%
Non-Ramp Goggles Decks 12 5.1% 3.4% 92%
Black-Green Aristocrats 12 5.1% 3.4% 92%
Tokens Decks 10 4.2% 3.4% 77%
Esper Control 9 3.8% 3.7% 64%
Mardu Control 9 3.8% 5.0% 47%
Jund 8 3.4% 3.4% 62%
Black-Green Control 5 2.1% 2.1% 63%
Red-White Midrange 4 1.7% 1.6% 67%
Sultai Midrange 4 1.7% 1.1% 100%
Blue-Red Thing in the Ice 3 1.3% 1.3% 60%
Esper Dragons 3 1.3% 2.1% 38%
Blue-Black Demonic Tentacles 3 1.3% 1.3% 60%
Abzan Control 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Black-Red Midrange 2 0.8% 0.8% 67%
Bant Company/Humans 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
Grixis Control 2 0.8% 0.5% 100%
White-Blue Eldrazi 2 0.8% 1.1% 50%
4-Color Dragon Reanimator 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Big White 1 0.4% 0.8% 33%
Jeskai Control 1 0.4% 0.3% 100%
Jeskai Dragons 1 0.4% 0.5% 50%
Naya Midrange 1 0.4% 0.5% 50%

*Note: Of the five Blue-Red Thing in the Ice decks, two had Pyromancer's Goggles, three did not. The two were added to the “Non-Ramp Goggles Decks” column.

So what's first? Well, first, don't get me wrong, Bant Company and Mono-White Humans are still at the top in raw numbers. It's not that either deck is no longer good, just that it's very possible that one of them is clearly underperforming. The players who brought something other than the top two decks prepared to beat those two, and many seem to with consistency. Check out the Conversion Rate column to see.

Because 62% of players converted overall, anything below that number as a Day 2 Conversion is a bad thing for the deck. Bant Company's rate is 56%! It's the second lowest of all decks with more than three Day 2 pilots. That's not very good.

The deck is powerful for sure, and will likely put at least one copy into the Top 8, but the numbers here suggest that will be so in spite of itself. There were 87 Bant Company pilots yesterday, so I'd hope for their sake that at least one of them will convert.

On the flipside of the established decks, Mono-White Humans has been over-performing. 70% conversion is much, much better than Bant Company. The deck has shown to have pseudo-Affinity play, and can explode just like the famous robots do.

However, the biggest story out of this data is the emergence of two teams' decks—Team UltraPRO's & ChannelFireball's Black-Green Aristocrats, and Team EUreka's Red-Green Goggle Ramp. Both decks had excellent conversion rates, and so much more.

Most people witnessed Day 1 undefeated, Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch Top 8 finisher and Pro Tour Hall of Famer member Luis Scott-Vargas dismantling the feature match area yesterday with Black-Green Aristocrats. He was sacrificing things to Nantuko Husk and draining life with Zulaport Cutthroat like nobody's business.

However, you were just as likely to watch the other undefeated player, two-time Pro Tour Top 8 finisher Brad Nelson doing the same with Red-Green Google Ramp. That deck, with the ability to copy a surged Fall of the Titans, goes over the top of so many things, and has been bringing the whole Team EUreka success. And the team's newest member is leading the charge.

In fact, check this out:

5-0 Standard Decks  
Red-Green Goggle Ramp 3
Bant Company 2
Mono-White Humans 2
Black-Green Aristocrats 1
Red-Green Ramp 1
Red-White Goggles 1
White-Blue Humans 1
White-Green Tokens 1

With only fifteen Goggle Ramp pilots total, three went 5-0. That's 20%. See? That's the sort of 5-0 conversion we're looking for, Bant Company. Not 2.3%. Definitely keep an eye on this deck, as well as Aristocrats.

Just as a little side note, there are 24 decks in Day 2 playing Pyromancer's Goggles. This was a card that many wished were better aligned for the metagame since Magic Origins. Everyone knew it was inherently powerful, but it just couldn't seem to have the right shell. Now it seems an embarrassment of riches with five different Day 2 archetypes the card is played in.

Look for the decklists coming out later tonight. Time will tell how the metagame settles. But from here, the future of Standard is unwritten. And that's the way it should be.

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