Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, your weekly guide to the top decks and latest Constructed developments on the path to the Pro Tour. Today, I'll cover the second weekend of the second cycle of Regional Championships, which featured Standard tournaments for four regions: Chinese Taipei, Europe / Middle East / Africa (EMEA), Brazil, and Canada. After celebrating the champions and their well-earned trophies, I will provide the combined metagame breakdown and match win rates for all major archetypes, followed by an overview of the most notable Standard innovations from last weekend's Regional Championships.
In total, 56 players from these Regional Championships earned an invitation to Pro Tour March of the Machine last weekend, where Standard will continue to evolve. This Pro Tour will be held during MagicCon: Minneapolis on May 5-7, which offers something for everyone—immersive experiences, exclusive play opportunities, cosplayers, artists, panels, the Secret Lair Showdown, and more. Tickets are on sale right now!
Congratulations to Four Regional Champions!
Michael Rohrböck won the Legacy European Championship (i.e., the Regional Championship for Europe / Middle East / Africa) with an anti-aggro Grixis Midrange deck, defeating Thoralf Severin, playing a spicy version of Esper Legends, in the finals. Both finalists earned an invitation to World Championship XXIX, and the top 36 eligible players earned an invite to Pro Tour March of the Machine. You can find the Top 8 bracket, photos, and more on the European Championship coverage page.
Congratulations to Cheng Han Lin, who emerged victorious at the MIT Championship, playing a flashy Azorius Soldiers deck! 🎉— PlayMTG (@PlayMTG) March 12, 2023
See you at the Pro Tour and the World Championship, @Ryyrryryryr! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/fxyIuP4XAM
Cheng Han Lin won the MIT Championship (i.e., the Regional Championship for Chinese Taipei) with a flashy Azorius Soldiers deck, earning an invitation to World Championship XXIX. In addition, the top 4 players earned an invite to Pro Tour March of the Machine. You can find the Top 8 bracket, photos, and more on the MIT Championship coverage page.
I won yesterday's Regional Championship.— Adriano Sol (@Mtg_SoulStrong) March 12, 2023
That sends me to the next PT, and most importantly, the Worlds.
Quero parabenizar @dorkalmeida e agradecer a toda galera que torceu, especialmente aos meus amigos de Salvador que tornaram essa viagem inesquecível.
The gathering is great. pic.twitter.com/B5ccNWRaU3
Adriano Melo won the City Class Games Showdown (i.e., the Regional Championship for Brazil) with Grixis Midrange, earning an invitation to World Championship XXIX. In addition, the top 8 players earned an invite to Pro Tour March of the Machine. You can find the Top 8 bracket, photos, and more on the City Class Games Showdown coverage page.
After 16 rounds of Standard, @Will_Nivv stands alone as the hometown hero piloting Mono-White Midrange. He is your #F2FYVR Champion!— Face to Face Games (@FaceToFaceGames) March 13, 2023
Will won Game 3 of the finals by Field of Ruining the ZERO basic Four-Colour Legends deck SEVEN times.
Congratulations Will! @PlayMTG pic.twitter.com/qCpgLuxUjH
William La Hay won the F2F Tour Championship Vancouver (i.e., the West Regional Championship for Canada) with a land-destructing Mono-White Midrange deck, earning an invitation to World Championship XXIX. In addition, the top 8 players earned an invite to Pro Tour March of the Machine. You can find the Top 8 bracket, photos, and more on the F2F Tour Championship Vancouver coverage page.
The Metagame and Win Rates
Based on all decklists from both Regional Championships held last weekend, I determined the combined metagame share of every archetype. I also calculated their non-mirror, non-bye, non-draw match win rates. I used my own algorithms and definitions to assign archetype labels, thereby sidestepping any potential mislabeling on MTG Melee. Let's take a look!
|Archetype||Percentage of Field||Match Win Rate|
|1. Grixis Midrange||26.9%||52.4%|
|2. Mono-White Midrange||9.9%||50.3%|
|3. Mono-Red Aggro||9.5%||49.3%|
|4. Mono-Blue Tempo||6.6%||41.4%|
|5. Esper Legends||6.1%||60.9% ✓✓|
|6. Selesnya Toxic||6.1% ↑↑||53.6%|
|7. Azorius Soldiers||5.9%||52.2%|
|8. Grixis Reanimator||4.9%||47.5%|
|9. Rakdos Reanimator||4.6%||47.2%|
|10. Jund Midrange||3.5%||40.4%|
|11. Rakdos Aggro||2.0%||54.5%|
|12. Domain Control||1.8%||45.1%|
|13. Jund Reanimator||1.3%||45.0%|
|14. Mono-Black Midrange||1.2%||45.1%|
In this table, each archetype name hyperlinks to a well-performing decklist close to the aggregate of that archetype, and the arrows represent the biggest changes compared to the preview weekend's Regional Championships. The "other" category, continuing the descending order, included such deck archetypes as Azorius Midrange, Esper Midrange, Azorius Control, Mardu Midrange, Mardu Reanimator, Jeskai Control, Esper Control, Rakdos Midrange, Bant Toxic, Dimir Poison, Orzhov Control, Simic Stormchaser, Four-Color Legends, Gruul Modified, Mono-White Aggro, Four-Color Midrange, Mono-Red Powerstones, Mono-Green Ramp, Five-Color Jodah, Naya Legends, Poison Ivy, Bant Control, Izzet Tempo, and more. The best-performing standouts from all of these spicy "other" decks were Jeskai Control, which finished in tenth place at the European Championship, and Four-Color Legends, which finished second at the West Canada Regional Championship. Both of their pilots earned a Pro Tour invite.
Overall, the archetype distribution was very similar to the one from the preceding weekend. The most notable difference was an uptick in Selesnya Toxic, which was expected after Rei Sato's victory at the Japan/South Korea Regional Championship the weekend before. In terms of win rates against the field, Esper Legends could boast excellent numbers, while Mono-Blue Tempo and Jund Midrange disappointed. But the main drivers of success last weekend were innovations in card choices, as well-tuned lists with the right selection of cards came out on top. Let's take a closer look at the most important advances.
Esper Legends Dominated with Wedding Announcement
Across all Regional Championships held last weekend, Esper Legends had the highest win rate of all major archetypes: 60.9%. That's an outstanding number, especially when it's based on a sample size of 51 players. While the archetype as a whole seems well-positioned and poised to rise, the most successful build was unveiled at the European Championship. Four teammates (Nico Bohny, Thoralf Severin, Arne Huschenbeth, and Lukas Honnay) tore through the tournament with a combined 44-13-3 record, and Thoralf Severin ultimately finished in second place with this breakout deck.
The key tweak was to put
Aggro Evolved with Clever Tweaks
Aggro decks with eight or more one-drops also found success in various configurations last weekend. However, the decklists weren't the same as in the first Regional Championships. Standard kept evolving, and clever tweaks were needed to clinch Pro Tour qualifications.
Following Rei Sato's victory in Japan, Selesnya Toxic proliferated, with many players picking it up for the Regional Championship this past weekend. The archetype rose to a sizable 6.1% share of the combined metagame and, despite being on everyone's radar, won a solid 53.6% of its matches. The best-performing builds in both Naples and Taipei City used
On the other side of the ocean, Alan Ngo made Top 8 at the Canada Regional Championship with a Selesnya Toxic deck featuring
Cheng Han Lin became Regional Champion at the MIT Championship in Taipei City, piloting a flashy Azorius Soldiers deck. The standout part of his list were the flash elements: Instead of the more commonly included
Tomasz "Sodek" Sodomirski finished in 21st place at the European Championship, earning a Pro Tour invite with four
Regardless of the exact build, pairing the aggression of
Finally, Seb Rohan earned a Pro Tour invite with a 32th-place finish at the European Championship, piloting an off-meta Mono-White Aggro deck. What this deck has going for it is the powerful Skrelv, Thalia, Adeline curve also seen in Esper Legends, but it gains access to
Well-Crafted Midrange Took Trophies
While aggro decks were innovating in multiple directions, the bogeyman of the format couldn't stand still. Grixis Midrange was a combined 26.9% of the metagame in last weekend's Regional Championships—the most popular deck by far—but the player who took the trophy in the largest Regional Championship of the cycle so far did so with a build that was teched out against aggro decks.
Michael Rohrböck wanted to be prepared for decks like Mono-Red Aggro, Azorius Soldiers, and Esper Legends, so he shaved the slow
William La Hay won the West Canada Regional Championship with, as he described it, a "Mono-White
While Grixis Midrange remains the number one deck to beat in Standard, the innovations in Esper Legends, Azorius Soldiers, and other white and red aggro decks will keep the arms race going. Almost half of the Regional Championships are still to come, and the remaining schedule for this second cycle is as follows:
- March 18-19: Mexico/Central America/Caribbean. For livestreams of this RC, keep an eye on the channels and social pages of Magic After Office and The Mana Vortex, who are working with the organizer to provide Spanish-language coverage.
- March 25-26: East Canada and China. Day Two of the East Canada RC will be streamed live on the FaceToFaceGames Twitch channel, starting at 6 a.m. PT / 3 p.m. CET / 11 p.m. JST on Sunday.
- April 1-2: South America
- April 8-9: U.S.A. This RC will be streamed live on the DreamHackMagic Twitch channel, provisionally estimated to start at noon PT / 9 p.m. CET on Saturday and at 10 a.m. PT / 7 p.m. CET on Sunday.
Best of luck to all competitors!