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Players Tour Nagoya Day Two Metagame Breakdown

February 02, 2020
Rich Hagon

Well.

Sometimes crunching the numbers just leaves a mess of numbers on the floor, a sizeable headache, and a shrug of the shoulders as your dutiful coverage minions wonder how to explain what the crunched numbers mean.

Not this time.

Here's a reminder of the decks from Day One:

Archetype

Day One Count

Day One % Field

Dimir Inverter

37

19.3%

Mono-Black Aggro

25

13.0%

Niv to Light

21

10.9%

White-Blue Control

14

7.3%

White-Blue Spirits

14

7.3%

Izzet Ensoul

13

6.8%

Big Red

11

5.7%

Lotus Breach Combo

10

5.2%

Mono-White Devotion

9

4.7%

Black-Green Stompy

7

3.6%

Mono-Green Ramp

5

2.6%

Mono-Red Aggro

3

1.6%

Izzet Phoenix

2

1.0%

Sram Auras

2

1.0%

Blue-Black Control

2

1.0%

Four-Color Rally

1

0.5%

Aura Hexproof

1

0.5%

White-Black Vampires

1

0.5%

Dredgeless Dredge

1

0.5%

Gruul Aggro

1

0.5%

Green-White Hardened Scales

1

0.5%

Green-White Ramp

1

0.5%

Humans

1

0.5%

Jeskai Fires

1

0.5%

Jund Sacrifice

1

0.5%

Kethis Combo

1

0.5%

Mono-Blue Tempo

1

0.5%

Mono-Black Vampires

1

0.5%

Red-Green Stompy

1

0.5%

Simic Ramp

1

0.5%

White-Black Discard

1

0.5%

White-Blue Heliod Combo

1

0.5%

TOTAL

192

100%

We expected Mono-Black Aggro and Niv to Light to be big players, but it was also clear in the days leading up to the tournament that Dimir Inverter was going to be at least some kind of Player in the day one metagame. We got a clue at Players Tour Brussels that Dimir Inverter was going to be a big story when it claimed second place in their metagame. And then, of course, it stood as the most played deck on Day One, with 19% of the field.

There was plenty of representation for white-blue mages, split evenly between Control and Spirits, and blue also featured in Izzet Ensoul, with Big Red and Lotus Breach Combo rounding out the decks played by at least ten players.

But all day one tells you is what people think will be good. Day Two tells you what is good. Let's take a look:

Archetype

Day Two Count

Day Two % Field

Dimir Inverter

19

28.8%

Mono-Black Aggro

12

18.2%

White-Blue Spirits

7

10.6%

Big Red

4

6.1%

Mono-White Devotion

4

6.1%

Izzet Ensoul

3

4.5%

Lotus Breach Combo

3

4.5%

Niv to Light

3

4.5%

Black-Green Stompy

2

3.0%

Mono-Red Aggro

2

3.0%

White-Blue Control

2

3.0%

Aura Hexproof

1

1.5%

Mono-Black Vampires

1

1.5%

Sram Auras

1

1.5%

White-Black Vampires

1

1.5%

White-Blue Heliod Combo

1

1.5%

Blue-Black Control

0

0.0%

Dredgeless Dredge

0

0.0%

Four-Color Rally

0

0.0%

Green-White Hardened Scales

0

0.0%

Green-White Ramp

0

0.0%

Gruul Aggro

0

0.0%

Humans

0

0.0%

Izzet Phoenix

0

0.0%

Jeskai Fires

0

0.0%

Jund Sacrifice

0

0.0%

Kethis Combo

0

0.0%

Mono-Blue Tempo

0

0.0%

Mono-Green Ramp

0

0.0%

Red-Green Stompy

0

0.0%

Simic Ramp

0

0.0%

White-Black Discard

0

0.0%

TOTAL

66

100%

As we said at the beginning:

Well.

Inverter Decks represent almost 30% of the Day Two field of 66 players. Mono-Black Aggro remains the second-most played archetype, with 18%, before White-Blue Spirits in third with 11%.

What really tells the tale, though, is the Day Two conversion rate. In other words, how many players found that their deck was a good choice for the goal of making Day 2 successfully? As always, we need to treat the data with some common sense, especially as three Draft rounds contribute to each player Day One record. Nonetheless, these are some startling numbers:

Archetype

Day Two Count

Day Two % Field

Conversion

Dimir Inverter

19

28.8%

51%

Mono-Black Aggro

12

18.2%

48%

White-Blue Spirits

7

10.6%

50%

Big Red

4

6.1%

36%

Mono-White Devotion

4

6.1%

44%

Izzet Ensoul

3

4.5%

23%

Lotus Breach Combo

3

4.5%

30%

Niv to Light

3

4.5%

14%

Black-Green Stompy

2

3.0%

29%

Mono-Red Aggro

2

3.0%

67%

White-Blue Control

2

3.0%

14%

Aura Hexproof

1

1.5%

100%

Mono-Black Vampires

1

1.5%

100%

Sram Auras

1

1.5%

50%

White-Black Vampires

1

1.5%

100%

White-Blue Heliod Combo

1

1.5%

100%

TOTAL

66

100%

Bear in mind that 66 players out of 193 made it to Day 2. If every deck was equal, then just under a third of each archetype would make it through. So, think of 33% as your baseline. Inverter decks demolished Day 1. A full 51% of the archetype made it to Day 2. While understanding that excellent players gravitated to the deck in the final few days, or even hours, that's still a vast conversion rate.

Hats off, too, to Mono-Black Aggro. Simon Nielsen pointed out that it's just an excellent deck, even if everyone knows that it's an excellent deck–and that knowledge doesn't stop it from being excellent. 48% conversion rate confirms this.

But then Niv to Light should maybe renamed "Niv to Darkness" because there was nothing bright spotlight the deck on Day One. 21 players started out trying to assemble five colors of mana. On Day Two, just three will continue that attempt. That's a 14% conversions rate for the third most popular deck in the room. That's underwhelming, and indicates that Inverter decks were well ready to prey upon unprepared Niv to Light opponents.

As for the White-Blue crowd, there was a sharp divide. Seven of the 14 Spirits players are still going here on Day Two, an excellent 50% conversion rate. Only two of the 14 Control mages fight on, a record as poor as Niv to Light. This was not the tournament to try to have 'all the answers'.

Of the 17 players who plowed a lone furrow as the only player on their archetype, four continue to battle. Aura Hexproof, White-Black Vampires, Mono-Black Vampires, and White-Blue Heliod Combo all came through Day One.

But as we enter Day Two, four players have a perfect record in Pioneer. Congratulations to Yuta Takahashi and Shintaro Ishimura on Dimir Inverter, Sosuke Nishimoto on Mono-Black Aggro, and Toshihide Fujita on White-Blue Spirits.

With three rounds of Theros Beyond Death Draft behind us on Day Two, it will then be Pioneer the rest the way as we find out whether Inverter really is the Truth.

Best guess: it really is.

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