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Players Tour Online 1 Day 1 Metagame Breakdown

June 13, 2020
Tobi Henke

If you read Frank Karsten's metagame preview article, then you already got some idea of what to expect from Standard this weekend. Of course, players have continued to work on their deck selection and the metagame has settled some more in the time since Frank's data collection.

Now we have the Players Tour Online 1 decklists that 195 highly qualified players chose to run this weekend:

Archetype # %
Temur Reclamation 79 40.50%
Jund Sacrifice 30 15.40%
Bant Ramp 17 8.70%
Sultai Ramp 14 7.20%
Azorius Control 12 6.20%
Mono-Red Aggro 11 5.60%
Esper Control 4 2.10%
Gruul Aggro 4 2.10%
Mardu Knights 4 2.10%
Mono-Green Monsters 3 1.50%
Rakdos Sacrifice 3 1.50%
Temur Adventure 3 1.50%
Boros Cycling 2 1.00%
Dimir Control 2 1.00%
Simic Mutate 2 1.00%
Others 5 2.60%
Total 195 100.00%

It really didn't come as any surprise that Temur Reclamation took the top spot. What could count as a surprise, though, is just how big of a metagame share Reclamation claimed. 40% is up there with the most dominant Standard decks of all time.

It's also not much of a surprise that Jund Sacrifice came in second here. Although many had speculated that Mono-Red Aggro might be a good choice to outrace the Reclamation combo deck, it fell somewhat short of expectations. Meanwhile, Bant and in particular Sultai Ramp picked up steam. Other former favorites lost almost all of their followers...

Five singletons comprised the "Others" category: Simic Mutate, Izzet Burn, Grixis Sacrifice, Four-Color Winota, and Four-Color Control.

Overall, the metagame breakdown itself didn't reveal any new breakout deck. However, the results throughout the weekend may yet provide some major news. And as always, devils lurk in the details. There's always additional technology being developed and worth reporting. For example, the 195 lists contained no fewer than 37 main-deck copies of Wilt. Arguably, this wasn't even the most interesting response to the anticipated Reclamation domination. One group of players chose to register a version of Temur geared toward winning the mirror match.

The famous Czech/Slovak contingent of Martin Jůza, Ondřej Stráský (both MPL), Stanislav Cifka (Rivals), and Ivan Floch (champion of Pro Tour Magic 2015) all registered a list that eschewed the usual Scorching Dragonfire in favor of more Aether Gust, more Mystical Dispute, and more Negate. Jůza and Stráský both confidently stated that they did "break it." Although when these two said "they," what they meant was that Cifka and Floch had figured out the puzzle of current Standard. Jůza credited them with the innovations, and Stráský echoed the sentiment: "I think Ivan or Stan can help you more."

Ivan Floch was of course his usual calm self, favoring understatement over big sweeping declarations. "I think we have a well-tuned deck, but you can't say we broke it if we play the number one archetype." He also admitted that he wasn't in love with four copies of Aether Gust in the main deck, but that the card had become "better than it used to be. In mirrors, having Gust over Dragonfire can make the difference in game one." He said that they had expected 35–40% of the field to field Temur Reclamation. They got that one right, at least!

Either way, we live in Reclamation land now. The most played cards across all registered decks were: Fabled Passage, Forest, Breeding Pool, Growth Spiral, Island, Stomping Ground, Shark Typhoon, Mystical Dispute, Mountain, Aether Gust, Uro, Scorching Dragonfire, Ketria Triome, Wilderness Reclamation, Expansion // Explosion, Steam Vents, Negate, Castle Vantress, and Nightpack Ambusher. Expect a lot to happen during people's end steps!

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