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Players Tour Online 2 Day One Metagame Breakdown

June 13, 2020
Corbin Hosler

Beware flying sharks.

Shark Typhoon

That's the story of Standard for the second Players Tour Online Day 1 metagame. Shark Typhoon has taken over the recently revamped Standard format, and as a result Temur Reclamation has emerged as the clear deck to beat as players adjust to a world with fewer companions.

Wilderness Reclamation Expansion // Explosion

Temur Reclamation–looking familiar with its suite of Wilderness Reclamation and Expansion // Explosion to complement the Shark Typhoons–accounted for just under 30% of the metagame. It was followed by Sultai Ramp, which is a collection of the format's most-powerful cards: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Hydroid Krasis, and Casualties of War. With the tools to answer almost any deck in the field, Sultai Ramp was much more popular in the second Players Tour Online event than the first, where Temur Reclamation represented a dominant 40% of the Day 1 field.

Every decklist from Players Tour Online 2 is out. Here's how the entire field broke down.

Archetype Count % Field
Temur Reclamation 71 29.34%
Sultai Ramp 29 11.98%
Jund Sacrifice 25 10.33%
Bant Ramp 20 8.26%
Mono-Red Aggro 14 5.79%
Azorius Control (Yorion) 8 3.31%
Mono-Green Monsters 8 3.31%
Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha) 7 2.89%
Temur Adventure 7 2.89%
Rakdos Sacrifice 6 2.48%
Rakdos Sacrifice (Jegantha) 6 2.48%
Azorius Control 5 2.07%
Gruul Aggro 4 1.65%
Bant Ramp (Yorion) 3 1.24%
Boros Cycling (Lurrus) 3 1.24%
Simic Monsters 3 1.24%
Abzan Auras (Lurrus) 2 0.83%
Jeskai Control 2 0.83%
Black-Green Adventure 1 0.41%
Esper Control 1 0.41%
Esper Hero 1 0.41%
Four-Color Control 1 0.41%
Green-White Monsters (Jegantha) 1 0.41%
Gruul Adventure 1 0.41%
Izzet Spells 1 0.41%
Jeskai Planeswalkers 1 0.41%
Mardu Cycling (Lurrus) 1 0.41%
Mardu Cycling (Zirda) 1 0.41%
Mardu Knights (Lurrus) 1 0.41%
Mardu Sacrifice 1 0.41%
Rakdos Aggro 1 0.41%
Rakdos Knights 1 0.41%
Simic Ramp 1 0.41%
Sultai Ramp (Yorion) 1 0.41%
Sultai Sacrifice 1 0.41%
Temur Ramp 1 0.41%
Temur Reclamation (Keruga) 1 0.41%
Total 242 100.00%

The top of the metagame is noticeably absent of companions. As it has been in Last Chance Qualifiers, Yorion, Sky Nomad led the way, but the Azorius Control that eight players paired with Yorion was just the sixth-most popular deck—or 3% of the field. A handful of other companions were included in the field, but none were popular as players decided that Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath was the only "companion" they needed to keep close.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

In all, Uro was in more than a third of decks at the tournament thanks to both its power and versatility; with Mono-Red Aggro making a resurgence, gaining life from Uro can be nearly as good as the ramp and card draw. And, of course, escaping Uro from the graveyard is the perfect finishing blow after trading removal spells with an opponent.

Embercleave Aether Gust

Elsewhere in the metagame, Embercleave is back. Mono-Red Aggro has eschewed Obosh, the Preypiercer in favor of going back to its roots. The deck was the fifth-most popular selection, but just the threat of Embercleave has helped to shape the metagame, as we've seen an increase in the number of maindeck Aether Gust–which also helps answer some of the best cards in the top decks–floating around the tournament.

Witch's Oven Cauldron Familiar Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

The other deck to make a comeback is Jund Sacrifice, now updated with Bolas's Citadel. While Temur Reclamation may end up with half a dozen sharks in the sky, Jund players have responded by throwing cats into the oven with the classic Cauldron Familiar-Witch's Oven combo. It helps to put a wall in front of attackers by blocking with the Familiar before chucking it into the oven, but it also can grind out a Temur player's life total effectively even without connecting for combat damage.

Bolas's Citadel

Bolas's Citadel allows Jund to finish opponents off with a massive finishing blow, which was a crucial adaptation that allowed the deck to speed up enough to outrace Shark Typhoon tokens.

Finally, a few of the fringe decks in Standard are lurking. Boros Cycling has been a major Standard player in the last month, but only three players brought the deck this weekend. But another fan favorite was slightly more popular: Mono-Green Monsters had eight pilots on Day One.

Will the tournament be dominated by Uro and Sharks, or will one of the newly resurgent lists shake things up? With two days of competition ahead of us, we'll soon find out the answer.

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