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Players Tour Online 3 Day Two Metagame Breakdown

June 20, 2020
Frank Karsten

A total of 151 players entered Players Tour Online 3, but only 73 of them reached a 5-4 or better record—the requirement to qualify for the second day. The following table shows the Day 2 metagame breakdown. Each Day 2 archetype name links to the highest-placing decklist of that type according the Round 9 standings.

Archetype Day 2 Players Day 1 % -> Day 2 % Day 1 Win Rate
Temur Reclamation 15 23.8% -> 20.5% 46.5%
Bant Ramp 14 24.5% -> 19.2% 45.5%
Rakdos Knights 10 8.6% -> 13.7% 56.6%
Jund Sacrifice 6 6.6% -> 8.2% 56.8%
Bant Flash 5 6.6% -> 6.8% 48.1%
Orzhov Yorion (Yorion) 4 3.3% -> 5.5% 62.8%
Rakdos Sacrifice 2 1.3% -> 2.7% 64.7%
Simic Flash 2 1.3% -> 2.7% 61.1%
Mono-Green Stompy 2 1.3% -> 2.7% 66.7%
Sultai Ramp 2 3.3% -> 2.7% 42.9%
Bant Ramp (Yorion) 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 66.7%
Rakdos Sacrifice (Jegantha) 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 77.8%
Azorius Control 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 66.7%
Gruul Aggro 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 55.6%
Temur Flash 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 66.7%
Mono-Black Devotion 1 0.7% -> 1.4% 55.6%
Esper Control (Yorion) 1 1.3% -> 1.4% 46.7%
Four-color Control 1 1.3% -> 1.4% 46.2%
Mono-Green Monsters 1 1.3% -> 1.4% 56.3%
Four-Color Reclamation 1 2.0% -> 1.4% 36.8%
Mono-Red Aggro 1 2.0% -> 1.4% 52.2%
Esper Control 0 1.3% -> 0.0% 41.2%
Mardu Knights 0 2.0% -> 0.0% 38.1%
Other 0 4.0% -> 0.0% 37.2%

The Day 1 performance of every archetype can be evaluated in two ways:

  • Day 1 % -> Day 2 %: This provides the percentage of the field that a deck was on Day 1 and on Day 2. Temur Reclamation, for instance, went from 23.8% on Day 1 to 20.5% on Day 2. So, its metagame share decreased in the conversion to Day 2, which is a sign of below-average performance. By contrast, the metagame share for Rakdos Knights massively increased, indicating excellent performance. However, the derived conversion rates remain a bit muddy because an 8-1 player is counted in the same way as a 5-4 player, and a 4-5 player is counted in the same way as an 1-8 player.
  • Day 1 win rate: This provides the match win rates for each archetype in non-draw, non-mirror, non-bye matches on Day 1. Any archetype with a win rate above 50% had an above-average performance on Day 1. I consider win rate to be the more insightful metric.

As a group, Growth Spiral decks performed poorly, as players were well-prepared and ready to take on the mana ramp strategies.

The novel Orzhov Yorion deck did very well, with four out of five pilots advancing to Day 2. But this deck was already covered extensively in the Day 1 metagame breakdown. Let's instead dive into the most popular, best-performing, and spiciest decks from the remainder of the field.

Temur Reclamation Was the Most Popular Deck in Day 2

Although Bant Ramp narrowly edged out Temur Reclamation in terms of Day 1 popularity, Temur Reclamation recaptured the top spot after the Day 2 cutoff. Grand Prix Los Angeles 2018 champion Logan Nettles managed to go 8-1 with the following build.

A seasoned veteran of the online variants of the game, Nettles tested for a while and eventually settled on Temur Reclamation. "I know it's great and I was winning with it so I stuck to it," he explained. "I don't think it blows everything out of the water by any means as it's tough to cover all of your bases. But still seems to be the best deck and best choice for now."

"My confidence actually wasn't very high when I had to submit as I kinda felt 50/50ish in a lot of matchups and didn't really have clear sideboard plans. But open decklists has helped inform my plays a lot and I'm just trying to play well, so I'll take the start," he said about his excellent performance on Day 1.

A peculiar choice in his list are the Storm's Wraths. "The ladder is a lot more diverse, so I actually had 4 maindeck when on the ladder," he explained. "I think it's pretty much your only way to beat aggro in Game 1 and I also think it's quite good vs [Jund Sacrifice]. I also like that it can sometimes bail you out of a bad Teferi, Time Raveler + Narset, Parter of Veils or Teferi + Nissa, Who Shakes the World situation. ... [Storm's Wrath] is just underrated and 'better' than Scorching Dragonfire. They've been bad so far because I've played against six blue decks, but I don't regret submitting them."

Mono-Green Stompy Was the Best-Performing Among Non-Singleton Archetypes

In my Metagame Review of Players Tour Online 1 and 2, I identified three promising answers to the format, based on their win rate against the field as a whole and against Temur Reclamation in particular. These three were Rakdos Sacrifice with Jegantha, Bant Ramp with Yorion, and Mono-Green Stompy with Syr Faren, the Hengehammer.

Coincidentally (or not) these archetypes had the three highest win rates among the Players Tour Online 3 Day 1 field. Sometimes, results from the past are good indicators for performance in the future.

I'd like to highlight Mono Green Stompy in particular because it was the best-performing among archetypes with two or more pilots into Day 2. Tanner Gates went 6-3 with the following list.

When archetyping, I made a distinction between Mono-Green Stompy decks with Gingerbrute, Syr Faren, the Hengehammer, and Giant Growth and Mono-Green Monsters decks with fewer one-drops and a more monstrous top-end. They really do play out differently, as the Stompy variants (as championed by Zvi Mowshowitz) are dedicated turn-four kill decks whose single goal is to win the game quickly. This allows them to go under Temur Reclamation, and their Day 1 performance was better than the slower Mono-Green Monsters variants.

Tanner Gates, in preparing for this event, was initially on Gruul, but he found he couldn't get under Shatter the Sky or a turn-4 Wilderness Reclamation. He then read Zvi's report, tried Mono Green, and locked it in.

He did make a few tweaks: "The Titanic Growths were too situational for me and 21 lands led to some dire 5-card mulligans, so I pushed up to 22. Castle Garenbrig is a freeroll. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig is a concession to Mono Red, Rakdos Knights, and the mirror. All sideboard slots are flex."

Mono-Black Devotion Is the Sweetest Singleton Deck in Day 2

Alan Comer is a Hall of Famer who is known for bringing ingenious decks to tournaments, and he didn't disappoint. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a fan favorite, and Comer showed that it is viable in competitive Standard right now, especially when everybody is running Aether Gust and Mystical Dispute main deck.

"I had the deck for a while, it was always fun, but never really tier 2," he said. "However, after the metagame shift in the last two weeks, it really started winning a lot. The fast decks that were giving it trouble disappeared, so I put time into it, tuned it, created a sideboard (as I usually just play best-of-1), and here it is." Although he acknowledged that the sideboard needs a ton of work, he still reached Day 2 with a 5-4 record.

Three of his losses were to Rakdos Knights, while he beat most of his Bant Ramp and Temur Reclamation opponents. "Pretty close to testing," he said. "The super fast decks can give [Mono Black Devotion] trouble. Anything that just gives it time is in trouble. Temur Rec can easily win if they start with both Expansion // Explosion and Wilderness Reclamation, otherwise, [Mono Black Devotion] tends to put just enough pressure on to get the job done. It is the sort of deck where you never think you are going to win, until you do."

Will any of these players end up clinching a spot in the Top 8? We'll have to see how everything will shake out on Day Two, but you can watch all the action live on twitch.tv/magic!

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