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Players Tour Online 4 Day One Metagame Breakdown

June 20, 2020
Corbin Hosler

It’s still Temur Reclamation’s world, but with a large field of 318 players turning out for Players Tour Online 4 there’s plenty going on in the new Standard.

We’ll start with the headliner. After a dominant performance a week ago where Temur Reclamation took down both Players Tour Online 1 and 2, it wasn’t even the most popular deck in Players Tour Online 3–Bant Ramp took that honor.

In the second event of the weekend, Temur was back on top, though in a much less dominant way. Just over 26% of players brought the deck, while Bant Ramp comprised 17% of the field, likely on the back of its strong matchup against the Wilderness Reclamation decks. A surprise third was Rakdos Knights, while Sultai Ramp declined precipitously from last weekend falling to just 5% of the metagame. Reviewing all the decks in Players Tour Online 4, here’s how the full metagame broke down:

Archetype Count % Metagame
Temur Reclamation  84 26.40%
Bant Ramp  53 16.70%
Rakdos Knights  17 5.30%
Sultai Ramp  15 4.70%
Jund Sacrifice  14 4.40%
Bant Flash  12 3.80%
Mono-Green Stompy  12 3.80%
Mono-Red Aggro  11 3.50%
Azorius Control  10 3.10%
Other 90 28.30%
Total 318 100.00%

Temur Reclamation hasn’t changed much, with pilots opting to stick with what works rather than try and keep pace with a metagame rapidly shuffling itself to beat the top deck.

Bant Ramp was touted as one of the best answers to Temur Reclamation. It boasted a positive win rate against it last week, and it’s unsurprising to see so many players pick it up this weekend.

The other deck to do well against Temur last week was Mono-Green Monsters, but it seemed that players weren’t quite ready to (virtually) sleeve up Giant Growth en masse. At 4% of the field, it lagged behind along with Mono-Red Aggro, as players looked away from Scorch Spitter to fulfill their aggro needs.

Where they went instead is Knights. Rakdos Knights was virtually unrepresented last weekend but made a surge in Players Tour Online 4, clocking in as the third-most popular deck in the field. What the Rakdos version loses in Inspiring Veteran and Venerable Knight, it makes up for with better mana and the devastating Rotting Regisaur-Embercleave combo, which was identified as a major weakness for Temur Reclamation players to answer. In a field of Aether Gust and Scorching Dragonfire, high-toughness black Dinosaurs have returned from extinction.

The “Other” category is especially full this week, and there are a few gems to find. The most interesting is Mono-White Aggro, built by Magic Pro League member Chris Kvartek and piloted to early success by Jonathan Sukenik. It’s a true throwback, looking much like the Mono-White Aggro deck that found success before rotation last year. It combines serviceable early creatures like Hunted Witness and Raise the Alarm with spells that pump the team like Venerated Loxodon and Unbreakable Formation.

The deck gets in underneath Temur Reclamation, using a stream of small creatures to outpace removal, while leaning on cards like Gideon Blackblade to make up for the deck’s relative lack of lategame power. It may just be a one-tournament meta call, but it was sending some players to success early.

While some players like Kvartek looked away from Mono-Red for their aggro needs, other players got even more creative. Jack Dobbin showed up with a throwback Cavalcade of Calamity deck that goes all-in on the early aggression.

As you can see, the metagame has shifted by degrees since last week’s tournament, and the result seems to be a format less defined by a dominant Temur Reclamation deck. But it’s still the most-played deck in the tournament–will it triumph again, or will any of the upstart lists help to knock it off its perch?

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