The Players Tour Final boasts one of the strongest tournament fields in recent Magic history. Just 145 players qualified for the tournament, and in a metagame where Temur Reclamation is known to be the best deck, the gaming began long before Round 1. Would players pilot the most powerful deck, or take a risk and play something that traded weaker matchups across the board for a position of strength against
The answer was a resounding consensus: More than half the field arrived with a Reclamation variant, most of which looked something like this 3-0 Temur Reclamation list from Rivals League member Ally Warfield.
But does that hold up across the board for 3-0 starts? Here's how things broke down.
|Count at 3-0|
Wilderness Reclamation's reign continues, but other decks are trying to break through too. Let's start with the Bolas of the bunch. Bolun Zhang's Four-Color Planeswalker list is essentially a list of Standard's most powerful spells and planeswalkers jammed into a control shell, and the outcome was an impressive 3-0 start for the veteran.
Mono-Green Aggro burst onto the scene in recent weeks, and has remained the most popular aggressive option to go faster than Reclamation decks can handle, even as some players explored mono-white or mono-red options. But it was the throwback Mono-Green Stompy deck that took Magic Pro League member Andrew Cuneo and Rivals competitor Eli Loveman to 3-0 starts.
Finally, it seems almost unbelievable that MPL member Ken Yukuhiro would show up to yet another tournament with a rogue deck and shock the world by performing well–he made the finals of Players Tour Nagoya earlier this year with a previously unseen Sram Auras deck in Pioneer.
And yet Yukuhiro has done it again. At this point, it's just expected.
Yukuhiro's deck is officially labeled as Esper Midrange, but it may as well be called "every card that Temur Reclamation players never want to see." Yukuhiro has all the hits, from
Another Players Tour event, another excellent start with a rogue deck for Yukuhiro.
How did @death_snow end up on Esper Midrange for #PTFinals?— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) July 25, 2020
"I started building a deck with two cards that were strong vs Reclamation, Teferi and Rotting Regisaur. I played it in MTGArena and it wasn't beaten by the Reclamation deck."
He's 3-0, so it's working so far! pic.twitter.com/6JLNl9SfbP