The Metagame Report, June 28–July 5

Legacy

Grand Prix: Atlanta

DeckTop 8Top 4FinalsWin
R/U/G Delver2211
W/U Stoneblade221
Goblins1
Belcher1
Zombies1
Maverick1

More than anything else, the Grand Prix this past weekend was defined by what didn’t happen: Not one copy of Griselbrand (or Land Tax) made it into the Top 8. Since the banned-and-restricted announcement, people were claiming that Griselbrand was too good and that the deck would perform extremely well. While the reanimator deck did perform quite well (it was the second most played deck on Day 2 after Maverick), the format was able to respond adequately and keep the deck from stealing the show as people played more copies of Karakas and more copies of sideboarded graveyard hate in general (almost every deck in the Top 8 played sideboard Surgical Extractions). The most interesting deck from the weekend was Sam Black’s Zombies deck (with Goblin Bombardment) that became the obvious breakout deck to be talked about on Twitter as it just looks fun.

Gaudenis won the event with a pretty traditional R/U/G list (but note the inclusion of a sideboarded Gilded Drake for the Griselbrand match).

One thing I never understood about R/U/G lists is why they don’t run a singleton Taiga to be less vulnerable to Wastelands, so if you know why that is, feel free to comment about it.

SCG: Seattle

DeckTop 8Top 4FinalsWin
Meroflk2211
W/U Miracles111
Stoneblade11
Aluren1
R/U/G Delver1
Sneak and Show1
Maverick1

The Top 8 metagame of the SCG Open was much more diversified (but is probably a worse indication of the actual Legacy metagame). What’s most surprising is that Merfolk, a deck that’s been on the fringe of playability as of late, was the only archetype to put two people into the Top 8 in addition to being the deck played by eventual winner Ian Kendall.

Standard

SCG: Seattle

DeckTop 8Top 4FinalsWin
R/G Aggro1111
Delver111
Naya Pod21
Zombie Pod11
R/U/G Pod1
Mono-Black1
Esper Midrange1

Of course, the deck that garnered the most talk from this event (especially after Mutilate was announced as a reprint) is the mono-black deck that made Top 8.

I have no idea whether this deck is good, but it hasn’t been picked up on Magic Online by many players, so I’m tempted to say that it’s about as good as it looks (sorry people, unless R&D reprints Cabal Coffers, we won’t see a Tier 1 mono-black deck ever again). In addition to the mono-black deck, another interesting deck that made Top 8 (that has slowly and surely been gaining popularity online) is Zombie Pod.

I don’t really understand how the copies of Woodland Cemetery are worth it in a deck with eleven spells that cost 1 (I’d just replace them with three more swamps or three Caverns), but the deck is favored against Delver and other control decks. R/G aggro winning the whole event is quite interesting, as the deck is not favorable against Delver with Restoration Angel, but maybe this player had some new innovation to deal with it that I didn’t notice.

Pro Tour Qualifiers

There were six PTQs reported on the Pro Tour: Return to Ravnica info page this week.

DeckTop 8Top 4FinalsWin
Delver14642
R/U/G Pod521
Tempered Steel1111
Mono-Black Infect11
Mono-Green21
Esper Midrange3211
Wolf Run111
Naya Pod3311
Boros11
Esper Control532
Naya52
W/U Control1
Zombies3211
G/U Ramp1
Frites1
Zombie Pod1

The results generally speak for themselves, and there are no really interesting results besides the G/U ramp deck, which looks kinda underpowered when compared to more traditional Wolf Run Ramp.

– Chris Mascioli
@dieplstks on Twitter