The Metagame Report, September 14–September 20

With both Grands Prix this past weekend being Magic 2013 Limited, there were again not very many Constructed events to cover—with the exception of the StarCityGames Open in Los Angeles.

Standard

DeckTop 8Top 4Top 2Winner
W/U Delver3221
B/R Zombies1100
W/U Midrange1100
Wolf Run Blue1000
U/B Zombies1000
Naya Pod1000

The Standard metagame continues to be dominated by Delver and Zombies—which of those two wins the event is a coin flip from week to week. We saw a return of some Wolf Run Blue, but overall, the Standard metagame has stagnated (and probably will continue to look like this until Return to Ravnica is legal).

Delver won the event, and the winning list is very different than the list I thought would be most representative moving forward from last week. The winner completely cut Geist of Saint Traft and lowered the Talrand, Sky Summoner count in order to fit in Runechanter's Pike and play Augur of Bolas. The change seems like a general regression compared to the list last week, as it’s sacrificed a lot of power to be a bit more cutesy and synergistic. Playing neither Moorland Haunt nor Cavern of Souls further adds to the cutesiness with the addition of Inkmoth Nexus as the deck’s colorless land. Running four Gut Shot is still a requirement in the meta, although the card is probably worse than it’s been in the past thanks to so much Zombies being the metagame, but they’re still needed to combat the mirror and mana creatures.

B/R Zombies once again performed well, and the deck remains essentially unchanged from week to week. Having only three Falkenrath Aristocrats seems suboptimal, and Fume Spitter seems unnecessary with Tragic Slips in the deck, so I’d recommend removing two Fume Spitter and adding one each of Tragic Slip and Aristocrat.

W/U midrange, originally championed by Sam Black, hasn’t been seen in a while, and it doesn’t seem great in a meta with not many traditional aggro decks. The deck is not particularly favored against Delver, and the match against Zombies also isn’t as good as the regular Delver shell. I don’t see any real upside to playing this deck, but I could be very wrong about this.

Wolf Run Blue did well thanks to being among the few decks able to run sweepers while also being fast enough to outrace the aggro decks. The deck remains the same as it has been, and there are no particularly interesting inclusions here.

This is an interesting take on U/B Zombies given the inclusion of Birthing Pod and no 6-drop to chain into. The deck is much more close to traditional U/B lists, but it adds in the Birthing Pod to add some additional reach to the list, which might be a good direction to go, especially with its five Clone effects.

Legacy

DeckTop 8Top 4Top 2Winner
W/U Control2111
R/U/G Delver2110
Mono-Red Burn1100
Merfolk1100
Maverick1000
Goblins1000

W/U control seems to slowly becoming the deck to beat in Legacy. Its presence has all but killed off Elves, and from the results of recent events, it seems that it’s becoming better against R/U/G Delver. I tend to like the lists without Stoneforge Mystic better, but I’ve never played a game with either version of the deck.

R/U/G Devler still hasn’t evolved from when it was the top deck, which may be costing it its slot as the best deck in the format.

Patrick Sullivan is just a master, and you probably shouldn’t be playing burn unless you can pull off the incredible win he pulled out in the Top 8. (Hint: You probably can’t.)

The two premier tribal decks both made an appearance in this Top 8. Both decks have their strengths, as Goblins is capable of extraordinarily fast and explosive openings, while Merfolk is able to gain incremental advantages that lead to board states in which it’s impossible for the opponent to recover. The addition of Krenko, Mob Boss in the Goblins list seems solid, and it with a Goblin Warchief seems like a pretty sick interaction.

– Chris Mascioli
@dieplstks on Twitter

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