Standard Analysis – Milwaukee’s Best

The Standard Metagame

Here is a breakdown of the deck archetypes that have finished in the Top 16 of a major tournament over the last thirty days.

No surprise, Reanimator has been doing well the last month with twenty-four Top 16 finishes. Esper Control is a distant second with fourteen, Jund Midrange has eleven, and The Aristocrats eight. Ten other decks have two to five appearances in a Top 16. The Standard metagame is certainly diverse heading into the release of Dragon’s Maze.

Tournament Review

Here are the Top 16 decks from StarCityGames Open: Milwaukee. The graphs display the strategies, colors, and most-played archetypes of the Top 16.

1Jund Midrange
2The Aristocrats
3RUG Tempo
4Jund Midrange
5Naya Midrange
6GR Aggro
7The Aristocrats
8Jund Midrange
9Jund Midrange
104 Color Midrange
{W} {INVISIBLE} {B} {R} {G}
11Naya Blitz
12The Aristocrats
13BUG Aggro
14Esper Control
16Naya Humans

Only one Reanimator deck made the Top 16 in Milwaukee, down in fifteenth place. Jund Midrange, on the other hand, has experienced yet another resurgence, with four copies played, including the winning deck. It’s been very tough to keep the old red, black, and green down in Standard this year. The Aristocrats is the only other archetype with more than one Top 16 finish—three in total including the runner up.

Card Catalog

The charts and graphs below provide some information about what creatures and removal saw the most play in the top 16 decks of SCG Open: Milwaukee so that you can build and plan accordingly.

The list is dominated by Jund Midrange and The Aristocratic creatures given their successes and the diversity of the remaining field. Boros Reckoner and Restoration Angel were popular inclusions in many of the other decks in the tournament. The following chart shows where each of these creatures saw play.

CardArchetypeAverageAvg MainAvg Side
Thragtusk4 Color Midrange4.04.00.0
Jund Midrange4.04.00.0
Naya Midrange4.03.01.0
Huntmaster of the Fells4 Color Midrange2.02.00.0
Jund Midrange4.04.00.0
Naya Midrange3.03.00.0
RUG Tempo4.04.00.0
Boros ReckonerNaya Blitz4.04.00.0
Naya Humans3.00.03.0
Naya Midrange3.03.00.0
The Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Olivia Voldaren4 Color Midrange2.02.00.0
Jund Midrange3.33.00.3
The Aristocrats1.00.01.0
Arbor ElfGR Aggro4.04.00.0
Jund Midrange2.02.00.0
Thundermaw HellkiteGR Aggro4.03.01.0
Jund Midrange2.02.00.0
Naya Midrange3.03.00.0
The Aristocrats2.00.02.0
Blood ArtistThe Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Cartel AristocratThe Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Doomed TravelerThe Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Falkenrath AristocratThe Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Flinthoof BoarGR Aggro4.04.00.0
Naya Blitz4.04.00.0
Naya Humans4.04.00.0
Restoration Angel4 Color Midrange3.03.00.0
Esper Control2.02.00.0
Naya Midrange4.04.00.0

Tragic Slip is a popular card both in and against The Aristocrats, and it’s among the best ways to deal with Falkenrath Aristocrat. Mizzium Mortars is capable of killing most of the top creatures in the format, and with 81% of the Top 16 playing plenty of red, it is not difficult to pay the overload cost and sweep up the battlefield. Check out where the top removal cards from Milwaukee were played in this chart.

CardArchetypeAverageAvg MainAvg Side
Tragic Slip4 Color Midrange2.01.01.0
BUG Aggro2.01.01.0
Esper Control3.00.03.0
GR Aggro2.02.00.0
Jund Midrange3.52.51.0
The Aristocrats4.04.00.0
Mizzium MortarsGR Aggro2.52.50.0
Jund Midrange3.03.00.0
Naya Blitz3.00.03.0
Naya Midrange2.02.00.0
RUG Tempo4.04.00.0
Abrupt Decay4 Color Midrange3.02.01.0
BUG Aggro3.02.01.0
GR Aggro2.01.01.0
Jund Midrange2.01.01.0
Bonfire of the Damned4 Color Midrange2.01.01.0
GR Aggro4.02.02.0
Jund Midrange3.02.01.0
Naya Midrange1.01.00.0
Pillar of FlameGR Aggro1.00.01.0
Jund Midrange3.50.03.5
Naya Blitz2.00.02.0
RUG Tempo2.00.02.0
ElectrickeryNaya Blitz2.00.02.0
Naya Humans2.00.02.0
RUG Tempo2.00.02.0
The Aristocrats1.70.01.7
Searing SpearNaya Blitz4.04.00.0
Naya Humans330
RUG Tempo440
Liliana of the VeilGR Aggro330
Jund Midrange3.530.5

Leading Indicators

In this section, I shine the light on cards that were included in a Top 16 deck last weekend but have seen little to no play in Standard Top 16 decks prior to then.

Card# CopiesMainSideDecks
Duskmantle Seer44BUG Aggro (13th Place)
Gruul Guildgate11GR Aggro (6th Place)
Rapid Hybridization22BUG Aggro (13th Place)
Spell Rupture33BUG Aggro (13th Place)
Young Wolf33BUG Aggro (13th Place)
Zameck Guildmage22BUG Aggro (13th Place)

Duskmantle Seer has finally broken into Top 16 Standard at the head of Ashwin Ugale’s thirteenth-place BUG Aggro deck. The Vampire Wizard isn’t the only new card on this very interesting new deck.

The deck also highlights another interesting interaction that fueled some chatter during Gatecrash spoiler season: Zameck Guildmage removing counters from undying creatures in exchange for drawing extra cards. Ugale added further intrigue to his deck by choosing Rapid Hybridization for part of his removal suite and Spell Rupture as his counterspells.

By the Numbers: The Creatures of Standard

The following graphic is based on creatures played in the Top 16 decks of major tournaments since the format rotated in October 2012.

The Close

That’s it for this week’s article on the SCG Open: Milwaukee. Join me next week for more Standard tournament results, metagame review, and Magic analysis. Thanks for reading!

Nick Vigabool

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