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.
Here are the Top 16 decks from StarCityGames Open: Milwaukee. The graphs display the strategies, colors, and most-played archetypes of the Top 16.
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.
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.
|Card||Archetype||Average||Avg Main||Avg Side|
|Thragtusk||4 Color Midrange||4.0||4.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Midrange||4.0||3.0||1.0||Reanimator||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Huntmaster of the Fells||4 Color Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Midrange||3.0||3.0||0.0||RUG Tempo||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Boros Reckoner||Naya Blitz||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Humans||3.0||0.0||3.0||Naya Midrange||3.0||3.0||0.0||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Olivia Voldaren||4 Color Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||3.3||3.0||0.3||The Aristocrats||1.0||0.0||1.0|
|Arbor Elf||GR Aggro||4.0||4.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||Reanimator||2.0||2.0||0.0|
|Thundermaw Hellkite||GR Aggro||4.0||3.0||1.0||Jund Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||Naya Midrange||3.0||3.0||0.0||The Aristocrats||2.0||0.0||2.0|
|Blood Artist||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Cartel Aristocrat||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Doomed Traveler||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Falkenrath Aristocrat||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Flinthoof Boar||GR Aggro||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Blitz||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Humans||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Restoration Angel||4 Color Midrange||3.0||3.0||0.0||Esper Control||2.0||2.0||0.0||Naya Midrange||4.0||4.0||0.0||Reanimator||3.0||3.0||0.0|
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.
|Card||Archetype||Average||Avg Main||Avg Side|
|Tragic Slip||4 Color Midrange||2.0||1.0||1.0||BUG Aggro||2.0||1.0||1.0||Esper Control||3.0||0.0||3.0||GR Aggro||2.0||2.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||3.5||2.5||1.0||Reanimator||1.0||0.0||1.0||The Aristocrats||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Mizzium Mortars||GR Aggro||2.5||2.5||0.0||Jund Midrange||3.0||3.0||0.0||Naya Blitz||3.0||0.0||3.0||Naya Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||RUG Tempo||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Abrupt Decay||4 Color Midrange||3.0||2.0||1.0||BUG Aggro||3.0||2.0||1.0||GR Aggro||2.0||1.0||1.0||Jund Midrange||2.0||1.0||1.0||Reanimator||3.0||0.0||3.0|
|Bonfire of the Damned||4 Color Midrange||2.0||1.0||1.0||GR Aggro||4.0||2.0||2.0||Jund Midrange||3.0||2.0||1.0||Naya Midrange||1.0||1.0||0.0|
|Pillar of Flame||GR Aggro||1.0||0.0||1.0||Jund Midrange||3.5||0.0||3.5||Naya Blitz||2.0||0.0||2.0||RUG Tempo||2.0||0.0||2.0|
|Electrickery||Naya Blitz||2.0||0.0||2.0||Naya Humans||2.0||0.0||2.0||RUG Tempo||2.0||0.0||2.0||The Aristocrats||1.7||0.0||1.7|
|Searing Spear||Naya Blitz||4.0||4.0||0.0||Naya Humans||3||3||0||RUG Tempo||4||4||0|
|Liliana of the Veil||GR Aggro||3||3||0||Jund Midrange||3.5||3||0.5|
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.
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.
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!