Magic Online Standard Review
I analyzed the decks that went 3–1 or 4–0 in a Magic: The Gathering Online Standard Daily Event from January 10 to January 23. The following is a graphical review of the metagame and the most played creatures, removal, planeswalkers, and other cards from those decks.
Online Magic Metagame
The Magic Online Standard metagame is a little like the Wild West right now: almost anything goes. Eight different deck archetypes have a 4% or greater share of the metagame.
Five more archetypes have between a 1.5% and 4% share.
Breaking Down Mono-Red
Mono-red aggro is everywhere and clearly the dominant deck in Standard Daily Events. A typical list looks something like this:
"Mono-Red Aggro by DarkestMage (4–0 in Standard Daily #4910667 on 01/23/2013"
Mono-red aggro lists consist of three main components: cheap early threats to jump off to a fast start, midgame monsters to finish out a game and add reach, and burn to be used as removal and direct damage to finish off a stabilized opponent.
The following tables identify the key cards of the archetype, the percentage of mono-red aggro decks in which they appear, and how many copies are played on average.
|Cheap Early Threats||% Arch||Avg # Main|
Some versions of the deck, like this one, opt to include Gore-House Chainwalker as an additional early attacker. Those decks generally skip playing Thundermaw Hellkite but may include a couple copies of Zealous Conscripts.
|Mid-Game Monsters||% Arch||Avg # Main|
|Burn||% Arch||Avg # Main||Avg # Side|
|Pillar of Flame||100%||2.6||1.1|
|Sideboard Staples||% Arch||Avg # Main||Avg # Side|
|Flames of the Firebrand||55%||0.4||1.9|
The following graph shows the most played creatures in the Magic Online decks ranked by the percentage of decks in which they appeared. The table shows number of decks the card appeared in, number of copies played in total—in the main and side—and average number of copies played main deck and sideboard.
|Creature||# Decks||# Copies||# Main||Avg Main||# Side||Avg Side|
|Huntmaster of the Fells||135||520||495||3.8||25||1.5|
Thragtusk is a mainstay in Jund midrange, Bant control, Naya midrange, and Junk Reanimator, appearing in 100% of those decks.
Here is the same information for removal spells.
|Removal||# Decks||# Copies||# Main||Avg Main||# Side||Avg Side|
|Pillar of Flame||288||1019||670||3.0||349||1.8|
|Bonfire of the Damned||127||328||264||2.4||64||1.6|
Ultimate Price is a staple of Esper control, appearing in 100% of the decks in that archetype. It also has a home in 95% of the Jund midrange decks and 56% of B/R Zombies decks.
Planeswalkers can be just as big threats—or even bigger—to your game plan as creatures are. It’s best to know which ones you’re likely to face.
|Planeswalker||# Decks||# Copies||# Main||Avg Main||# Side||Avg Side|
|Garruk, Primal Hunter||22%||266||188||1.8||78||1.5|
|Jace, Memory Adept||17%||180||50||1.3||130||1.6|
|Jace, Architect of Thought||12%||172||166||2.3||6||2.0|
|Tamiyo, the Moon Sage||10%||82||78||1.4||4||1.0|
Garruk, Primal Hunter appears in 97% of Jund midrange, 92% of Naya midrange, and 35% of Junk Reanimator lists.
Finally, here are some other cards that appeared in 20% or more decks.
|Card||# Decks||# Copies||# Main||Avg Main||# Side||Avg Side|
|Rest in Peace||38%||528||1||1.0||527||2.3|
Rest in Peace plays as graveyard hate of choice in the following decks: Bant control (97%), Naya midrange (96%), Esper control (82%), and Bant Auras (79%).
That wraps up my review of online Standard. If you liked it and want to see more, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter. If there is interest, I’ll look to repeat this review from time to time. Thanks for reading!