Metagaming Standard: Domri Rising

What decks are doing well in the Standard metagame? What should I consider playing and expect to face?

The following graph displays the most successful deck archetypes of the last month. The data is based on Top 16 appearances in major tournaments such as StarCityGames Opens and Grands Prix. This week’s data includes results from both SCG Open Salt Lake City and Grand Prix Warsaw.

Jund Midrange is still on top by a wide margin but has a new challenger in second place. GR Domri is a relative newcomer to Standard but has wasted little time gobbling up metagame share. Let’s check out the biggest trends since last week.

Here, we can see Domri rising significantly as players gravitate toward it. Jund Midrange’s drop is relatively minor given it is still above 30%. Reanimator, meanwhile, is in a free fall and not likely to recover.

What are the most successful decks of the Standard metagame, and how are they built?

The following sections provide information on how the two top archetypes are constructed: Jund Midrange and GR Domri. The graphs below are based on decks that made the Top 16 of a major tournament over the last month. They show the cards that have been included in each archetype along with the percent of decks in which it appeared and the average numbers of copies in the main and sideboard. This should give you an idea of what cards to expect when facing the deck, both in Game 1 and later in the match, as well as what cards to keep in mind when building it.

Jund Midrange

Let’s start with the top dog of Standard for some time now: Jund Midrange. Some things have changed in the archetype since I last broke it down about a month ago.

Magic 2014 Core Set was a big boon for the archetype. Scavenging Ooze has been a mainstay since the set was released, and Lifebane Zombie is coming on strong the last couple of weeks. Doom Blade is also in nearly two-thirds of Jund Midrange decks. Removal has shifted quite a bit along with the changes in the metagame:

GR Domri

Green and red aggro featuring Domri Rade is the new kid on the block with quite a few Top 16s so far.

The creature package is fairly well-established. The only real difference is the use of Zealous Conscripts in the sideboard.

Domri Rade may be the namesake of the deck, but it also includes one of the newest planeswalkers in Standard: Chandra, Pyromaster. She has seen play in three-quarters of GR Domri decks, particularly those in the last two weeks, like this one. Volcanic Strength is also frequently included and works wonders against other red-based decks, of which there are many. This deck includes a full four copies in the sideboard.

What cards see the most competitive play? What threats am I likely to face? What removal will my opponents use against my win conditions?

A small segment of the Standard-legal card pool sees competitive play at any given time. Knowledge of what cards are prominent today should help guide your deck-building and play strategies. The following graphs provide the following info based on the Top 16 decks from major tournaments over the last month.

  1. The cards played in the highest percentage of decks
  2. The average numbers of copies played in the main decks and sideboards
  3. Of the decks playing the card, the percentage of time it appears in the main decks and sideboards

These graphs tell you not only what cards you will face, but when you might face them during your match. You should expect to see highly-played main-deck cards in Game 1 for example, and sideboard cards in subsequent games, depending on your matchup.

Scavenging Ooze has been played in more Top 16 decks over the last month than any other card, including lands. It is responsible for the downfall of Reanimator strategies everywhere and is the epitome of an answer that doubles as a threat. It is played in just about every green deck and dwarves the use of Thragtusk.

Thundermaw Hellkite is back near the top of this list thanks to its inclusion in GR Domri decks as well as Naya Midrange and some Jund Midrange decks. Oh, yeah, and this BR Dragon Zombies blast from the past.

Bonfire of the Damned continues to see very high levels of play thanks to being included in over 90% of the top two archetypes: Jund Midrange (in the main) and GR Domri (in the sideboard).

Rotation is looming in the not-so-distant future. Theros is coming and will mean the end of the Innistrad block and M13 in Standard. Will Jund run out the clock on top or does GR Domri have a chance to overtake it? I’ll be back to report on how things progress so check back soon. Thanks for reading!

Nick Vigabool

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