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.
Competitive Standard took a week off for prerelease fun, so these results contain one fewer tournament than normal. Jund Midrange and Junk Reanimator are still neck and neck battling it out for the top deck of the metagame with Esper Control, The Aristocrats, and UWR Tempo as the main challengers.
Here are the Top 16 decks from StarCityGames Open: New Jersey. The graphs display the colors and most-played archetypes of the Top 16.
New Jersey gave us our first look at the metagame with Dragon’s Maze included, and, well, it’s much the same in terms of archetypes. This isn’t surprising for a smaller third set with limited time to test. We may see some new decks break out in the next two to three weeks.
Dragon’s Maze cards have found their way into the established archetypes of the format, and the rest of this article will highlight the new cards that saw play in New Jersey.
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: New Jersey so that you can build and plan accordingly.
Welcome to Standard, Sire of Insanity and Voice of Resurgence! Our new Demon 6-drop found its way into all five Jund Midrange decks as a new Rakdos’s Return that works every turn, is usually cheaper, and has a 6/4 body to bash in or block. A Jund Midrange pilot can play this creature into an already superior board position and will probably keep it. It’s also quite good against Sphinx’s Revelation. The Top 16 Jund decks played a mix of Sire and Rakdos’s Return in their mains and sideboards.
Voice of Resurgence found its way into five decks, including both Bant Auras lists, where it serves as an additional 2-drop alongside Invisible Stalker, replacing Strangleroot Geist.
The only new addition for removal is Putrefy, a reprint in Dragon’s Maze that was included in all five Jund Midrange decks. The ability to destroy any artifact or creature for is very versatile and not difficult to achieve in Jund.
Pillar of Flame is back on top of the removal list due largely to the expected appearance of Voice of Resurgence. Pillar handily mitigates the reproductive Elemental.
|Card||Archetype||Average||Avg Main||Avg Side|
|Pillar of Flame||BR Dragon Zombies||3.0||3.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||2.8||0.0||2.8||UWR Tempo||4.0||3.0||1.0|
|Tragic Slip||BR Dragon Zombies||2.0||2.0||0.0||Esper Control||2.0||0.0||2.0||Jund Midrange||3.0||2.0||1.0||Reanimator||1.7||0.0||1.7|
|Mizzium Mortars||Jund Midrange||2.6||2.2||0.4|
|Azorius Charm||Bant Control||4.0||4.0||0.0||Esper Control||4.0||4.0||0.0||UWR Tempo||4.0||4.0||0.0|
|Searing Spear||BR Dragon Zombies||3.0||3.0||0.0||Jund Midrange||2.0||2.0||0.0||Naya Humans||4.0||4.0||0.0||UWR Tempo||3.0||3.0||0.0|
|Abrupt Decay||Jund Midrange||1.3||0.7||0.7||Reanimator||1.8||0.0||1.8|
|Supreme Verdict||Bant Control||3.0||2.0||1.0||Esper Control||4.0||4.0||0.0||UWR Tempo||2.0||0.0||2.0|
|Liliana of the Veil||BR Dragon Zombies||2.0||0.0||2.0||Jund Midrange||3.0||1.0||2.0|
Leading Indicators – Dragon’s Maze
In this section, I shine the light on cards that were included in a Top 16 deck last weekend but that have seen little to no play in Standard Top 16 decks prior to then. This week, it is unsurprisingly all Dragon’s Maze!
A total of sixteen cards from Dragon’s Maze, eighty copies in total, found a place in a Top 16 deck in New Jersey. All but one deck, the eighth-place Reanimator list, had a new card in it. Not bad for the debut week of a new set.
The third-place UWR Tempo deck piloted by William Eads played two Dragon’s Maze cards, including the newest planeswalker Ral Zarek and one of the more intriguing new split cards: Turn // Burn.
Ral Zarek’s +1 can help Geist of Saint Traft attack more safely or can untap your land or tap an opponent’s to deny him an instant-speed spell. Shooting Lightning Bolts for −2 loyalty is also undeniably attractive in a deck already sporting plenty of burn.
That’s it for this week’s article on SCG Open: New Jersey. Join me next week as I track the metagame and impact of Dragon’s Maze at SCG Open: Charlotte. Thanks for reading!