SCG Open: Vegas – The Results

Here are the Top 16 decks from StarCityGames Open: Vegas. I determined the average mana cost of the main decks and prices in dollars and Magic Online tickets by importing each decklist into the Decked Builder app. Dollars are from, and tickets are from The graphs display the strategies, colors, and most-played archetypes of the Top 16.

PlaceDeckColorsAvg ManaCost ($)Cost (Tix)
1R/W/U tempo
2Jund aggro
3Jund midrange
4Human Reanimator
{W} {INVISIBLE} {B} {R} {G}
5R/G aggro
6Four-color control
{W} {U} {INVISIBLE} {R} {G}
7R/W/U tempo
8R/W/U tempo
9W/B Zombies
10R/G aggro
11R/W/U tempo
12R/W/U tempo
13Jund midrange
14R/G aggro
15R/W Humans
16Naya Humans

Cards of Choice

Now let’s take a look at the most played creatures and removal spells in the Top 16 decks of the tournament.

Creature# DecksAvg MainAvg Side
Restoration Angel83.30.0
Burning-Tree Emissary64.00.0
Boros Reckoner64.00.0
Huntmaster of the Fells63.51.0
Snapcaster Mage63.30.0
Geist of Saint Traft64.03.2
Augur of Bolas53.60.0
Flinthoof Boar44.00.0
Ghor-Clan Rampager44.01.0

It is not surprising to see Restoration Angel atop this list given the five R/W/U decks in the Top 16. The Constructed queen of the Angels was in eight decks total: all five R/W/U tempo, four-color control, W/B Zombies, and Naya Humans.

Geist of Saint Traft appeared in six decks, with four copies in the main deck of the twelfth-place R/W/U tempo deck, three copies in the side of each of the other R/W/U decks, and four copies in the sideboard for the four-color control deck.

Thragtusk had the least number of copies played and appeared in the fewest decks since rotation.

You can see that Thragtusk has been trending downward since the release of Gatecrash right before SCG Open: Atlanta. A big reason is the rise of even more aggressive decks with Boros Reckoner leading the charge. The Minotaur seems to do a good job containing the former big bad Beast of Standard.

Removal# DecksAvg MainAvg Side
Searing Spear113.41.0
Azorius Charm54.00.0
Pillar of Flame53.02.3
Mizzium Mortars71.83.0
Supreme Verdict63.01.8
Domri Rade43.02.0
Abrupt Decay42.02.0
Bonfire of the Damned33.51.5

Searing Spear was played in eleven of the Top 16 decks of SCG Open: Vegas, its highest usage since rotation. It appeared in all five R/W/U tempo decks, all three R/G aggro decks, four-color control, Jund aggro, and Naya Humans.

The MTG Standard Metagame

The following graphs track the deck archetypes with the most Top 16 finishes at major Standard tournaments. This one shows the top decks in the last month.

R/W/U tempo is coming on strong to challenge Jund midrange as the top deck of the metagame after a strong showing at SCG Open: Vegas. Jund still has a solid hold on the title, however, both in the last month of competitive play and overall. Here are the Top 16 results since Return to Ravnica joined Standard last October.

By the Numbers: Standard Expense

Last week in my Standard Almanac article, I asked, “Do you think the current Standard is too expensive?” Unsurprisingly, a large majority said yes.

This is a subjective question, and there is no right or wrong answer: If you think Standard is too expensive, it is. We can, however, look at exactly how expensive competitive Standard can be to help inform this decision. I have been tracking Top 16 deck prices—both paper and MTGO—since the beginning of December 2012. Here are the averages:

There has been a wide range of Top 16 deck prices this season. Unsurprisingly, mono-red aggro has been the cheapest archetype, with an average price tag of $257 and 164 tickets. Jund midrange has been the most expensive, averaging $751 and 503 tickets. Once again, the paper prices are from, and tickets are from

Let’s take a look at the average price for several popular deck archetypes:

One factor driving higher prices for many of these decks is the use of high-rarity cards. Mythics and rares account for 57% of Standard Top 16 decks since rotation in October.

Basic Land7%

This ratio becomes larger when you look at some of the most-played archetypes this season:

The more high-rarity cards a deck includes, the more expensive it will be, especially as Constructed playability drives up demand and price for those cards. Thragtusk and Boros Reckoner are very good examples of rare cards that have been among the most expensive in Standard, pricier than most mythics, due to wide use in multiple successful archetypes.

For ease of comparison, here are the most expensive popular decks with their percentages of mythic and rare cards:

ArchetypeDollarsEvent TicketsMR+R%
Jund midrange$75150372%
R/W/U tempo$71241262%
Naya midrange$67546565%
Bant control$57931169%

What Do You Think? Underplayed Mythics

There are currently ninety-one mythic rare cards in Standard. Forty of them have been included in a SCG Open Top 16 deck since rotation. This week’s poll focuses on the other fifty-one:

Which of the following mythic rare cards will see the most play in SCG Open Top 16 decks prior to the release of Dragon’s Maze on May 3, 2013?

View Results

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Survey Says

Two weeks ago in my article Pro Tour Gatecrash: The Reckoning, I asked, “How many players will make the Top 16 of SCG Open: Las Vegas on March 2 piloting The Aristocrats?” You answered, and here are the results of the poll:

The Aristocrats did grab one spot in the Grand Prix: Quebec City Top 16, but none in Vegas. Has the metagame caught up, or will it be back in Indy and at GP: Verona?

The Close

That wraps up this week’s column. Join me next week when I review the results of SCG Open: Indianapolis and Grand Prix: Verona and discuss their impacts on the Standard metagame. Thanks for reading!

Nick Vigabool