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The Metagame Report, June 14–June 21

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This past weekend was quite a busy one for Standard tournaments, with a StarCityGames Open, a TCGPlayer Open, the SCG Invitational, a Grand Prix, and a World Magic Cup Qualifier. Delver racked up an impressive number of Top 8s and wins, but Wizards has decided that the insect menace is not worthy of a ban, and they will allow the current meta to evolve.

StarCityGames Open

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Winner
Delver 1 1 1 1
Zombies 1 1 1
W/U Midrange 1 1
Pod 2 1
Wolf Run 1
Esper Control 1
Tezzerator 1

Delver fared pretty poorly in this Open (however, the only copy in the Top 8 did win the whole thing, so there is that), but that can be somewhat accounted for by the fact that most of the better players at the event were still in the Invitational. Tezzerator is an interesting deck that hasn’t been seen in a while (most likely due to its not being very good against Mana Leak or Delver in general). Sam Black’s W/U midrange deck made an appearance in this Open Top 8 as well, but it was the only one for the week, and I think it can be pretty much discounted as “not as good as Delver.”

Also of note was the Zombies list not being B/R, but instead B/u and running the Blood Artist/Killing Wave package:

I don’t really get why there are two Bloodline Keepers and zero Phyrexian Metamorphs, as both, especially the latter, seem totally incorrect.

TCGPlayer Open

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Winner
Pod 2 2 1 1
Esper Control 1 1 1
Wolf Run 1 1
Delver 3
Miracles 1

Kibler won this tournament with Naya Pod, a deck he’s been playing and advocating since Innistrad was released, and he has proven the deck with multiple solid finishes. Delver landed three Top 8 slots but couldn’t muster a win once there, making this open one of the two events not won by Delver this weekend.

Also interesting was the W/U miracles deck that Top 8’d (an obvious port of the Pro Tour winning list from Block):

The Vapor Snags in this list don’t really make sense, but it’s the start of a transition from more traditional Pristine Talisman builds to incorporate Entreat the Angels and Terminus.

SCG Invitational

Delver comprised 47% of the Top 2 metagame at the invitational and 75% of the Top 8 (although one version was mono-blue).

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Winner
Delver 6 3 1 1
R/U/G Pod 1 1 1
Esper Control 1

Hetricks’s R/U/G Pod list was interesting and seemed to have a relatively good match against Delver (and he was pretty unlucky to lose in the finals).

World Magic Cup Qualifier

Another event that occurred this weekend was the final US WMCQ in Baltimore, which was won by Joe Pennachio with Naya Pod in Baltimore. Unfortunately, there are no decklists posted for this event, so your guess is as good as mine for what did well in it.

Grand Prix: Manilla

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Winner
Delver 4 2 1 1
Naya Pod 3 2 1
Zombies 1

The final and most important (in terms of metagame development—the SCG Invitational pays out higher prizes) was GP: Manilla. It was another event in which Delver made up at least fifty percent of the Top 8, but Yuuya’s winning (that guys is absurd) list will change some fundamental things about the archetype.

The most drastic change is the land count: There’re only nineteen. To compensate for the decreased number of lands, Yuuya has included a full set of Thought Scour, Ponder, and Gitaxian Probe in addition to his cutting down to three Restoration Angels. Due to having only nineteen lands and a full set of Thought Scours, the Equipment package goes from being focused on Swords to just three Runechanter's Pikes. Yuuya has also cut down to three Mana Leaks in the main, showing he has a much more proactive game plan than other Delver lists. I expect this to be the default Delver list for the weeks to come—until another innovation or Magic 2013 comes out.

Chris Mascioli

@dieplstks on Twitter