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The Metagame Report, August 31–September 13

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This week will cover the past two weeks of events, as I was busy working on two other projects for future articles (which I hope will be done soon). The only major Constructed events of the past two weekends have been the SCG Opens in Portland and Minneapolis, as Grand Prix events are in a sort of lull at the moment.

Standard

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Win
Zombies 4 3 2 2
Elves 1 1 1 0
Infect 3 1 0 0
Naya Pod 2 1 1 0
Delver 4 2 0 0
Frites 1 0 0 0
W/B Tokens 1 0 0 0

Standard results from the past two weeks have basically upheld the status quo. Delver and Zombies are still the best decks, but mono-green infect managed to put the next-highest number of players into Top 8s.

Both Opens were won by B/R Zombies, a deck that seems particularly well positioned in the current metagame. The deck, as always, relies mostly on a number of under-costed aggressive creatures, but it also has an incredible amount of late-game reach thanks to Blood Artist, Mortarpod, and Falkenrath Aristocrat. The only inclusion of note in this particular list are the four main-decked Sign in Bloods, which seem pretty solid given they can help dig for particular cards you need and function as additional burn spells when the opponent is on a particularly low life total.

In addition to B/R Zombies, there was also one copy of each Zombie Pod and U/B Zombies. Zombie Pod has an even better late game than B/R Zombies, but it sacrifices both speed and consistency to achieve that, and the highest end of the curve is constantly in flux, usually between either Massacre Wurm or Zealous Conscripts (although having Thragtusk at 5 is a nice touch). U/B Zombies just seems less powerful than both other versions, especially given how much the value of Clone effects have gone down since it was first a deck. I think the best Zombies list is currently B/R, but I can also see reasons that you may want to include Birthing Pod in your deck as well.

Delver made a full half of the Top 8 in Minneapolis (and then zero copies made Top 8 in Portland), and I selected Pennick’s list, as it’s probably the most indicative of where the archetype is now. Having four Gut Shots is currently an absolute must to handle the mirror and opposing mana creatures. The creature base of Pennick’s list is worthy of note: It plays four of both Talrand, Sky Summoner and Geist of Saint Traft, giving it a solid late game while still leaving it with a solid, aggressive early drop.

Mono-green infect is still the same deck as it has been, and it is still not particularly good. How it put three copies into a Top 8 is beyond me.

Travis Woo made Top 8 with Elves (I think he calls it Green Summer or something like that). The deck is capable of producing huge amounts of mana very quickly, although the absence of Genesis Wave in this particular Elf list seems odd. Primeval Titan into Gavony Township seems to be the power play of the deck, but I have no idea if that’s actually enough to produce wins.

It’s been a while since W/B tokens has put up a result anywhere, so I included it for completeness. The deck is not particularly strong, although it may be an alright choice thanks to the low number of sweepers (even Bonfire) being played at the moment.

Legacy

Deck Top 8 Top 4 Top 2 Win
Stoneblade 2 2 0 0
Know and Tell 2 1 1 0
Goblins 2 1 0 0
White Weenie 1 1 1 1
Junk 1 1 1 1
W/U Control 1 1 1 0
R/U/G Delver 1 1 0 0
Merfolk 1 0 0 0
Storm 1 0 0 0
Maverick 1 0 0 0
Hive Mind 1 0 0 0
Scapeshift 1 0 0 0
Mono-Blue Tempo 1 0 0 0

After being rather dull for a time, Legacy diversity has picked up recently. Out of sixteen decks in the Top 8s, there are thirteen unique archetypes (and white weenie even won an Open). Another big surprise is that not one copy of Dredge or Reanimator made Top 8 of one of these Legacy Opens. The Legacy decks will be presented largely without commentary since it’s either the same list it’s been since the beginning of time or a deck that will never see another Top 8 (such as Hive Mind, which kinda sucks after Mental Misstep became unavailable).

This W/U control list has interestingly cut all main-decked copies of Counterbalance.

Gerard Fabiano was seen celebrating shortly after his beloved Team Italia won the most recent Legacy Open.

I really don’t understand how this deck won a match.

This deck seems awesome, but I have no idea how good it is. It’s extremely similar to the old mono-blue Pauper deck that relied on cheap creatures and a lot of countermagic and disruption to win. One of the most interesting aspects of the deck is the omission of Force of Will entirely, which seems rather risky given the recent good results put up by Goblin Charbelcher. If I played Legacy, I would want to give this deck a try, but I can see it being pretty bad overall.

– Chris Mascioli

@dieplstks on Twitter

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