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Affinity for Numbers: Standard and Modern Galore


Magic is a game of numbers: sixty cards, 20 life, draw two cards, take 7 damage, and add three counters. There are even more numbers surrounding the game—facts and figures, prices and trivia, they are everywhere. In Affinity for Numbers, I uncover and highlight some of the more interesting numbers in Magic.

6 Planeswalkers

Having six Planeswalkers in a Standard deck isn't exactly earth-shattering. It is the combination used by Kaiyan Wang at Grand Prix Kobe—three copies each of Kiora, Master of the Depths and of Sarkhan Unbroken—that is somewhat rarer. Variants of this deck have been around the fringes of the metagame, but not in the Top 16 of a Grand Prix!


Blade of Selves hovered between $5 and $6 prior to the release of Commander (2015 Edition). Within a week of the set's release, it shot up about $9 and appears to be holding relatively steady. I guess we should have pre-ordered that one, huh?

17% Abzan

Abzan is back in the Standard Metagame driver's seat with a 17% metagame share of the top decks of major tournaments since rotation—or 20% if you count Abzan Blue and Abzan Red variants. That improves to 26% (or 31% with the four-colored variants) if you just look at tournaments held over the last month.

23 Ramp Spells

Twenty-three lands, twenty-three ramp spells, and four copies of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger: That was Pavel Matousek's recipe for making Top 8 at Grand Prix Kobe. Oh yeah, and the deck also packed a full set of Part the Waterveil. Check it out.

32 Banned Cards

This is the number of cards banned in Modern. The most recent to be banned were Birthing Pod, the card behind the most dominant deck of the metagame at the time that was poised to become even more powerful on the back of Siege Rhino, and two cards fresh out of Fate Reforged: Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. It turns out that situationally cheap card-draw and deck-filtering cards are quite good. Who knew?

60.8% Positive

Wizards of the Coast asked Magic Online players what they thought about the Battle for Zendikar online prerelease events in a recent survey. Survey says . . . "meh." Just over 60% of the respondents were satisfied with their experience and rated it as "Good" or "Very good"—not exactly cartwheel-worthy. The two main gripes were cost and prize support, which lines up nicely with every other player base of every other game ever.

69% of Top Standard Decks

The most-played card in Standard since rotation is, not surprisingly, a land. Flooded Strand has been included in 69% of the top decks from major tournaments since the Battle for Zendikar began. It is s staple in Abzan, Dark Jeskai, G/W Megamorph, and anything Esper.

387% Increase

The price of Rise // Fall rose nearly 400% because of its inclusion as a one-of in this Top 8 deck at Grand Prix Pittsburgh. It is currently sold out pretty much everywhere. Got a pile of them somewhere? Sell now!


Want to flaunt your ways and means by playing a super-spendy Modern deck? Try out this Modern Jund deck with a price tag approaching two grand.

Full sets of Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, and Dark Confidant account for about $1,100 of the hefty price tag alone.

5,691 Trades

Gitaxian Probe is the most-traded card of all time on PucaTrade. The card still sees plenty of play in Modern (in Infect and Delver) and Legacy (in Delver, Storm, Infect, etc.). That whole Phyrexian mana thing is pretty good, huh? Speaking of, if anybody needs any Probes, just let me know—I still have dozens of them in a box in my basement.

Those are all the numbers I have for you today. If you also have an affinity for numbers and have one you think I should share, let me know on Twitter @MrVigabool.

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