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Welcome back to Over/Under! Ari Lax and Todd Anderson face five number-themed questions. After they take the over or the under, it's your turn to vote!
Number of different archetypes in Pro Tour Ixalan's Top 8: 3.5
Ari takes the Over: Pop Quiz!
Do you think more than four Temur Energy decks are going to be in the Top 8 of this Pro Tour?
Do you think that any of the other decks in Standard will put up a three-of-eight Top 8 performance and have this happen alongside a strong Temur Energy performance?
Do you think that only Temur Energy, U/B Control, and Ramunap Red are playable in this Standard format?
Do you consider Temur Energy the same thing as Four-Color Energy? Or various other control variants the same as U/B? Or Mardu or B/R the same as Ramunap Red?
Do you think that Ixalan Draft is consistent enough that a single team or two can dominate the top of the standings in a mixed-format event, preventing a single consensus from stacking a single archetype's results?
If you answered in a very specific way to this, you could say Under, but I just don't think it lines up. This isn't a slam dunk, and I can see worlds where Under occurs, but I will err on the side of entropy and assume random things happen.
Todd takes the Under: Standard is flush with different archetypes at the moment, and I expect at least four to show up in the elimination rounds. I could be end up being on the wrong side of the argument here, but I think that Tokens (in some form), Temur Energy, Ramunap Red, and Control are all viable options. This is especially true when you consider just how many utility spells each archetype has at its disposal to fight literally every deck in the format.
There will be some cards that feel unbeatable when they're cast (Torrential Gearhulk, The Scarab God), but those cards don't win the game on their own if you can't control the early turns. While U/B Control is the only archetype to play both of these cards(and Grixis, to an extent), there are a lot of turns before these creatures come online to start dominating. If the Red Aggro decks can capitalize on this, or the Temur Energy decks can find a way to put up enough pressure in the early turns, they can invalidate the big spells from the U/B Control deck.
Also, Tokens. Various forms, all pretty solid. Personally, I'm a big fan of God-Pharaoh's Gift, but just about any version will do. Fumigate is a pretty big deal right now, so I'm leaning toward any version of Tokens that contains that card to do well.