The deck of the event goes to the Block Monster Turboland. It showed up in force and with some pretty nice pilots. Surprisingly LSV was denied in the finals by one of the more unlikely candidates as Jund was a very strong match-up for Turboland on the day. Red Deck Wins stated its case for still being a player after my harsh words last week posting its first positive Win Percentage since Richmond where it just squeaked over the 50% mark. Splashing black didn’t find better results for the first time in a while and was part of a greater anti-Blightning feel to the event as many Jund players eschewed the B/R Sorcery as well with great success.
Esper Control has started to morph into a Brilliant Ultimatum combo deck that can go off with the unwieldy Sorcery thanks to the excellent fixing currently available and of course Jace to smooth the way. Super Friends seems to be a fringe player but it is unclear whether it is the price tag of the deck or just that players don’t feel that the Red adds enough to want to stretch U/W’s manabase.
Jund – 17.39% of the Field – Won 54.81% of Matches
Jund continues to be the most popular deck in the format. It is powerful has strong match-ups across the board and in a landscape of Mythic Planeswalkers is relatively cheap. Even holding the top spot in popularity Jund has still dropped to its lowest percentage of the field since its emergence. The development of No Blightning sub-archetypes including Jace Jund which wedges in the ubiquitous planeswalker seems to be a reaction to a metagame that demands that cards have more of an impact on the field. No Blightning posted the best win percentage of the day so it is definitely worth taking a look at some of these new builds. It is also important to note that Jund may have finally found its Bugbear in the new Turboland builds as Jund posted a sub 40% win percentage against the popular new archetype.
Sovereign Mythic – 12.65% of the Field – Won 58.55% of Matches
That’s a pretty good follow up for the new “Best Deck in Standard." It looks like the resurgence of Red Deck Wins may be at least partially based on the increase of Sovereign Mythic in the format. If this deck continues to put up these types of numbers Red Deck Wins and Devastating Red may find a niche as the foil to the top deck.
U/W Tap Out – 7.11% of the Field – Won 45.45% of Matches
Disappointing may not be a strong enough word. The dominant archetype heading into the Atlanta event has slipped mightily and in Seattle it posted a performance that may scare some people away. Weak match-ups against the Sovereign Mythic and the two new kids on the block Turboland and Next Level Bant put U/W Tap Out in a dangerous situation.
Next Level Bant – 6.72% of the Field – Won 51.69% of Matches
Next Level Bant had a respectable day in Seattle but under closer inspection it was a bit of a bumpy ride. NLB was as bad against Turboland as it was good against U/W Tap Out. It pulled out a positive Win Percentage on the day but it wasn’t from its performance against to top of the field.
Turboland – 6.32% of the Field – Won 59.82% of Matches
By far Jund’s worst match-up and that alone would put you in a decent position in the metagame. Throw in domination of Next Level Bant a small but unblemished record against U/W Tap Out and splitting with Sovereign Mythic and you have a great position. Of the popular decks Red Deck Wins poses the only major problem as Turboland couldn’t scrape out event a single win.
Under the Radar:
Mike Thompson brought a deck that has shown up a couple times since the release of Rise of the Eldrazi – R/U/G Ponza.
After digging an early hole Mike decided to dream crush rather than 0-2 drop and it was a darn good decision. Ripping off 7 wins in a row brought Mike all the way up to 20th place and earned R/U/G Ponza the Under the Radar feature. R/U/G Ponza takes advantage of the format’s complex mana bases and attacks them with Spreading Seas Acidic Slime Tectonic Edge and Roiling Terrain. Resounding Wave provides another way to keep the opponent behind as this deck’s efficient beaters finish them off. Both Nest Invader and Lotus Cobra can help power out the Land Destruction on turn three and keep the pressure on all game.
Special Bennie Smith Request: Jace versus Bloodbraid
Bennie Smith and Mike Flores have been having a discussion recently and Bennie asked me to bring some stats to the table. Bennie contends that Jace the Mind Sculptor is simply put a must have in order to compete in this format. Mike points to Jund and Bloodbraid Elf to illustrate that there are alternatives. I’m going to start with just the Philadelphia and Seattle events but I will dig deeper into this in the “May + June = Way Too Much Information" compilation article that you can look for in July.
For this experiment I am going to take the three most popular archetypes with Jace and without Jace and compare how well they performed over the last two events.
Top 3 Decks with Jace:
U/W Tap Out
Top 3 Decks without Jace:
Red Deck Wins
I’m not sure that can be called conclusive but it does seem that Jace has a slight edge. One thing that I will also add is that we need to go much further down the list to find the three No Jace decks; 4 of the 5 most popular decks at each event featured the planeswalker.