[Author's note: I think that all the Delver decks were mixed together this week meaning that the archetypal differences have not been made. This does mess with some of our numbers and expectations.]
Welcome to the last installment of Too Much Information before we enter a whole new era of Magic where nothing can be countered!
Last time we saw a few new decks (Hero Delver and Wolf Run Blue) do well but they had not yet been given enough time to flourish as decks. This time we'll see what impact if any the two breakout decks have made on the format. Other than that I don't expect much of a change in the format. Let's see if that's the case.
Kansas City Standard Open
U/W Delver remained on top but did see a moderate decrease in its win percentage not enough to bring it below 50% of course.
Zombies continued to creep up the sheet landing just 2.5% below U/W Delver but actually had a higher win percentage than its rival. It looks like B/R Zombies has solidified itself as the most popular and this week it had the highest win rate (which had previously belonged to Zombie Pod) as well.
Naya Pod saw a decrease in both play and performance and almost got overtaken by Naya Aggro as third most played deck.
Naya Aggro continued to rise in popularity going from 4% of the field previously to 6.1% of the field with a win rate of 50.6%.
After its win in DC Wolf Run Blue showed up in serious numbers at 5.1% of the field with a win rate of 52.3%. There's a good chance we'll be seeing more of this deck now that it has proven not to just be a fluke (of Duke).
G/R Aggro showed up in similar numbers to what is typical and didn't change much in win rate either.
Mono-Green Dungrove has been declining ever since it first started seeing playing after M13. Its win rate has been doing much the same now at 42%.
G/W Elves dropped a bit in popularity but was still higher on the list than other fringe decks like Solar Flare and Mono-Green Infect. Its win rate also dropped slightly bringing it down to an unfortunate 41% while Solar Flare and Mono-Green Infect both boasted sizeable win rates of 54% and 59.9% respectively.
The Top 8 was made up of three U/W Delvers Mono-Green Infect Naya Pod Wolf Run Blue G/R Aggro and Zombie Pod with U/W Delver taking the win this time. U/W Delver has had the most Top 8s by a fair margin but it doesn't actually seem to take the win very often. Mike Prokop was able to take out Mono-Green Infect in the finals this time though.
Denver Standard Open
By exactly one player Zombies surpassed U/W Delver to be the most played deck! Zombies has proven to be a big contender even in a format where Celestial Purge and Blade Splicer are rampant. Great job!
B/R Zombies was once again the most popular by a wide margin and B/U and Zombie Pod shared an equal part of the field. Like in Kansas City B/R Zombies had the best win rate of the bunch (among significantly played versions) at 58.2%. B/U Zombies and Zombie Pod both took hits to their win rates dropping to 46.1% and 42.5% respectively.
U/W Delver dropped a few percentage points which caused it to relinquish its position on top but its win rate rose to 58.4% to make up for it.
Naya Pod managed to stay at the exact same percentage of the field but brought its win rate back over the halfway mark to 53.6%.
G/W Aggro which had barely existed in previous weeks showed up in enough numbers to tie with Naya Pod which is an increase of 4.8%. Its win rate which had not been very good in the past was 44.7%.
Wolf Run Ramp dropped by 1% in play but saw an increase from an already reasonable win rate of 52.9% to a whopping 61.1%.
Grixis Control which was 2% of the field in Kansas City showed up in slightly larger numbers in Denver. Its win rate was poor in both events averaging 36% between the two.
G/R Aggro usually has a win rate over 50%. Despite that it has been slowly declining in popularity for a while now. It's finally dropped down to 3.1% of the field and its win rate is down to 48.1% as well.
A number of decks that don't catch anyone's eye actually surpassed Naya Aggro. It went from 6.1% of the field all the way down to 1.9%. Its win rate dropped a few percentage points as well down to 48.8%.
The Top 8 was once again flooded with U/W Delver. This time it took up four of the slots but didn't win the event. Actually despite its poor win rate over many events G/W Aggro took this one down. Mono-Green Infect B/R Zombies and Mono-Black Post rounded out the Top 8
Top Deck Stats
Wolf Run Blue Naya Aggro and G/W Aggro have displaced Mono-Green Dungrove G/R Aggro and Mono-Black Control this time. G/R Aggro had been a mainstay among the most played decks for many weeks up until now. It actually only missed out by one player but it has been slowly declining in popularity for a long time. If we were to continue the format I'm sure the trend would continue.
U/W Delver has nothing left to prove. It has consistently performed above 50% with little variation. Why am I not playing this deck?
I wish I knew the answer to that.
Zombies rose by 3.8% and proved to be a serious contender with U/W Delver both in field percentage and win rate. It has not been as consistent but it is surely a fan favorite.
Naya Pod dropped slightly again and its win percentages also took a 3.1% dip.
This is Wolf Run Blue's first time on the Top Decks sheet. With a win rate .5% less than U/W Delver's I'm sure it's a deck that will continue to see play.
Naya Aggro fell off the sheet last time but it tied with G/W Aggro to find its way back on. At 50.2% it only has a higher win rate than one other deck on the sheet.
At 42.5% G/W Aggro is that deck. The deck has had consistently awful win rates in previous weeks and despite winning in Denver it is still bad. Scary.
U/W Delver Matchups
With Zombies (B/R in particular) picking up even more in popularity it's unfortunate for U/W Delver to see a decrease in win percentage when it's already below 50% in the matchup. The Delver decks that are doing well are packing some Blade Splicers in addition to the full set of Celestial Purges to remedy this and I think that is the correct course of action for them.
The Naya Pod and Naya Aggro matchups increased a fair amount this time but I'm not sure what the cause of the shift was.
With Wolf Run Blue and G/W Aggro showing up in significant numbers for the first time we don't have any previous samples with them. Suffice it to say with its numerous uncounterable threats the matchup seems to be in Wolf Run Blue's favor. G/W on the other hand seems to be a strong one for U/W Delver.
Zombies saw an increase in win rate against the three most played decks possibly due to the rise of the B/R version of the deck. Presumably the heavy amount of removal in that version helps the various creature matchups. But that was not the case against G/W Aggro which has proven to be a very poor matchup for Zombies.
Wolf Run Blue has also proven to be on the weak side for Zombies.
Naya Pod Matchups
Naya Pod has consistently been strong against U/W Delver but took a small dip this time. It also found itself losing to Naya Aggro a lot more than it had in the past.
In a similar fashion to U/W Delver Naya Pod seems to be weak to Wolf Run Blue and strong against G/W Aggro.
Wolf Run Blue Matchups
It turns out Reid Duke was onto something. In its first few events where it saw a moderate amount of play Wolf Run Blue boasted good matchups against all of the other most played decks. The sample size is not big enough to confirm its dominance but it lets us know that the deck is certainly good.
Naya Aggro Matchups
In an odd swing where Naya Aggro has previously been strong it was weak and where it was previously weak it proved strong. I don't really know what to think of this. It messes with our matchup assumptions considerably and I don't have any explanation for the change.
In what seems to be becoming a trend Naya Aggro has also proved weak to Wolf Run Blue but strong against G/W Aggro.
G/W Aggro Matchups
Despite winning a recent event (and the low sample size) G/W Aggro has done so badly against most of the top decks that I am thoroughly surprised that it managed to win an event at all. The only matchup that isn't embarrassing is Zombies which is a nice 62.1%.
Format Wrap Up
There are still two more SCG Open Series and one more Invitational to go before we reenter Ravnica. At the last Invitational Delver made up 40% of the field. Despite the differences in the recent events I think the SCG Invitational in Atlanta will more closely resemble the previous one. The types of players at the Invitational are the ones that would normally play U/W Delver and since it's the last event of the season they're a lot less likely to mess around with something else.
But as we've seen at recent events the format still had some potential evolving to do. We saw Mono-Green Infect make its mark in Portland and at the same time the horde of Zombies continued to grow.
Me? I've taken a liking to Bant Pod because it feels strong against Zombies and U/W Delver.
It's safe to say that things could get interesting at the SCG Invitational in Atlanta. See you there!