ptgtc13

Archetype Breakdown for Pro Tour Gatecrash

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Ever since Shards of Alara, three-color wedges have been referred to by their shard name. Any deck that had blue, red and black was immediately labeled as Grixis, regardless of format. Grixis, of course, doesn't get much mention, but the other four do. Esper, Bant, and Naya have all made their impressions at varying times and in varying formats. Jund, however, seems to be ubiquitous. Pro Tour Gatecrash was no different, with Swamps, Mountains and Forests showing up in force (okay, fine, it was red-green, red-black, and black-green dual lands).

The coverage team devoured the hundreds of hand-written decklists that were submitted and classified them all, in the process providing us with a picture of what the metagame looked like here. This was a much more varied metagame than what we're used to, with no single deck even breaking 15% of the field. By contrast, Pro Tour Return to Ravnica (Modern) featured 31% of the field playing Jund and Pro Tour Avacyn Restored (Block Constructed) saw almost 27% of its participants pick up the WRG Wolves and Angels deck. Typically there's a most popular deck that catches the eye of at least one in five magicians and potentially many more. This time, however, that was not the case.

If you're wondering, this is a good thing. This means that there isn't an obvious best deck. The deck that everyone is gunning for. The deck that, if you're being honest about wanting to win, you should be playing. This means that the environment is healthy and can support multiple strategies. This is the type of environment that could breed innovation. As I understand it, magicians like to brew a spicy deck from time to time, and the format as is should allow for that.

Now, two weeks from now it could devolve into a dominant-deck format as it gets more developed. Any format will eventually get there. With the amount of players slinging spells around the world, the frequency of high level events, and the abundance of information, it is bound to be solved at some point. But for now, it isn't. And this weekend's results don't look like they're going to change that for the time being. Enjoy it.

With the good comes the bad, however. A healthy environment means many more decks. Many more decks means fewer deck-vs-deck matches (i.e. Jund vs UWR). Fewer of those specific matches means less ability to analyze, as more match-ups will have only a handful of matches to look at. Statisticians typically don't rely on a handful of data points. We will press on with what we have and do our best to infer what we can. As usual, the numbers I'm showing exclude mirror matches (which, as it turns out, are always 50-50. What are the odds?). And naturally there are variations within archetypes both within deck composition and player skill. This is more of a record of what happened than a definitive guide to how the format plays out.

As a baseline, typically a 60% win rate is excellent for a deck while 40% is equally bad. 60% in a tournament for an individual means you're hitting the side events after round 5. For a deck, however, it is very strong.

Deck Win Percent Matches
Jund Aggro 60.00% 100
The Aristocrats 57.83% 83
Human Reanimator 57.02% 121
Jund Midrange 55.60% 241
Bant Control 53.19% 94
Jund 52.73% 110
Gruul Aggro 50.65% 154
UWR 49.82% 275
Naya Humans 46.88% 128
Saito Zoo 46.32% 95
Esper Control 46.29% 229

These are the 11 decks that had 10 or more wizards shuffling them up. Jund aggro decks came out with the best win rate, with two other Jund decks both posting winning records. Midrange, traditional or aggro all can weather the storm and come out with sweet, sweet #jundstice as Luis-Scott Vargas would say. I tried to look at which variant did best against the others but all I saw was four to six matches each, also known as a really weak playtest session.

The Aristocrats deck, possibly the least expected deck coming in, ended up with a healthy win percentage at nearly 58%. On its surface, that is very strong and a great indication of the deck's power. This could be a trap though, as the names behind the spells are ones you might recognize: Sam Black, Andrew Cuneo, Jon Finkel, Zvi Mowshowitz, Gabriel Nassif, Paul Rietzl, Matt Sperling, Gaudenis Vidugiris and Tom Martell. No offense to the deck, but I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, those guys outplayed their opponents once or twice on the weekend. Food for thought.

The Human Reanimator deck, which has been around for a while in different forms, also kept people honest, going 7% better than average. The majority of its wins came from the mysterious "other" category, though it did interestingly go 11-11 against UWR.

Bant Control, the deck Melissa DeTora is using, managed to stay above average with a superb 76% win rate against UWR. No other matchup stands out, either as a positive or a negative.

Gruul aggro came in at just-about-average, along with UWR. Gruul would have been higher by about 2% if it weren't for UWR, and likewise UWR would have been worse were it not for its dominance over Gruul.

Naya Humans was another deck that went exactly 50% (12-12) against UWR. It was bolstered by a two-to-one win ratio against Esper Control, but was held back by a weak 35% against Jund Midrange.

Saito Zoo, unfortunately, simply had too few matches against any one deck to draw any real conclusions. It was slightly above average (52.6%) against control of all flavors but unfortunately digging deeper doesn't give us much to go on.

Finally, Esper Control was the worst performing of the popular decks. Usually a performance like this gives us a couple of good pairings and then a couple more bad pairings. This time though it seems to be slightly below average against virtually everyone. The lone exception is Bant Control, and even that was only eleven matches, which is hardly conclusive.

Top 8 Preview

Below is how each player in the Top 8 got there. Eight different paths to Sunday. One began with a loss. One began with a bye. Seven will end with losses, and one will end in glory.

DeTora, Melissa [USA] – Bant Control

round Format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
4 Standard Won Jurkovic, Robert [SVK] N UWR Control
3 Draft Won Tajak, Lukas [DEU] N UWR
5 Standard Won Gerlock, Alex [USA] N UWR
7 Standard Won Larsson, Joel [SWE] Y UWR
12 Standard Won Thompson, Gerry [USA] Y UWR
15 Standard Won Shiels, Dave [USA] N UWR
16 Standard Drew Martell, Tom [USA] Y The Aristocrats
11 Draft Won Egan, Isaac [AUS] N Naya Midrange
1 Draft Won Anisman, Jeff [CAN] N Monored
8 Standard Won Renie, Paul [TWN] N Jund Midrange
10 Draft Lost van Ravenzwaaij, Don [NLD] N Jund
13 Standard Lost Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
6 Standard Won Bolick, Robbie [USA] N Gruul Aggro
2 Draft Won Shuang, Wu [CAN] N Esper Control
14 Standard Lost Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
9 Draft Won Simonot, Timothée [FRA] N Bant Control

Froehlich, Eric [USA] – Saito Zoo

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
5 Standard Won Gonzales, Roberto [USA] N UWR
14 Standard Lost Larsson, Joel [SWE] Y UWR
2 Draft Won Dalgaard, Dennis [DNK] N Naya Midrange
9 Draft Won Egan, Isaac [AUS] N Naya Midrange
3 Draft Won Berti, Francesco [USA] N Monored Bore-os
7 Standard Lost Renie, Paul [TWN] N Jund Midrange
13 Standard Lost Mann, Stephen [USA] Y Jund Midrange
16 Standard Won spanu, gianluca [ITA] N Jund Aggro
6 Standard Won van Ravenzwaaij, Don [NLD] N Jund
8 Standard Won Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
10 Draft Lost Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
12 Standard Won Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
15 Standard Won Nordahl, Andreas [NOR] N Esper Control
4 Standard Won Santos, Virgilio [PRT] N Bant Control
11 Draft Won Simonot, Timothée [FRA] N Bant Control
1 Draft   * BYE *   #N/A

Larsson, Joel [SWE] - UWR

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
4 Standard Won Dickmann, Fabian [DEU] N UWR
5 Standard Won Chew, Kelvin [SGP] N UWR
9 Draft Won Gerlock, Alex [USA] N UWR
11 Draft Won Orsini Jones, Matteo [ENG] N UWR
3 Draft Won Nagy, Tamas [HUN] #N/A Unknown
14 Standard Won Froehlich, Eric [USA] Y Saito Zoo
6 Standard Won Photiou, Andreas [CYP] N Naya Midrange
15 Standard Won Mann, Stephen [USA] Y Jund Midrange
10 Draft Lost spanu, gianluca [ITA] N Jund Aggro
12 Standard Won Adebo Diaz, Juan Carlo [ESP] N Jund Aggro
13 Standard Won Rubin, Steve [USA] N Human Reanimator
1 Draft Won Sajgalik, Eduardo [ENG] N Esper Control
16 Standard Drew Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
7 Standard Lost DeTora, Melissa [USA] Y Bant Control
8 Standard Lost Simonot, Timothée [FRA] N Bant Control
2 Draft Won Maddox, Justin [USA] N 4c Midrange

Mann, Stephen [USA] – Jund Midrange

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
7 Standard Lost Orsini Jones, Matteo [ENG] N UWR
11 Draft Won Tajak, Lukas [DEU] N UWR
15 Standard Lost Larsson, Joel [SWE] Y UWR
4 Standard Lost Grourke, Vince [USA] N Saito Zoo
10 Draft Won Grourke, Vince [USA] N Saito Zoo
13 Standard Won Froehlich, Eric [USA] Y Saito Zoo
2 Draft Won Tan, richmond [PHL] N Naya Midrange
8 Standard Won Photiou, Andreas [CYP] N Naya Midrange
1 Draft Won Ferrari Spampinato, Go [ARG] N Jund Midrange
3 Draft Won Seibold, Christian [DEU] N Jund
14 Standard Lost Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
16 Standard Won Shenhar, Shahar [ISR] N Gruul Aggro
5 Standard Won WAFO-TAPA, Guillaume [FRA] N Esper Control
6 Standard Won Portaro, Alessandro [ITA] N Esper Control
9 Draft Won Pedrakowski, Pawel [POL] N Esper Control
12 Standard Won Simonot, Timothée [FRA] N Bant Control

Martell, Tom [USA] – The Aristocrats

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
8 Standard Won Dickmann, Fabian [DEU] N UWR
11 Draft Won Mihara, Makihito [JPN] N UWR
15 Standard Won Gonzales, Roberto [USA] N UWR
1 Draft Won Higdon, Nigel [USA] N Saito Zoo
6 Standard Won Kibler, Brian [USA] N Saito Zoo
2 Draft Won Weng, Lim [SGP] N Naya Midrange
5 Standard Lost Photiou, Andreas [CYP] N Naya Midrange
4 Standard Won Ferrarese, Stefano [ITA] N Naya Humans
14 Standard Won Tapia Becerra, Felipe [CHL] N Jund Zombies
9 Draft Won Vanek, Tomas [CZE] N Jund Aggro
7 Standard Lost Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
10 Draft Won Stern, Jon [CAN] N Jund
12 Standard Won Rubin, Steve [USA] N Human Reanimator
13 Standard Lost Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
16 Standard Drew DeTora, Melissa [USA] Y Bant Control
3 Draft Won Itou, Shougo [JPN] N 4c Control

Stark, Ben [USA] – Esper Control

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
16 Standard Drew Larsson, Joel [SWE] Y UWR
4 Standard Won Londos, Ludvig [SWE] N UW Humans
3 Draft Won Vidugiris, Gaudenis [LTU] N The Aristocrats
13 Standard Won Martell, Tom [USA] Y The Aristocrats
10 Draft Won Froehlich, Eric [USA] Y Saito Zoo
12 Standard Lost Froehlich, Eric [USA] Y Saito Zoo
7 Standard Won Photiou, Andreas [CYP] N Naya Midrange
1 Draft Won Duke, Reid [USA] N Jund Midrange
9 Draft Won Renie, Paul [TWN] N Jund Midrange
11 Draft Won van Ravenzwaaij, Don [NLD] N Jund
15 Standard Drew Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
8 Standard Won Levy, Raphael [FRA] N Bant Control
14 Standard Won DeTora, Melissa [USA] Y Bant Control
2 Draft Lost Lindeman, Lennart [NLD] N Bant Auras
6 Standard Won Alink, Daniel [NLD] N Bant Auras
5 Standard Won Lee, Shi Tian [HKG] N American BBQ

Thompson, Gerry [USA] – UWR

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
2 Draft Lost Jaklovsky, Lukas [CZE] N UWR Control
10 Draft Won Jurkovic, Robert [SVK] N UWR Control
8 Standard Won Orsini Jones, Matteo [ENG] N UWR
13 Standard Won Tajak, Lukas [DEU] N UWR
14 Standard Lost Gonzales, Roberto [USA] N UWR
4 Standard Won Joens, Klaus [DEU] N RUG Flash
1 Draft Won Witton, Adam [AUS] N Naya Midrange
7 Standard Won Tan, richmond [PHL] N Naya Midrange
5 Standard Won Myatt, Jason [USA] N Mono-ish Black Control
9 Draft Won spanu, gianluca [ITA] N Jund Aggro
15 Standard Won spanu, gianluca [ITA] N Jund Aggro
16 Standard Drew Turtenwald, Owen [USA] Y Jund
6 Standard Won Barrentine, Scott [USA] N Human Reanimator
11 Draft Won Bolick, Robbie [USA] N Gruul Aggro
3 Draft Won Raftery, Roy [ENG] N Esper Control
12 Standard Lost DeTora, Melissa [USA] Y Bant Control

Turtenwald, Owen [USA] – Jund

round format Result Opponent opp_t8 opp_deck
5 Standard Won Häggkvist, Sami [FIN] N UWR
16 Standard Drew Thompson, Gerry [USA] Y UWR
7 Standard Won Martell, Tom [USA] Y The Aristocrats
8 Standard Lost Froehlich, Eric [USA] Y Saito Zoo
1 Draft Lost Plagge, Julian [DEU] N RUG Flash
6 Standard Won Burgos, Mario [ARG] N Naya Humans
4 Standard Won Verhulst, Johan [BEL] N Monoish Black Control
2 Draft Won Bogner, Ryan [USA] N Jund Midrange
10 Draft Won Demestrio, Joe [USA] N Jund Midrange
14 Standard Won Mann, Stephen [USA] Y Jund Midrange
9 Draft Won Shimoya, Hiroyuki [JPN] N Jund
12 Standard Won van Ravenzwaaij, Don [NLD] N Jund
11 Draft Won Brown, Dylan [AUS] N Human Reanimator
3 Draft Won González Gómez, Pablo [ESP] N Gruul Aggro
15 Standard Drew Stark, Ben [USA] Y Esper Control
13 Standard Won DeTora, Melissa [USA] Y Bant Control
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