Hall of Famer Frank Karsten is famous for many things. There is his impressive Pro resume, his writing, and his decks. But most uniquely, Frank is famous for teaching the Pro Tour how to analyze things correctly. He was the player who taught us how to build our Ravnica mana bases correctly. He introduced the concept of the "aggregate" deck based on hours poring over data from Magic Online, a method he used to Top 8 the 2008 World Championships in Memphis.
Metagame master and Hall of Famer Frank Karsten, seen here looking smart.
Given all that, I was not surprised when Frank, a friend and honorary Belgian, sent me and Pro Tour historian Brian David-Marshall an email prior to the Pro Tour. It read simply, "Before leaving for San Juan, I made an analysis of the Block Constructed metagame in Magic Online tournaments and calculated some average decklists; see the enclosed file."
The enclosed attachment was filled with data, and I'm pleased to present it to you here courtesy of Frank.
|Blue-Red-Green Comet Storm
Frank's data came from the Zendikar Block Daily Events on Magic Online. Each 4-0 archetype received a four points of value, while each 3-1 archetype got two points. That gave the Dutch pro a starting point to estimate what archetypes would be present at the Pro Tour. So how did the numbers turn out? Magic Online missed a few archetypes that showed up at the Pro Tour itself, and when compared to the metagame analysis by Rashad Miller posted on Saturday, the stats range from wildly off (by almost 15% on the most played archetype, White-Blue) to almost dead on (.01% off on the Green-Blue-Black Control archetype).
The truly interesting data from Frank, however, are his aggregate deck lists. He averaged all of the cards from each deck that received a point weighting in his data set, the 4-0 and 3-1 lists from the Magic Online Daily Events, and came up with the "perfect" number of each copy of each card for the major archetypes. Those decks look like nothing you've ever seen before. (We actually had to check to see if the deck engine on DailyMTG.com could even handle them.)
Karsten's Aggregate White-Blue Control
Karsten's Aggregator Devastating Red
Karsten's Aggregator Vampires
Karsten's Aggregator Eldrazi Ramp
Karsten's Aggregator Koros
Karsten's Aggregator Blue-Red-Green Comet Storm