Grand Prix Tampa drew 410 competitors to play in the Odyssey/Torment/Torment sealed deck tournament. Torment is an experiment by Wizards of the Coast to slant the set towards one color: Black. Of the 143 cards in the set, 40 cards are black. An additional 5 lands are geared to work with black, along with an additional 9 creatures using black-aimed abilities (Possessed Nomad, Possessed Centaur, Possessed Barbarian, Possessed Aven, Cephalid Snitch, Balshan Collaborator, Pardic Collaborator, Enslaved Dwarf, and Barbarian Outcast), bringing the grand total of Black-centered cards in the set to a whopping 54. Over a third of the cards available go into Black decks, but were they powerful enough to draw players into playing black? Let's take a look:
TWO COLOR DECKS
THREE COLOR DECKS
FOUR COLOR DECKS
FIVE COLOR DECKS
Black: 345 (84.7%)
Green: 264 (64.8%)
Blue: 235 (57.7%)
Red: 175 (42.9%)
White: 114 (28%)
Wow, that's a lot of numbers! What does all this mean, though?
- Black by a humongous margin is the dominant color in this environment. This means that Black hosers are going to be extra strong (such as swampwalkers like Whispering Shade).
- Cards which cannot affect Black creatures (like Gloomdrifter and Ghastly Demise) will have a diminished effectiveness, BUT they will still be powerful as most people played three color decks built with non-black creatures.
- White doesn't stack up well in the environment. It took a huge hit in Torment (where many players agreed there were few to no playable cards in this color), and the cards it does offer aren't enough to combat the onslaught of black decks.
- Nobody likes Red/Blue. Not many people like Blue/Red/X when compared to other three color combinations.
- Two-color decks are indeed viable in the environment, but it's hard to build them without Black, due to the proliferation of the color.
Anyhow, take these numbers are you will, and be prepared to face similar color slants during the length of this PTQ season!