Hello and welcome back to the Monday Metagame! There was an amazing turnout on Monday and as such we have a varied and interesting metagame to analyze!
Aggro took a major backseat this week as many midrange and combo decks appear to have pushed it out of the metagame. Other than the die hard red mages Mac and Colin virtually no otherEh players elected to bring aggressive decks to battle. One of the things that can discourage players from selecting an aggressive deck is that it has fairly high variance when it comes to match ups. Against the tempo decks in particular aggro often feels like 60%+ to win if both decks draw reasonably. Similarly against the slower combo decks like Academy or High Tide aggro also is fairly strong favourite. Even against some variants of control decks such as the ones that play more counter spells than spot removal aggro can often outpace those decks. The problem for these aggro decks is against green based midrange decks they can struggle significantly. Cards like Thragtusk, Courser of Kruphix, and Kitchen Finks which are mainstays in green based midrange decks can cause really significant problems for the aggressive decks. When these cards are backed up by some form of recursion like recurring nightmare or restoration angel or significant interaction in the form of removal the match up gets even worse. Essentially if aggro is not able to win the game in first 4-5 turns of the game and the midrange deck gets to develop appropriately then it becomes an almost unwinnable match up. With this high variance archetype it can sometimes be frustrating if you end up playing against some of these worse match ups repeatedly which might have resulted in the down tick of aggro this week.
Taking the place of aggro this week were density based combo decks and in particular mono green combo decks showed up in full force! A full 4 mono green combo decks showed up on Monday. These decks are very resilient and have many different angles of attack. Because of how multifaceted they are these decks tend to have a fairly even match up against a lot of the field and against other creatures decks they are incredibly punishing. It’s very possible that after the most recent changes to the points list mono green combo or Cradlehoof could just be the best deck in the format. A few reanimator decks, pattern of rebirth academy rector combo decks, round out the combo decks along with Garret’s Time Vault deck and Bernie’s Storm deck. These combo decks can really punish players who opt to play decks with minimal amounts of non creature interaction and their growing presence might mean it’s time for more players to begin playing either hand attack or counter spells.
The spicy deck of the week away certainly goes to Patrick Berdusco who has worked tirelessly at tuning and improving his RUG tempo deck. Savage Knuckleblade himself took down his first tournament ever this week after a lot of close calls. In this metagame tempo is fairly well situated as it has very favourable match ups against the spell based combo decks due to it’s combination of pressure and counterspells. Classically tempo has struggled a bit against the creature based combo decks because of the lack of good quality removal. In the past some players have opted to splash white or black but these colours do not offer the same density of cheap removal that red does. RUG has been a tough deck to get right and Pat is one of the first players to really succeed with it this year!
Red Deck Wins
3 Cradlehoof (Mono Green Combo)
Mono Elf Craterhoof
2 Pattern of Rebirth Combo
Grixis Time Vault
Witchmaw Cauldron Midrange (Dark Bant)
Mono Black Aggro
UW B2B Control
As usual the metagame is presented below! Don’t hesitate to leave comments or questions either here or on twitter @Canhighlander. See you all next week!
– Liam Coughlan