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By: Drbenwayy, Mike Savage
Sep 29 2010 1:24am
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My goal in this series is to examine the MTGO Standard metagame and provide information on decklists including top decks, new deck tech, rogue decks, matchups, or generally anything else that I find interesting or could be interesting to any of the readers out there.  I want you to give me any suggestions on any information or the format in which to present this information.  Would you like graphs? Charts?  I was going to present my information in simple tables but can hopefully work with Excel or another program to splash up the presentation. I am currently going through the results of each Standard Daily Event and the Premier weekend events.  While it would be nice to say specifically what the matchups and percentages of these matchups are, there just isn't enough time in the day to do it.

New Standard

One of the most important and interesting weekends for any player interested in competitive standard will be this coming weekend.  States takes place and thousands of players will be making the trip with what they feel is their best deck. New cards, new decks, new tech. The event results will show us the direction standard is taking. There are some genius deckbuilders out there and immediately people will begin mining all the decklist results to start shaping and defining our new standard.  The current announcement is that on October 18th, Scars of Mirrodin will be released on Magic Online, making it legal in all constructed formats.  I have noticed many people asking the Orcs about the prerelease tournaments and while there was no static information about it, they said it would most likely be three or so days prior to online release.


Why report results when Shards and M10 has rotated in Paper?  Well, there is still three weeks left of playing time for these sets online and there are many people trying to compete and qualify for MOCS.  I have gone through every tournament report for the days listed and these are the results.  There is no surprise that Mythic is the most heavily played deck, with the explosive turn three Conscripted guys.  This deck had 50 more appearances than the next deck, Jund.  The Titan decks are next with 78 and 68 appearances and U/W rounds out the top 5. 

Deck Name Winning Appearances* Percentage
Mythic Conscrption 142 22.9%
Jund 92 14.8
Valakut Titan 78 12.5
Mono G Eldrazi/Titan 68 11
U/W Control 56 9
Red Deck Wins 30 4.8
BWG 24 3.9
Soul Sisters 20 3.2
Boros 19 3
Pyromancer's Ascension 14 2.2
Vampires 13 2.1
White Weenie 12 1.9
Naya Shaman 11 1.7
Dredgevine 9 1.5
Superfriends 8 1.3
Polymorph 5 .08
RUWG Shaman Conscription 4 .06
Mono Black (Not vampires) 4 .06
Rogue** 10 1.6%
Total 619 100%

 *Results may not be 100% accurate as there is always the chance for human error.  I have made my best effort to accurately collect results.
**Rogue decks included B/W, G/U, G/U/R, U/B, B/R Eldrazi Monument, Grixis, and others.

Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS)

The Magic Online Championship Series this month had standard as the featured format. The MOCS event was held on Saturday 9/25 with 211 players participating. After 10 grueling rounds of swiss and a single elimination top eight, Jaberwocki took home the crown playing Jund beating out DrVendigo who was playing GWRU Fauna Shaman/Conscription.  The top eight out were as follows:

1. Jaberwocki Jund
2. DrVendigo (GWRU Fauna Shaman)
3. ramiharu (Valakut)
4. Boin (Boros)
5. _megafone_ (Mythic Conscription)
6. L1X0 (Mythic Conscription)
7. Griffim3 (Esper*)
8. Shalomas (Mythic Conscription)

Congratulations to the top eight and to all the players who qualified. The promo card was the M11 Buy a Box Promo Birds of ParadiseBirds of Paradise is one of the iconic cards of all time and although many of us might have a bunch of birds in our virtual binders, I think the new art makes it a sought after piece of digital cardboard. 

Decks of the Week:


Disruption and Control is the theme here.  This deck is made up of mostly low cost, high powered cards.  In fact, only 6 cards run maindeck are more than 3 mana.  A first turn Inquisition of Kozilek gives you a picture of their hand while taking away their cheap early threats like Lotus Cobra, Knight of the Reliquary, Hellspark Elemental, Ramp spells, Counterspells, or any other important low cost spell.  You can follow that up on your second turn with a Meddling Mage to prevent them from playing their late game power cards or go right into their hand with Tidehollow Sculler and actually take away a late turn card. Or by holding back and countering a threat with Mana LeakBaneslayer Angel is a win condition, with Sun Titan being able to bring back those low cost early creatures. 

This deck has gained some popularity in the last few weeks.  I believe early lists were running Primeval Titan to try to combo more with Ob.  This version is a mash up that plays to greens current strengths utilizing the Fauna Shaman engine.  Green is the most powerful color right now so why not use all the tools at your disposal?   Mana Acceleration via Birds of Paradise and Lotus Cobra. Knight of the Reliquary to take advantage of your Landfall triggers with the Cobra, Demon, and Angel.  Black is included for disruption via Tidehollow Sculler and Duress in the sideboard.  Removal is also here with one of the most powerful removal spells in the format in Maelstrom Pulse and Doom Blade in the sideboard.  Grim Discovery brings  one of your men back and triggering landfall.  White takes advantage of Elspeth, Linvala, and perhaps an underplayed card in Admonition Angel.


I'd like to share a few screenshots here with you here that I have noticed from watching replays, that I have encountered myself, or that anyone has submitted to me. If anyone encounters any interesting screenshots taking place in Standard or Limited, please feel free to e mail them to me at drbenwayy at gmail dot com. 


This first screenshot is from one of the later rounds in the MOCS.  Getting a Goblin Guide out during your the first turn is the optimal play for a Red Deck Wins player.  Getting out another on turn 2 is another strong play.  But getting four out by turn three is something I've never seen and (thankfully) never played against.  Fun fact: The Mythic player actually wins this game.  You can see that this is turn three and the RDW player only has two lands out.  He gets mana screwed for the next few turns and this costs him the game. The mythic player casts a Knight of the Reliquary the next turn and a few Obstinate Baloth the subsequent few turns, stabilizing before beating down.  

This is a screenshot from a Standard Daily event from a few weeks ago.  Everyone was getting anxious because there was still one match going quite late and one of the players reported that the score was 500 to 100.  This isn't something you ever see in a competitive standard event.  The Soul Sister's player drew a few Ranger of Eos and also had an active Emeria, the sky ruin to bring guys back from his graveyard every turn.  You can see the Soul Sister's player played quite a few spells and has 28 cards in the graveyard at this point.  He slowly died to Annihilator 4 on double Conscription Baneslayer.  The Ajani's Pridemate were at 116/116 and 40/40 at the end of the game. Hundreds of annoying triggers took place from the Soul's Attendant and Soul Warden


I hope you enjoyed reading this article.  I am going to make this a weekly article and I hope this will help people get a grasp on the standard metagame and will help with deckbuilding choices and selections.  Next week I will be sharing two budget decks for you.  One is White Weenie, which includes cards that most of us have or can acquire for quite cheap like Honor of the Pure and Elite Vanguard.  The other is a Vampire deck that, while Vampires loses Vampire Nocturnus, may be a budget option in Scars of Mirrodin Standard.  I was considering whether or not to include some decklists from the paper tournaments but I'll wait until Scars is released as there will be a plethora of articles early next week analyzing the new decks from States. Please feel free to e mail your screenshots.  Thanks for reading and see you next week. 


I apologize, I got the by Drbenwayy at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 10:13
Drbenwayy's picture

I apologize, I got the information wrong for States which does not happen this weekend. I really thought I read that somewhere.

Also, somehow I forgot to put down Mono Green Beastmaster which had 5 results and there were 2 observed results for G/U with Shared Discovery, Overrun, etc.

That Birds of Paradise is by MMogg at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 04:29
MMogg's picture

That Birds of Paradise is very sexy. I'm not into BoPs or foils, but that is one heck of a nice card.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Standard shapes up in the next few weeks. Why oh why do we get SoM (and all other releases) so late!! ;_;

LOL, Only on MTGO can you get 4 Goblin Guides by turn 3. Go go shuffler!

Rofl, only on mtgo. And wow by menace13 at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 20:07
menace13's picture

Rofl, only on mtgo. And wow that BoP is for sue a collector's item, i want them :/.....

The article was sweet. Site needed more comp mtgo coverage and your meta breakdown is a valuable resource.

Nice touches with the screenies of magic gone wild at the end, all in all i enjoyed the article-length was a bit short, but only since i liked it, like your writing style- doent put me on ADDisorder-. Keep it up

excellent article! this by speks at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 09:14
speks's picture

excellent article!
this website was seriously lacking something like this, so glad someone finally stepped up to the task of covering standard!

those screenshots are hiliarious, good stuff.

Nice article! I'm curious by a small child at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 14:29
a small child's picture

Nice article! I'm curious about what exactly you mean by winning appearances, however. Does any appearance in which a deck wins prize count as a winning appearance? Or are you talking about tournament wins?

If you feel like doing some serious legwork you could try to capture the whole metagame by looking at tournament replays. Since you'll be doing this week to week it might even be feasible. I wouldn't expect you to look at all tournaments, of course, but if you could get a sample size of a few hundred decks you could probably get a reasonable sense of what the metagame breakdown is for all decks, not just winning ones. Perhaps the most valuable information we can get is to compare the overall metagame presence vs. the winning deck presence. That tells us what is being over and underplayed.

As for the winning by Drbenwayy at Thu, 09/30/2010 - 01:40
Drbenwayy's picture

As for the winning appearances, I did go by the amount of times a deck has finished with a winning record 3-1/4-0 in a daily event.

Yeah, I would really like to get an accurate picture of the metagame by studying the decks and matchups but it may be too great of an undertaking. We'll see how my school load goes during the next few weeks.

Rating by menace13 at Wed, 09/29/2010 - 20:07
menace13's picture


Sounds great by Amar at Thu, 09/30/2010 - 01:06
Amar's picture

Since Wizards has never taken the (obvious) step of providing full match video (with hands) of high-profile matches, it would be a service if you could capture what happens. Videos would be ideal, but whatever format works for you.

Also, graphs. Who doesn't love graphs?