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The Monday Metagame (March 16th)

This Monday I’m reporting on two different metagames. Highlander for staples happened on the day before Monday night Highlander this week which resulted in an interesting shift in the meta. Stefan Bard took down the staples event with his BUG control deck and then successfully ran it back on Monday to take a huge lead in the year long race with three qualifier points. Stefan’s deck choice is emblematic of the recent Victoria metagame; players are either playing GBx decks, or they are trying to find ways to go under or over those decks. In general those strategies haven’t been able to counteract these GB strategies. The GB decks take advantage of the fact that they are almost always going to be acquiring more value than their opponents. Whether they are of the junk variety and use white cards to disrupt the opponent and play quality removal or splashing blue for counter spells and card draw the deck is very efficient and its individual card quality is usually higher than the opposing decks’.

The decks that have had a good match up against these value decks are the combo decks. Both High Tide and Storm went 3-1 this week and Mono Green Combo had a reasonable showing as well. These decks are either fast enough or interactive enough to get around the discard spells that many of these GB decks play. The one deck that these decks still struggle against is the blue version of the GB deck which potentially demonstrates the true genius of Stefan’s metagame decision.

Lost in these midrange and combo decks are the aggro and control decks. The few aggro decks that people played at the staples event did okay with both Matt and Pat Berdusco making their way into the top 8 with goblins and jund aggro. On Monday however aggro was less present and many of them struggled. Control on the other hand is almost always present due to how attractive it is to experienced players who can gain some advantage out of outplaying their opponents. Alistair Norman made it all the way to the finals on Monday piloting Esper control and Nick Picard also piloted a BUG midrangy control deck to a 3-1 record.

In the current metagame most archetypes are reasonably healthy with the exeception of aggressive decks. They are currently having some issues with the GB decks with a lot of removal and good creatures. Possible directions that the aggressive decks could go in to improve their match up against those decks likely include playing more green based creatures and trying to attack the mana bases of these other midrange decks. Even the straight GB decks play a lot of non basic lands and be vulnerable to cards like wasteland and blood moon. In addition to this these decks are fairly reliant on spending a lot of their mana each turn in order to play their large effective spells. Attacking that mana with cards like Armageddon has the potential to be extremely potent.

The spicy deck of the week award this week goes to Stefan Bard. His BUG control deck is simply too powerful to be ignored. There have been other attempts on this archetype in the past but Stefan has enjoyed particular success of late. The strength of this deck lies in the fact that it maintains all of the benefits that a typical GB shell has such as strength against creature decks while compensating for it’s major weakness, it’s struggle with combo decks, with the blue counter spells. Hopefully we’ll have a deck tech on that deck soon enough!

Here is the metagame!

5 Colour Heartbeat Storm
High Tide
Naya Land Destruction
BUG Tempo
2 Junk Value
RG Midrange
Bant Control
Mono Red Burn
Grixis Control
Bant Infect
2 BUG Midrange
2 Mono Green Combo
Jund Aggro
Bant Midrange
GB Midrange
Esper Control
Junk Dark Depths
BUG Control
UR Tempo
Naya Aggro

There will be a set review out by the end of the week!

-Liam Coughlan