2020 Season Grand Finals Metagame Report
32 world-class players will compete in the Season Grand Finals – the most prestigious tournament of the year that concludes the 2020 season of professional Magic play. Starting tomorrow, Oct 9 at 9 A.M PDT, and over the course of the weekend, the top 16 players from the Players Tour Finals and the top 16 players from the 2020 Mythic Invitational will battle in both Standard and Historic formats, with $250,000 in prizes at stake.
The official Magic Esports page has published the metagame stats for the upcoming tournament. In this article, you can find the breakdowns of both Standard and Historic fields, with their most popular archetypes and cards. Be sure also to check out the dedicated 2020 Season Grand Finals Decklists page for the latest info on the registered decks.
Omnath, Locus of Creation dominates the Standard portion of the event, with 72% of the decks playing a full playset of the card. This incredibly powerful engine provides both card, mana, and health advantage – and given the quality of mana bases available in the format, it turns out the four-color card is actually very easy to cast as early as turn four.
Omnath-based archetypes come in two distinct variations – either as a full-on ramp deck with Lotus Cobra as an enabler and Genesis Ultimatum as the main win-con; or as a Lucky Clover build with Adventure synergies and ‘toolbox’ sideboard for Fae of Wishes.
Rakdos Midrange is the most popular ‘alternative’ strategy of the weekend, with 4 players opting to register this innovative Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger deck. It uses Mire Triton and Tymaret Calls the Dead to fill the graveyard for escape purposes, all the while controlling the battlefield with land-removal modal cards and discard spells. Thanks to Zendikar Rising MDFC’s, this deck almost never floods, and it is capable of both blitzkrieg lethals and prolonged attrition wars.
Gruul Adventures is the Embercleave deck of the format – there’s always one in the format that is built around this powerful equipment. What is interesting this time, however, is that due to the omnipresence of Lucky Clover, Gemrazer has mostly replaced Questing Beast in green-based aggro builds. Meanwhile, Dimir Rogue keeps losing its appeal by every week it seems – only one player has registered this blue-black counterspell/tempo deck for the tournament.
Sadly, Omnath holds its reign over the Historic format as well – though here we see ‘only’ a 34,4% share of the field. Four-color Omnath Ramp is built here virtually with the same idea as in Standard – only in Historic we still have access to Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and even better shocklands-empowered mana. Although to be fair, the pool of answers to Omnath is also much wider – Aether Gust in addition to Mystical Dispute allows controlling Ramp decks much more efficiently.
Jund Sacrifice and Four-Color Midrange are essentially the same archetypes we saw shining in the 2020 Mythic Invitational. The Jund decks feature cat-oven combo splashing for Collected Company, while Four-Color Midrange is the next step in the evolution of the Sultai Midrange deck of the pre-Zendikar Rising cycle, making room for Yasharn, Implacable Earth.
Neostorm is the new kid on the Historic block and certainly one of the decks to watch. This is the combo list that requires two specific cards and 4 mana to OTK the opponent. Here’s how the combo goes: we play Sea Gate Stormcaller and then Neoform to copy the spell and also sacrifice the Stormcaller. The copy of the Neoform fetches Dualcaster Mage in place of it, which copies the original Neoform. This copy fetches yet another Dualcaster Mage, and then another – the chain goes on until you run out of them. After that, you switch to fetching Glasspool Mimics that act as additional Dualcaster Mages. Finally, after you amassed a bunch of 3/3 on the board enough for the lethal, original Neoform fetches Tuktuk Rubblefort to give everything haste!
On a final note, we have to admit that Omnath, Locus of Creation has a gigantic target on its back going into this tournament. The results of the weekend will probably lead to yet another B&R announcement, but for now, we are in for a lot of mirror matches – with the diversity of the field even lower than during the Oko, Thief of Crowns’ meta of October 2019. The sad thing is, the Omnath mirrors are not even of the kind that tests the skills of players in some unconventional ways. In these games it is more often than not once if you’ve stumbled early – you can’t get back into the game. On the bright side, everyone loves a good underdog story, and I’m sure it will be fun rooting against Omnath during the event!