Historic Metagame Data Analysis and Predictions: SCG Tour Online March 2021

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Hello everyone! Today I’m going to review the results from this weekend’s Historic SCG $5k qualifier. Using the data and my understanding of metagame trends, I’m going to talk about what’s likely to happen on ladder in the short term and the next few Historic events. Before I get started, here’s a chart of the top 10 most popular archetypes and their win rates.

Metagame

Archetype# of Decks% of Field% Win Rate
Jund Food6220.598%53.0534%
Azorius Control227.309%50%
Jund Company227.309%58.5366%
Goblins144.6512%54.878%
Four-color Control134.3189%44.4444%
Sultai Ultimatum123.9867%53.6232%
Gruul Company113.6545%50%
Mono-Red Aggro103.3223%56.9231%
Gruul Aggro92.99%42.8571%
Orzhov Auras92.99%51.2821%

Furthermore, if you want to see the top 12 decklists, you can check them out here!

JUND FOOD IS NOW THE BEST DECK, BUT WILL ONLY CONTINUE TO BE FOR A FEW WEEKS

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Historic Jund Food by Daniel Toledo – $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier (1st)

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Companion
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
Creature (18)
4
Cauldron Familiar
4
Gilded Goose
3
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
4
Mayhem Devil
3
Woe Strider
Sorcery (6)
4
Claim the Firstborn
2
Thoughtseize
Artifact (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Enchantment (7)
3
Binding the Old Gods
4
Trail of Crumbs
Land (25)
2
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
2
Blood Crypt
3
Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway
4
Darkbore Pathway/Slitherbore Pathway
3
Fabled Passage
1
Forest
1
Mountain
4
Overgrown Tomb
1
Phyrexian Tower
2
Stomping Ground
2
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Abrade
1
Binding the Old Gods
2
Casualties of War
1
Epic Downfall
2
Fatal Push
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
1
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
1
Noxious Grasp
1
Reclamation Sage
2
Thoughtseize
1
Vraska, Golgari Queen

Man look at those numbers! For a deck that was seeing very little play leading up to the 5k, taking up 20% of the field is a very impressive number. I’m not particularly surprised though, as I even predicted this would happen a month in advance. That being said, I would consider Jund Food to be the “best” deck right now as Sacrifice is the best archetype and Food is better in the mirror. Then why do I think it’s dominance will be short lived?

Jund Food is a great deck, but it’s not a particularly unfair deck. The deck interacts well and can win quickly once it gets a Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, but that’s one of it’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, the reliance on Korvold. Food can struggle to win quickly as it generally needs to find a Korvold to close out the game, but that can make them slower compared to the lower to the ground variant, Jund Company. Since the deck can take a little while to close games and interaction is mostly based around small creatures, decks that go larger than Food can be really problematic for them. That leads me right into my next point.

SULTAI ULTIMATUM (AND SIMILAR LATE GAME DECKS) WILL GAIN SIGNIFICANT TRACTION

Emergent-Ultimatum-Ikoria-MtG-Art

Historic Sultai Ultimatum by Leon Milton – $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier (3rd)

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Companion
1
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Planeswalker (4)
1
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
2
Narset, Parter of Veils
1
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Creature (3)
1
Polukranos, Unchained
1
Valki, God of Lies/Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor
1
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
Sorcery (20)
2
Alrund's Epiphany
4
Emergent Ultimatum
3
Explore
2
Extinction Event
3
Migration Path
1
Planewide Celebration
1
Sea Gate Restoration/Sea Gate, Reborn
4
Shadows' Verdict
Instant (7)
1
Commit/Memory
2
Eliminate
2
Heartless Act
1
Pact of Negation
1
Supreme Will
Enchantment (11)
4
Binding the Old Gods
1
Kiora Bests the Sea God
2
Omen of the Sea
4
Wolfwillow Haven
Land (35)
4
Barkchannel Pathway/Tidechannel Pathway
1
Breeding Pool
4
Clearwater Pathway/Murkwater Pathway
4
Darkbore Pathway/Slitherbore Pathway
3
Fabled Passage
3
Forest
3
Island
1
Ketria Triome
3
Overgrown Tomb
2
Swamp
3
Watery Grave
4
Zagoth Triome
Cards 80
Sideboard (15)
2
Aether Gust
2
Brazen Borrower
3
Grafdigger's Cage
1
Necromentia
2
Negate
1
Sandwurm Convergence
1
Thought Distortion
2
Thoughtseize
1
Yorion, Sky Nomad

Everyone who brought Sultai Ultimatum to the $5k would’ve made a genius move if this was a week or two later. That isn’t to say it wasn’t a decent choice for this tournament, but I think the pilots should’ve kept the spice hidden for a little while longer. I played my fair share of Sultai Ultimatum as well, but came to the conclusion that although the deck is powerful, it was hard to play it in a completely open metagame. What Sultai Ult really needed was one tournament to help homogenize the metagame, then it can build itself in such a way to exploit the holes in other decks.

With that, these results are about the best Sultai Ultimatum could ask for. The best deck for next week is pretty bad against them, there aren’t too many fast decks, and control not only had middling results, but Jund Food is a really hard matchup for it. If you like going big in Historic, this is the time to play this style of deck, but if you’re looking to do so, I’d definitely recommend trying Sultai Ult first.

CONTROL DECKS ARE GOING TO TREND DOWN DUE TO FOOD’S DOMINANCE

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (Dominaria) Art by Chris Rallis

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Planeswalker (5)
1
Narset, Parter of Veils
4
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Sorcery (4)
4
Wrath of God
Instant (10)
3
Absorb
4
Censor
1
Dovin's Veto
2
Saw It Coming
Artifact (1)
1
Grafdigger's Cage
Enchantment (14)
4
Baffling End
4
Cast Out
2
Search for Azcanta
4
Shark Typhoon
Land (26)
3
Castle Ardenvale
2
Castle Vantress
4
Glacial Fortress
4
Hallowed Fountain
4
Irrigated Farmland
5
Island
4
Plains
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Authority of the Consuls
1
Disallow
2
Doomskar
3
Dovin's Veto
1
Grafdigger's Cage
2
Narset, Parter of Veils
2
Rest in Peace
2
Tale's End

(H) Rakdos Arcanist March 2021

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creature (16)
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Dreadhorde Arcanist
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Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
4
Stitcher's Supplier
4
Young Pyromancer
Sorcery (15)
2
Bloodchief's Thirst
3
Claim the Firstborn
4
Claim/Fame
2
Spark Harvest
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (7)
1
Bedevil
2
Fatal Push
4
Village Rites
Land (22)
4
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
4
Blood Crypt
1
Castle Locthwain
4
Dragonskull Summit
2
Mountain
7
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Abrade
2
Angrath's Rampage
4
Duress
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
2
Noxious Grasp
2
Pharika's Libation
2
Soul-Guide Lantern

I more or less mentioned this before, but this is going to be a tough few weeks for you Control junkies. Food is a very hard matchup due to how well they can grind through their deck, so decks like UW and Arcanist are going to be hit the hardest by these shifts. If you’re a UW player, I would suggest putting the deck down for a week or two and let the meta stabilize, you really don’t want to face the parade of Jund Food players that are going to be emboldened by the SCG results; try the deck again in a week or two when decks gunning to beat Food start popping up.

Arcanist players unfortunately are going to have it twice as rough. No matter how you slice it, good matchups for Arcanist look like they’re going to trend way down making it a poor option moving forward. Whether it’s Food or go big decks that beat Food, Arcanist really doesn’t want to be facing either. It may be time to look towards a different strategy if you really like casting Thoughtseize.

IT MAY BE GOBLIN’S TIME TO SHINE ONCE AGAIN

(H) Goblins

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Creature (32)
4
Conspicuous Snoop
4
Goblin Chieftain
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Goblin Matron
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Goblin Warchief
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Krenko, Mob Boss
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Muxus, Goblin Grandee
4
Skirk Prospector
4
Wily Goblin
Sorcery (5)
3
Irencrag Feat
2
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Land (23)
4
Castle Embereth
18
Mountain
1
Phyrexian Tower
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Abrade
1
Goblin Chainwhirler
2
Goblin Ringleader
1
Goblin Trashmaster
4
Herald's Horn
4
Leyline of the Void

Since Uro has been gone, it feels like Muxus, Goblin Grandee has been banned with it. With that, I’m quite surprised that Goblins ended up being such a represented archetype, but not terribly surprised that it did reasonably well. Goblins is a powerful archetype that doesn’t get hated out by much, so it was weird to not see any of it on ladder for the longest time. Now that Jund Food is trending up thus slowing the Sacrifice archetype down, Goblins may be able to better tussle with Cat and also beat up on decks looking to beat Food.

Furthermore, although I don’t think people should play UW in the short term, I’m sure many players still will. With that, Goblins does a great job at beating a slow deck like that, especially when there aren’t many Aether Gusts seeing play. If you want to try and attack the metagame in a way it’s not expecting, Goblins could be the answer.

AGGRO PLAYERS BEWARE, IT’S GOING TO BE VERY HOSTILE FOR A BIT, BUT NOT FOREVER

gruul-spellbreaker-art

Historic Gruul Company by Lukas Schwendinger – $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier (2nd)

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Creature (32)
4
Bonecrusher Giant
4
Burning-Tree Emissary
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Gallia of the Endless Dance
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Gruul Spellbreaker
4
Llanowar Elves
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Pelt Collector
2
Rampaging Ferocidon
4
Scavenging Ooze
4
Voltaic Brawler
Sorcery (2)
2
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (3)
3
Collected Company
Artifact (3)
3
Embercleave
Land (20)
4
Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway
5
Forest
2
Hashep Oasis
3
Mountain
2
Ramunap Ruins
4
Stomping Ground
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Abrade
2
Ahn-Crop Crasher
2
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1
Collected Company
1
Garruk's Harbinger
3
Klothys, God of Destiny
3
Magma Spray
1
Redcap Melee

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Jegantha, the Wellspring
Creature (22)
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Bomat Courier
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Chandra's Incinerator
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Ghitu Lavarunner
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Grim Lavamancer
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Soul-Scar Mage
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Thermo-Alchemist
Sorcery (12)
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Light Up the Stage
4
Pillar of Flame
4
Skewer the Critics
Instant (8)
4
Shock
4
Wizard's Lightning
Land (18)
14
Mountain
4
Ramunap Ruins
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
4
Lightning Strike
3
Rampaging Ferocidon
4
Viashino Pyromancer

This may be a somewhat controversial stance to take when Monored had a strong win rate and Gruul took second at the SCG, but I think it’s going to be very tough for Aggro moving forward. First of all, Jund Food loves seeing aggro decks and will take that matchup every day of the week. It’s not like the matchup is unwinnable for Aggro, but it certainly isn’t great.

Second, a lot of the decks that are looking to beat Food may accidentally hit aggro with the splash damage. Sultai Ultimatum can easily be teched to beat aggro decks and ramp strategies like Monored and Monoblack naturally have a bunch of removal and wrath effects. That being said, the metagame will start shifting towards the slower end of the spectrum as these slow decks will start teching to beat other slow decks. When the slow decks start trying to cannibalize each other, then it’ll definitely be time to pick up the red decks again.

AURAS MAY HIT IT BIG NEXT WEEK DESPITE ALL THE SACRIFICE PLAYERS

Kor Spiritdancer

(H) Orzhov Auras

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creature (16)
4
Hateful Eidolon
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Kor Spiritdancer
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Selfless Savior
4
Sram, Senior Edificer
Sorcery (7)
1
Agadeem's Awakening/Agadeem, the Undercrypt
2
Claim/Fame
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (1)
1
Sejiri Shelter/Sejiri Glacier
Enchantment (17)
3
All That Glitters
3
Angelic Gift
3
Cartouche of Solidarity
4
Kaya's Ghostform
4
Sentinel's Eyes
Land (19)
4
Brightclimb Pathway/Grimclimb Pathway
4
Concealed Courtyard
4
Godless Shrine
2
Isolated Chapel
4
Plains
1
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Apostle of Purifying Light
2
Dead Weight
3
Duress
4
Hushbringer
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
3
Mire's Grasp

If you know me, I love Auras, maybe a little more than I should. I think the deck is disgustingly powerful, but definitely doesn’t love seeing Claim the Firstborn. With that, it may be weird to say that Auras can hit it big when Sacrifice is at the top of the metagame, but there’s a key change I’m noticing that may make this possible.

Although Claim the Firstborn is really tough for the deck, Priest of Forgotten Gods is just as brutal. If you look at the top Jund Food lists, instead of a playset of Priest, you see 0-2. As Food develops, I believe that Priest will likely just be cut entirely as it’s not even that good in the deck overall. With Priest getting cut, I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing Claim the Firstborn being replaced by Fatal Push. Claim is so good in Company as you have 13 sac outlets with Witch's Oven, Priest, Woe Strider, and Phyrexian Tower. The first place food list plays 11 sacrifice outlets, but with 3 of them being a Korvold, your Claims are much less consistent.

If Food starts trending away from Claim and the meta slows down, Auras may have the opportunity to run the tables with their “worst” matchup building in such a way that doesn’t even make them a bad matchup anymore.

JUND COMPANY WILL STILL BE GOOD DESPITE FOOD’S PRESENCE

(H) Korvold Company

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1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
Creature (25)
4
Cauldron Familiar
4
Dreadhorde Butcher
1
Gilded Goose
1
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
4
Mayhem Devil
3
Midnight Reaper
4
Priest of Forgotten Gods
4
Woe Strider
Sorcery (4)
4
Claim the Firstborn
Instant (4)
4
Collected Company
Artifact (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Land (23)
1
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
4
Blood Crypt
4
Blooming Marsh
4
Dragonskull Summit
4
Overgrown Tomb
1
Phyrexian Tower
4
Stomping Ground
1
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Abrade
2
Bonecrusher Giant
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
1
Klothys, God of Destiny
2
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
1
Liliana's Defeat
4
Noxious Grasp
2
Reclamation Sage

Another warm take for the article! Jund Food is definitely a hard matchup, but I don’t think playing Company is now out of the question. The decks may look quite similar, but their playstyles are very different overall. Jund Food takes advantage of the decks looking to go under other decks as Korvold can easily trounce most small ball strategies. Jund Company on the other hand is a low to the ground deck that has the ability to interact, race, and grind given the scenario it finds itself in. This disparity can be further compounded by decks looking to beat up on Jund Food may still ironically struggle with the Company variant of Jund.

That being said, I don’t think Company is going to change significantly, but if you want to play it, definitely up the amount of Korvold you’re playing and have more ways to deal with Korvold as well.

Thank you for reading! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and teaching!

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