Last weekend’s Satellite tournaments gave a lot of information, and after some recent meta shifts as well as a new challenger in Paradox Combo, it’s the perfect time to analyze some data and figure out which decks performed well, which decks didn’t and why. If you’re playing in the MCQW this weekend, this will be a great resource for you.
|TOTAL SATELLITE||# of Decks||% of Field||Wins||Losses||Match Win %|
Sultai Midrange (META: 12%, Win Percent: 60%)
Four-Color Control (META: 19%, Win Percent: 45%)
4C Control had an abysmal weekend, only posting a positive win percentage against Jund Sacrifice (69%) and failing to compete against several archetypes. The leaner Sultai builds crushed 4C Control (33%) along with Goblins (44%), Paradox Combo (35%), and UW Control (47%). It’s only somewhat reasonable matchup outside of those was RB Sacrifice (49%). Sultai outperformed 4C Control in every single matchup except for Jund (69% -> 63%), which isn’t really that big of a deal. So why did Sultai have such a good weekend compared to 4C Control?
For starters, Sultai just has better mana. It pretty much goes without saying that it’s easier to cast 3 different colors of spells than 4 colors, but the color requirements aren’t the major issue here. The amount of taplands that 4 color decks have to run is significantly larger than that of Sultai, slowing the deck down by at least a turn. The decrease in speed for the increase in power level ended up harming the archetype a lot, especially because a new combo deck appeared. Not being able to answer the pieces on time likely led to the demise of many a 4C player. Sultai’s comparatively larger efficiency gives it the edge in the mirror, and with a few tweaks, the archetype was able to shore up matchups without sacrificing speed.
Jund Sacrifice (META: 4%, Win Percent: 45%)
Rakdos Sacrifice (META: 5%, Win Percent: 59%)
Rakdos succeeded this weekend over Jund for very similar reasons as to why Sultai succeeded over 4C Control, Rakdos is a comparatively leaner build to Jund. It has the ability to be the aggressor in matchups while also interacting, while Jund has some difficulty in stepping on the gas. Both decks are strong against other creature decks, but the breakout deck of Paradox Engine has an easier time dealing with Jund because of its lack of pressure. Giving more time to a combo deck is really not the game you want to play.
Rakdos’s speed was also relevant in the Sultai variant matchups (Sultai 44%; 4C Control 51%). When we compare those numbers to that of Jund’s (Sultai 37%; 4C Control 31%), we can see that it’s very difficult to grind against the grindy deck in the format.Rakdos only sacrificed a few points against Goblins (69% Jund to 65% Rakdos), and that’s not really that big of a deal because Sacrifice is already heavily favored in the matchup.
The last matchup to talk about is UW Control. Jund put up a 50% win rate against UW, while Rakdos posted an astounding 85% win rate. Rakdos ability to run UW over before they can establish control is a huge boon for Rakdos as well. While both matchups lean towards sacrifice in my opinion, being able to step on the gas and close out games rather than give UW Control more time to draw answers is key for the decks greater success in that matchup.
Goblins (META: 15%, Win Percent: 53%)
Goblins had a very strong performance this weekend, although there were some decks that gave it trouble. Goblins had roughly even performances against UW Control (52%) and Sultai (51%), utilizing its ability to grind as well as its explosiveness to compete with the decks, but not have the strong results it showed previously. Goblins performed very well against 4C Control (55%), being able to capitalize on the slowness of the archetype compared to Sultai. The decks that posed issues for Goblins were Sacrifice and Paradox Combo. Sacrifice (Jund- 30%; Rakdos- 35%) is oppressively strong against creature decks, and you can expect a deck named after a creature type to be weak against it.
The newcomer in Paradox Combo (48%) isn’t as bad as it initially looks for Goblins, however, most Goblins players weren’t prepared for Paradox. With a few tweaks to the sideboard with cards like Damping Sphere, Goblins should be able to flip this matchup by applying pressure and disruption, the combination which is difficult for the combo deck to deal with. All in all, Goblins had a very good weekend, and unless Sacrifice lists pick up in popularity, Goblins should remain a strong contender in the meta.
Azorius Control (META: 8%, Win Percent: 53%)
UW Control, despite posting a decent win percentage, actually had a very weak performance this weekend when you look at the numbers. UW Control only had one decent matchup in the meta decks this weekend, posting 53% against 4C Control. UW Control already had a good matchup against that archetype, running cards like Narset, Parter of Veils to mitigate the damage from cards that are typically very good against Control like Uro and Hydroid Krasis.
Other than that, it performed poorly against Paradox Combo (42%), Goblins (48%), extremely poorly against Rakdos Sacrifice (15%) and Sultai Midrange (30%). UW Control has a difficult time beating these decks because they all do something broken while also having the ability to execute a fair, but powerful gameplan. In the matches this plays out as UW Control needing to stick a hate piece to prevent one gameplan, then also having to fight against the secondary gameplan. When UW Control lands a Grafdigger’s Cage against Sacrifice, it still has to deal with the same cards as before, they’re just slightly less powerful. Furthermore, this plan only works if the opponent doesn’t have the Abrade to deal with the Cage as well. If UW doesn’t stick the Cage, the deck has even more trouble winning the matchup and this same process repeats itself with different cards for each matchup. Since UW Control isn’t doing anything proactively broken, it struggles against the meta.
Paradox Combo (META: 6%, Win Percent: 54%)
The Paradox Engine Combo deck is a newly developed archetype that utilizes Paradox Engine to cast an abnormally large quantity of spells in a turn and utilize them to win the game, along with other avenues to win in Uro and Skysovereign. There are several different variants of this archetype floating around, with some people like Autumn Burchett running a Temur variant for Escape to the Wilds, Sultai for utility one-ofs like Maelstrom Pulse and Muldrotha, the Gravetide, and others streamlining into a straight Simic deck.
With the amount of uncertainty around this archetype, it is sure to put up some more results in the coming weeks as people figure out the best way to build it. The deck had good matchups against 4C Control (64%) and UW Control (57%) and had an even matchup against Goblins (51%). The deck does rely somewhat on its creatures, so the Sacrifice archetypes are pretty strong against it (35%). Traditional Sultai had a strong matchup against it as well (42%).
In the Kaldheim Mythic Championship Qualifier this weekend, I expect the format to revert back to a more Sultai dominated field rather than 4C Control. Sultai has been tuned to have strong enough matchups without sacrificing speed or consistency. Sacrifice lists will likely perform well, but that will be a function of the number of Goblins players. The new Paradox Combo deck is the only archetype that I am uncertain on. It is undoubtedly a strong deck, but hate pieces could make their way into the sideboards of many lists, potentially giving the archetype a tough time.
Thank you for reading and have a great day!