Weekend Tournament Report: Results and Decklists from July 23-25

It’s time once again for the Weekend Tournament Report, where we take a look at some of the biggest Arena tournaments each week and break down the meta and results. This weekend, we have a nice spread of event results across Standard, Standard 2022, and Historic. The SCG Tour Online also restarted this weekend featuring the Standard format. With as many as nine events per weekend, we’ve given the SCG Tour Online it’s own report series which will continue each week.

The Historic format was just shaken up again this week, with Brainstorm being suspended in the format on Wednesday. Insight Esports hosted a $5,000 Historic Open on Sunday, the largest event since the suspension. Izzet Phoenix, which was had been dominant in the metagame of nearly all competitive events, was still represented in the tournament but in much smaller numbers. On the other hand, Jeskai Control maintained a very strong 19% of the field at the Insight tournament with a 64% winrate against non-mirror opponents, suggesting that the other front-runner in Historic may be faring better without Brainstorm than Phoenix is.

Standard is looking much the same as ever, with adventure decks and Sultai Ultimatum still taking up a large share of the meta along with Mono Green and Mono White. Mono Green seems to have benefited the most from Adventures of the Forgotten Realms thanks to Werewolf Pack Leader and Ranger Class. Other than that, few cards from AFR are showing up much in competitive Standard other than an occasional creature land like Den of the Bugbear and Lair of the Hydra.

In Japan, however, Naya Winota was the second-most played archetype at BIG MAGIC’s Season 2 Japan Championship. The deck did extremely well in the meta, with a 58% winrate overall and 4 decks in the top 8. There aren’t many surprises in these decks, most of which run a fairly typical adventure shell, but with the added explosive potential of Winota, Joiner of Forces instead of the grindier Showdown of the Skalds which usually fills the four mana slot of Naya Adventure decks.

In Standard 2022, where the absence of Throne of Eldraine and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths lowers the power level considerably, the AFR set is playing a much bigger role. The most popular archetype at the Black Pearl Standard 2022 Tournament #1 was Dimir Control, a deck which closes the game with Professor Onyx and the new Mordenkainen– but it was a Jund ramp deck that took first place.

Various decks based around the new treasure token producing cards like Kalain, Reclusive Painter and Skullport Merchant have been making their way around the format and seem to be quite strong. Many examples of decks in the new treasure archetype have been in the Rakdos colors, but the inclusion of green from clever player El Pequeño Tasigur allows for the inclusion of Prosperous Innkeeper, a deceptively powerful card in the format.

We’ll take a closer look at the metagames from each of these tournaments as we get to them, so let’s dive right in!

This Week’s Lineup:

Standard

BIG MAGIC is a major tournament organizer based in Japan. This weekend was host to a major Standard tournament, the Season 2 Japan Championship. 165 players battled across two days in the current Standard format, ending with a single-elimination top 8.

Metagame

ArchetypeNumber of DecksPercentage of FieldWinrate
Sultai Ramp (Yorion)3118.8%45.4%
Naya Winota2213.33%58.3%
Mono-Green Aggro ❄1911.5%56.2%
Mono-White Aggro ❄ 116.67%43.33%
Temur Adventures (Obosh)116.67%45.6%
Gruul Adventures106.1%58.6%
Jeskai Mutate95.5%43.4%
Izzet Dragons ❄ 63.6%20.8333%
Dimir Rogues (Lurrus)53%60%
Naya Adventures (Jegantha)53%55.8%

Top 8

RankPlayerDeckRecord
1Yuta HirosawaGruul Adventures12-1-2
2YOJIRO FUTAMATANaya Winota11-3-1
3Keisuke SatoSultai Ultimatum11-3-0
4Yuji ShomatsumotoNaya Winota10-3-1
5toru konoJeskai Mutate9-3-1
6Toru Horie@outbackNaya Winota9-3-1
7calmNaya Winota9-3-1
8Kaname YanaseMono Green Aggro9-3-1

Despite consistently putting up sub .500 winrates in non-mirror matches, Sultai Ultimatum continues to make up the lion’s share of the competitive Standard meta. In addition, adventure-based decks and mono colored aggro decks continue to put up solid results, including a Winota-flavored variant on Naya adventures which was one of the top archetypes at the BIG MAGIC Season 2 Japan Championship.

Izzet Dragons, along with its sister deck Jeskai Mutate, both looked to be quite strong in Standard around the time of the Strixhaven Championship, but neither archetype fared particularly well at this event- six Dragons decks entered only managed a dismal 20.8% winrate and Jeskai Mutate wasn’t much better at 43% despite having one deck in the top 8.

Despite its relatively low representation in the meta at this tournament with only five decks entered, Dimir Rogues seems like it may be positioned well in the meta. None of the Rogues players made it into the top 8, but the archetype posted an impressive 60% winrate overall. Hate cards for the Rogues matchup are relatively few and far between with the archetype making up such a small portion of most metagames, so it might be a good time for the Rogues deck to make a comeback.

Decklists

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Standard 2022

Black Pearl Club is an MTG event host based in Spain. They hosted their first Standard 2022 tournament over the weekend: a relatively small, open entry event. This tournament gives us a chance to check in on what some competitively-minded players are building around in the Standard 2022 format.

Metagame

ArchetypeNumber of DecksPercentage of FieldWinrate
Dimir Control730.4%44.4%
Rakdos Midrange28.7%28.6%
Izzet Dragons28.7%57.1%
Sultai Control28.7%37.5%
Golgari Midrange28.7%40%

Top 8

RankPlayerDeckRecord
1El Pequeño TasigurJund Ramp6-1
2MordenCaileDimir Control5-2
3Aitor AberasturiIzzet Midrange5-1
4DiosesMTGDimir Control3-2-1
5aN3iLoDimir Control 4-1
6r8 rak2Izzet Dragons3-2
7Alberto Porras LópezOrzhov Midrange3-2
8BksinnDimir Control 2-2-1

Many of the competitive Standard 2022 events we’ve seen thus far have been largely dominated by Mono Green Stompy and Izzet Dragons decks, but this week’s Black Pearl tournament paints a different picture- one that’s dominated by Dimir Control decks.

Dimir Control in Standard 2022 is usually a pile of removal and counter spells. Many versions of the deck run snow lands with Graven Lore as the payoff, and they usually run some combination of Professor Onyx, Mordenkainen, and Lolth, Spider Queen to end the game. Mordenkainen is a particularly interesting planeswalker- it’s a clunky and expensive card, but also has the ability to end the game very quickly if the control player can stablize and keep the board clear.

Decklists

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Historic

Insight Esports is a major tournament host on MTGmelee. They run events across a range of formats every week, including Standard and Historic tournaments with prize money. This particular event is especially interesting because it is one of the first Historic tournaments to take place since Brainstorm was removed from the format.

Izzet Phoenix and Jeskai Control were the rulers of the format before the suspension, but what will the format look like going forward? This tournament drew a fairly large field of 63 players including some well-known streamers as well as MPL and Rivals members looking to test the waters of the new competitive format.

Metagame

ArchetypeNumber of DecksPercentage of FieldWinrate
Jeskai Control (Kaheera)1219%64%
Jund Food914.3%44.7%
Azorius Auras (Lurrus)46.3%23.1%
Orzhov Auras (Lurrus)46.3%68%
Izzet Phoenix46.3%44.4%
Dragonstorm34.8%63.2%
Five-color Niv-Mizzet34.8%53.33%

Top 8

RankPlayerDeckRecord
1Santi DelgadoOrzhov Auras9-1
2Omar Lopez CabreraJeskai Control8-2
3Sam BeaulieuDragonstorm8-1
4Arne HuschenbethJeskai Control 7-2
5Kevin HoudeJeskai Control 6-2
6sandydogmtgIzzet Phoenix5-3
7hogpog_98Jund Food5-3
8Tomas PokornyJeskai Control 5-3

Although Brainstorm was format-warping in Historic to the point where it was nearly ubiquitous in the top 8s of the tournament scene, its removal will surely not have a big enough impact to allow for entirely new archetypes to rise up. What we’re seeing instead is the return of other known archetypes to the forefront in Historic, such as Jund Food/Sacrifice which was considered a top deck in the format before the printing of the Mystical Archive.

However, while Izzet Phoenix showed up to this tournament in much smaller numbers, early indications suggest that Jeskai Control is adapting just fine to the loss of Brainstorm- the archetype made up 19% of the field and finished the tournament with a 62% winrate including four decks in the top 8. Even without the powerful one-mana cantrip, Jeskai still looks like one of the best decks you can be playing in Historic.

In fact, despite its metagame share being way down from where it was before the ban, Izzet Phoenix still managed a top 8 finish at the Tier 1 Historic Open. From looking at his decklist, it would seem that sandydogmtg, notable streamer and tournament regular, simply replaced the four copies of Brainstorm with four copies of Opt– it’s a much less powerful cantrip for sure, but it still does the job of casting Arclight Phoenix and Demilich just fine.

Auras decks continue to make up a large share of the Historic meta as well. Interestingly, the Orzhov versions of the deck did much better in this event, with an absurd 68% winrate, than the Azorius decks which only had a 23% winrate by comparison. An Orzhov deck even won the event in the hands of Santi Delgado.

Typically, Azorius versions of the deck run card draw auras like Staggering Insight, along with cheap counterspells like Spell Pierce and Dovin's Veto to protect their board. Orzhov, on the other hand, goes for a more proactive and aggressive plan with Hateful Eidolon for more draw that’s attached to a creature, and Thoughtseize and Kaya's Ghostform functioning as protection.

Decklists

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Paul

Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.

1 Response

  1. Vottoast says:

    Opt was always part of Izzet Phoenix. Looks like the new addition is Warlord’s Fury, a 1-mana cantrip that doesn’t have much synergy with the rest of the deck.