The Standard(T2) Metagame in December
Written by derflippi on January 07, 2010
Players always want to figure out a good way to win. One part of this is the deck choice, which usually depends on the metagame. The Standard(T2) metagame of magic-league is what I was able to analyze.
In my last analysis, I collected the data of our big tournaments and with that, explained why a metagame changes in a specific way from day to day.
This time, the popularity of the Standard(T2) abates and Extended (T1.x) is gaining interest and relevance to the competitive Magic: The Gathering scene.
On the feedback I got, I got asked to collect the data of the table from a wider basis. So I looked not only at the Trials and Masters, but also at every Standard(T2) tournament hosted on magic-league.com in December.
If you wish to look at the complete table, you can download it here. This is especially useful in case you want to compose an article about your own thoughts on the metagame, or want to re-evaluate my following points.
First, it will be interesting to see the percentages of the metagame
We had a very diverse metagame in December. Players are trying new and different decks everyday. The 3 clearly most played decks are Jund, MonoRed and GWb Rock. Since jund and monored are not new to the scene, there is no need to talk about those lists any further.
The top 3 decks make 35% of the metagame. 50% of the decks are decks which I here consider as Tier2 decks: decks that are played here and there, win here and there and should be acknowledged by a competitive player.
A rather new deck is GWb Aggro:
One issue people had with my November analysis was that it didn't say anything about strengths or weaknesses of a deck. It didn't provide the competitive player with any useful evaluation on a deck, it featured nothing but a description of which decks where played when. This time, I have some more comprehensive information. For example, how many tournaments where won by which deck. A tournament counts as "won" if a deck placed in the top eigth (12,5%) of the tournament. This way, I also account for the good finishes at trials and masters, making a 3-0 in a trial (or better) as worth as a mini (8-man) win.
If every deck were as good as the other, the rankings of the decks would be the same for played and won tournaments. But some decks are of course, without looking at specific matchups better than others. For example, Mono Red was played less than Jund (13%), yet won more tournaments than Jund (20%). The rank-improvement is outstanding for Naya in a negative way(played by 4,67%, won only 3,57%), and in a positive way for Vampires (played by 3,98%, won 5,49%) and UW Control (played by 4,1%, won 6,32%) So, there are few obvious notes: Naya is not a good choice, while UW Control and Vampires are very promising.
Here an example of UW Control:
More recently, the quantities of clean UW control lowered and players tend to splash Black for Rise from the Grave and, more important, Esper Charm. In my table, I call this new idea "Esper Control".
So we know we can extract some information about decks by just looking at the percentages of how often a deck was played and how often it won.
Merging the WinPercentages with the Metagame table produces a conversion rate for each deck. If the conversion rate of a deck is exactly 1, then it won every 8th 8-man tournament it played in. A metagame with 8 different decks that each have a conversion rate of 1 consists of equally good decks.
A conversion rate of 0 means the deck has not won a tournament yet.
Here's the list of all relevant decks played on magic-league and their conversion rates:
We still have to add some additional information: If a deck was played 5 times and won 5 times, it'd have a conversion rate of 9,5%. What I'm saying is the conversion rate should be looked at for comparison of decks for decks that are played roughly the same time. That way, it can be ensured that it's played by a wide range of players, with less and much skill, players with experience with the deck and some without experience playing the deck. Sedraxis Jund for example does not have a big-enough sample-size, yet a conversion rate of 3%. Since it wasn't played much, we cannot give a detailed statement about it.
So, the one about the decks that were played contains valuable information:
Jund has a quotient of less than 1. But that, in the case of Jund, does not imply it'd be a "bad" deck. Since Jund is played by more than 12,5% (1/8), there have to be a few Jund decks that don't win the tournament, since only one of them can do it. This way, the normed conversion rate of Jund is most likely above 1.
If you have an idea how to touch this Jund-problem, you're welcome to suggest a solution to me.
For decks that were played by roughly the same amount of players, however, we can tell which deck is better than another. For the decks played by more than 2% (that means a deck was played more than 70 times out of the 3500 collected decks), here's their conversion rates.
Leaving GWb Aggro, Monored and Jund aside, we can now compare the decks. Grixis Control, Naya, Bant and Owl are not a good choice for the average player. The Milldeck is the worst of all decks in that table, by far. It won only 3,85% of the tournaments it played. A good deck wins 12,5% or more.
So what is the point of this article ?
Looking at Jund, Monored and GWb Aggro, the best deck is GWb Aggro. Looking at all other decks, UW Control is the best deck, followed by Mono White Control and Vampires. Jund is overrated as is Naya.
If you want a suggestion on what deck to play, I suggest you choose from MonoRed, GWb Aggro, UW Control and MWC.
Owl and Spread Em were meant as metagame choices, but can't survive in this diverse metagame.
Now, the Extended season is starting, so this will be my last Standard(T2) article for a while. For January, I will compose a similar overview about the Extended(T1.x) format. I'm always happy to work on my articles with feedback I get. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or questions on my analysis.
Until next time, play on magic-league.com, and become a better player.
by Lynolf on 2010-01-07 23:31 CET
I stopped reading when I saw the symbol "%". Also, the letter is very small, and the boards with the decks and their numbers of something aren't well organized.
by kburts on 2010-01-07 23:59 CET
by GoneBananas on 2010-01-08 00:04 CET
i invented mwc... sorta well not really but i owned at states with it
by kburts on 2010-01-08 00:18 CET
by derflippi on 2010-01-08 00:44 CET
At this point, i'd like to thank DARKING for his effort on the trial metagame breakdowns.
by DaWorm on 2010-01-08 14:57 CET
Don't know why but this page is SMALL.
by mr_thompsom on 2010-01-08 16:43 CET
If u are using firefox just do Ctrl + "+" and it will get bigger... ¬¬
by Epic-Juzam37 on 2010-01-08 17:10 CET
by mchosa on 2010-01-08 17:36 CET
the commas are really annoying
by Araeliz on 2010-01-08 18:59 CET
Ctrl + + ftw.
by derflippi on 2010-01-08 22:05 CET
I have a small problem. How can I make it smaller again?
by DaWorm on 2010-01-09 07:54 CET
strg "+" -> bigger
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