The metagame of Standard(T2) without Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Written by derflippi on July 05, 2011
With the July 1st restrictions, the old CawBlade deck featuring both, Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mindsculptor does not exist anymore.
The brokennes of the format became clear in every latest Top8.
No deck constantly beat CawBlade, so everyone either joined the club or tried to defeat it.
This created a field of two decks: Jace-decks and Jace-less decks.
Now everthing becomes different.
The bans directly affect more than 50% of all decks. I am interested in how the new metagame looks like after its first two weeks of competitive play. Although theDCI bans are effective just since July 1st, Magic-League adopted the bans immediatly. With 100 tournaments, almost 1000 players and their decklists in the books, Magic-League is able to serve as excellent pool of information to picture the new metagame.
This article can be structured into two halves.
First, I display the decks in the metagame itself; which option is chosen how often, is there a new deck?, what is left of UW CawBlade?
This gives information, without valueing how a deck archetype performs. Which deck became more popular, which deck is steady?
The next step is a quality analysis of the decks. This consists of winning percentages and results in a ranking of decks of the current metagame.
Again a look at the old numbers is done to see which decks profited most from the Jace and SFM bans.
This structure is favoured by me since it allows individual analysis of the reader while still providing strategic value for everyone.
In May, the metagame looked as displayed in the following table
Now, the metagame, in detail is not too different. Boros and RUG Control almost completely disappeared, while UW Control is still a noticeable force.
Of corse, UW Control looks different to the old Caw Blade decks. Generally, one can divide the UW Control decks into two strategies: CawGo, similar as in the pre-SFM era and decks using Blade Splicer, Sun Titan and more carddraw.
UB Control replaced UW as the most played decks. All other decks kept the order of most played decks in the metagame.
New decks are decks featuring the combo of Splinter Twin and Deceiver exarch in different variations (here: UR Twin, Dark Twin, Green Twin, Pyro Twin) and more combolike or controldecks at the area of 3-2% of the metagame.
A not so worrying number is the number of decks with Jace, the Mind Sculptor in the current metagame. I drew the following sketch to demonstrate change to the new metagame.
To analyze how well a deck performs, I use two basic approaches. First, the most intuitive way to analyze a deck's performance is to check the number of matches it has won against the number of matches it has lost. A deck with a quota of exactly 1 has 50:50 matchups on average. The other idea is to have a look at the conversion rate of the deck from the metagame percentage to the percentage of won matches: MetaGamePercentage/(WonMatchesByDeckA/AllWonMatches). This values won matches in later rounds a bit higher and discourages drops.
Obviously, variance applies, so I don't give too much on the decks barely being played. Also, comparing a deck that got played by 10% of the metagame with a deck that got played by only 4% is difficult, which is why I split the deck analysis into two parts.
Metagame in numbers
A look at the most played, the Tier1 decks.
As expected, each of the Top5 played decks: UB Control, Mono Red Aggro, Valakut Ramp, UW Control and Green Eldrazi Ramp, is better than average. They win more matches than they lose.4t Therefore playing one of the decks is not a bad idea. The optimal idea is to play Valakut Ramp or UW Control: Comparing their conversion rates with UB Control and Monored for instance brings a difference of 1/4th. Uw Control won 60% of its matches, while UB Control has only 50%. The Green Eldrazi deck is in the middle of the Top decks. It's worse than Valakut Ramp and UW Control, but better than UB Control and Monored.
With Jace, the Mindsculptor and Stoneforge Mystic absent, many new decks spread from the bottom. Most of them are not finetuned too well yet. They still have more losses than wins against the rest of the field: UR Twin, MonoBlackControl, WW Steel, UBR Control, Birthing Pod or Infect Aggro.
Only two decks among all other analyzed decks had remarkably positive results:
Vampires has a similar winning ratio as Valakut and UW Control. With Jace, the Mindsculptor gone, Vampires try MonoBlack versions more often, recently, Phyrexian Obliterator as addition.
The last deck of my analysis, the last remaining good deck was not played by more than 2% of the metagame, yet impressed me by its results. I see it on the top again and again and it's not similar to any other archetype of the current metagame.
Unfortunately, the amount of data about this deck is still vulnerable to variance, so the next weeks will show if it's really as strong as the numbers say: From all decks analyzed, this had the best winning percentage.
The banning of Jace, the Mindsculptor and Stoneforge Mystic removed the brokenness off Standard(T2). Decks don't have to be able to compete with only one major force of the metagame anymore. Instead, they have to be designed against a diversity of threats. This creates a lot of space in the metagame and allows creativity in the deckbuilding process again.
With UB Control, Monored, Valakut Ramp, UW Control, Vampires and the Deceiver Twin decks, there exist several constants already. As one can see with WUB Puresteel Tezzeret, creative ideas are also quite viable.
I expect this metagame to stay healthy, at least until Innistrad, the set after M12.
Right now, the statistically best decks are UW Control, Vampires and Valakut, but I am sure they won't stay alone at the peak for very long.
That much about my thoughts and analysis, I hope I could give something to you; Until next time, become a better player, by playing on magic-league.com!
by GenesisTimer on 2011-07-05 20:22 CET
by GreenBear on 2011-07-05 21:14 CET
That Ven Diagram should be in the Louvre.
by AppleofEris on 2011-07-05 21:20 CET
Didn't the last article you wrote say that Jace and Stoneforge weren't broken in type 2 and shouldn't be banned?
by tecktonicboy on 2011-07-05 21:29 CET
Obv cause i play it, btw UWb pladin tezz Barney Stinso pass me the first list.
by Incontroll on 2011-07-05 21:40 CET
Sick drawing skills.
by cabof on 2011-07-05 21:42 CET
Gotta love the drawings
by Strid3r on 2011-07-05 23:10 CET
what are the two brown things at the top of the drawing?
by BarneyStinso on 2011-07-05 23:29 CET
tecktonicboy is bad player =P, he won cause my deck is good =P
by tecktonicboy on 2011-07-05 23:57 CET
Hubiera ganado el master pero tu dios me dropeo
by BarneyStinso on 2011-07-06 00:00 CET
jajaja 2 mach lost LOL
by Counterlife on 2011-07-06 00:54 CET
"The metagame of Standard(T2) without Jace, the Mind Sculptor"
by Conkisstador on 2011-07-06 03:48 CET
can you email me you decklist code? I like that format best of all sites on all internet.
by Ashmatan on 2011-07-06 05:14 CET
does jace have the word "cunt" across his chest?? lmfao
by Terri on 2011-07-06 07:34 CET
yea he does. nice to know that someone else figured it out.
by Mykrob56 on 2011-07-06 11:40 CET
I have no idea what any of the cards in that circle are supposed to be. With that, it's amazing.
by derflippi on 2011-07-06 17:55 CET
Venser, Soujourner; Duress; Bloodghast, Primeval Titan; Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle; Goblin Guide; Deceiver Exarch and Deceiver Exarch - Jace, the Mind Sculptor; Stoneforge Mystic.
by Djinn on 2011-07-07 00:38 CET
awesome pic is awesome
by DeVoursneyNR on 2011-07-07 03:57 CET
you don't know how bad i want to set that as my background
by Diogenes5 on 2011-07-07 22:10 CET
UB control is mediocre. It puts up bad numbers because it doesn't have any card advantage mechanisms other than Jace (and maybe a lilianna or karn). It has the best answers to combo and valakuut with discard and library removal but you usually have to 2 for 1 yourself in order to do that so you need to draw generally a baby Jace to get ahead again.
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