Weekly Metagame: Each format has its own pace

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Weekly Metagame: Each format has its own pace

Here is another weekly review of the Challenges' Metagame!

By Romeu, 12/21/20, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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Hello players! Today, I take steer of the Weekly Metagame craft to do the analysis of the Challenges of all formats this week.

Standard

The Standard Challenge's Top 8 on December 19th was defined by: 2 Esper Doom 2 Gruul Adventures 1 Dimir Rogues 1 Dimir Control 1 Mono-Green Food 1 Mono-Red Aggro In the lists of this event, I emphasize the winning list: The Mono-Green Food piloted by the player pokerswizard, a standard version of the deck, which has adopted more utilitary lands in the last few weeks:

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On Sunday, December 20, the Standard Challenge's Top 8 was composed of: 2 Gruul Adventures 2 Dimir Control 1 Dimir Rogues 1 Mono-White Aggro 1 Temur Ramp 1 Mono-Green Food And in this event, I highlight the Mono-White Aggro of the player Maxcapone, who used 4 Lurrus of the Dream-Den in his maindeck, leaving any and all interaction of the table in the sideboard:
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I am curious about the four Venerable Knight on the sideboard, as I can't imagine what situation within the format the card could be good to "side-in". As expected, after a turbulent year for the format and with several bans, Standard finally seems to have entered a state in which its metagame has stabilized in a healthy way, at least until the release of Kaldheim. On the other hand, I see some players complaining that the format is stagnant among the current best decks, giving little room for innovation. And all I can say about it is that this is the common nature of Standard, where the cardpool is smaller than in other formats (especially after a rotation) and that leaves little room for new competitive decks to emerge. However, it was not so long ago that decks like Mono-White or Dimir Control were not strategies that people considered "viable" for the format, and today these decks are doing significant results in the format.

Pioneer

On Saturday, December 19, Pioneer Challenge ended with the following Top 8: 2 Burn 2 Four-Color Omnath 1 Orzhov Auras 1 All Spells 1 Mono-Black Aggro 1 UG Paradox Engine In this event, I have to highlight the UG Paradox Engine used by the player Curveiganhei.
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The deck has been gaining popularity in recent weeks in the Magic Arena's Historic format and, as the vast majority of its cards are present in Pioneer as well, I am surprised that it took time before they tried to port the deck into Pioneer. The deck basically involves an interaction between mana-generating permanents like Llanowar Elves and Skyclave Relic alongside Paradox Engine and Emry, Lurker of the Loch interaction with Amber Mox to generate infinite mana or reuse spells long enough for an Aetherflux Reservoir, which is brought in from the sideboard by Karn, the Great Creator to close the game. On Sunday, the Pioneer Challenge's Top 8 was composed of: 3 Sultai Reclamation 2 Temur Reclamation 1 UW Control 1 Lotus Combo 1 Orzhov Auras We can see, in this event, a significant increase in decks that use Wilderness Reclamation as an engine, including an increase in the number of Temur Reclamation, which had lost space in the metagame to make room for the Sultai versions. Here, I emphasize the version used by the player Bielzito, which has the classic combo with Expansion // Explosion
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In an overview of this week, Pioneer continues to grace us with new or old known archetypes reappearing at its events.

Modern

The Saturday's Modern Challenge Top 8 was composed of the following decks: 1 Scapeshift 1 All Spells 1 GW Titan 1 Hammer Time 1 Midrange Rakdos 1 Grixis As Foretold 1 Eldrazi Tron 1 Mono-Red Aggro In this event, we can see the diversity of the format, since it has eight different decks and archetypes. In this event, I emphasize the list of Scapeshift that won the event, with a Control-Combo shell:
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On Sunday, the Modern Challenge's Top 8 was composed of: 2 GW Company 1 Belcher 1 Bant Titan 1 Twinless Twin 1 UW Spirits 1 Four-Color Chord 1 Dredge Again, the format features yet another diversified metagame and with decks that are not necessarily part of the Tier 1 format making results in the Top 8.

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Here, I emphasize the list of the winner of the event, Belcher, played by Boucha, which bets on a mostly All-In strategy to win the game from turn 2 or 3 onwards:
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As we have seen in recent weeks, Modern still retains its "mixed-up format" status, where you can find a range of dozens of different decks making results at events.

Pauper

On Saturday, Pauper Challenge's Top 8 was composed of the following decks: 3 Dimir Faeries 2 Izzet Faeries 1 Stompy 1 Dimir Control 1 Tron In this event, it is possible to see in another event how the addition of Fall from Favor in the format took the Faeries decks to the top of the format, exerting a significant influence on the metagame.
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On Sunday, Pauper Challenge was composed of: 2 Izzet Faeries 1 Burn 1 Stompy 1 Temur Cascade 1 Tron 1 Orzhov Manarch 1 Cascade Walls I emphasize Cascade Walls, a deck that emerged in recent weeks and that sounds like the natural evolution of the Walls Combo, choosing to use a significant amount of must-answer threats instead of trying to close the game with a 3 or 4 card combo.
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Here we can already see a relatively more diverse metagame, leaving the format in a situation where we do not know exactly what to expect from the future through individual events, thus we need to analyze the format through a broader view of events and rising archetypes and declining ones as well.

Legacy

On Saturday, the decks in the Legacy Challenge Top 8 were: 1 Ad Nauseam Tendrils 1 Temur Delver 1 Temur Snow 1 Mono-Green Post 1 Elves 1 Hogaak 1 Lands 1 Five-Color Snow Legacy is a format that, despite the significant increase in power level in recent years, looks like a healthy and diversified format that despite having its range of best decks, has space for other decks to make results and be viable in the competitive scenario. For example, the Ad Nauseam list used by the player _INF_, a classic of the format that has received good additions in recent years, such as Wishclaw Talisman:
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On Sunday, the Legacy Challenge had the following Top 8: 2 Temur Delver 2 UR Delver 1 Reanimator 1 Ad Nauseam Tendrils 1 Elves 1 Five-Color Snow Sunday's Challenge demonstrates how relevant the Delver of Secrets decks are for the format, often serving as a Metagame's "Fun Police" and operating in a healthy way as the format's best deck.
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Legacy, as a whole, still looks like an extremely fun format to play, with several viable strategies (perhaps not as much as Modern) and giving you the opportunity to use some of the best cards in the game's history.

Conclusion

And here I end the analysis of this week's Metagame, observing how the formats are developing or behaving as we approach the end of the year. If you liked the article of have some opinion regarding its content, leave it on the comments !
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Romeu

Writer and translator for Cards Realm. Plays virtually Magic: The Gathering competitive formats. Pauper Masters' Organizer.

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