Delver Who? A New Metagame Dawns in Cincinnati

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Outperform / Underperform

The following table is a list of all cards that appeared in Top 16 deck lists.  The Top 8 and Top 16 columns indicate how popular a given card was within the bracket.  Thragtusk, for example, comprised 3.4% of all cards in the Top 16 but only 2.47% of those in the Top 8.  The Total column represents the percentage of the entire sampled field.

Columns T8 Outperform and T16 Outperform measure how much more frequently a given card appeared in a bracket than appeared in the entire event's decklist pool.

Thragtusk had a good day out.  I don't want to call it a 'breakout' card because everyone already knew it was good, but the numbers on the chart below tell a new story about the card's power level.  I expect the metagame to evolve around Thragtusk and Zombies for the most part, which makes me glad my current Standard brew is heavy on Syncopate, Azorius Charm and Feeling of Dread.

Green decks:
No Goyf
Green decks:
No Goyf %
Green decks:
With Goyf
Green decks:
With Goyf %
Abzan Liege3.2%Jund2.3%
RG Tron2.8%RUG Twin1.3%
Amulet Bloom2.8%Sultai Control.4%
4C Gifts1%
Nykthos Green.8%
56%TOTAL %



Biggest Losers

The following table is a list of all the cards that didn't make it into a deck finishing in the Top 16.  There are some really good cards on this list, and if this trend keeps up we can expect  big price shifts.  Some of these were so shocking I almost quit working on this analysis in frustration, certain that my data was fundamentally flawed.  Then I went back and double checked everything.

Top 5 Surprising Failures

Restoration Angel
Delver of Secrets
Armada Wurm
Zealous Concsripts
Hinterland Harbor

[table “5” not found /]


Location, Location, Location

The table that follows is a breakdown of the Top 16 mana base.  Other than going long on Forests and Plains which, for the record, I do not endorse , your actionables might be getting Sunpetal Groves at dirt-cheap prices in trade binders.  If these numbers extrapolate well to a larger scale, it could be one of the staples that you churn though dozens of in the course of a month.  The same may be true of Glacial Fortress.  

The shock lands are toxic to me; I don't know where they'll settle and there's no way I'm going to risk playing the lottery with them.  I see no upside at this price.   That's how I feel about Innistrad lands too; there's no value left in their upside, and I don't want to be stuck with the bill if / when they drop.

Gavony Township in the 15th spot catches my eye, since it's the first of the Innistrad utility lands on the list and it's paired up with the right colors.  It won't be a 4-of in 99% of decks that include it, but at the current price (around 1.00) they are cheap throw-ins that have some, but limited, upside.  I've got about a dozen of them sitting in a pile on my desk, hoping that they'll hit 2.00.

Deck# of finishes
(1/28 - 3/17)
Mono U Tron2572.89%
Amulet Bloom5270.10%
Ad Nauseam2069.57%
Grixis Delver1669.51%
UR Twin14868.60%
Nykthos Green2068.53%
RUG Twin1768.38%
UWR Midrange1468.28%
RG Tron4768.22%
Abzan Liege4767.55%
4C Gifts3667.52%
BW Tokens2067.02%
UW Control2066.25%
UWR Control3665.43%


Note: I'm using a lot of experimental and new technology to generate these reports.  Data may be missing or inaccurate.  Don't shoot the messenger. 

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in Finance, Free Insider

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8 thoughts on “Delver Who? A New Metagame Dawns in Cincinnati

  1. Thanks for the analysis! I think Restoration angel has a place in a Bant/GW Midrange deck with Thragtusk. I also play Trostani in my brew and the three of them can just give you massive life gain + engine. Angel & Thragtusk alone is 5 life, 3/3 guy & trick.

    I do agree on Armada Wurm being a hype because it is just a 1 off in most brews

  2. There was also a tcgplayer tournament the same day as the SCG open that told a slightly different story, but still featured zombies as the antagonists.

  3. There were 2 Restoration Angels in the first place spot at the tcgplayer tournament. I think she’s still going to be as relevant as she was.

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