A crowd of 495 players registered for the tournament, but only 304 of them (61.4%) stayed enrolled after reaching a 4-4 or better record—the requirement to qualify for the second day. Theoretically, someone could have gone 1-4 in Standard and stayed alive on the back of a 3-0 draft record, while another player might have been 3-2 in Standard but eliminated due to an 0-3 draft, but there is an obvious correlation between Standard performance and Day Two advancement.
Now that some early performance results are in, we can investigate the format in more detail.
What is the best Oko deck?
Yesterday, Oko, Thief of Crowns dominated. Today, the percentage of Oko decks has slightly increased. Below, you can find the raw numbers for the set of archetypes that generally run Oko main deck or sideboard.
|Archetype||Day One Players||Day One%||Day Two Players||Day Two %||Conversion|
The last column displays the Day Two conversion rate, which represents the percentage of players who made Day Two with a certain type of deck. This is a bit of a muddy statistic because the competition also features draft and because an 8-0 player is counted in the same way as a 4-4 player.
But no matter whether we look at conversion rates or the match win rates of archetypes in the Standard rounds (which will be provided in full tomorrow) the early indication is that the best Oko deck is Sultai Sacrifice.
Thirteen players played Sultai Sacrifice, and on Day One the deck had the highest conversion rate and the highest Standard win rate among all archetypes with five or more pilots. Specifically, on Day One it went 73% (43-16) against the field as a whole, 56% (20-16) against decks labeled as "Food", and a staggering 100% (23-0) against non-Food decks.
Perhaps the sacrifice engine of Cauldron Familiar, Witch's Oven, and Trail of Crumbs is more powerful the ramp plan of Nissa, Who Shakes the World into Hydroid Krasis. Perhaps the surprise factor of Sultai Sacrifice was also an important driver. In any case, Sultai Sacrifice is the breakout deck of the event so far.
Is There a Deck That Beats the Oko Decks?
Let's take a look at the raw numbers for the set of archetypes without Oko.
|Archetype||Day One Players||Day One%||Day Two Players||Day Two%||Conversion|
The conversion rates of Jeskai Fires and Azorius Control stand out, but they mainly appear to be driven by performance in the draft rounds. During the Day One Standard rounds, Jeskai Fires players won 52% of their matches and Azorius Control players won 48% of their matches, which given the sample size does not represent a statistically significant departure from 50%.
The deck with the most impressive performance in the Standard rounds was actually Gruul Adventure. Only three players were playing it, but they went a combined 12-3 in Standard, with a 10-3 record against Food decks in particular.
There are several reasons for Gruul Adventure's excellent performance. First, the deck can exploit the relative lack of removal in the Food decks by going off with Edgewall Innkeeper. Second, Bonecrusher Giant and Kraul Harpooner ensure that an opposing Gilded Goose rarely lives to tell the tale. Third, attaching Embercleave to Lovestruck Beast means that you're attacking for 12 out of nowhere.
The three players on Gruul Adventure were World Magic Cup champion Martin Müller, 2015 World Champion Seth Manfield, and reigning World Champion Javier Dominguez. Sure, they can win with anything, but the fact that they've won 80% of their Day One Standard matches while beating Food decks left and right is still impressive.
Did they indeed find the ultimate anti-Oko deck? If so, will it pay off with a spot in the Top 8? We'll have to see how everything will shake out on Day Two, but you can watch all the action live on twitch.tv/magic!