But the deck is not completely unbeatable. Let's take a closer look.
Overall Metagame and Performance Breakdown
The following table shows the combined metagame breakdown of both Players Tour Online events, using the archetypes as assigned by the event coverage team. Each archetype name links to the highest-placing decklist of that type. For reference, the two events drew 198 and 243 competitors respectively, so 2% of the combined Day 1 field corresponds to 9 players total. The table also provides the match win rates for each archetype in non-draw, non-mirror, non-bye matches during the Swiss rounds.
|Deck archetype||Companion||% Field Day 1||% Field Day 2||Win Rate|
The Deck to Beat: Temur Reclamation
Temur Reclamation was by far the most popular deck in Day One. It then increased its metagame share after the cut to Day Two, and improved further after the Top 8 was announced. The finals of both Players Tour Online events were a Temur Reclamation mirror, which means that the deck wasn't just popular—it was also successful.
Before diving in, I'd like to congratulate Elias Watsfeldt and Ryuji Murae on their victories as well as congratulate Dominik Görtzen and Jean-Emmanuel Depraz on reaching the finals. Looking over their decklists, the Temur Reclamation version that I expect to become the standard is the one that is best-suited for the mirror match.
Watsfeldt had zero copies of
Top 8 competitors Abe Corrigan and Jeong Woo Cho also agreed that red removal spells or sweepers should not be in the main deck. Their main decks included
How to Beat Temur Reclamation?
As we saw, one way to beat Temur Reclamation is to run a version of Temur Reclamation geared toward the mirror. But there are other ways.
I crunched the Players Tour Online numbers and found three archetypes that had at least a positive win rate vs. the field and a win rate that improved over that base rate when it faced off against Temur Reclamation, with a sample size of at least three pilots.
Let's take a look at the three most promising answers to Temur Reclamation.
Arguably the best way to attack Temur Reclamation is with
Bant Ramp comes in two versions: with
Brandon Nelson finished in 22nd place at Players Tour Online 2 with the
This particular Mono-Green Monsters list was the highest finish, and that honor belonged to Cedric Philips. And those top-heavy versions also performed well, with positive win rates against the field as a whole and against Temur Reclamation in particular.
But the players who registered
The mastermind behind this build is Hall of Famer Zvi Mowshowitz. As he explained in a detailed deck and sideboard guide, "you can't hedge your bets and play value cards like Vivien. You need to go for the throat. ... About half your opponents will utterly bury you in card advantage and value if you let the game go long."
Indeed, you can't grind out
With all this in mind, Zvi managed to construct a consistent, well-positioned, dedicated turn-four kill deck whose single goal is to win the game quickly, before the opponent can leverage their more powerful cards. There's no late game staying power—it's all speed. With multiple
It's well-known that
Against Temur Reclamation in particular, Rakdos Sacrifice builds performed far better than Jund Sacrifice builds. This makes sense because it's a challenge to compete with Temur Reclamation's late game. If you try to grind them out with
With the list shown above, Matthew Vook finished in 42st place at Players Tour Online 2.
Rakdos Sacrifice versions with Jegantha as their companion, although played by only seven competitors, had the best overall win rates across all
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
Having analyzed last weekend's metagame developments, I'll make the following bold predictions:
- Temur Reclamation will remain the most popular deck, and it do well in the hands of experienced players. It will probably still win more than 50% of its matches against the field, but it won't display the same level of dominance as last weekend. Temur Reclamation will have a clear, undeniable target on its head, and almost everyone will actively try to beat it.
- Many Temur Reclamation players will gear their lists for the mirror match, which will simultaneously weaken them in other matchups.
- The three archetypes I highlighted (Bant Ramp with Yorion, Mono Green Monsters, and Rakdos Sacrifice with Jegantha) will grow in popularity, and they will perform well.
- Decks that performed poorly last weekend, including Jund Sacrifice, Sultai Ramp, and Mono-Red Aggro, will decrease in popularity. You need to have a good reason (such as a great list, a specific metagame expectation, or a lot of experience) to choose them for the upcoming events.