Running the Numbers #14



Ok, so I’m a little behind. The holiday hustle got the better of me last week and I wasn’t able to spit out an article, so this week I will be covering Classic PDC 7.08 & 9. Sorry if anyone was annoyed by the skip.
Hesitation. This is the theme for this weeks article. Looking over the results fromthe last two weeks, I hesitate to make many judgements at all. Not alot of info to go on with absentee decks, odd with multiple rogues, and upsets in the semi’s have all lead to some results that have me cautious about making any judgements just yet. So, what exacltly occured in the tourney’s to lead to this confusion? Click below to read more…
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Writers Note: If I happen to talk about your deck and you want to clarify something about how it works or its classification, you can email me at davebarone@aol.com and explain. Also, if you want your deck to be discussed then you have to post it in the event thread (note: this doesn’t guarantee I’m going to) I can’t really talk about a deck if I don’t know what’s in it.
Tournament Overview:
Event – Classic PDC, 7.08 & 9
Format – Classic, Matches

Why do I hesitate on my judgments specifically? I suppose I’ll address each week at a time. While 7.08 was made up of an overall solid field, it did not include any of the top three Classic_PDC decks from the season thus far (MUC, RnR & Angel Stompy). Additionally, when focusing on the finals of this tournament, we see that the two competitors (MBC & Burn Range) were 3-2 & 1-3 respectively in the swiss rounds. These two factors combine to make it difficult to form a distinct opinion of the value of the winning decks. In 7.09, we also see the lack of the top three (MUC was there but only for 1 round). Also, the field for this tourney was largely made up of rogue decks in general creating an abnormal field. Like 7.08 I am hesitant to draw too many conclusions before I see more concrete evidence of success from the elimination round decks. For deck breakdowns we are in a bit of flux right now for this event. I think the holidays likely have contributed to this so perhaps this week a settling will occur. The two weeks broke down into the following categories:
7.08 – 11 Players
Control – 4: WU Control, Bg Control, MBC, RB Control
Aggro – 4: RB Husk, Burn Range, GR Beats, GW Cloak
Midrange (aggro control) – 3: WB Rebels, Big Mana Gwr, UB Ninjas
Combo – 0:
Aggro Combo – 0:
7.09 – 13 Players
Control – 2: MUC, UB Control
Aggro – 2: UW Aggro, Burn Range
Midrange (aggro control) – 6: Big Mana Gwr, Mono Black A/C, O-Blink, U Fish, GBW Tokens, GBWR Good Stuff
Combo – 2: UR Ire, Freed
Aggro Combo – 1: Mono Red Goblins w/Warrens
Top 4 (top 8) Analysis:
Looking at the Semis from each week here is what we have. In 7.08 the decks scaled down to Bg Control, Big Mana Gwr, MBC and Burn Range. As mentioned above, Burn Range qualified on less than impressive records in the Swiss rounds, but were able to win their round of 4 matches to make the final. It has been mentioned previously that these two decks have disappointed so far this season and I don’t take this a complete sign of a turn-around. Of the two, I do feel MBC should be doing better however and its biggest problem in my opinion is simply a need of selection and tuning towards the best cards for the current field. Burn Range on the other hand is simply faced with a dilemma of a gigantic amount of decks right now that run life gain and the addition Hydroblast to the Metagame. I think it is simply not its time. MBC ended up victorious over Burn Range in the final to win the tournament. Further development of the archetype should be monitored as the season progresses. Speaking of which, Bg Control had a strong week in the Swiss at 5-0. I have always been a proponent of splashing in Black based removal myself and I like the early success of this deck. MBC may want to look in this direction as cards like Sprout Swarm give it long games that straight Black just can’t do. The other qualifier was Big Mana Grw. I haven’t seen alot of this deck yet so I am going to save comments for now on its potential. It is based in card advantage, mana, and Torches FTW. We will see if it continues to do well.
In 7.09 The top 4 cut to Mono U Fish, O-Blink, Burn Range, UW Aggro. None of the decks really stood out in the Swiss rounds as each had at least 2 losses. couple this with the rather Rogue nature of alot of the field and I am reluctant to qualify the results of this tourney as uniquely significant. The UW Aggro deck was constructed mainly of flyers. Realistically though I think if I were to choose a UW aggro deck for Classic I would go with Grand Entrance right now. Orzhov Blink and Burn Range are certainly not rogue decks. They have established Classic histories. However, they have not exactly been dominating this season to differing degrees. O-Blink has done a bit better overall and lately the pilots have taken to using Mulldrifter. This could lead to some improvement overall for the deck, but I still feel it has glaring weaknesses against MBC and Angel Stompy that Mulldrifter doesn’t address. The winner of the tournament was Mono U Fish. It is a nice aggro deck with versatile options and strong draw capabilities. My reservations would be that it really wasn’t tested in the tournament by a pure removal or counter control deck and I would have to see those results before I could judge its scope of matchups.
For my cautious approach, I’m not going to put the spotlight on a particular deck this week. I think I’d rather see what we have happen on Saturday to decide the direction the second half may lead…
The Field Analysis:
The leftovers from 7.08 were GW Cloak, WU Control, RB Control, WB Rebels, Big Mana Gwr, GR Beats, RB Husk, and UB Ninjas. A few of these have done fair this season (Cloak, Husk, GR) and the others are basically rogue builds so their placement outside of the semi’s is not a shock. The same point is made in 7.09 as none of the decks that failed to qualify jump out as “top” archtypes (MUC only played one round so I am excluding its result). I should end this section by saying that there definitely isn’t anything wrong with going out on a limb and playing a different deck. I myself am a rogue deckbuilder and always play my own stuff. So, I don’t want to give the impression that I think it’s a horrible thing to do. However, there is also something to be said for following the metagame and reading what wins and sometimes a better deck has been made for what you are trying to do.
Season Tracking & Head to Heads:
Now that we have gotten past the halfway point, for the remainder of the season I will be keeping track of three stats for each article: Most played decks, Most successful decks, and Head to head records. I will be storing all results though so if there is a particular number or stat you are interested in then feel free to ask in the comments and I’m sure I can drag it out.
Most Played:
MUC – 11
RB Husk – 9
Orzhov Blink – 8
RG Beats – 8
Most Successful (Min 15 Matches):
Angel Stompy – 18-7
MUC – 32-10
Rats & Removal – 15-4
RW Aggro – 9-8
Head to Heads:
MUC vs: RnR = 4-1
Angel Stompy = 3-2
Orzhov Blink = 0-2
RG Beats = 2-0
RB Husk = 2-1
RW Aggro = 3-0
RnR vs: MUC = 1-4
Angel Stompy = 1-0
Orzhov Blink = DNP
RG Beats = 1-0
RB Husk = 1-0
RW Aggro = 1-0
Angel Stompy vs: MUC = 2-3
RnR = 0-1
Orzhov Blink = 3-0
RG Beats = DNP
RB Husk = 2-0
RW Aggro = DNP
Orzhov Blink vs: MUC = 2-0
RnR = DNP
Angel Stompy = 0-3
RG Beats = 1-1
RB Husk = 2-1
RW Aggro = DNP
RG Beats vs: MUC = 0-2
RnR = 0-1
Angel Stompy = DNP
Orzhov Blink = 1-1
RB Husk = 1-2
RW Aggro = DNP
RB Husk vs: MUC = 1-2
RnR = 0-1
Angel Stompy = 0-2
Orzhov Blink = 1-2
RG Beats = 2-1
RW Aggro = 0-2
RW Aggro vs: MUC = 0-3
RnR = 0-1
Angel Stompy = DNP
Orzhov Blink = DNP
RG Beats = DNP
RB Husk = 2-0
Innovations, Changes, New Decks:
I mentioned above the large amount of rogue decks we have had the last couple of weeks. While it is hard to read these decks overall as they fit into the metagame, it is good to see some innovation going on. The
Mono U Fish deck was certainly not another Mongrel based attack and that was nice to see. We have also seen the emergence of more and more token use recently in Classic PDC. With this I would think the Control reps will have to stock up on their sweepers a bit more and be prepared to deal with Spout Swarm in some way. Finally, we are seeing more than just Freed Combo show up at tourneys recently as we have had Ire and Gobblinstorm as well. I suspect the play of Fut Extended, Kami Block, & Standard tourneys these days has brought these type of strategies more to the forefront of Classic players minds and players would be wise to watch out as combo in many forms no longer appears to be a fringe approach.
Final Thoughts:
The holidays have possibly led to a few odd weeks with rogue decks and a larger mix of decks in the pool. In my mind though there are still clear favorites. We will see this week if the dust shall settle of if the blender shall continue to mix as the power decks lay low.
Hope you enjoyed reading.
Jaknife/Dave

8 Responses to “Running the Numbers #14”

  1. LulThyme says:

    Good article!

  2. Alex says:

    I think you undervalue mono Black and the ability to craft a late game. Sacrificing consistency and potential late game power in the form of Corrupt (at maximum effectiveness) seems to be a trade off that is unnecessary at the present time (if and when Circles of Protection make a comeback, then branching out might be the right play).
    You contend that a second color aides in the late game, but I disagree. In the late game, certain decks have issues dealing with Augur of Skulls and Grim Harvest while MBC is simultaneously crafting a Corrupt kill. MUC is one such deck, but from the limited testing I have done shows that MUC vs MBC is winnable for Black, maybe even favorable, but that warrants more testing. The Harvests as well as large late game threats such as Crypt Rats, Twisted Abominations, and Corrupts means that this particular version does have an endgame that needs to be crafted carefully.
    Finally, I disagree with your lack of a deck spotlight (albeit this is because I had a winning deck). In a previous week (http://www.pdcmagic.com/articles/running-the-numbers-7.shtml) with a deck that was not one of the big three or a well established archetype, and with a top 4 that can be described as less than indicative of the format, you still highlighted a deck. Now, I understand that this is the holiday season and if that is a contributing factor to you choosing not to highlight a deck, totally understandable. Still, these decks did win their respective tournaments, beating some well established decks along the way. In my opinion, that itself warrants analysis, especially in the case of Bg control.
    I do not mean to come off as attacking you, because I do respect the work you do, and know how hard it is to be a writer (there’s always someone wondering why you didn’t do X or Y). I’m just trying to stand up for my victory. Is my deck the best? Probably not, but it did win an event. Even the four seed deck made the top 4.
    -Alex

  3. jaknife says:

    Alex
    let me admit that the holiday also had a bit to do with me not spotlighting this article. Also, this edition was meaty in other places, so I didn’t think it was a big loss to not focus on a particular deck. Sorry if that came across as taking away from the victory, not my intention, it was as important as any other Tourney and I do consider MBC to be a strong player right now.
    As far as my feelings towards mixing with Black, to explain..In my opinion splashes can be made right now that improve the build overall while not weakening the deck in general. I’m not really referring to half and half, but touches that don’t prevent the user from still running Corrupt, Crypt Rats & such while giving depth.
    dave

  4. jakinlaw says:

    you are the best!

  5. Alex says:

    Thank you for the reply. I totally understand. My biggest thing with the splash is that currently, I do not feel a splash is needed. Rather, the cards being splashed add little to the overall game plan of the deck. Specifically, Evu’s Bg build. The Swarm/Rotwurm suite is nice, but adds inevitability to a deck that already is capable of packing numerous other forms of inevitability (Corrupt, Consume Spirit, Drain Life, Crypt Rats), except it makes the package rely on two cards, rather than one. Cutting this suite would allow the deck to run more redundant main color threats and inevitable win conditions. Granted, if COPs make a comeback, the life loss aspect and Sprout Swarm kill, alongside enchantment removal, makes the deck a strong potential contender. Still, the ability to diversify a mana base is not a clarion call to do so.
    -Alex

  6. JMason says:

    I wasn’t innovating. I played my goblin storm list from last August because that is the only classic deck I have.

  7. jaknife says:

    Jmason:
    not really referring to you deck alone, but in general recently we have seen a greater concentration of Goblinstorm combo (albeit some has been in TPDC as well) show up in tourneys than in the past.

  8. What Up! says:

    GW Cloak is my favorite deck. I wonder if it will ever truly show back up in the metagame. Not Angel Stompy but the one that uses more white as a part of its mana base. It would be cool to see it rise to a first place win in a hardcore Classic PDC tornament once again. Of course, there are other powerful adapting decks, but I think it has the tools to possibly put another win on the record.
    Also, has pretty much everyone switched there GW Cloak decks to Angel Stompy? I never see it reported about too much. If not, I wonder what new cards people are testing out within the deck.

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