This past weekend featured more developments in Kaladesh Standard, after U/W Flash, Vehicles, and B/G Delirium dominated in Providence and Kuala Lumpur. The Grand Prix Circuit traveled to Warsaw and Santiago, and the tournaments did not disappoint.
In Warsaw, Gabrielius Kaklaus and U/W Flash were victorious in the final over Niels Molle and B/G Delirium. The rest of the top 8 featured 5 more copies of B/G Delirium variants and 1 copy of B/R Aggro. Notable Magic pros Andreas Ganz and Ben Stark both made the elimination rounds in Poland, and Pro Tour Kaladesh top 8 competitor Matteo Moure made it to the top 4 before falling to Niels Molle. Last week, we discussed how 6 of the 8 decks in the top 8 of Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur were U/W Flash, but that the mild concerns about the health of the format were quelled when the results from Grand Prix Providence came in. Similarly, Grand Prix Warsaw’s top 8 was also 75% of a deck, but this time B/G Delirium. Unlike Kuala Lumpur and Providence, this weekend’s second Grand Prix results showed the same deck dominant again.
In Santiago, John Chavarria was victorious in the final over Jonathan Melamed, whose U/R Spells deck couldn’t overcome U/W Flash. The rest of the top 8 featured a copy of U/R Colossus, Mardu Vehicles, and…4 more copies of B/G Delirium. That means, in total, 10 of the 16 top 8 decks of the two Grand Prix this weekend were B/G Delirium variants, a staggering 62.5%, but 0% of the winners. Eduardo dos Santos Vieira and Luis Salvatto both played B/G Delirium, but neither could manage to take home the trophy. However, the common theme among these two Grand Prix was the 100% top 8 win rate of U/W Flash. The powerful archetype only put 1 copy into each Grand Prix top 8, but won them both. Additionally, the surprise inclusion of U/R Colossus and U/R Spells in this top 8 perhaps shows more diversity in the metagame than was initially anticipated after last weekend’s Grand Prix.
- We appear to have found the 2 best decks in the format: B/G Delirium and U/W Flash. Trailing steadily behind appears to be Mardu Vehicles, B/R Aggro, Control variants, and other archetypes that have managed some moderate success here and there, like U/R Spells and U/R Colossus.
- U/W Flash is really good. 2 Grand Prix victories in one weekend is something to take very seriously. The flexibility of the deck is something that is very appealing to those who played it. I played it to a 10-5 finish at Grand Prix Providence, and I felt like depending on the matchup, the deck could adjust the way it played to suit the matchup needs, which was easily the most impressive thing about the deck for me. I felt that if I had more time to test the deck before the weekend, so that I better knew where the deck wanted to position itself in each matchup, that 10-5 would’ve been a better, perhaps even money, finish.
- There is still room for innovation. I said this last week about Modern, and I’ll say it this week about Standard. Even though there appears to be an established metagame now, that doesn’t mean that decks on the fringes, or new incarnations of decks are not viable. In fact, the success of the U/R Spells deck that was a big player pre-Kaladesh and U/R Colossus, a new variation on the Temur Colossus deck from Pro Tour Kaladesh, shows that not playing B/G Delirium, U/W Flash, or Mardu Vehicles in a tournament does not mean that you cannot find success in that tournament.
This coming weekend is Grand Prix Dallas, which showcases Modern, and a Starcitygames.com Open in Baltimore, which will have Legacy on display (yay!).
Until next time.
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