There’s the Core 2019 release closing in fast on us, and this just might be the last Meta Snapshot before it. With that and the upcoming Banned and Restricted announcements coming tomorrow (July 2nd), the meta shake up a little bit in the future, but for now, let’s look at the past two
There were no surprises at the very top, Mono-Red and to a lesser extent Rakdos aggro decks remain dominant and run rampant through all the layers of the ladder (27,7% and 11,5% respectively). They are closely followed by the two (arguably three) most popular deck, Esper/UB Control (11,9%) and W Control (10%) The first two have a slightly better matchup against the red aggro, while the second has a significant advantage in when facing off other control decks. The third most popular aggro deck remains GB Constrictor, although some more midrange-type lists have started emerging, trading off the control matchup for a better chance against the red-based alpha dogs.
The two decks that jumped the most in popularity in the past two weeks were UB Midrange and UW GPG, whose meta share increased by roughly 230% and 150% respectively. That comes as a direct consequence of the performance of the decks at the paper standard events in the last two weeks (UW GPG taking GP Singapore and Top8-ing GP Pittsburgh, UB Midrange showing solid performance versus red decks in feature matches). GPG is the better of the two in the Bo1 environment of the ladder, as it often requires specific answers to be disrupted. UB midrange on the other hand benefits from the sideboard greatly and is arguably the better choice of the two for the Bo3 Competitive constructed.
The rest of the field remains largely unchanged. Midrange continues to struggle, and though the meta diversified slightly (the 10 most popular decks covered circa 15% less than they did in the previous two weeks) Core 19 will be a very welcome addition to the game.
The mono-red aggro has been more popular than the RB variant in MTG:Arena for awhile, and the same is now true for paper meta as well. This hyper aggressive deck is consistent, fast and extremely resilient. While the deck can certainly be heavily teched against in the sideboard, achieving a high win-rate against it in Bo1 is nearly impossible without hindering our other matchups. Its not at all surprising this archetype is dominating the ranked ladder.
The Rakdos variant of the red-based aggro is slightly slower and bigger than it's mean older brother. The deck splashes black for Unlicensed Disintegration and Scrapheap Scrounger in the mainboard, but the real reason for the addition of Magic's best color is the sideboard. Black opens up a new wolrd of options for the players in games 2 and 3, making it very lucrative for the Competitive Cosntructed mode. The trade off is seen in the lower consistency and speed of the deck.
The two archetypes are basically the same; a Dimir based control deck where the Esper variant splashes white for Teferi, Hero of Dominaria while sacrificing some of the mana efficiency of the two color version. This archetype relies on abundance of premium removal and excellent sideboard options. It’s arguably the better control deck vs Aggro, but tends to fall a little short in the matchup against UW control.
Excellent exile-based removal, counterspells and Teferi make up the bulk of this control deck. Approach of the Second Sun is one of the cards that benefit the most from the MTG: Arena's Best of one Ranked Ladder, as its nearly impossible to handle by slower non-blue decks. The card is often omitted in Bo3 version in favor of Torrential Gearhulks or other creatures.
Snek decks are having a few difficulties in the current meta. Llanowar elves and Glint-Sleeve Siphoners have a terrible time against Goblin Chainwhirler. The vehicles and Gearhulk are easily dealt with by Abrades which although reduced in popularity, is seeing a resurgence due to the increasing popularity of GPG. Some players are resorting to slower, midrange-y decks and cutting the Constrictor due to its interaction with the Soul-Scar Mage.
Unlike it’s UB and Esper control siblings, UB midrange is a relatively fast creature based deck, that runs a ton of removal and very few counterspells. The deck was bodied by Chainwhirler in the initial stages of the Dominaria standard, but players have adapted by moving Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to the sideboard, and hoping for the best with Champion of Wits. The Dimir midrange’s new found popularity is undoubtedly sparked by Oliver Tiu’s 2nd place in GP Pittsburgh.
UW GPG was fairly popular before, but with Yuuki Ichikawa taking the GP Singapore, its popualrity exploded. It's meta share more than doubled in the last week, in part due to its paper success and in part due to red and RB players often opting to reduce the number of Abrades in their decks. GPG is strong in Bo1 as it requires very specific and very quick answers when it assembles all its pieces before turn four. That said, the deck can often brick and doesn't have a whole lot to do when that happens as a lot of its creatures are vulnerable to removal and its control options are fairly slow and limited.
What used to be a mono-green aggro has long shifted into a Golgari aggro deck due to the sideboard options Black offers. This deck is likely the only non-red deck that can race them, and has the potential for extremely volatile starts
that control struggles to contain. Without the access to Bomat Courier and Chandra their mid-late game is weaker and the Llanowar Elves are a liability against red.
In a Bo1 it's still worth considering mono-green, as the sideboard options are irrelevant and the added consistency of single color manabase provides a significant boon in the long run.
Selesnya decks combine the speed and ramp potential of green with the power of white’s angels. They thrive on their decent matchup against red-based aggro and the ability to take games from control decks through the use of raw force and Shalai. The main disadvantage of the archetype is its inability to refill its hand and relative draw dependency. It’s gained quite some popularity in since it’s “debut” at PR Dominaria and is the only archetype that’s nearly twice as popular in MTG: Arena as it is in paper Magic.
Mono-Black received a plenty of new tools and toys to tinker with in Kaladesh, and its popularity spiked in part due to its decent matchup against red-based aggro. Mono black has several means to take games from Control decks - especially in Bo1. The deck uses a ton of premium removal in combination with hand hate to make it to the late game, where they take advantage of their strong, uncontested finishers.
|Meta Snapshot: Core Set 2019||Meta Snapshot||July 22, 2018||v786_640159|
|Preliminary Meta Snapshot: Core Set 19||Preliminary Snapshot||July 12, 2018||v786_640159|
|Meta Snapshot: Kaladesh||Snapshot II||July 01, 2018||v744_635428|
|Meta Snapshot: Kaladesh||Snapshot I||June 17, 2018||v727_633495|
|Preliminary Snapshot: Kaladesh||Preliminary Snapshot||June 07, 2018||v727_633495|
|Snapshot - Dominaria III||Snapshot III||June 03, 2018||v667_618725|
|Snapshot - Dominaria II||Snapshot II||May 20, 2018||v667_618725|
|Snapshot - Dominaria I||Snapshot I||May 06, 2018||v667_618725|
|Preliminary Snapshot - Dominaria||Preliminary Snapshot||April 26, 2018||v667_618725|
|Meta-Snapshot II||Snapshot II||April 16, 2018||v607_607936|
|Preliminary Meta-Snapshot||Preliminary/Snapshot||April 01, 2018||v607_604597|
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