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Pro Tour Dominaria: Day One Wrap Up

Today marked the start of Pro Tour Dominaria. Over the course of eight combined rounds of limited and constructed we got a taste of what the pros think of the Dominaria Standard format. What cards and decks made an impression on day one? What did the metagame look like? What else happened in Richmond? Let's break it down!

Day One Metagame

You can view the full Day One metagame on the mothership

  • Red based aggro is—by far—the most played deck on day one of Pro Tour Dominaria. In fact, about 35% of decks are running Goblin Chainwhirler. Together RB Aggro/Midrange and Mono-Red Aggro make up just under 37% of the metagame. 
  • Steel Leaf Stompy, while not a new deck, is one of the biggest surprises, coming in as one of the three big archetypes on day one (behind R/x Aggro and UW Control). 
  • While the UW Control decks are split up in the official metagame breakdown, if you combine all of the builds together it's the second most-played deck at Pro Tour Dominaria. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is in over 90 decks, meaning about 20% of the day one field at Pro Tour Dominaria is running the new planeswalker. While we don't have official numbers on Karn, Scion of Urza, it's likely over 20% as well. 
  • One of the side effects of having the Pro Tour six weeks after the release of the set is that there simply aren't as many unknown decks floating around. Of the deck which have multiple players, perhaps the most interesting are UG Karn (a mashup of Llanowar Elves and artifact synergies like Glint-Nest Crane and Karn, Scion of Urza) and Mono-Black Control, which isn't new, but is much more under-the-radar than Teferi Control, Mono-Red Aggro ,or even Steel Leaf Champion
  • While there isn't a ton of spice among the top decks, if you dig down to the bottom of the day one metagame list, there is some interesting stuff including UB The Mirrari Conjecture, Mono-Red The Flame of Keld, WB Knights, various God-Pharaoh's Gift decks, and WB Tokens.



Top Five Cards

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#5: Sorcerous Spyglass

Sorcerous Spyglass is a weird way to kick off our top five cards list. Unlike the rest of the cards on the list, it isn't an ultra-staple at Pro Tour Dominaria. So why is it number five on our list? Some decks have actually moved the artifact into the main deck! While most of these decks also feature Karn, Scion of Urza to get a little extra value, with cards like Heart of Kiran, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria near the top of the format, Sorcerous Spyglass is shooting up in value. If you are looking for a way to deal with annoying planeswalkers and vehicles at your next tournament, keep the new Pithing Needle in mind.

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#4: Llanowar Elves

It's pretty fitting that a card original printed in Alpha is on our top five list 25 years later. Llanowar Elves isn't just seeing playing in several different deck at Pro Tour Dominaria, but it makes some decks viable all by itself. Steel Leaf Stompy, one of the surprise breakout deck of the tournament (at least on day one), very likely wouldn't be a deck if we were playing our Steel Leaf Championship on turn three every game. It's also possible that UG Karn wouldn't be a deck either, since the idea of the deck is to build the best Karn, Scion of Urza deck possible, and playing Karn, Scion of Urza a turn early is a big benefit of playing green over other colors.

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#3: Karn, Scion of Urza

Karn, Scion of Urza is simply too flexible and shows up in too many different deck to miss our top five list. While decks like WB Vehicles and UG Karn are the two primary homes of the planeswalker, Mono-Black Control came in surprisingly high on the day one metagame ranking as well. Plus, everything from RB Aggro to UW Control can play the planeswalker in their sideboard, so who knows how many decks Karn will show up in once we finally get all of the decks on Sunday. Oh yeah, and the greatest player of all time (Jon Finkel) opened a copy pack one pick one in limited and rode the planeswalker to an undefeated draft and a 6-0 start at Pro Tour Dominaria. From limited to constructed, from aggro to midrange to control, Karn, Scion of Urza has been everywhere on day one of Pro Tour Dominaria.

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#2: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

According to the day one metagame breakdown posted on the mothership, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria showed up in more than 90 decks at Pro Tour Dominaria. This is a massive number, especially considering that Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a two-colored, five-mana card. While most of these decks are UW Control, there's several different flavors and Teferi was seen on camera several times today slamming the door close on poor opponents with a flood of card advantage and land untapping. While Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is great as a card advantage engine, the fact that it's also the only finishers in one of the most popular builds of UW Control brings Teferi in at number two on our list.

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#1: Goblin Chainwhirler

There isn't much more to day about Goblin Chainwhirler. Not only is it in over 35% of the decks at Pro Tour Dominaria, but it's also warping the format by pushing players away from playing creatures with one-toughness in fear of getting two-for-oned (or worse) by the Goblin. Indirectly this means it was Goblin Chainwhirler causing Twitter fights about whether RB Aggro and RB Midrange are the same deck or different decks. The card is really good and heavily-played, which is why it comes in at number one on our list.


Anyway, that's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow to wrap up day two of Pro Tour Dominaria as we figure out which players, decks, and cards will make the top eight on Sunday! What were your impressions from day one of Pro Tour Dominaria? What are you looking for tomorrow? What deck are you most looking forward to playing? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at

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