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Pro Tour Dominaria: Day Two Wrap Up

The second day of a Pro Tour is always interesting. While day one is mostly about what cool new cards and decks show up, the second day is when we start to figure out which decks and cards are actually performing well. This isn't only important to the Pro Tour itself, but to Standard moving forward, since the decks that manage to make the top eight of the Pro Tour typically set the wider metagame moving forward. Today we'll be breaking down all of the action from Pro Tour Dominaria in Richmond, starting with the day two metagame and conversion rates before moving on to the top eight decks!

Day Two Metagame

You can view the entire day two metagame breakdown on the mothership.

  • Red decks were clearly the best decks on day one of Pro Tour Dominaria with both RB Midrange and Mono-Red Aggro leading the way in terms of converting players from day one to day two.
  • While RB Aggro and RB Midrange are pretty similar, the midrange build (which features zero cards that die to Goblin Chainwhirler) did significantly better than the smaller, faster aggro build. While RB Aggro put in an average performance, RB Midrange was the second best deck in terms of conversion rate. 
  • UW Control was a disappointment on day one of Pro Tour Dominaria. While its conversion rate wasn't horrible, it was a few percentage points below average which has to be considered a poor performance considering how hyped the archetype was heading into the event. 
  • The Scarab God is back. While UW Control struggled, most flavors of The Scarab God decks (Esper Control, Esper Benalia, UB Control and UB Midrange) performed pretty well on day one of Pro Tour Dominaria
  • The worst deck (among the ten most-played decks) was WB Benalia (more commonly referred to as WB Vehicles). It wasn't that long ago that this was the hot deck in Standard. Its Pro Tour performance just goes to show that the results from the first couple weeks of a Standard format aren't always predictive of the future.
  • As for decks outside of the top ten, UG Karn and Mono-Black Control were horrible, which is especially sad considering they were among the only spicy decks with multiple players at Pro Tour Dominaria. 
  • Meanwhile, Winding Constrictor proved that it's still good in Standard with both Sultai and GB Constrictor both posting solid performances in terms of converting players from day one to day two.

Three Best Decks

Note: these are example lists to show the archetypes, not the exact Pro Tour lists which will be published tomorrow.

Mono-Red Aggro: 79.2% conversion rate.

RB Midrange: 75.4% conversion rate.

Esper Control: 75% conversion rate.

Three Worst Decks

UW Control: 58.8% conversion rate

Steel Leaf Stompy: 57.5% conversion rate

WB Benalia: 48.3% conversion rate

Top Four Cards of the Day

While day one at Pro Tour Dominaria was all about new Dominaria cards, on day two the story was about old, somewhat forgotten cards making their presence felt once again in the format. Rather than Karn, Scion of Urza or Teferi, Hero of Dominaria dominating, the cards of the day read like a greatest hits list of the past year of Standard.

  • Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is still great. While UW Control has been average to under performing on the weekend, Teferi still showed up on camera slamming the door close on opponents multiple times.
  • Sorcerous Spyglass hasn't been on camera much, but that's to be expected from a sideboard card. It is worth pointing out that the one deck playing Sorcerous Spyglass in the main deck (UG Karn) was among the worst deck at Pro Tour Dominaria.
  • Llanowar Elves is still floating around, but Mono-Green (or Steel Leaf) Stompy has fizzled.
  • Karn, Scion of Urza has been fairly invisible on day two at Pro Tour Dominaria. While the card is still undoubtedly powerful, it had a much better day one than day two at Pro Tour Dominaria.
  • Goblin Chainwhirler was played in 35% of day one decks and managed to increase this percentage on day two. It's the most defining card of Dominaria Standard, not just being good on its own, but dictating which other cards are playable and which aren't. In hindsight, it's sort of funny that Rampaging Ferocidon was banned only to have an even better (although admittedly harder to cast) red three-drop come along just a couple of sets later.

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#4: Arguel's Blood Fast

One of the most prevalent decks on camera throughout day two was Kevin Jones' UB Midrange, featuring a single copy of Arguel's Blood Fast in the main deck. While the enchantment was predictably great against control decks, the commentary team widely mocked it when the enchantment showed up against aggro. Of course, flipping Agruel's Blood Fast into Temple of Aclazoltz ended up being the defining moment of game. The lifegain allowed Jones to stabilize and eventually pull ahead completing the resurrection of The Scarab God from Standard afterthought to savior (but more on this in a minute). Regardless, the fact that Arguel's Blood Fast was instrumental to not just beating control (where it's good), but aggro (where it's supposedly not) is enough to bring it in at number four on our list!

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#3: Winding Constrictor

Winding Constrictor isn't the most intuitive card in a format overflowing with Soul-Scar Mage and Goblin Chainwhirler. While it managed to duck the camera for most of the day, beneath the surface there were signs that various Constrictor builds (primarily GB and Sultai) were among the best decks in the room, backing up their great metagame numbers with wins in off-camera feature matches. While not as obvious as some of the other winners on our list, the snake in the grass comes in at number three.

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#2: Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Chandra, Torch of Defiance was the card that allowed various red decks to keep pace and fight through the endless card draw and removal of control decks. The combination of fast mana, damage, and a threatening ultimate makes the red planeswalker the perfect threat for aggro to fight slower decks, and based on the number of RB Aggro/Midrange decks in the top eight, we should be seeing a lot more of Chandra, Torch of Defiance before the weekend is done.

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#1: The Scarab God

Somehow, after being the most dominant and most-hated card in Standard for a long time, people forgot about The Scarab God. Well, thanks to Pro Tour Dominaria, The Scarab God is back. Not only did UB Control and Esper Control outperform UW Control by the numbers, The Scarab God also looked great on camera, with UB Midrange looking to be a deck that can compete with both the RB Midrange builds and the UW Control builds that made up a huge percentage of the Pro Tour Dominaria metagame. While Amonkhet block will be rotating this fall, for the next few months it wouldn't be a surprise to see a resurgence of The Scarab God as people remember just how powerful the five-drop really is.

Deck Tech Decks

Top Eight

You can find the full Pro Tour Dominaria Top 8 Decklists here:

  • Takimura - Red-Black
  • Turtenwald - Red-Black
  • Hendriks - Red-Black (?)
  • Lim - Esper Control
  • Pinto - Red-Black
  • Wyatt Darby -  Mono-Red
  • Lenz - Mono-Red
  • Carvalho - Red-Black


Anyway, that's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow tomorrow for the top eight. Until then, what were your impression of day one of Pro Tour Dominaria? 

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