Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica: By the Numbers

Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica: By the Numbers


Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica is in the books. After three crazy days of Magic, we ended up with a Top 8 overflowing with white-based weenie decks, with the most played deck at the start of the tournament (Golgari Midrange) being locked out of the Top 8 altogether! How can we make sense of these results? That's our goal for today as we break down Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica by the numbers. If you haven't already, check out all the 6+ win decklists from Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, which is the source of our analysis.

We'll start off by discussing the winners and losers among the most played decks at the tournament before moving on to a handful of the most interesting lists that didn't manage to reach the Top 8. Finally, we'll wrap things up with lists of the most played cards from both Standard in general and from Guilds of Ravnica specifically, but first we need to take a look at the baseline for success at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica.

Baseline Numbers

To judge the performance of specific decks, we need a baseline for the format. The following table shows how the entire field performed at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica. These baseline numbers allow us to see how individual decks performed at various data points. If a deck posts numbers above the baseline, it did better than average, while numbers below the baseline mean that the deck performed worse than expected. Of course, these numbers come with the usual warnings: first, the limited rounds can mess with the numbers to some extent, mostly because some good constructed decks likely dropped out on day one thanks to poor limited performances. Second, the Top 8 decks are mixed in with the 24+ decks. While technically some of the Top 8 players only had seven wins (21 points), many also had some intentional draws, which skews the numbers.

Baseline
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+/Top8 Players 24+%
Baseline 510 322 63.1% 163 32% 80 15.6% 31 6%

Boros / Red-White Aggro / White Weenie 

While Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica didn't have any brand new decks, based on the Top 8, which featured a massive six Boros decks, we did have a breakout archetype in White-Red / Boros Aggro. Before getting to the list, it's important to mention the differences between the two decks. White-Red Aggro is basically a white weenie deck that's splashing for Heroic Reinforcements. Meanwhile, Boros Aggro is a more traditional Boros mentor deck featuring cards like Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice and Boros Challenger

 

 
Deck Day One Players Day One Meta % Day Two Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Red-White Aggro 81 15.9% 56 69.1% 32 39.5% 19 23.4% 8 9.9%

The nearly mono-white Red-White Aggro deck seemed like the big winner of Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica on coverage, being on camera constantly and putting a bunch of players in the Top 8, and the numbers back this up. While not off the charts, Red-White Aggro exceeded the baseline at every single one of our data points. There's still some disagreement in terms of which build is best, with cards like Ajani's Pridemate, Healer's Hawk, and Venerated Loxodon being among the most debated. Regardless, the plan of flooding the board with cheap white creatures, pumping them with Benalish Marshal, and then finishing the game with Heroic Reinforcements was great at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, and you should expect to see a lot of this deck moving forward at your LGS and online.

 
Deck Day One Players Day One Meta % Day Two Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Boros Aggro 18 3.5% 12 66.7% 5 27.7% 2 11.1% 1 5.6%

As for the more traditional (and more red) Boros Aggro, the deck was actually pretty bad, albeit across a fairly small sample size. While the deck had a solid day one, coming in a bit above average in terms of conversion rate, day two was a different story. While the numbers on Boros Aggro aren't horrible, they are not only far behind Red-White Aggro but slightly below our baseline as well. If you're looking to get aggressive with red and white cards, it seems pretty clear that Red-White Aggro is a better choice than Boros Aggro at the moment.

 
Deck Day One Players Day One Meta % Day Two Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
White Weenie 8 1.6% 6 75% 3 37.5% 3 37.5% 1 12.5%

Finally, we have White Weenie, which is somewhat deceptively named, since it's playing red cards in the sideboard. Basically, White Weenie is essentially the same deck as Red-White Aggro but without Heroic Reinforcements. While the sample size is way too small to be meaningful, with only eight players starting day one on the deck, the numbers are solid across the board. In fact, the numbers on White Weenie are even better than for Red-White Weenie. This being said, the differences between the builds are small enough that it's probably correct to consider the decks part of the same archetype and just consider Red-White Aggro / White Weenie the best deck at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica.

The Golgari Menace

 
Deck Day One Players Day One Meta % Day 2 Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Golgari Midrange 113 22.2% 71 62.8% 35 31% 14 12.3% 4 3.5%

Golgari Midrange was—by far—the most played deck on day one of Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, and as recently as a couple of weeks ago, there were some worries that the Golgari menace would dominate the format. Thankfully, this worry proved to be unfounded. While Golgari Midrange wasn't bad at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, it wasn't very good either, running slightly below the baseline at basically every one of our data points and missing out on the Top 8 altogether. This being said, the numbers aren't that bad, especially considering that number of players on the deck (and the fact that many of the best players in the tournament played Boros or Izzet), and it's likely that Golgari Midrange will remain in the top tier of the format moving forward, even if it no longer appears to be the monster that it was once feared to be. 

Other Heavily Played Decks

 

 
Deck Day One Players Day One Meta % Day 2 Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Izzet Drakes 66 12.9% 45 68.2% 20 30.3% 13 19.7% 5 7.6%

While Izzet Drakes only managed to sneak one player into the Top 8 at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, all in all, the deck has a pretty successful weekend. While it ran slightly below average in terms of 18+ point finishes, it made up for this to some extent by posting a lot of high-end finishes. While not quite as good as Red-White Aggro, out of the heavily played decks at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, Izzet Drakes posted the second best 21+ and 24+ percentages. 

It's also worth mentioning that the deck might be even better in the future. As we saw in the Top 8, some of the Izzet Drakes decks seemed more focused on beating Golgari than beating Red-White Aggro, making the matchup against the best deck in the room difficult. With more sweepers in the sideboard or maybe even a splash into Jeskai for Deafening Clarion, it's possible that Izzet Drakes could be even better moving forward once it's built with Red-White Aggro in mind.

 

Deck Day 1 Players Day 1 Meta % Day 2 Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Mono-Red Aggro 64 12.5% 43 67.2% 20 31.2% 11 17.1% 4 6.3%

While we didn't see much Mono-Red Aggro on camera, you'll be disappointed if you were rooting for the death of the archetype: despite the lack of a high-end finish or much camera time, Mono-Red Aggro actually performed slightly above average by most of our metrics, ranking behind just Red-White Aggro and Izzet Drake in our hierarchy of heavily played decks. If anything, the deck might get a boost moving forward from the newfound popularity of white aggro, since Goblin Chainwhirler is still one of the best cards you can cast against a deck building around Healer's Hawk, Legion's Landing, Adanto Vanguard, and Skymarcher Aspirant

 

 
Deck Day 1 Players Day 1 Meta % Day 2 Players Conversion Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Jeskai Control 56 11% 32 57.1% 17 30.3% 8 14.2% 5 8.9%

For Jeskai Control, it's basically a story of two days. Jeskai Control had a rough time on day one in the Golgari-infested meta, posting the worst conversion rate of any of the most popular decks. However, based on the rest of the numbers, it seems that the deck recovered to some extent on day two, perhaps suggesting it's one of the better options for beating Red-White Aggro, beating its day one numbers across the board and being one of the best decks at giving players 24+ point finishes. The big question for Jeskai Control will be what the metagame looks like moving forward. If Red-White Aggro becomes the deck to beat, Jeskai Control has the tools to beat it; however, the tools that are good against Red-White Aggro are lacking against Golgari Midrange, so if the metagame remains diverse, Jeskai Control might have a harder time sticking in the top tier of the Guilds of Ravnica Standard metagame.

Notes on Lesser Played Decks

The Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica metagame was a bit strange. We had one deck over 20% of the meta, four decks between 10% and 20% of the meta, and then a bunch of decks that made up less than 4% of the meta. Doing a full statistical breakdown on the lesser played decks isn't especially meaningful since the sample size is so small, but here are some quick hitters on the other decks in the field.

  • Mono-Blue Tempo was the worst deck on day one of Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, posting a conversion rate of just 43.8%. However, the seven players who did make day two with Mono-Blue Tempo posted solid finishes, with five ending up with at least six wins in constructed. This was enough to give the deck a roughly average performance overall, which is especially impressive since so many players missed the cut. It's possible that Mono-Blue Tempo fell victim to poor limited performances from its players because it seemed to be fairly good in Standard, in a small sample.
  • Selesnya Tokens was one of the best of the lesser played decks, with 38.4% of its day one players finishing with at least 18 points in constructed. 
  • Blue-Black Control had a rough weekend. Between Grixis and Dimir, 18 players brought a blue-black-based control deck to the Pro Tour, and only three ended up with winning records in constructed, which is significantly below expectations. Meanwhile, Esper Control fared better, with three of its five players ended up with at least 18 points in constructed. If you're looking for a non-Jeskai control list, Esper seems to be the way to go (and the deck should be even better next Pro Tour after Ravnica Allegiance brings with it the Orzhov and Azorius guilds).
  • Turbo Fog was pretty bad. While two of its nine players posted winning records, both just snuck in with the minimum of six wins.

Spiciest Under-the-Radar Decks

While the gameplay at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica was interesting, one thing the event lacked was sweet under-the-radar rogue brews. I've been writing these articles for several years now, and I'm pretty sure Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica holds the title for least spicy Pro Tour of all time. As such, our selections here are pretty limited, but here are a couple of somewhat unique decks:

While Demanding Dragon seems like an odd choice in a field overflowing with random one-mana creatures and tokens, apparently, playing big fliers in a consistent mono-red shell can work. More importantly, if you want to beat Red-White Aggro, you could do much worse than playing four main-deck copies of Fiery Cannonade and four Goblin Chainwhirler

Jeskai Midrange is one of those decks that isn't all that high on synergy but helps make up for it by playing a ton of really powerful cards. Sometimes, just casting a huge threat every turn is enough to overcome an opponent looking to go wide with a bunch of small creatures, and Lyra Dawnbringer is especially devastating against Red-White Aggro, since most of the Red-White Aggro builds play very minimal removal in the main deck. If Golgari Midrange is on the downswing and various Boros decks are on the right path, it might once again be safe to tap out for big threats that need to sit on the battlefield for a turn or two to have an impact.

While I'm not convinced many non-Shota players can win with it, Grixis Control looks like a fun option if you're looking to surveil your way to victory. Disinformation Campaign decks are extremely popular on Magic Arena, so if you're looking to tune your build to fight the current meta, this seems like a pretty reasonable place to start.

Most Played Non-Land Cards

25 Most Played Non-Land Cards
Card Total Copies Total Decks
Adanto Vanguard 216 54
History of Benalia 207 52
Lava Coil 195 64
Conclave Tribunal 163 47
Experimental Frenzy 158 55
Shock 157 41
Legion's Landing 155 44
Duress 148 40
Opt 147 37
Tocatli Honor Guard 146 41
Merfolk Branchwalker 144 36
Jadelight Ranger 144 36
Benalish Marshal 144 36
Skymarcher Aspirant 142 38
Dauntless Bodyguard 136 35
Vraska's Contempt 134 41
Llanowar Elves 132 33
Wildgrowth Walker 117 34
Carnage Tyrant 112 38
Vivien Reid 109 42
Heroic Reinforcements 109 28
Cast Down 108 41
Find // Finality 107 35
Deafening Clarion 103 30
Baffling End 100 36

Most Played Guilds of Ravnica Cards

25 Most Played Non-Land GRN Cards
Card Total Copies Total Decks
Lava Coil 195 64
Conclave Tribunal 163 47
Experimental Frenzy 158 55
Find // Finality 107 35
Deafening Clarion 103 30
Crackling Drake 99 30
Niv-Mizzet, Parun 84 37
Arclight Phoenix 80 20
Runaway Steam-Kin 76 19
Chemister's Insight 76 27
Sinister Sabotage 72 20
Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice 71 30
Legion Warboss 68 21
Healer's Hawk 64 24
Midnight Reaper 63 25
Disdainful Stroke 63 33
Venerated Loxodon 61 16
Radical Idea 55 16
Goblin Electromancer 55 17
Assassin's Trophy 51 32
Doom Whisperer 45 18
Justice Strike 40 22
Ritual of Soot 39 20
Beacon Bolt 38 21
Discovery // Dispersal 38 14
Vraska, Golgari Queen 28 24

 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! What do you make of these numbers? Where will Guilds of Ravnica Standard go next? What's the best answer to Red-White Aggro? Can any of the control decks find their footing? Can Golgari remain relevant in the post-Pro Tour meta? 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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


More on MTGGoldfish ...

against the odds

Against the Odds: Impromptu Temur (Modern, Magic Online)

instant deck tech

Instant Deck Tech: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Legacy)

f2pfish

Budget Arena: Izzet A Bogle? (Standard, Magic Arena)

Pauper Primer: Aggro


Next Article

Keep in Touch

Sign up to receive email updates from us!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • S
  • S
  • S
  • S
  • S
  • S
  • S

Welcome to MTGGoldfish. We display prices for both ONLINE and PAPER magic. By default, what prices would you like to see?   

Paper Magic Online Magic Arena