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Pro Tour Hour of Devastation: By the Numbers


Pro Tour Hour of Devastation is in the books, which means it's time to break down the tournament by the numbers! What decks and cards performed on Magic's biggest stage, and which decks and cards fell flat? That's what we'll be trying to figure out today! After discussing the performance of the most played decks, we'll have some quick hitters on other decks and some of the sweetest under-the-radar deck lists from Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, before wrapping things up by breaking down the most played individual cards at the event! We've got a lot to cover, so let's get to it and talk about the most played decks at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation!

The Big Six

At Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, a total of six decks made up at least 5% of the metagame at the start of day one: Ramunap Red, Mono-Black Zombies, GB Constrictor, UR Control, and GR Ramp. Together, these six decks made up about 65% of the field, with a bunch of less popular decks filling in the gaps. Before talking about the decks, just a quick word of warning: Pro Tours are mixed-format events, with six rounds of limited wrapped around eight rounds of constructed. Because of this, our numbers aren't perfect (in theory, a good Standard deck could miss day two because of a very poor limited performance, although this shouldn't happen very often—even with a 0-3 draft, a 4-1 performance in Standard would still get a player to day two). This being said, they should be good enough that we can get a sense of how good or bad a deck performed.

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 Hour of Devastation. Decks that performed well will beat these baseline rates, while decks that performed poorly will have percentages below the baseline.

Baseline
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Baseline  462 266 62.2% 134 29% 70 12.1% 22 4.8%

 
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Ramunap Red 115 84 73% 39 33.9% 20 17.3% 10 8.6%

Ramunap Red started off day one as the most played deck at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation and backed up its numbers with a great performance, being a strong deck at every data point. Maybe the most impressive part is that Ramunap Red's numbers actually get stronger the higher up the rankings we go. While its conversion rate and 18+ percentage are a bit above expectations, the most impressive number is the 8.6% of the Ramunap Red players who ended up with 24 or more points in Standard (this include a few Top 8 players who intentionally drew in their last round), which is nearly double the expected 4.8%. So, not only was Ramunap Red strong on day one and in the early part of day two, but it also did a great job of pushing players across the finish line. 

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Maybe the most interesting aspect of Ramunap Red at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation is that nearly everyone ended up on very similar lists. That said, there are three main points of disagreement. First, some decks play Village Messenger, and others play Soul-Scar Mage or more removal spells. Moving forward, it wouldn't be surprising to see decks move more toward Soul-Scar Mage since it's better in the mirror, giving the deck a way to deal with opposing Hazoret the Fervents. Second, we have Chandra, Torch of Defiance. While nearly all of the Ramunap Red decks are playing some number of the planeswalker, there was a fairly even split between players with Chandra in their main deck and players with Chandra in their sideboards. Finally, we have Abrade, which is similar to Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Pretty much all Ramunap Red players have the instant in their 75, but some start with Abrade in their sideboard. 

 
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Mono-Black Zombies 53 36 67.9% 25 44.6% 13 24.5% 4 7.5%

While Ramunap Red will get all of the press thanks to the fact that the archetype put a massive six players into the Top 8 (counting the black-splash build), Zombies was secretly—at least, according to the numbers—one of the two best decks at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. Despite an only slightly above average conversion rate, the numbers at every other point on the curve are off the chart. While 29% of players at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation managed at least 18 points in Standard, a massive 45% of Zombies players hit this mark. Likewise, only 12.1% of players managed to get at least 21 points in Standard, but Zombies players more than doubled their expectation at 24.5%. Even the high-end 24+ percentage is only slightly behind that of Ramunap Red. So, while Ramunap Red will bask in the glory and camera time of the Top 8, those of us who dig behind the numbers a bit will know that, despite only putting one player in the Top 8, Zombies was a great deck at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation

 
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
GB Constrictor  45 35 77.8% 21 46.7% 10 22.2% 4 8.9%

The other best deck at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation? GB Constrictor. By the numbers, GB Constrictor looks a lot like Mono-Black Zombies. Actually, the story is almost exactly the same. The deck put up great numbers across the board, including giving an absurd 46.7% of its players at least 18 points in Standard and posting the best conversion rate out of any of the six most popular decks. Unfortunately, as with Mono-Black Zombies, GB Constrictor only managed to get a single player into the Top 8, so it will likely end up being overshadowed by Ramunap Red. but it was clearly right alongside Zombies as the best deck at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation.

Moving forward, GB Constrictor might be the best deck to buy into if you are looking for an alternative to Ramunap Red. While Zombies is a fine choice as well, the tiebreaker is that GB Constrictor is almost guaranteed to survive rotation, while Zombies may or may not be around come the end of September. It's also interesting to note that, apart from the big story of Mono-Red Aggro once again being a thing in Standard, the story of Pro Tour Hour of Devastation seems to be one of redemption for Zombies and GB Constrictor, which had faded a bit in popularity over recent weeks in favor of various UW decks, but based on their performance at the Pro Tour, both decks are clearly back on top.

 
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
Mardu Vehicles  33 20 60.6% 10 30.3% 5 15.2% 1

3%

Unlike the other blast-from-the past-decks GB Constrictor and Mono-Black Zombies, Mardu Vehicles had a very average performance at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. Some of its numbers are slightly above average, and others are slightly below average, which means if you look at the big picture, Mardu Vehicles performed almost exactly at replacement level—no better and no worse than the field as a whole. Of course, moving forward, the archetype will have to contend with the fact that it missed out on the Top 8 and all of the camera time that goes along with it, but it's hard to say a whole lot about the deck and its future based on this performance. 

One of the problems for Mardu Vehicles (and also Zombies and GB Constrictor, to some extent) is that the deck really just didn't get many additions from Hour of Devastation (something that will be very apparent when we break down the most played Hour of Devastation cards in a minute). We talked back on day one about how one of the big questions for Pro Tour Hour of Devastation was if Hour of Devastation itself would make an impact, and based on the most popular decks and their performances, the answer is complicated. There's no doubt that Ramunap Red is an Hour of Devastation deck, but none of the other popular or successful decks were significantly impacted by Hour of Devastation. While Ramunap Red saved the day for the set by dominating the Pro Tour, otherwise it seems like Hour of Devastation was mostly a flop at its namesake Pro Tour. Considering Standard is huge right now, this isn't a big surprise, and Hour of Devastation will get another chance to shine in a couple months with rotation, but for now, it seems likely to move to the back burner while Kaladesh block continues to shine. 

UR Control
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
UR Control 29 19 65.5% 6 20.7% 3 10.3% 0 0%

UR Control started out fairly strong, posting a slightly above average conversion rate from day one to day two. Then, the wheels fell off on day two, with UR Control posting poor numbers across the board. The most logical explanation for this is that UR Control managed to beat up on a bunch of lesser played decks on day one, but then the control decks couldn't keep up when things consolidated on day two, with Ramunap Red, Zombies, and GB Energy taking up a lot of seats on the top tables. The rise of Ramunap Red seems especially problematic for UR Control—traditionally, Mono-Red Aggro is the natural enemy for control decks, and while it's probably true that control players can tweak their builds to be slightly better against Ramunap Red, the matchup still probably won't be good. While we shouldn't read too much into these numbers—although they are lacking, they aren't amazingly bad, and the sample size is fairly small—the combination of the numbers, history, and reports from players that control is (once again) in a bad place at the moment, it's probably better to look elsewhere over the summer and hope that control can make a comeback after rotation this fall.

 
Deck Day One Players Day Two Players Conversation Rate 18+ Players 18+% 21+ Players 21+% 24+ Players 24+%
GR Ramp  24 15 62.5% 4 16.7% 3 12.5% 0 0%

Based on the matches we saw in the feature match area, GR Ramp can have a difficult time keeping up with Ramunap Red, and the numbers seem to back this up. While the conversion rate is about average, GR Ramp performed way below expectations in terms of giving players at least 18 points in Standard, with more than 29% of the field at large hitting this number but only 16.7% of GR Ramp players reaching this mark. Actually, by the numbers, GR Ramp was the worst of the big six decks at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, although there may still be hope for the future, now that the deck knows it needs to deal with Ramunap Red. Many of the GR Ramp decks were only playing a couple of Kozilek's Returns and sometimes relying on the full four copies of Hour of Devastation as the sweeper of choice, and moving towards the cheaper instant-speed wrath could help to improve the matchup. Also, one of the most successful GR Ramp decks from Pro Tour Hour of Devastation skipped Beneath the Sands and other early-game spell-based ramp and replaced these cards with Gifts of Paradise, which ramps just as much but also gains some incidental life, which can be very effective against Ramunap Red. So, while the numbers on GR Ramp at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation weren't great, there could still be hope for the future.

Notes on Other Decks

  • UW Gifts: Blue-White God-Pharaoh's Gift was a trendy pick as a breakout deck heading into Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, and while it did show up (not on camera, but as the seventh-most-played deck), it performed horribly. Out of the 18 players who took the deck to Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, only two managed to perform well enough to get their list published, and these two only just barely made it with 6-4 finishes. 
  • UW Monument: The hottest deck on the SCG Tour also fell extremely flat—only one of the 17 day-one players managed to get at least 18 points in constructed.
  • Temur Energy: Temur Energy wasn't that heavily played, which means the sample size is pretty small, but the numbers suggest the deck actually performed really well. Temur Energy started with 17 players and put 11 into day two (which is about an average conversion rate), but then all but one of those 11 day-two players ended up with at least 18 points in Standard, giving Temur Energy the best 18+ percentage of any major deck in the field.
  • GR Pummeler: Finally, we have GR Pummeler, which is worth mentioning because it showed up quite regularly on camera in the hands of Huey Jensen. While only nine players started with the deck, its conversion rate was below average at 55%, and only two of the nine players finished with at least six wins in Standard (also a bit below average). 

Five Coolest Under-the-Radar Lists

While Pro Tour Hour of Devastation didn't have a ton of weird breakout decks (which makes sense, considering it's a small set entering a very big Standard), there were a handful of sweet decks that managed to post at least six wins in the Standard portion of the tournament. Here are five of my favorites!

Probably the spiciest deck from Pro Tour Hour of Devastation was UR Gift. While we've seen God-Pharaoh's Gift decks quite a bit recently, this one goes super deep. Not only does it have a ton of cyclers to fill the graveyard for the namesake artifact, but it can also randomly Metalwork Colossus people thanks to God-Pharaoh's Gift being a seven-mana non-creature artifact. If that's not enough, it also has some Hollow One synergies built in, with Champion of Wits, Cathartic Reunion, and Insolent Neonate to discard cards and reduce the cost on Hollow One. Plus, Marionette Master has to be one of the sweetest cards to get back with God-Pharaoh's Gift, giving the deck a sweet combo kill where you can make the master a 7/7 thanks to fabricate (if you get it back with God-Pharaoh's Gift) and then use Metalwork Colossus from the graveyard to sacrifice artifacts and drain the opponent out of the game!

Normally, Electrostatic Pummeler decks are green and red, which makes this green-black build pretty interesting. While the colors are different, many of the main pieces are the same: energy creatures, pump spells, and Electrostatic Pummeler for the combo kill. This being said, adding black gives the deck some sweet new options like Dreamstealer, which works like Electrostatic Pummelers five and six with a pump spell, except instead of directly winning the game, it Mind Twists away the opponent's hand!

So far, Oketra's Monument has only seen play in white decks, where it can not only make tokens but also help to reduce the cost of creatures, but the idea of using it to fuel a black-green Aristocrats-style deck is interesting and certainly spicy. If you like going wide with tokens, making tons of mana, and then sacrificing your own creatures for value, this might be the deck for you!

While the most common build of Zombies is mono-black, we did see one UB build perform well at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. While the main deck is still mostly black, the blue splash gives the deck access to The Scarab God as a great finisher from the sideboard, along with Negate to help fight through control decks and beat combo builds like God-Pharaoh's Gift.

It seems like the Eldrazi have been in Standard forever, but this is about to change as Oath of the Gatewatch rotates with Ixalan's release in September, which means Pro Tour Hour of Devastation is the colorless creatures' last chance to shine in the format. While there weren't a ton of dedicated Eldrazi decks at the tournament, Scott Lipp's Mono-White Eldrazi build combined Thought-Knot Seer and Matter Reshaper along with white all-stars like Archangel Avacyn and Thraben Inspector, while taking advantage of the colorless mana provided by some of the new Deserts from Hour of Devastation.

Top 20 Cards Overall

Card Total Copies Total Decks
Abrade 282 80
Fatal Push 195 55
Grasp of Darkness 182 53
Ramunap Ruins 182 47
Chandra, Torch of Defiance 172 62
Magma Spray 168 58
Earthshaker Khenra 168 42
Sunscorched Desert 164 41
Bomat Courier 160 40
Falkenrath Gorger 160 40
Ahn-Crop Crasher 156 39
Aether Hub 144 38
Walking Ballista 138 38
Glorybringer 135 52
Shock 135 39
Incendiary Flow 135 35
Hazoret the Fervent 114 39
Transgress the Mind 110 43
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 105 50
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider 105 40

Considering how popular Ramunap Red was at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, the top 20 most played cards aren't all that surprising. The list is overloaded with red cards, with a handful of cards that see play in multiple decks (like Transgress the Mind and Glorybringer) sneaking onto the list as well. Otherwise, there really isn't a whole lot to talk about here. If you were to make a list of things we learned at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, near the top would be that the Desert lands are really good, with two in the top 10 most played cards and most of the other members of the cycle seeing some amount of play as well. Oh, and how many of you would have predicted that the much-maligned Hazoret the Fervent would be the most played God at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation?

Top 20 Hour of Devastation Cards

Card Total Copies Total Decks
Abrade 282 80
Ramunap Ruins 182 47
Earthshaker Khenra 168 42
Ifnir Deadlands 87 33
Chandra's Defeat 81 42
Scavenger Grounds 74 46
Crook of Condemnation 57 34
Doomfall 53 24
Hashep Oasis 30 12
Ammit Eternal 30 9
Sand Strangler 29 14
Hour of Devastation 24 13
Champion of Wits 18 5
Hour of Promise 16 4
God-Pharaoh's Gift 14 4
Supreme Will 14 5
Strategic Planning 12 3
Dreamstealer 12 5
Sunscourge Champion 11 3
Beneath the Sands 8 2

As for Hour of Devastation, the cards basically break down into two groups: cards that see play in Ramunap Red and other cards that show up (in much smaller numbers) in other decks. Once you get past the Ramunap Red cards (including Ammit Eternal, which was primarily played in the black-splash version of Ramunap Red) and some good sideboard options like Crook of Condemnation, the next most played Hour of Devastation card was Hour of Devastation. While this isn't really a surprise—Hour of Devastation has been hyped as one of the best cards from Hour of Devastation ever since it was previewed—the fact that there were only 24 copies is pretty shocking. For context, if a card were played as a four-of in every single deck, there would be 536 copies in our sample. The story is the same for Hour of Promise and Champion of Wits. All in all, apart from Ramunap Red, the impact of Hour of Devastation was muted, and it looks like we might have to wait for rotation to see the new Gods, Crested Sunmare, Majestic Myriarch, and some of the other exciting cards from the set shine.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What do you make of these numbers? Did I miss any other cool decks from Pro Tour Hour of Devastation? How do you plan on attacking Ramunap Red? What deck are you picking up next? As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com!


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