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Standard Breakdown of Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir


The top performing standard decks were posted here and here. Let's dig into the numbers to see how you should be preparing for your next Standard event!

Deck Number of Decks
Jeskai Wins 18
Abzan Midrange 10
Blue-Black Control 4
Black-Green Devotion 4
Abzan Aggro 2
Red-White Tokens 2
Jeskai Ascendancy Combo 2
Unwritten Devotion 2
Esper Control 2
Red-Green Monsters 2

 

The field was absolutely dominated by Jeskai Wins and Abzan Midrange. These were the big known decks coming in and they put up the results.  Ari Lax took down the whole event with Abzan Midrange on the backs of powerful Planeswalkers and Siege Rhino. With the rotation of Sphinx's Revelation and Supreme Verdict many feared the demise of control. Although Ivan Floch managed to get into the Top 8 with Blue-Black Control, only six control decks managed to crack 21+ points.

 

Color Combination Number of Decks
WUR 18
WBG 12
BG 6
UB 4
WR 2
WURG 2
WUB 2
RG 2

 

Looking at the deck color combinations, we are clearly in the age of three-color decks. With multiple dual-lands, tri-lands, fetches and Mana Confluence, most decks are playing as many good cards as possible.

 

Top Cards
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Lightning Strike 1R 86 45.83%
2 Seeker of the Way 1W 80 45.83%
3 Stoke the Flames 2RR 80 41.67%
4 Thoughtseize B 78 54.17%
5 Hero's Downfall 1BB 76 41.67%
6 Mantis Rider URW 72 37.50%
7 Jeskai Charm URW 72 37.50%
8 Goblin Rabblemaster 2R 72 37.50%
9 Courser of Kruphix 1GG 70 37.50%
10 Magma Jet 1R 68 41.67%
11 Sylvan Caryatid 1G 68 37.50%
12 Disdainful Stroke 1U 64 66.67%
13 Dig Through Time 6UU 58 50.00%
14 Drown in Sorrow 1BB 58 45.83%
15 Bile Blight BB 50 45.83%
16 Siege Rhino 1WBG 48 25.00%
17 Suspension Field 1W 48 37.50%
18 Fleecemane Lion GW 48 25.00%
19 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker 3RR 44 41.67%
20 Elspeth, Sun's Champion 4WW 44 50.00%

 

Taking a look at the top cards overall, they're mainly split between efficient creatures (Seeker of the Way, Mantis Rider) and good removal (Lightning Strike, Hero's Downfall). Let's break it down further into card types:

 

Creatures
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Seeker of the Way 1W 80 45.83%
2 Mantis Rider URW 72 37.50%
3 Goblin Rabblemaster 2R 72 37.50%
4 Courser of Kruphix 1GG 70 37.50%
5 Sylvan Caryatid 1G 68 37.50%
6 Siege Rhino 1WBG 48 25.00%
7 Fleecemane Lion GW 48 25.00%
8 Polukranos, World Eater 2GG 40 25.00%
9 Brimaz, King of Oreskos 1WW 32 20.83%
10 Elvish Mystic G 32 16.67%
11 Stormbreath Dragon 3RR 26 29.17%
12 Nylea's Disciple 2GG 24 12.50%
13 Voyaging Satyr 1G 22 12.50%
14 Anafenza, the Foremost WBG 22 20.83%
15 Doomwake Giant 4B 22 12.50%
16 Wingmate Roc 3WW 22 20.83%
17 Eidolon of Blossoms 2GG 20 12.50%
18 Hornet Queen 4GGG 18 20.83%
19 Rattleclaw Mystic 1G 16 8.33%
20 Genesis Hydra XGG 16 8.33%

 

Coming into the Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir, everyone was talking about Courser of Kruphix and Sylvan Caryatid. They did show up at #4 and #5, but the top spot goes to Seeker of the Way. Seeker of the Way is an absolute beating in an aggressive deck looking to race. The ideal play is T2 Seeker of the Way, T3 removal spell on opponent's creature and hit for a six point life swing. Prowess also makes blocking incredibly awkward. The other Khans of Tarkir all-star was Mantis Rider. With the ground being gummed up by Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix, Mantis Rider can fly over and hit for three (hastily I might add). Further, its vigilance is not only relevant for racing/blocking, but it also helps you cast Stoke the Flames. The 4-drop slot is interesting with Siege Rhino edging out Polukranos, World Eater. Siege Rhino is doing its best Thragtusk impression by helping you stabilize with a formidable body and some life gain. 

 

Planeswalkers
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker 3RR 44 41.67%
2 Elspeth, Sun's Champion 4WW 44 50.00%
3 Sorin, Solemn Visitor 2WB 18 20.83%
4 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver 1UB 16 12.50%
5 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW 12 16.67%
6 Nissa, Worldwaker 3GG 12 16.67%
7 Chandra, Pyromaster 2RR 10 8.33%
8 Xenagos, the Reveler 2RG 6 4.17%
9 Liliana Vess 3BB 4 8.33%
10 Garruk, Apex Predator 5BG 4 8.33%

 

Who won the battle of the Planeswalkers? Spoiler Alert: Elspeth, Sun's Champion is still good. The newcomer Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker made an impressive showing with many decks choosing him over Stormbreath Dragon. Sorin, Solemn Visitor is no slouch either. His +1 ability is very relevant in Siege Rhino mirrors allowing you to kill the opposing Siege RhinoNissa, Worldwaker took a back seat at this Pro Tour. It's not surprising when you realize 4/4 lands match up very poorly against the 4/5 Siege Rhino.

 

Spells
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Lightning Strike 1R 86 45.83%
2 Stoke the Flames 2RR 80 41.67%
3 Thoughtseize B 78 54.17%
4 Hero's Downfall 1BB 76 41.67%
5 Jeskai Charm URW 72 37.50%
6 Magma Jet 1R 68 41.67%
7 Disdainful Stroke 1U 64 66.67%
8 Dig Through Time 6UU 58 50.00%
9 Drown in Sorrow 1BB 58 45.83%
10 Bile Blight BB 50 45.83%
11 Suspension Field 1W 48 37.50%
12 Abzan Charm WBG 40 25.00%
13 End Hostilities 3WW 38 29.17%
14 Negate 1U 36 33.33%
15 Magma Spray R 34 25.00%
16 Anger of the Gods 1RR 28 29.17%
17 Banishing Light 2W 24 25.00%
18 Erase W 22 25.00%
19 Back to Nature 1G 20 16.67%
20 Dissolve 1UU 16 8.33%

 

With Jeskai Wins dominating the field, it's no surprise most of the top spells were burn spells. The first non-burn, non-removal spell is Dig Through Time. Every deck playing blue is jamming these in. It gives aggressive decks much needed gas while giving control decks more selection. Dig Through Time is so powerful that many decks are playing fetch lands just to fill their graveyard for Delve. Disdainful Stroke also made an appearance for its ability to deal with midrange threats and Planeswalkers. Chord of Calling is surprisingly absent from this list.

 

Lands
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Forest   92 45.83%
2 Llanowar Wastes   66 37.50%
3 Mountain   66 41.67%
4 Flooded Strand   66 45.83%
5 Battlefield Forge   62 41.67%
6 Temple of Malady   62 37.50%
7 Plains   62 70.83%
8 Island   60 54.17%
9 Shivan Reef   58 37.50%
10 Temple of Triumph   58 33.33%
11 Mystic Monastery   56 33.33%
12 Windswept Heath   54 37.50%
13 Sandsteppe Citadel   48 25.00%
14 Temple of Silence   46 33.33%
15 Temple of Epiphany   38 29.17%
16 Swamp   30 20.83%
17 Caves of Koilos   26 20.83%
18 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx   24 12.50%
19 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth   22 37.50%
20 Polluted Delta   22 12.50%

 

Tri-lands were out in full-force (Mystic Monastery, Sandsteppe Citadel). We have so many lands to choose from in this Standard so the prevalence of 3-color decks is unsurprising. Unfortunately most of the lands come into play tapped, so it will be interesting to see if people try to push into 4-color territory as the format evolves.

 

Top Khans of Tarkir
  Card Mana Cost Copies Decks
1 Seeker of the Way 1W 80 45.83%
2 Mantis Rider URW 72 37.50%
3 Jeskai Charm URW 72 37.50%
4 Disdainful Stroke 1U 64 66.67%
5 Dig Through Time 6UU 58 50.00%
6 Siege Rhino 1WBG 48 25.00%
7 Suspension Field 1W 48 37.50%
8 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker 3RR 44 41.67%
9 Abzan Charm WBG 40 25.00%
10 End Hostilities 3WW 38 29.17%
11 Anafenza, the Foremost WBG 22 20.83%
12 Wingmate Roc 3WW 22 20.83%
13 Sorin, Solemn Visitor 2WB 18 20.83%
14 Rattleclaw Mystic 1G 16 8.33%
15 Ashcloud Phoenix 2RR 14 12.50%
16 Despise B 14 12.50%
17 Utter End 2WB 12 16.67%
18 Rakshasa Deathdealer BG 12 8.33%
19 Deflecting Palm RW 10 12.50%
20 Murderous Cut 4B 10 16.67%

 

So what did Khans of Tarkir bring to standard? Aggressive creatures ([Seeker of the Way]], Mantis Rider), efficient mid-range theats (Siege Rhino, Wingmate Roc), flexible spells (Abzan Charm, Jeskai Charmm, Dig Through Time) and powerful planeswalkers (Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker). The only thing missing are efficient control cards. End Hostilities saw play, but it's no Supreme Verdict. The lack of cheap instant speed card draw made control decks too inconsistent. 

 

Conclusion

Overall, we saw a lot of new cards showcased this weekend at PT: Khans of Tarkir. Although the field was dominated by a few decks, we did see various new archetypes pop-up. Standard is shaping up to be very interesting! 

 

 


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