Monday, April 22, 2019

April 21 Pauper Challenge Winner's Metagame

After 13 weeks Ravnica Allegiance is coming to a close. Technically this season took 14 weeks, but since one week was a Playoff (with a closed invite list) it had some special circumstances. The last challenge before War of the Spark did not provide many surprises.

Instead, this challenge was more of the same. More Dimir Delver at the top of the metagame. More of the Gush-Augur of Bolas - Preordain -whatever other blue card engine dominating. Out of the 25 Win+ points awarded in the April 21st Challenge, 16 of them - 80% - went to a deck running this engine. By comparison three - or 9% - went to the Monarch.

Let's ignore Win+ for a moment. Instead, let's look at Top 8s. Given everything about this season it would make sense that Dimir Delver to have more Top 8s than any other deck. It was a top performer wire-to-wire and runs some of the most powerful cards available in the format. But what if I told you that it had a conversion rate of better than 33% from Top 32 to Top 8? And it did this with 76 Top 32 finishes. The only deck to do better in conversion fielded 8 Top 32 lists. 

Threshold for appearing in the power rankings is 8 appearances.
For a moment, let's just look at Top 8s. Dimir Delver has 26 out of 104 -fully one quarter of all Top 8s awarded. It has 5 wins out of 13 events. Boros Monarch - both variants - combine for just over 22% of all Top 8s awarded. If you want to look at the Gush engine, it accumulated 44% of all Top 8s; Monarch had nearly 29%.

When two engines take up a huge share of the meta game it doesn't leave much space for others to thrive. Tron didn't reach 5% of the Top 8 share - same with Hexproof. Burn didn't reach 10%. Affinity and Stompy had under 2% of the Top 8 metagame - same with Elves.

Here's where things stand. Gush and Monarch are just better than everything else. War of the Spark season starts this week and I'm going to make a bold prediction: unless some cards get banned on May 20th that season is also going to be dominated by Gush and Monarch.

2019 is going to be a banner year for Pauper. I want to continue to be at the forefront of the metagame. If you like the work I do, please consider becoming a Patron. Thank you!

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