MagicFest Portland was home to the last Grand Prix of the year. This article collects all statistics and Standard developments from the event.
The Standard Metagame
On Saturday morning, 510 players enrolled in Grand Prix Portland. After eight rounds, 100 of them made the cut to Day 2, where six more rounds of Swiss decided the Top 8. Here is how the deck choices of all Grand Prix Portland competitors broke down.
|Deck||Day 1 field||Day 2 field||Top 8|
|Jeskai Fires||13.7%||15.0%||1 player|
|Simic Flash||11.2%||11.0%||2 players|
|Rakdos Knights||5.8%||8.0%||2 players|
|Gruul Adventure||4.6%||8.0%||1 player|
|Temur Adventure||1.4%||3.0%||1 player|
|Golgari Midrange||0.6%||1.0%||1 player|
Even though Jund Sacrifice was the most-played deck overall, it did not manage to convert into a Top 8 finish.
The Most Played Cards
Here is the breakdown of the most played cards among deck lists submitted for Grand Prix Portland.
|Card name||Total number of copies||Main deck||Sideboard|
|Temple of Mystery||423||423||0|
|Casualties of War||412||320||92|
|Teferi, Time Raveler||401||399||2|
|Trail of Crumbs||386||382||4|
|Nissa, Who Shakes the World||362||355||7|
|Temple of Epiphany||335||335||0|
As u/Aextasis wittingly wrote on Reddit: “There are five basic lands in MTG: Forest, Mountain, Island, Swamp, and Fabled Passage”.
Indeed, the list of most-played cards does show that white is pretty bad in Standard right now.
The Win Rates
The following table provides the match win rates in non-bye, non-mirror matches across all 15 rounds at the Grand Prix. The confidence intervals are based on a 95% confidence level under the normal approximation to the binomial distribution.
|Deck||Total win-loss record and win rate|
|Jund Sacrifice||245-256 (49% +/- 4%)|
|Jeskai Fires||223-198 (53% +/- 5%)|
|Simic Flash||181-178 (50% +/- 5%)|
|Golgari Adventure||134-134 (50% +/- 6%)|
|Rakdos Knights||123-93 (57% +/- 7%)|
|Simic Ramp||97-86 (53% +/- 7%)|
|Gruul Adventure||101-78 (56% +/- 7%)|
|Izzet Flash||78-68 (53% +/- 8%)|
|Mono-Red Aggro||40-55 (42% +/- 10%)|
|Rakdos Sacrifice||49-49 (50% +/- 10%)|
|Azorius Control||51-35 (59% +/- 10%)|
|Temur Reclamation||39-28 (58% +/- 12%)|
|Temur Adventure||37-28 (57% +/- 12%)|
|Golgari Sacrifice||19-26 (42% +/- 14%)|
|Selesnya Adventure||23-17 (58% +/- 15%)|
|Mardu Knights||18-15 (55% +/- 17%)|
|Five-color Fires||11-16 (41% +/- 19%)|
Looking over these numbers, Rakdos Knights and Gruul Adventure overperformed. It is a good time to be running Embercleave right now.
The Winning Deck
Dylan Nollen, Grand Prix Portland champion
9 Swamp 6 Mountain 4 Blood Crypt 1 Castle Locthwain 4 Tournament Grounds 4 Blacklance Paragon 2 Bonecrusher Giant/Stomp 4 Fervent Champion 4 Gutterbones 4 Knight of the Ebon Legion 2 Murderous Rider/Swift End 4 Rotting Regisaur 4 Stormfist Crusader 4 Drill Bit 4 Embercleave Sideboard 2 Cavalier of Night 3 Embereth Shieldbreaker/Battle Display 2 Epic Downfall 2 Legion's End 1 Massacre Girl 2 Noxious Grasp 1 Sorcerous Spyglass 2 Spawn of Mayhem
Dylan Nollen went undefeated all weekend long. He chose Rakdos Knights because he had a “very good win rate on Arena” with the deck and because he felt “the U/G matchups are free wins.” His deck choice worked out perfectly.
The Spiciest New Deck
Felix Sloo, 3rd at Grand Prix Portland
9 Forest 7 Swamp 1 Castle Locthwain 1 Fabled Passage 4 Overgrown Tomb 4 Temple of Malady 4 Leyline Prowler 2 Massacre Girl 4 Murderous Rider/Swift End 4 Paradise Druid 3 Questing Beast 3 Nissa, Who Shakes the World 3 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger 1 Vraska, Golgari Queen 3 Casualties of War 2 Epic Downfall 2 Finale of Eternity 2 Noxious Grasp 1 Find/Finality Sideboard 3 Duress 2 Legion's End 2 Noxious Grasp 2 Return to Nature 2 Shifting Ceratops 1 Sorcerous Spyglass 3 Lovestruck Beast/Heart's Desire
Felix Sloo is a well-known brewer who finally reached his first Grand Prix Top 8 with a deck of his own design. As he explained in his two-minute Deck Tech video, a lot of the best decks in Standard right now are using a lot of low-power cards together and winning with synergies. Given that, he wanted to play “a lot of individually high-power cards and removal, remove one of their lower-power cards, take the synergy away, and force their low-power cards to match up against my high-power cards.” This makes sense, and it paid off for him in Portland.
One of the more unique cards in his deck was Leyline Prowler, which most of his opponents had to read. It’s good at stemming aggression—it can block 1-drops and 2-drops effectively and bigger creatures like Rotting Regisaur—and curves excellently into either of his planeswalkers. With Vivien, he can immediately attack with a 4/5 deathtouch, trample, and lifelink. He can also use Leyline Prowler to ramp into a turn-4 Nissa.
Hundreds of Additional Standard Deck Lists Are Available
Including Dylan and Felix, the Top 8 decks were 2x Rakdos Knights, 2x Simic Flash, G/B Midrange, Jeskai Fires, Temur Adventure, and R/G Adventure. All Top 8 deck lists are available here.
If you’re hungry for more Standard decks, then you can also check out ALL Grand Prix deck lists in final standing order. In terms of interesting brews with decent results, I personally liked Richard Neal’s G/W Adventure featuring Huatli’s Raptor, Wilson Miller’s B/W Discard featuring Burglar Rat, and Bolun Zhang’s Mono-Red Aggro featuring Embercleave. Standard is still filled with possibilities.