Feature: Your Extended PTQ Metagame Bomb

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The letter A!s I promised Friday, here are the average points posted by the various Extended deck archetypes during Friday's action. These numbers will play a large part in setting the Extended metagame for the PTQ season, so sit up straight and pay attention while I whack you with the stats stick.

Num Per Archetype Avg Points
5 1.58 Aggro Loam 11
9 2.85 Trinket Angels 10.89
94 29.75 Boros Deck Wins 9.3
14 4.43 Gifts Rock 9.14
15 4.75 ScepterChant 9.13
    Ritual Desire 8.57
11 3.48 Zoo 8.55
13 4.11 Rock and Flow 8.54
30 9.49 U/W Tron 8.27
8 2.53 Friggorid 8.25
13 4.11 Psychatog 8
    Seething Goblins 7.56
19 6.01 Heartbeat Desire 7.1
15 4.75 Dirty Kitty Goblins 7
6 1.9 Sunny Side up 6.83
14 4.43 Affinity 6.21
11 3.48 Balancing Tings 4.1

Before you fully mold your brain around the information presented here, know that a number of draws in the final two rounds of the tournament skewed the points down a bit and may have made data for certain archetypes a little more muddy. Regardless, this data is culled from 300 players through 6 rounds of play and is the best available info we'll have before PTQs start en masse. For reference, if a deck averaged 9 points or more, it did pretty well, while if it averaged 8 or less, it was below the curve.

Tim Willoughby swears that regardless of what information is presented here, he's playing Goblins. There are numerous PTQ players who will think very similarly to little Timmy, but their preference will most likely be towards Boros, and as you can see from the table presented above, that's not a terribly bad idea. Boros decks, in spite of facing mirror matches all day long, still finished the third best among all the archetypes available. Two more known decks that posted very good turnouts were Gifts Rock and ScepterChant. Sometimes called No Stick, ScepterChant features the early lockout draw of Chrome Mox, Land, Isochron Scepter and Orim's Chant that we have all come to know and loathe, and it's as potent as it has always been. Gifts Rock is the most recent iteration of longstanding Rock archetypes, and like most Gifts Ungiven decks, the most recent version is exceptionally difficult to play, but also powerful and customizable to whatever decks you think you will face.

The true winners on the day were Trinket Angels decks like that of Tsuyoshi Fujita and Gabriel Nassif, and Aggro Loam decks such as that played by Kaupo Iher and Emilio Lopez Campos. Trinket Angels is a deck Tsuyoshi has been working on since last Worlds, and it finally appears to have gelled with the new card additions from Guildpact, Dissension, and Time Spiral. It was interesting that Aggro Loam was generally considered one of the best online Extended decks around as recently as last month and yet only 5 players chose to run it here in Paris. Expect to see more at your local PTQs.

The one deck to absolutely, positively avoid playing during PTQ season is clearly Balancing Tings, which did abysmally for every player running the deck. Affinity is typically a reasonable choice, but not when the field is 30% Boros, and its results here reflect that. Two more decks that were filled with hot tech but not quite ready for primetime were Sylvain Lauriol's Sunny Side Up and Billy Moreno's Dirty Kitty Goblins. These decks clearly have great potential and feature the most explosive draws in the format, but more playtesting for the pilots and tuning for the decklists may be required before they perform as well as we expected at the beginning of the day Friday.

Everything else listed on the page varies from mediocre to solid, and like many Extended formats, which deck you choose to play will be based largely on personal preference as much as what you expect the future metagame to be. Deckbuilders will be happy to note that the format remains wide open for innovation, and hard work should be rewarded with wins and free airplane tickets to Yokohama, Japan.

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