MTGA | Friday Night Meta | March 2021 Week 1


Hey Planeswalkers! 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Night Meta update! The goal is to equip you faster with information in a fast evolving game, and to get you the right information to help you make the decisions you need to make! This is intended to be a comprehensive view with a lens from Magic the Gathering Arena with impacts from the MTG gaming scene.

You can check out the weekly coverage here:

Last Week’s Episode

Last Week’s Piece

Feb Tier Lists:

BO1

BO3

Recap

Meta domination by aggro, and primarily the lionshare is Mono Red Aggro.  Talk about some key decks to beat Mono Red, event impacts from SCG & Big Magic that have led to the current state, and highlight the potential upcoming impacts for Kaldheim League Weekend…Potential game changer decks to keep an eye on.

BO1 

Here we begin to see the win rate and percent played converging.  There was a heavy drop-off in mono red, and a pretty heavy shift in the meta.  Mono White Lifegain is the big winner here! It moves within reach (#1 as of today) of the most played archetype while mono red chops about 5% off the meta. One key indicator to keep an eye on here though is as Mono Reds deck presence is waning, the win rate for the archetype is climbing steady.  Mono White Life gain has been fairly even in the win rate, and now as more people are piling in its rate is starting to drop.  The other big shift is Naya Adventures both becoming a larger part of the meta, and increasing in win rates.

BO3

Just like BO1 we see some pretty massive shifts going into the March Season here.  Notably a few things are similar yet again to BO1 where Mono Red Snow was almost cut in half in terms or people playing!  The silver lining here though is the win rate is increasing well above its baseline.  We know that last weekend’s events have played a pretty significant impact which I will get to in a moment.  Other key decks, rises in Sultai Ultimatum (becoming most played), Naya Adventures, Massive Jump in Temur Adventures (aka Temur Turns), and a sleeper rising to prominence Jesaki Cycle.  I continue to sound the horn on ultimatum, because this weekend’s events still give the miss perception on the deck in my personal opinion.

How To – Beat Sultai Ultimatum

This week we talk about how to take down Sultai Ultimatum.  As this has quickly replaced Mono Red Snow Aggro as the most played deck we need to find a nice hard fast counter.  A deck that has a nice matchup vs Sultai Ultimatum is Jeskai Cycle.  This deck has not only risen in popularity but the win rates have improved.  Sultai does have outs against cycle with some GY removal, however it has a diverse set of options and isn’t as linear as the deck may seem.  Cycle is a nice alternative to quickly burning down Sulai.

Event Impacts

If you haven’t already check out the results from the Kaldheim League weekend I would implore you to do so.  I spend a little bit of time on this in the video.  

The key pieces here as mentioned from above are the rise in popularity of several decks that performed well.  One note here is the first time Sultai Ultimatum in an important event had an above 50% winrate here I think it was about 55%.  Hence, a big influx of play.

All the other decks that performed well, Naya (as certainly called out last week!) & Turns received the same love!  While Mono Red Snow Aggro had a terrible performance along with Mono White Aggro, and certainly is receiving the community punishment.

Just remember – this is a true rep of a meta scenario – a game within the game – and isn’t fully indicative of the broader echo system – but certainly impacts it!

To be honest this is fairly typical as we got through our META cycles!

What’s Next

There are pockets of events here and there, we got a big bump from this past weekends result, and we will continue to keep an eye on indicator events that pop up.

We have seen a slighter pivot to a midrange/late game play.  I think this cycle will continue to strengthen into a more late gamestyle play, before we begin to see the aggro coming back in brute force.  For the record the aggro decks are still good, its just the played gap, and wins gap will revert to a safer band in terms of mean win rate as things continue to evolve.

Sources

I leverage multiple sources like untapped.ggs companion app stats, MTGAzone, Aetherhub, twitter, personal gameplay, tournament matches (mtg melee, magic.gg), this reddit as well as others, personal stats, and consistently hitting Mythic and  Mythic Qualifiers.

One last thought I would like to share: 

If you have a competitive deck (different than one featured) I am always happy to do a piece on it time permitting. I have several folks that ask, and have done several player featured decks. I rather enjoy this so please don’t hesitate to reach out or ask. I always try to prioritize with the following and timing or relevance – MTGA Rank (1500s)/Top Tournaments down to Plat2Mythic Decks.

On another fun note I wanted to share: I PRed yesterday on stream at Top 50!

I wholeheartedly welcome any feedback on how to meet your needs as well as improving your experience!  Additionally, for the near term my focus will be on Standard, and I hope to organically add in Historic in the future.

Thank you for your time, and hope you enjoyed this week’s piece!


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