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CardShark Content - Adam Fischer (12/5/2002)

The Excel file talked about in this article can be viewed from Star City here

This article is intended to be a companion to the spreadsheet and associated instructional article I posted on StarCity. I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to download the spreadsheets and read the instructional article, as that way this article will be far more meaningful. In addition, it would be helpful to refer to the spreadsheet while reading this article. The spreadsheets contain data on the prevalence and performance of the various Extended deck types at GP Reims as well as combined data for GP Reims and PT Houston. Please do let me know at adam_mba@yahoo.com if you have any suggestions or questions.

I feel the most useful place to start looking at the data is by looking at the “Summary” and “Deck Performance” worksheet on the “Combined Extended Statistics Post-GP Reims” spreadsheet, and then to look at the “Matchups” and “Matchups – Adjusted” worksheets for additional information. The “GP Reims Statistics” worksheet can be used to glean addition details from GP Reims, the most recent event. So without further ado, here are the main conclusions I feel can be derived from the statistical data:


METAGAME:

At a high level, the field looks as follows:
- 15% Reanimator and Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.

- 14% The Rock
- 14% Various combo-ish decks (Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
, Ghoul Burst, Enchantress, Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion, and Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
)
- 29% Various aggressive decks (Sligh, Suicide Black, White Weenie, and U/G Madness)
- 19% Various control-ish decks (Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
, BUG, Zombie Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
, and Turbo Oath)
- 10% Other decks

Note that the “Deck Performance” worksheet shows how the metagame has evolved. At GP Reims, the biggest changes were that Reanimator took a huge drop from its levels at PT Houston, and Sligh underwent a huge increase. The metagame appears to have shifted from combo to beatdown.


OVERALL DECK TYPE PERFORMANCE:

The Extended environment is rather balanced, but there appear to be some clear early winners and losers. Looking at the win percentages, (in the “Combined Record, Avg. Win %” column), most of the major deck types won between 40% and 60% of their matches, with the only exceptions being 3 of the lesser-played decks (and thus the decks with less reliable data): Zombie Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
(at 31%), Turbo Oath (at 61%), and U/G Madness (at 66%).


DETAILED DECK PERFORMANCE:

Certain deck types performed particularly well overall and certain deck types performed particularly well or poorly in certain matchups and are thus best suited to certain metagames. Following is an analysis of the performance of each major deck type, with comments on what changed from PT Houston, starting with the deck types that performed best overall: (note that I focus more on the performance data that is most plentiful and thus most reliable and all winning percentages are combined for both events)

1) Turbo Oath:

Still the best-performing deck that had significant data, at 61% over 81 matches, but did considerably worse in the beatdown-heavy metagame of GP Reims, winning just 32% of its matches there. Also, it must be cautioned that there was still less data available for this deck type than for many other deck types. Therefore, the performance data may be overly reliant on the specific matchups, specific players, etc.

Best Matchups: The Rock (won 92% of its 13 matches!)
Worst Matchups: Suicide Black

2) Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion:

Did as well as Turbo Oath at 61% but results were based on even less data, at just 5 decks and 46 matches, so these results should be heavily discounted. However, it is worth noting that the deck did much better at Reims (69%) than it did at Houston (58%).

Best Matchups: The Rock, Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
, U/G Madness
Worst Matchups: Suicide Black, White Weenie, Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.


3) Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
:

The best-performing deck for which significant data was available, at 57%. This did drop somewhat to 52% in Reims, but it still performed above average.

Best Matchups: Reanimator, Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.

Worst Matchups: Ghoul Burst, White Weenie

4) U/G Madness:

This was another deck that did well, at 56%, but did not have much data available, at just 8 decks and 56 matches, so the results should be somewhat discounted. Also, the deck only had an average performance at Reims, where it was far more prevalent that at Houston, where it won 64% of its matches.

Best Matchups: Suicide Black, Reanimator
Worst Matchups: Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
, Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion

5) Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.
:

Performed significantly better than average, at 55%, and the results were based on a medium amount of data (14 decks, 120 matches). However, these results appear to be largely based on favorable matchups. For instance, the deck won 69% of its games against the Rock, and 23% of its matches were against the Rock – well above the 14% of the field that the Rock represented. Therefore, the deck’s performance could easy fall dramatically if it doesn’t get good matchups and decks such as Sligh are more prevalent.

Best Matchups: The Rock, Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.

Worst Matchups: Sligh, Suicide Black, Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.


6) Sligh:

This was truly the main breakout deck at Reims – going from its 49% performance at Houston to a 60% performance at Reims – bringing its combined performance up to 52%.

Best Matchups: Suicide Black, Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.
, White Weenie
Worst Matchups: Reanimator

7) Suicide Black:

Performed slightly above average, with similar results at Houston and Reims.

Best Matchups: Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
, Reanimator
Worst Matchups: Sligh, The Rock

8) Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
:

Performed slightly above average, with similar results at Houston and Reims.

Best Matchups: The Rock
Worst Matchups: Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.
, Suicide Black

9) The Rock:

Performed slightly below average overall, but with a significantly worse performance at Reims than at Houston.

Best Matchups: Suicide Black
Worst Matchups: Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.
, Turbo Oath, Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.


10) Reanimator:

Did just slightly below average overall, although the mono-Black version performed particularly well. It is important to note that although this deck made up 22% of Day 1 and 17% of Day 2 at Houston, it was totally absent on Day 2 at Reims.

Best Matchups: Sligh, Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

Worst Matchups: Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
, Suicide Black

11) White Weenie:

Did a little below average, but performed a little worse at Reims that at Houston, and was also much more prevalent at Reims.

Best Matchups: Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
, Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.

Worst Matchups: Sligh

12) Ghoul Burst:

Did just a little below average overall, but it did much worse at Reims than at Houston.

Best Matchups: Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Worst Matchups: The Rock, Suicide Black

13) BUG:

Did not do very well, but had among the least amount of data, at just 8 decks and 47 matches.

Best Matchups: Sligh
Worst Matchups: Reanimator

14) Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
:

Did not do very well, but had relatively little data, at 72 matches. Also appears to have had more than its share of bad matchups. This was another deck type completely absent during Day 2 at Reims.

Best Matchups: White Weenie
Worst Matchups: Reanimator, Sligh

15) Enchantress:

Did not do very well, but had relatively little data, at 59 matches and was not played at all on Day 2 at Reims.

Best Matchups: Suicide Black
Worst Matchups: Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.


14) Zombie Upheaval
Upheaval
UpheavalSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Return all permanents to their owners' hands.
:

Did the worst by far, winning just 31% of its matches. However, also had the least amount of data, at just 29 matches and was not played at all on Day 2 at Reims.

Best Matchups: Reanimator
Worst Matchups: Suicide Black


OVERALL CONCLUSIONS AS TO WHAT DECK TO PLAY:

GP Reims really shook things up quite a bit!

Turbo Oath was looking good, but the field appeared prepared for it at Reims as it did quite poorly there in sharp contrast to its Houston performance.

Draco
Draco
DracoSet: Planeshift
Cost:
16
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Flying. Draco costs 2 less to play for each basic land type among lands you control. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Draco unless you pay 10. This cost is reduced by 2 for each basic land type among lands you control.
Explosion and U/G Madness appear strong but there is really not very much data to base these results on yet.

Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
appears to be a relatively safe bet, but it would not do well if there was a lot of White Weenie.

Hermit Druid
Hermit Druid
Hermit DruidSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a basic land card. Put that card into your hand and put all other revealed cards into your graveyard.
has potential, but it’s performance appears very reliant on its matchups.

Sligh could do quite well based on its Reims performance, but it also did not have to face any Reanimator on Day 2.

Suicide Black and Aluren
Aluren
AlurenSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Any player may play a creature card with total casting cost 3 or less whenever he or she could play an instant and without paying its casting cost.
look to be decent choices, having performed slightly above average.

The Rock and Reanimator both appear to be viable near-average-performing decks.

Hope all that helps and good luck!


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