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CardShark Content - Adam Fischer (9/11/2002)

This article is intended to be a companion to the spreadsheets 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.

The database files are located here:
http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/expandnews.php?Article=3650

The ´´how to´´ documentataion for the Excel files are here:
http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/expandnews.php?Article=3649

In addition, it would be helpful to refer to the spreadsheets while reading this article. The spreadsheets contain data on the prevalence and performance of the various OBC deck types at Worlds Day 3, GP Sapporo, GP London, and GP Cleveland. The data for GP Cleveland is presented in more detailed form on the “GP Cleveland Statistics” spreadsheet and the data for all the events are presented in combined and summary form on the “Combined Summary OBC Statistics” spreadsheet. Please do let me know at adam_mba@yahoo.com if you find this information useful or have any suggestions or questions.

I feel the most useful place to start looking at the data is by looking at the “Combined Summary OBC Statistics” spreadsheet on the “Deck Performance” worksheet, and then to look at the “Matchups” and “Matchups – Adjusted” worksheets for additional information. The “GP Cleveland Statistics” worksheet can be used to glean addition details from GP Cleveland, 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:
- 42% UG
- 24% Mono-B
- 15% Other control decks (UB Zombie Up, BU Braids, Mono-B Braids)
- 12% Other aggressive decks (GW Mad, WU QS)
- 8% Other decks

However, this metagame shifts depending on the event. Looking at the individual event metagames, the ranges of percentages of the field for the deck types are as follows:
- 27-53% UG
- 16-36% Mono-B
- 11-22% Other control
- 9-17% Other aggressive
- 3-13% Other

Looking at the trends, it appears that GP Cleveland was at the extreme end of things, with mono-B on the rise at 36% and UG on the decline at 27%. In reality, this is probably not too surprising, as mono-B did very well at the GP London, the event prior to GP Cleveland, winning 56% of its matches.


OVERALL DECK TYPE PERFORMANCE:

The OBC environment is VERY balanced. Looking at the averages across all events (in the “Combined Record, Avg. Win %” column), no one major deck type has a winning percentage of less than 47% or more than 54%.


DETAILED DECK PERFORMANCE:

Although the overall environment seems balanced, certain deck types have done particularly well at several events. Also, certain deck types do particularly well or poorly in certain matchups and are thus best suited to certain metagame. Following is an analysis of the performance of each major deck type (note that I focus more on the performance data that is most plentiful and thus most reliable):

1) Mono-B Control:
This deck type did well at GP London but was among the worst performing decks at all the other events. If you look at the “Matchups” worksheet, you can see that Mono-B Control’s only good matchup appears to be WU Quiet Screech, at 61%. Moreover, this data is the most reliable of any deck type, as a full 606 matches of data were used, included a minimum of 10 matches against each other deck type.
Best Matchups: WU Quiet Screech
Worst Matchups: GW Madness, UB 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.
, UG Threshold

2) UG Quiet Roar – Madness:
This deck type’s only poor showing was at GP Cleveland. This deck type appears to be among the most consistent across matchups, having no disastrously bad or tremendously good matchups.
Best Matchups: BU Braids, GW Madness, UG Threshold
Worst Matchups: UG Madness, WU Quiet Screech

3) UG Quiet Roar – Fate:
This deck type did well at GP Cleveland, where it faced lots of Mono-B Control (against which it is 54%).
Best Matchups: BU Braids, UG Madness, GW Madness
Worst Matchups: UB 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.
, UG Threshold, WU Quiet Screech

4) UG Threshold:
This deck type is the only one to have won over 50% of its matches at every event, though it only had one event, GP London, where it was significantly above 50%, and this was based on just two versions of the deck type being played there.
Best Matchups: Mono-B Braids, Mono-B Control, UG QR-Fate
Worst Matchups: WU QS!, BU Braids, UB 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.
, UG QR-Mad

5) UG Madness:
This deck type’s performance varied a lot across the different events.
Best Matchups: UB 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.
!, UG Quiet Roar - Madness
Worst Matchups: Mono-B Braids!, UG Quiet Roar – Fate!, BU Braids

6) BU Braids:
Although this deck type performed abysmally at GP Sapporo and GP Cleveland, only one copy of the deck type was played in Day 2 at each of those events. Therefore, the results from Worlds Day 3 and GP London, where it performed at 51-52%, are much more meaningful.
Best Matchups: UG Threshold
Worst Matchups: UG QR–Fate, UG QR–Mad

7) GW Madness:
This deck type did particularly well at GP Cleveland in its Black-heavy metagame. It does well against Black-based decks and not so well against many of the UG archetypes.
Best Matchups: Mono-B Braids, Mono-B Control, UB 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.

Worst Matchups: UG QR–Fate, UG QR–Mad, UG Threshold

8) WU Quiet Screech:
This deck type did extremely well prior to GP Cleveland, but in Cleveland it tanked in the Black-heavy metagame, though this was only based on two versions of this deck type being played there. In fact, this deck type’s ONLY consistently bad matchup appears to be Mono-B Control. It was among the two best-performing decks overall, though this appeared largely to it having more than its fair share of “good matchups,” which include most versions of UG.
Best Matchups: UG QR-Fate, UG QR-Mad, UG Threshold
Worst Matchups: Mono-B Control

9) UB 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.
:
This deck type did extremely well at Worlds but its later performances just didn’t measure up.
Best Matchups: Mono-B Control, UG QR-Fate, UG Threshold
Worst Matchups: UG Madness!, GW Madness, Mono-B Braids

10) Mono-B Braids:
This deck type was among the best-performing overall and had by far the best expected record against the sample metagame, but unfortunately it was also the deck type for which there was the least data available by far, with only 11 copies played.
Best Matchups: Mono-B Control, UB 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.
, UG Madness
Worst Matchups: GW Madness, UG Threshold


OVERALL CONCLUSIONS AS TO WHAT DECK TO PLAY:

So far it may seem as though there is no “best deck” to play, and although this has a lot of truth to it, the best deck type(s) to play are influence by the expected metagame. To illustrate this, I used the “Combined Summary OBC Statistics” to set up several hypothetical metagames and compute the expected performance of each deck type in each metagame. So for your next PTQ, you can just estimate what you expect the metagame to be and then use the spreadsheet to select a deck accordingly.

1) Heavy Mono-Black Control (similar to GP Cleveland):
Mono-B Braids would be the best choice in this case, followed by UB 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 GW Madness.

2) Heavy UG (similar to GP Sapporo):
WU Quiet Screech would be the best choice.

3) Heavy control, such as UB or BU:
Mono-B Braids.

4) Lots of aggressive decks:
Mono-B Braids, followed by WU Quiet Screech.

So in lots of cases in seems like Mono-B Braids is the best bet, although it much be cautioned that this deck type also had the least data available.


Hope all that helps and good luck!


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