Event Spotlight: MC Barcelona Post-Mortem

On Friday, we took a look at the Day 1 metagame of Mythic Championship Barcelona and it was not pretty. I am sad to report that further data has painted an even uglier picture. Leyline of the Void was the most played card at the event but Hogvine was still the best archetype. Today we will look at the Day 2 metagame, the top-performers metagame, and finally the specific winrates for the most played archetypes. This will be our most detailed Event Spotlight to date, so get settled in.

Day 1 Metagame
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I will not go into significant detail here as Luke covered it yesterday but these were the decks that the best players in the game settled on for the big day. A few commenters were quick to point out, in defense of Hogvine, that these numbers were not based on the results of the tournament. While they were correct about that we will see that Hogvine is certainly still a problem.

Day 2 Metagame
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After Day 1 we began to see the actual results have an impact. A full breakdown is available here. One caveat is that Tron represents both Eldrazi builds (28 players) and green builds (10 players). Also, Phoenix represents both Izzet (31 players) and Mono-Red (6 players). Unfortunately, Hogvine’s grip on the tournament only tightened. Dredge was the biggest loser, falling out of the ranking, while Burn was left standing as the last archetype with a share greater than 4%. However, these results are not particularly relevant either. For those that do not know, part of the goal of the event is to sell packs of the most recent event so Limited is a factor. If a player went 3-0 in Limited, a 1-4 Modern performance would be good enough for Day 2. That is a huge caveat so I do not put much stock in these results either. Once the dust settled, Hogvine apologists were quick to point out that only one Hogvine player made Top 8. Again, this was influenced by Limited performance. Furthermore, it is not a massive shift. On Day 1 with a sample size of over 450 players, we saw about 1 out 5 players on Hogvine. In the end with a minuscule sample size we saw that shift to 1 out of 8. It just is not statistically relevant. We need to go deeper.

Top Performers (24+ Match Points)
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Now this is a bit better. For those that do not know, when you win a match you earn three points in the standings. The Modern portion is ten rounds so a perfect 10-0 record would earn you 30 points. However, nobody pulled out the perfect run this weekend. For this sample we are looking at the archetypes that were piloted to a 8-2 or better record to earn at least 24 match points. The decklists are available here. Now this is a problem and illustrates why the Day 2 metagame is not a great metric. Many Hogvine players did poorly in the limited portion of the event but their Modern results were astounding. There were more high-performing Modern players on Hogvine than every other deck combined. No other archetype had more than two players in this sample.

Note that the colors of Phoenix and Tron have changed. The Mono-Red Phoenix and Eldrazi Tron players failed to reach the 24 match point mark. The most notable ascension is Thopter Sword. This archetype had been getting some attention going into the event but flew under the radar for most of the event. But when you dig through the data, the few players that chose it were among the top performers. This somewhat illustrates the issue with this sample though. If a deck is the most played deck on Day 1, all other things held constant, it should be the most played deck among top performers. Obviously, things are not this simple as different archetypes perform differently. For example, Hogvine more than doubled in share when we moved to top performers. The deck did not just perform well because it was popular. It was popular because it would perform well. Regardless, the point stands that Day 1 popularity is a factor in a deck ending up popular in the final results.

Archetype Winrates
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Now this is exactly what I wanted. Limited performance has no impact. The deck’s popularity will not determine its winrate. Listed above are the winrates of the archetypes that were played by more than ten players. This gives a sample size of 100 matches to work with so it should be quite accurate. Unsurprisingly, Hogvine won a higher percent of matches than any other archetype. With so many players on it, some of them had to fail but it was still the top performer. Leyline of the Void was the most played spell at the event and it still did not help. Hogvine is truly broken and the ban is assuredly coming down the line.

A surprisingly close second was Thopter Sword. As explained above, it was quite successful despite flying under the radar. As would be expected from the pie chart above, Jund also did very well. A pleasant surprise was the winrate on Mono-Red Phoenix. None of them reached the 24 match point threshold but none of them did poorly enough to sink the overall winrate. The final two positive performing archetypes were the long-reigning Izzet Phoenix and the reborn Eldrazi Tron. Do not be disappointed if your deck failed to go positive over the course of the event. Even this dataset is not perfect. These winrates have the popularity of Hogvine as a contributing factor. On average, they had to face down the behemoth twice over the course of their ten rounds. A normally 50% deck becomes a 30% deck if two of those winning rounds were instead losses to Hogvine. This is an indication of the best decks in the format but do not panic and sell your deck if it did not perform favorably in Barcelona.

Well that was a lot to digest. If you learned a lot about how to understand and analyze tournament data, I am glad. If it was just review and you only wanted the summary graphics, that is fine too. MC Barcelona was an interesting event for sure and I commend WotC on the wealth of data they provided. I only wish that they had more severely neutered Hogvine beforehand. What do you think will eat the hammer in the next go-around? Who will be the reigning king once it is all said and done? Share your thoughts with us in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.


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