Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: Delver Dominance

About this article: This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last week Wednesday to this past Wednesday. It looks at the data that I collect from a selection of dailies. I watch the replays on MTGO to figure out how each person did, not just the 3-1s and 4-0s that Wizards publishes. This allows us to see the whole iceberg and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from this data, so it does ignore the other 3-1/4-0 results which means it is not perfect. Additionally, the conclusions in this article are just based on this week, and as the meta is fluid, the top decks shift. This is intended to see what decks are performing well this week and is not necessarily a reflection of the deck’s overall strength.

These results are from the 7-10 afternoon, 7-12 evening, and 7-13 dailies.

The transfer is complete. I am ready to call Delver as the current king of the metagame. Taking home a whopping 16.96% of the meta, Delver is the new king. Interestingly enough, Delver did not do well this week at all. It brings up an interesting comparison to MBC just a few weeks ago where the deck dominates a large portion of the meta, but it just doesn’t put up the results to justify it. As Delver has gained more and more popularity, it has not seen as strong of results as before, which is potentially to be expected. I think there are 3 main theories as to why this happen and they are all probably right to some extent for each case.

First theory is as popularity increases, more people with less experience (with that deck) are playing the deck and that means worse results. Second theory is that as a deck becomes popular, more new players with less experience overall pick up the deck (whereas they are less likely to pick up some T2 non-budget deck). Third theory is that as popularity increases, more people play hate against the deck/pick decks to beat it which will hurt its results.

In this case, I think it is some combination of the 3. The deck is generally regarded well by the community which causes people to play it, new players may be brought in by the popularity or also by the professor’s latest video, and people are looking to hate on Delver more (but really waiting for [c]Aerial Volley[/c] in order for great hate). Either way here is how much it dominated the meta this week.

After all that about Delver doing badly, it isn’t even shown too well here. Because there is an important distinction. Delver did bad, for Delver. Usually it grows, this week it just didn’t at all. Other than that Affinity put up a dismal showing and everything else was pretty standard. Affinity is one of the best anti-Delver decks. In fact, I tracked Delver’s matchups for the last 2 dailies and the PCT and here are the results.

Affinity is the biggest standout with a -4 difference and a 25% win rate. That much is to be expected, as is the weakness to UB Teachings. Yet, based on past data, one would expect the matchup with Esper Fae to be much better. Overall, it just doesn’t get the job done against enough of the top matchups like UB Angler, Burn, MBC, and Affinity. Delver did not win in each of those matchups and that is one of the main problems. This is a stat I’ll continue to track. But, enough about Delver. Let’s have a look at how the rest of the decks did last week.

UB Teachings and Affinity are clearly the best and worst performing of the top decks, respectively. Other than that, almost every deck was within a few points of what is expected. Honestly, other than the two main outliers, nothing is too surprising here other than the success of Burn/MBC and failure of Delver.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! –Najay1


1. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 4.46% Prominence; 60.00% Cash Rate; 67.50% Win Rate. After a few weeks where it got bad results, Esper Fae is back on top. Now, it must be considered that the deck only had 10 pilots so variance is a factor, but the deck did very strong. One of the reasons that this may have happened was that because there were so few pilots, only the strong ones continued to play the deck. At that same point, I could just be variance. The deck continues to be one to watch.

2. UB Teachings – Stats: 7.59% Prominence; 41.18% Cash Rate; 57.38% Win Rate. This is one of the bigger surprises, but it is here to stay. This was a fringe deck until just recently where it has now exploded in popularity and still put up respectable results. This is really the first week where it put up really strong results and this was very strong results. Part of that is because it is decently positioned versus Delver. Another part of this is because the deck has swung to being very control heavy with Delver, UB Angler, and MBC being the most popular decks. I expect this deck to continue being good, but I don’t expect results as strong as this week.


1. Affinity – Stats: 7.59% Prominence; 11.76% Cash Rate; 38.46% Win Rate. This is one of the surprises of the week for sure. Affinity has been putting up good results and this week is a full step away from that mold. IT was even able to play Delver 8 times, and did well, but it just couldn’t play with the other decks. One of the reasons it could have done badly is the matchup with UB Angler. The matchup isn’t great – unless you play [c]Flayer Husk[/c]. That card is amazing in the matchup and makes it so that your 8+ 4/4s trade with their Anglers and your 3/3 flyers eat their flyers. Really the matchup shouldn’t be too bad, but it can be turned into a great matchup with that one little card. Overall, I don’t expect this deck to put up such a bad result again and I actually expect it to be back around average.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 8.93% Prominence; 25.00% Cash Rate; 46.03% Win Rate. Affinity was the #1 winner last week and UB Angler was #2. They are still #1 and #2, just on the other side. So what caused such a bad result from a deck that had done so well? Well, I’m not sure to be honest. Part of that is probably due to weakness to MBC (of which was actually playing for the top spots), and the fact that Affinity wasn’t playing in the top spots. Now, last week was more of an outlier and there is a strong chance that the losing will continue. We’ll have to watch to see where it goes from here.

3. Delver – Stats: 16.96% Prominence; 28.95% Cash Rate; 46.67% Win Rate. The last loser of the week has already been discussed quite in length, so I won’t go too far into depth here. Overall, I like Delver going forward as a deck, but it doesn’t appear to be as well positioned as it once was.

Deck to Watch For

Goblins – Stats: 6.25% Prominence; 35.71% Cash Rate; 52.17% Win Rate. I just talked about this deck last week and it bounced up to being a very popular deck. Not only did it have a lot of pilots, it also put up very respectable results. I think the meta is in a place where Goblins really can do well. Look out for the tiny monster, with the addition of [c]Subterranean Scout[/c] the deck can even get better.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”Jund Songs Combo by Wonderman225 – July 10, 2015″]
Creatures (29)
4 Deadshot Minotaur
4 Fume Spitter
4 Monstrous Carabid
3 Crypt Rats
3 Gurmag Angler
3 Pit Keeper
3 Satyr Wayfinder
3 Street Wraith
2 Krosan Tusker

Spells (11)
4 Songs of the Damned
3 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Consume Spirit
2 Grisly Salvage

Lands (20)
5 Swamp
4 Forest
4 Jungle Hollow
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Mountain
1 Barren Moor
1 Bloodfell Caves
1 Rugged Highlands

Sideboard (15)
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Choking Sands
2 Duress
2 Hush
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Gnaw to the Bone
1 Death Spark
1 Electrickery
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Scattershot Archer

This is a very interesting deck similar to Ad Nauseum in Modern. It cycles through cards and fills up the graveyard until it is able to cast [c]Songs of the Damned[/c] for lots and use [c]Crypt Rats[/c] or [c]Consume Spirit[/c] or just cast big creatures (although that is rarer). Usually I would look at results and dismiss them as a lucky day, but not only did the deck do well here, it also got a 4-0 recently and it doesn’t usually have too many bad results. Not sure that is necessarily indicative of anything, but it certainly is an interesting deck to look into.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.