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MPL Spark Split Week 2 Overview

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Piotr Głogowski, and William "Huey" Jensen sprinted out of the gates during Week 1 with two victories apiece, setting the pace for the Sapphire and Ruby divisions during their double-match weeks.

This week features double-match play in the Pearl and Emerald divisions, so after Saturday most players will have three of their seven matches in the books for the Spark Split. Matches don't quite have must-win status yet, but no one wants to put themselves in an 0-3 hole. Márcio Carvalho and Jean-Emmanuel Depraz face each other as the 0-2 players in the Sapphire Division; whoever drops to 0-3 will have a massive hill to climb to win the division.

Broadcast and Coverage Information

Week 2 stream: Saturday, May 18 at Noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC
Casters: Brian Kibler, Steve Sunu, and Becca Scott
Channel: twitch.tv/magic

Schedule & Results

Format: Best-of-Three Traditional Standard

Pearl Division

  • Javier Dominguez defeats Brian Braun-Duin 2-0
  • John Rolf defeats Lee Shi Tian 2-0
  • Eric Froehlich defeats Luis Salvatto 2-1
  • Andrew Cuneo defeats Shahar Shenhar 2-0
  • Javier Dominguez defeats Lee Shi Tian 2-0
  • Eric Froehlich defeats Shahar Shenhar 2-1
  • Brian Braun-Duin defeats John Rolf 2-0
  • Andrew Cuneo defeats Luis Salvatto 2-0

Sapphire Division

  • Autumn Burchett defeats Piotr Głogowski 2-1
  • Rei Sato defeats Andrea Mengucci 2-1
  • Jean-Emmanuel Depraz defeats Márcio Carvalho 2-0
  • Note: The Mike Sigrist vs. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa has been moved to Week 3 due to scheduling conflicts.

Ruby Division

  • Reid Duke defeats Carlos Romao 2-1
  • Lucas Esper Berthoud defeats Ken Yukuhiro 2-1
  • Note: Ruby Division matches involving Jessica Estephan and Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen will be rescheduled during future weeks in Split 1.

Emerald Division

  • Martin Jůza defeats Shota Yasooka 2-0
  • Alexander Hayne defeats Grzegorz Kowalski 2-0
  • Brad Nelson defeats Shota Yasooka 2-1
  • Seth Manfield defeats Christian Hauck 2-1
  • Martin Jůza defeats Matthew Nass 2-0
  • Brad Nelson defeats Christian Hauck 2-0
  • Grzegorz Kowalski defeats Matthew Nass 2-1
  • Seth Manfield defeats Shota Yasooka 2-1
  • Martin Jůza defeats Alexander Hayne 2-1

Week 2 Metagame and Decklists

Archetype Number
Bant Midrange 6
Mono-Red Aggro 5
Esper Control 4
Esper Midrange 3
Gruul Aggro 2
Azorius Aggro 1
Bant Aggro 1
Bant Nexus 1
Gruul Midrange 1
Izzet Phoenix 1
Jeskai Walkers 1
Mono-Blue Tempo 1
Sultai Midrange 1

Week 2 submissions are in and it looks like the MPL players have definitely made adjustments after Week 1. White aggressive decks comprised over a third of the field last week, but now Reid Duke is the lone player piloting the deck. Mono-Red was the aggressive deck of choice as it is favored against the white decks, with Goblin Chainwhirler being a powerhouse in the matchup. Given that players expected an uptick in mono-red due to the popularity of mono-white last week, it makes sense that players have chosen to shy away from the aggressive white decks this week. We may be in a dynamic Standard environment where we'll see metagames shifting from week to week.

Bant Midrange is the biggest riser, as it went from being unrepresented in Week 1 to having six competitors playing it this time around. The deck features some of the most powerful value creatures in Standard, while also having access to powerful three-mana planeswalkers in Teferi, Time Raveler and Vivien, Champion of the Wilds. This seems to be one of the new breakout decks from War of the Spark, as it has been consistently putting up strong finishes in various high-profile Standard tournaments.

Esper continues to be a popular option, with players equally favoring the midrange and more controlling versions of the deck. One note is that the Esper control decks look like they're cutting down on the number of counters in the main deck. This likely has to do with the fact that Teferi, Time Raveler is seemingly everywhere and its static ability completely shuts off the opponent's ability to counter spells.

A deck that many people expected to see in Week 1 but was nowhere to be seen was the Nexus of Fate deck. For all you people who love to take all the turns and have all the fun, Brad Nelson was the lone person with a very interesting take on a Bant Nexus of Fate deck. The addition of white to the deck has allowed Brad to play Revitalize main deck, which is a fantastic addition to help against the bad mono-red matchup. Teferi, Time Raveler in the sideboard is also very strong, as it negates all the countermagic in an opponent's deck.

Last but certainly not least is the Jeskai Walkers deck that John Rolf chose to play. This deck looks like a ton of fun with a whopping eighteen planeswalkers in the main! It looks to amass a giant board of planeswalkers, hide behind them, and ultimately kill people with Sarkhan, the Masterless or cast a one-sided sweeper in Urza's Ruinous Blast.

It looks like the extra week of testing has given the MPL competitors the time to submit some truly innovative new decks. Will we continue to see the metagame of the MPL ebb and flow? Or will players ultimately settle in and determine the top four or five decks in Standard? Tune in to our weekly coverage of the MPL Spark Split to find out!

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