Statistics for my 2020 EDH decks [Article]

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
About a year a go, I published a statistics brief on the decks I played in the West Coast Commander League (WCCL) in 2019. At that time, I imagined that I'd probably play in more of the WCCL weekly events in 2020 than I did in 2019, and that I could do this again with more data. That turned out not to be the case. So at first, I wasn't even going to bother, because I didn't play enough decks to get good data. After sitting on it for a few days, I figured I'd at least try to come up with something. So, with the caveat that the data here is severely limited, I'm writing this article as a point of comparison.

The 2019 analysis can be found here. As a reminder, that data was drawn from 3 South Sound Magic events and 39 WCCL events. Moving forward, I can't be sure what kind of decks I'll include or exclude in articles like this one, but since my data is so limited anyway, I expanded the pool a bit from just the decks I played in the WCCL. I expanded it just about as much as I could, actually. But let's just go over the details. These are the decks in the pool.
  • 3 decks originally built in 2019 but updated and played in casual games in 2020.
  • 2 decks built for the WCCL in 2020, but not actually played in the WCCL because of event cancellation.
  • 1 deck built for casual play at the CPA.
  • 1 deck built for a South Sound Magic Brawl event.
  • 8 decks built for and fully piloted in WCCL weekly events.
That comes out to 15 total decks and (because one of those is a Brawl deck) 1,460 individual card slots. If I'd rigidly stuck to only including the decks built for and played in successful WCCL meetups, I'd only have 800 individual card slots, so you can probably see why I expanded the data collection here. Those are the 15 decks I put in my spreadsheet. And while I'm being so detailed about this, let's also go over what's not in the pool.
  • A deck built around Mishra, Artificer Prodigy, built in 2020. I was still refining this list and scrapped it for parts to use in WCCL decks. It was built and tested, but saw no actual gameplay and had nothing to do with the WCCL. Also, I never published a final decklist for it.
  • An updated Rasputin Dreamweaver deck, started in 2019. This project went on hiatus, but I had enough cards together and just needed to finalize a list. I dismantled the deck as part of my big 2020 card-sorting project.
  • A newer deck with Archelos, Lagoon Mystic as commander. This is a more recent project and remains unfinished.
  • An Omnath, Locus of Rage deck that I created as a thought experiment.
Before we get to the data, let's go through the dates, commanders, and my stupid deck names...

1/5: Sliver Queen "She's a Killer Queen"
1/12: The Gitrog Monster "Gitrog County Mana-Laundering Scheme"
1/19: Axelrod Gunnarson "Axelrod's Bonfire" (event aborted due to low participation, schedule conflict with Theros Beyond Death prerelease tournament)
1/26: Sidisi, Brood Tyrant "Mesmerizing Zombies"
2/2: Erebos, Bleak-Hearted "Paint it Bleak"
2/9: Estrid, the Masked "Estrid's Saga"
2/16: Korvold, the Fae-Cursed King "I am King!" (Brawl deck for South Sound Magic's Ultimate Melee Event)
2/23: Lord Magnus "Erhnamagnus, Lord of the Loam"
3/1: Barrin, Master Wizard "Barrin's Spine"
3/8: Lady Caleria "The Worst Tooth and Nail Deck"
5/25: Yarok, the Descrated "Ever Eat a Pine Tree" (updated from 2019 and played in several kitchen table games)
7/6: Ramses Overdark "Is It Dark In Here Or Is It Just Me?" (played right here at the CPA with Mooseman and Bill)
11/22: God-Eternal Oketra "The End of Eternity" (updated from 2019 and my current default for suspected low-power tables)
11/22: Phelddagrif "Epic" (updated from 2019, but technically the only 2020 gameplay with this one was before the update; I'm counting it anyway)
12/6: Torsten Von Ursus "Unsavory Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (event aborted due to low participation, WCCL players couldn't get the hang of webcam Magic, apparently)

Those 15 decks have 1,460 total card slots and I used 677 unique Magic cards across them. The previous year had 1,360 unique Magic cards across 4,160 total card slots. So statistically, my 2020 decks were more diverse than my 2019 decks, with the percentage of unique cards going up from 32.7% to 46.4%. Trying to evaluate that is weird, though. The 2019 pool is much bigger, so maybe we could expect more repeat performances with more decks. On the other hand, the 2019 pool is sufficiently small that I could have (and would have) used other color identities, which would mean that the diversity could easily have gone up, if I'd gotten to play in more events. There are statistical techniques to look at the spread of these things as well, because it seems like it matters if I try to compare a pool with man large "staple" numbers and isolated single-use ones to another pool with fewer large numbers, but more two-ofs and three-ofs. Hypothetically, we could line up two pools so that the simple calculation of unique cards divided by total slots comes out to the same value, but with extremely different spreads. 2020 was a total mess, but I'll keep this in mind for future years if I do manage to keep generating data.

I covered color identity in the article for the 2019 decks. The most meaningful thing I can think of for color identity is to show the progression. Which color identities do I play the most? Which ones haven't I explored yet? Here's 2019:
WUG: 4
UBG: 4
WU: 3
BR: 3
RG: 3
WUB: 3
WRG: 3
W: 2
R: 2
WG: 2
UB: 2
UR: 2
UBR: 2
WUBRG: 2
U: 1
UG: 1
BG: 1
WBR: 1
UBRG: 1
B: 0
G: 0
WB: 0
WR: 0
WUR: 0
WBG: 0
URG: 0
BRG: 0
WUBR: 0
WUBG: 0
WURG: 0
WBRG: 0
Colorless: 0
Total: 42

And here's 2020:
WG: 3
WUG: 2
UBG: 2
WUBRG: 1
BRG: 1
BG: 1
BR: 1
UB: 1
B: 1
U: 1
W: 1
WU: 0
RG: 0
WUB: 0
WRG: 0
R:
UR: 0
UBR: 0
UG: 0
WBR: 0
UBRG: 0
G: 0
WB: 0
WR: 0
WUR: 0
WBG: 0
URG: 0
WUBR: 0
WUBG: 0
WURG: 0
WBRG: 0
Total: 15

Combining those, we get:
WUG: 6
UBG: 6
WG: 5
BR: 4
WU: 3
RG: 3
WUB: 3
WRG: 3
W: 3
UB: 3
R: 2
UR: 2
UBR: 2
WUBRG: 2
U: 2
BG: 2
UG: 1
WBR: 1
UBRG: 1
B: 1
BRG: 1
G: 0
WB: 0
WR: 0
WUR: 0
WBG: 0
URG: 0
WUBR: 0
WUBG: 0
WURG: 0
WBRG: 0
Total: 56

So the color identities I have yet to fill in are Mono-Green, Orzhov, Boros, Jeskai, Abzan, Temur, and all of the four-color combinations that include white.

Looking at the spreadsheet, it seems that the smaller pool has skewed the distribution of lands more this time around than it did in 2019.

Basic lands
Plains: 49
Forest: 46
Swamp: 43
Island: 29
Snow-Covered Island: 28
Snow-Covered Swamp: 24
Snow-Covered Forest: 13
Mountain: 11
Snow-Covered Plains: 10
Snow-Covered Mountain: 1

That's a striking paucity of mountains. I believe the ratios here would normalize if I'd been drawing from a bigger pool of decks.

Non-basic lands (that appeared three or more times)
Marsh Flats: 14
Strip Mine: 13
Ash Barrens: 9
Misty Rainforest: 9
Verdant Catacombs: 9
Windswept Heath: 9
Wooded Foothills: 9
Flooded Strand: 8
Maze of Ith: 7
Arid Mesa: 6
Gaea's Cradle: 6
Polluted Delta: 6
Savannah: 6
Wasteland: 6
Bloodstained Mire: 5
Scalding Tarn: 5
Tropical Island: 5
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: 5
Bayou: 4
Command Tower: 4
Fabled Passage: 4
Prismatic Vista: 4
Temple Garden: 4
Bazaar of Baghdad: 3
Breeding Pool: 3
Forbidden Orchard: 3
Glacial Chasm: 3
Hall of Heliod's Generosity: 3
Reliquary Tower: 3
Tranquil Thicket: 3
Tundra: 3
Underground Sea: 3

I wouldn't read too much into it, but I do find it amusing that Marsh Flats jumped from #10 to #1. Generally speaking, although the ranking of the various duals and fetches shifted around, they're still scattered in there with the same utility lands. I think I'll do a side-by-side comparison. But first, let's move on to artifacts. As with last year, for all of the non-land categories, I'll do a modified top ten list, going down the numbers until I've got at least ten cards, but listing all of them at that point without worrying about ties. So if I get the top 9 cards and need just 1 more to get 10, I list everything that ties for 10. Last year, this meant that I had a category with 16 cards in the "top ten." This year, in the case of artifacts, we have a top 13.

Artifacts
Sol Ring: 14
Anvil of Bogardan: 9
Arcane Signet: 8
Mana Vault: 8
Mox Diamond: 8
Grim Monolith: 5
Ashnod's Altar: 4
Skullclamp: 4
Chromatic Lantern: 3
Crucible of Worlds: 3
Mana Crypt: 3
Sensei's Divining Top: 3
Zuran Orb: 3

We have a top 12 for white. As I write this I worry that red is going to dip into the one-off cards, because I just didn't have very many red decks in this pool. Red had low numbers in 2019 too. There's probably something meaningful to be said about that.

White
Swords to Plowshares: 6
Enlightened Tutor: 5
Serra Ascendent: 5
Winds of Abandon: 5
Eternal Dragon: 4
Smothering Tithe: 4
Academy Rector: 3
Idyllic Tutor: 3
Mother of Runes: 3
Oblivion Ring: 3
Sun Titan: 3
Wrath of God: 3

Blue also dips down to 3 for its top 11. Last year saw Mana Drain just barely above a few other cards. This time, we have a five-way tie.

Blue
Arcane Denial: 6
Brainstorm: 6
Cyclonic Rift: 6
Mana Drain: 6
Rhystic Study: 6
Force of Will: 4
Mystical Tutor: 4
Counterspell: 3
Intruder Alarm: 3
Ponder: 3
Swan Song: 3

Yet again with the bottom of the list including cards I only ran 3 times in 2020. But this time, it's a top 14 list because black had more of these thrice-included cards than white and blue. Also, black tops out at 7 instead of 6.

Black
Toxic Deluge: 7
Vampiric Tutor: 7
Dark Ritual: 6
Demonic Tutor: 6
Damnation: 5
Dark Petition: 5
No Mercy: 4
Black Sun's Zenith: 3
Culling the Weak: 3
Decree of Pain: 3
Exsanguinate: 3
Plaguecrafter: 3
Razaketh, the Foulblooded: 3
Sidisi, Undead Vizier: 3

While going through the black cards, it occurred to me that only 3 of my 2020 decks have red in their color identities at all. To make matters worse, it looks like we can't even hit that ceiling of 3. The Sliver Queen deck doesn't have many red cards in it, but it does have a few of my favorites. But then the Korvold deck is a Brawl list, containing only cards that were legal in Standard at the time. There's absolutely no overlap between the red cards of those two lists, nor would I really expect there to be any. I doubt that either list has much overlap with the Axelrod list, but let's see which cards did manage to make it into my decks twice.

Red
Chaos Warp: 2
Wheel of Fortune: 2

Ouch. That's it for red. Not even worth analyzing. But green should get the best showing for 2020. Here's the green top 14, which goes all the way up to 9 appearances and bottoms out at 5.

Green
Regrowth: 9
Sylvan Library: 9
Abundance: 7
Crop Rotation: 7
Spike Weaver: 7
Cultivate: 6
Genesis: 6
Harrow: 6
Kodama's Reach 6
Earthcraft: 5
Elvish Reclaimer: 5
Khalni Heart Expedition: 5
Seasons Past: 5
Spore Frog: 5

In 2019, the distribution of my top multicolored cards was similar to what it was for my red cards. In 2020, it should be pretty easy to beat red. So while we don't quite see a top 10, I can provide a top 7 using the cards that I ran more than once.

Multicolored
Lim-Dul's Vault: 4
Mirari's Wake: 4
Assassin's Trophy: 3
Dragonlord Dromoka: 2
Nature's Chant: 2
Sterling Grove: 2
Villainous Wealth: 2
 
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Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Going by card type, my top 18 creatures are dominated by green.

Creatures
Spike Weaver: 7
Eternal Witness: 6
Genesis: 6
Elvish Reclaimer: 5
Serra Ascendent: 5
Spore Frog: 5
Eternal Dragon: 4
Academy Rector: 3
Birds of Paradise: 3
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove: 3
Mother of Runes: 3
Oracle of Mul Daya: 3
Plaguecrafter: 3
Razaketh, the Foulblooded: 3
Sidisi, Undead Vizier: 3
Sun Titan: 3
Titania, Protector of Argoth: 3
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger: 3

My top 15 enchantments show a lot of repeats from 2019, with some notable changes.

Enchantments
Sylvan Library: 9
Abundance: 7
Rhystic Study: 6
Earthcraft: 5
Khalni Heart Expedition: 5
Mirari's Wake: 4
No Mercy: 4
Smothering Tithe: 4
Burgeoning: 3
Defense of the Heart: 3
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove: 3
Intruder Alarm: 3
Oblivion Ring: 3
The Mending of Dominaria: 3
Zendikar Resurgent: 3

This pool for 2020 includes very few planeswalkers, and only one of them showed up twice. Here's all 12 of them.

Planeswalkers
Liliana, Dreadhorde General: 2
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame: 1
Elspeth, Knight-Errant: 1
Estrid, the Masked: 1
Garruk, Cursed Hunstman: 1
Gideon Blackblade: 1
Jace, the Mind Sculptor: 1
Narset, Parter of Veils: 1
Sorin Markov: 1
Tezzeret the Seeker: 1
Tezzeret, Artifice Master: 1
Ugin, the Ineffable: 1

Here are the top 17 sorceries.

Sorceries
Regrowth: 9
Toxic Deluge: 7
Cultivate: 6
Demonic Tutor: 6
Kodama's Reach: 6
Damnation: 5
Dark Petition: 5
Seasons Past: 5
Winds of Abandon: 5
Black Sun's Zenith: 3
Decree of Pain: 3
Exsanguinate: 3
Gaea's Blessing: 3
Idyllic Tutor: 3
Life from the Loam: 3
Ponder: 3
Wrath of God: 3

And rounding out the card types, here were my top 15 instants of 2020.

Instants
Crop Rotation: 7
Vampiric Tutor: 7
Arcane Denial: 6
Brainstorm: 6
Cyclonic Rift: 6
Dark Ritual: 6
Harrow: 6
Mana Drain: 6
Swords to Plowshares: 6
Enlightened Tutor: 5
Beast Within: 4
Constant Mists: 4
Force of Will: 4
Lim-Dul's Vault: 4
Mystical Tutor: 4

Last year, I did a curve of card frequency. At the time, I think I hoped I'd have more data for 2020 than for 2019. Obviously that was very wrong. Perhaps 2021 can catch up. For those who don't keenly remember my article for the 2019 statistics, what you're about to see here is a correspondence between a number of times a card shows up in the pool and the number of cards that match this value. For instance, the first line represents basic Plains. It showed up 49 times. Because no other cards showed up 49 times, the number 49 gets an value of 1, and I represent this with the line "49: 1." All of the cards at the top of the frequency curve are basic lands, and we can easily tell that any value above 15 must be either a basic land or one of those cards like Relentless Rats or Persistent Petitioners, and in my case they're just basic lands.

49: 1
46: 1
43: 1
29: 1
28: 1
24: 1
14: 2
13: 2
11: 1
10: 1
9: 8
8: 4
7: 6
6: 18
5: 15
4: 16
3: 45
2: 87
1: 464

This approach might seem kind of obscure, so I'll provide another example. The curve shows that there were 6 cards to appear 7 times in my EDH decks. Those six cards are, let's see...

Abundance
Crop Rotation
Maze of Ith
Spike Weaver
Toxic Deluge
Vampiric Tutor

Each of those showed up in 7 different decks within my dataset. The raw data is a bit much, although not so much as it was for 2019. But what this compressed frequency curve shows us is a kind of diversity metric. For the 2019 data, I commented on how the frequencies rose, then fell again, then rose again.

I closed out the analysis of the 2019 data by listing all of the cards besides mana rocks and lands that appeared 10 or more times. I did that because almost every deck runs some mana rocks and lands, and those cards primarily just form a mana base, so by excising them, I can get a clearer snapshot of which meaningful cards I used in lots of decks. The cutoff at 10 was arbitrary, but I was trying to select from the top and I had to set a cutoff somewhere. Since my 2020 data has so few decks, I'll move the cutoff to 5. Here are the 31 cards I used in 5 or more EDH decks in 2020.

Favorite cards for casual EDH?
Anvil of Bogardan: 9
Regrowth: 9
Sylvan Library: 9
Abundance: 7
Crop Rotation: 7
Spike Weaver: 7
Toxic Deluge: 7
Vampiric Tutor: 7
Arcane Denial: 6
Brainstorm: 6
Cultivate: 6
Cyclonic Rift: 6
Dark Ritual: 6
Demonic Tutor: 6
Eternal Witness: 6
Genesis: 6
Harrow: 6
Kodama's Reach: 6
Mana Drain: 6
Rhystic Study: 6
Swords to Plowshares: 6
Damnation: 5
Dark Petition: 5
Earthcraft: 5
Elvish Reclaimer: 5
Enlightened Tutor: 5
Khalni Heart Expedition: 5
Seasons Past: 5
Serra Ascendant: 5
Spore Frog: 5
Winds of Abandon: 5
 
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