MTG players to face major challenge with ONE Limited Draft meta at Phyrixia Pro Tour

Expect the Limited Draft rounds to determine who makes the top eight at MTG Pro Tour Phyrexia.

Competitive tabletop Magic: The Gathering is returning this weekend through the Phyrexia Pro Tour in Philidelphia, showcasing six rounds of Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited Draft.

For the first time since 2020, Magic players will compete in tabletop Draft at the Pro Tour this weekend. Unlike drafts that take place on MTG Arena, competitors will face off against the same players in their Draft pod. The Phyrexia Pro Tour features six rounds of ONE Limited Draft gameplay, three rounds on day one and another three rounds on the second day. 

A total of 16 Swiss rounds in the Traditional best-of-three format are scheduled to take place during days one and two at the first MTG Pro Tour of 2023. Six of those rounds will be played in the ONE Limited Draft format while the remainder will be in the Pioneer Constructed format. Players who reach 12 match wins on day two automatically advance to the top eight playoffs on day three. 

An undefeated win streak during the LImited Draft rounds will essentially earn a player a slot in the top eight and potentially a direct invite to the Magic World Championship this year. But a heavy loss streak, in conjunction with average scores during the Pioneer Swiss rounds, could keep a player from reaching the playoffs.

The Phyrexia Pro Tour Limited Draft meta

Image via WotC

A majority of the MTG players at the Pro Tour are used to playing tabletop Draft and have been preparing with their teams all week. It’s the ONE Draft meta that might be an issue. Packed with bombs, like Praetors from other Standard-legal MTG sets, and Uncommon cards like Venerated Rotpriest, Rare and/or Mythic Rare picks are more likely to pull players into specific MTG color archetypes

The ONE Draft archetypes themselves are also slightly lopsided, with a majority of players favoring Red and Green, making it the most contested archetype in a majority of MTG Arena Drafts. The other best Draft archetype from the All Will Be One set is Red and White. Both archetypes are aggressive and packed with solid Common and Uncommon cards, making it difficult for other archetypes to succeed. 

Both Blue/Red and Black/Blue have struggled in the ONE Draft meta since they are slower-paced builds that require time to set up, with Black and Blue having a slight edge over Blue and Red. Control decks are difficult to run in a Limited Draft format, especially when the top-performing archetypes are Aggro and games seldom run long.

Midrange builds are also suffering. Blue and Green looked promising but the lack of good cards within the color Blue has hurt the archetype. The same can be said for White and Blue, although the archetype has performed better over the past week.

Black and Green also initially looked strong and may find a way to overcome the other aggressive archetypes at the Phyrexia Pro Tour, along with Green and White. 

Fans can watch the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited Draft meta at the highest level of competition unfold this weekend at the Pro Tour in Philidelphia.

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