All data was collected from these resources: TES Spreadsheet | ANT Spreadsheet

(Data collected on 8/1/2017)

Categories – General TES ANT
Matches Played 863 327
Matches Won 554 202
Games Played 2,137 809
Game Win % 60% 58%
Game Win % (Play) 65% 68%
Game Win % (Draw) 64% 59%
Match Win % 64% 62%
Match Win % (Play) 64% 63%
Match Win % (Draw) 64% 58%
Mulligan % 21% 17%
Average Combo Turn (ACT) 2.61 3.00
Ad Nauseam % 38% 18%
Past In Flames % 10% 48%
Natural Storm % 46% 29%
Natural Storm % (ToA) 29% 61%
Natural Storm % (ETW) 67% 39%
Natural Storm % (Grapeshot) 4% 0%
Tendrils of Agony Kill % 57% 84%
Empty the Warrens Kill % 33% 12%
Grapeshot Kills % 4% 0%
Telemin Performance Kills % 3% 0%
Categories vs Blue Decks TES ANT
Game Win % 56% 56%
Game Win % (Play) 54% 55%
Game Win % (Draw) 59% 56%
Match Win % 58% 56%
Match Win % (Play) 54% 55%
Match Win % (Draw) 63% 56%
Mulligan % 14% 15%
Average Combo Turn (ACT) 2.89 3.15
Ad Nauseam % 28% 11%
Past In Flames % 11% 48%
Natural Storm % 58% 35%
Natural Storm % (ToA) 30% 59%
Natural Storm % (ETW) 67% 40%
Natural Storm % (Grapeshot) 3% 0%
Tendrils of Agony Kill % 30% 81%
Empty the Warrens Kill % 67% 15%
Grapeshot Kills % 3% 0%
Telemin Performance Kills % 2% 0%
Categories vs Non-Blue Decks TES ANT
Game Win % 65% 66%
Game Win % (Play) 69% 62%
Game Win % (Draw) 62% 69%
Match Win % 74% 71%
Match Win % (Play) 79% 63%
Match Win % (Draw) 68% 78%
Mulligan % 22% 16%
Average Combo Turn (ACT) 2.39 2.87
Ad Nauseam % 47% 25%
Past In Flames % 9% 52%
Natural Storm % 34% 19%
Natural Storm % (ToA) 30% 69%
Natural Storm % (ETW) 64% 31%
Natural Storm % (Grapeshot) 6% 0%
Tendrils of Agony Kill % 61% 89%
Empty the Warrens Kill % 24% 7%
Grapeshot Kills % 5% 0%
Telemin Performance Kills % 6% 0%
Categories vs Chalice Decks TES ANT
Game Win % 56% 50%
Game Win % (Play) 58% 51%
Game Win % (Draw) 54% 45%
Match Win % 58% 46%
Match Win % (Play) 61% 53%
Match Win % (Draw) 56% 25%
Mulligan % 21% 20%
Average Combo Turn (ACT) 2.24 2.74
Ad Nauseam % 40% 18%
Past In Flames % 6% 35%
Natural Storm % 51% 47%
Natural Storm % (ToA) 20% 50%
Natural Storm % (ETW) 78% 50%
Natural Storm % (Grapeshot) 2% 0%
Tendrils of Agony Kill % 51% 76%
Empty the Warrens Kill % 44% 24%
Grapeshot Kills % 3% 0%
Telemin Performance Kills % 0% 0%

The Basics

You might notice that the first few categories are pretty uneven, I’ve played a lot more since the banning of Sensei’s Diving Top than the ANT player. That said, I believe 300+ matches is enough to pull from to gather data. At that point, I don’t see a hot or cold streak changing the data drastically – things should be fairly leveled out.

Let’s begin! Looking at the over all game and match win percentages (%), you can see that TES has edged out ANT in both categories by a few percent. Which in my opinion makes sense, we’re no longer in a metagame where multiple Past in Flames is highly desirable. The average fundamental turn of the format has sped up.

For game and match win %’s on the play versus on the draw, TES is the same for both categories meaning it’s just as good regardless of the die roll. Where as with ANT, you see the die roll matters a lot more, on the play it even has a higher win % than TES, but is much lower than TES on the draw. I believe this is due to the faster nature of the format.

With speed comes less stability they say, TES has a mulligan rate of 21% where ANT’s is 17%. That said, I tend to be a little more aggressive with my mulligans versus non-blue and Chalice of the Void decks. It’s a philosophy I’ve talked about on stream, the Facebook group and in articles. I don’t watch the ANT player mulligan, so it’s hard to know if the situation is similar, but I’d be willing to believe these numbers are about average.

Average combo turn: TES 2.61 | ANT 3.00

This looks a little closer than it actually should and that’s my own fault. The ANT player uses my spreadsheet, which is designed for TES. I stop tracking the combo turn at 4+ as I don’t have as many games where comboing happens much later, where the ANT player has many more games in that turn range. This brings his average combo turn numbers down a bit, regardless, TES is about half a turn faster than ANT.

For the rest of the percentage categories, the results are as expected. TES uses Ad Nauseam more often and ANT uses Past in Flames more frequently. ANT doesn’t play Grapeshot or Telemin Performance which is why throughout, you will see 0% for those categories.

One thing I would like to point out is that TES kills with Tendrils of Agony in 57% of matches, which is almost double the percentage of Empty the Warrens kills. The reason I point this out is through forums and Reddit discussions, I read a lot of false information on this topic and figured it should be brought to light.

vs Blue Decks

This category is the most interesting to me, by a lot.

The game win percentage of the two decks is exactly the same, with TES hedging out ANT with a 2% higher match win rate. Another anomaly would be that ANT mulligans 1% more than TES (14%). For all intents and purposes, this means the match-up is about the same for both decks with TES being slightly more favorable. “Why is that? I thought ANT was better versus blue decks.” In a vacuum, sure. ANT is likely better against traditional control decks like Stoneblade, but I think TES has the edge against the Delver of Secrets decks with fast Empty the Warrens. You’ll read more about that in a moment.

Average combo turn: TES 2.89 | ANT 3.16

This is the best part in my opinion, on the play both TES and ANT have a lower win percentage on the play than on the draw. BOTH DECKS! On the play TES is 54% and ANT is 55% while on the draw TES is 63% and ANT is 56%! This is super interesting and makes me wonder about strategies you could take. It’s actually better to be on the draw, normally you could write this off to a small sample size – as I write this, I’ve played 976 games versus blue decks since 4/24/2017. It’s not a sample size issue.

If I had to take a stab at why this is, both decks are resource based engine combo decks – they’re not A+B combo decks. In these matchups, each card and resource is vital and maybe having the extra card is a difference maker. Am I going to start taking the draw versus blue opponents? Probably not, but the numbers behind it state that I should. I feel as if this were some sort of Billy Beane breakthrough in the storm decks.

Back to Empty the Warrens, against blue decks TES generates Goblins 67% of the time as the win condition. This seems incredibly high but it makes sense with the most popular blue decks being Delver of Secrets based decks and Empty the Warrens being incredibly effective there. Meanwhile, ANT uses Tendrils of Agony 81% of the time, which is a little more difficult to pull off against these taxing resource based decks.

vs Non-Blue Decks

The numbers for game win and match win percentage here are kind of to be expected. TES is better against these decks than ANT and that is shown with a 74% against a 71%. With the game win on the play being 69% for TES and 62% for ANT, on the draw TES is at 62% where ANT is at 69%. Which seems strange to me, but the match win percentages reflect the same thing (See above). This is likely due to the resource constraint mentioned in above in the blue section.

Average combo turn: TES 2.39 | ANT 2.87

Looking at the average combo turn here, being a turn two deck instead of a turn three deck will drastically improve your win percentage against a deck like Elves. TES is 82% where ANT is 73%, which may not seem like much, but stings a bit when it happens in a large event. The same could be said for Death & Taxes.

The mulligan percentage for TES is 22% where ANT is 16%, which I still contribute to aggressive mulliganing paired with speed leading to more wins against decks like Death & Taxes. You can see that if you look at the spreadsheet where TES has a win % versus Death & Taxes at 81.63% where ANT has a 68.18%.

The rest of the numbers here are pretty typical. Take notice that Tendrils of Agony is the preferred method of killing for TES at 61%.

vs Chalice Decks

These are expected datasets for both decks. TES having better numbers than ANT in every category in a match-up where speed is everything, a 58% (TES) match win rate is pretty good for some of your worst match-ups. There is one thing that surprised me a bit, on the draw ANT is extremely poor against these decks with a win percentage as low as 25%.

Average combo turn: TES 2.24 | ANT 2.74

The win condition usage for TES was roughly even between Tendrils of Agony and Empty the Warrens.

Grain of Salt

Take this comparison with a grain of salt – some of you salty (pun intended) ANT players will need it. This is data from a single ANT player and myself (a single TES player), but I do trust these numbers to a certain degree. The ANT player is Brandon Osborne (Control4Daze on mtgo), who has dozens of 5-0 finishes and has won a SCG: Legacy Classic. He can hold own and I consider him to be better than the average ANT pilot.

To summarize what we’ve found from the data, it appears that TES across the board is better than ANT in the current metagame according to the data sets that I have access to. TES just doesn’t have the player base that ANT has. I understand why – Legacy moves slowly (cards are expensive) and I think in time, some of those pilots will recognize the benefits of being faster and switch sides.

I believe this spreadsheet has been a huge breakthrough for TES and storm in general. Other than numbers between TES and ANT, I’ve discovered the weird anomaly between play versus draw against blue decks as well that every deck list I have without Echoing Truth and Defense Grid has a lower win percentage. This resource tool has really helped me step up my game. I feel like I’ve combined two of my hobbies – Magic: the Gathering and fantasy baseball!