May 18, 2022

MTG’s standard format is the best for a long time

One of the most common location formats that many players enter Magic: The Gathering is Norm. It has a more limited card pool, which makes it much easier to learn the game and the format. But because of this limited card pool, the format has times when it becomes stale, with between 1 and 3 decks really being the top of the format.

Well, we are over a month after the release of Kamigawa: The Neon Dynastyand about a month after the release of Streets of New Capennaand right now the Standard format is the best it’s been in a while!

The standard meta

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to help organize a Standard tournament, Stream Ligue 10, and there were a lot of very good players. To my surprise, the tournament metagame was incredibly diverse and a lot of fun! The Top 8 had 7 different archetypes and overall there was a lot of interesting diversity. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the different top 8 decks that were interesting.

Mid-Range Esper

The first deck we have is Esper Midrange, by Nicolas Prieto. Nicolas took 2nd place in the event after a very good performance in the top 8. This deck is a very interesting mix of typical control elements and creatures. There are a fair amount of planeswalkers here, including Kaito Shizuki, the wandering emperorand probably the event card, Lolth, queen of spiders.

The creatures in the deck are the ones that will benefit our planeswalker’s ability to create tokens. Additionally, we have counter-magics and removals to deal with a wide variety of threats.

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Selesnya Tokens

The next deck is Selesnya Tokens, which comes to us from Arne Huschenbeth, who ended up winning the entire tournament. This deck aims to go far with a large amount of token generation.

Some key cards for this strat include Esika Chariot, Wedding announcement and Unleashed Starheim. The bridge also has large advantage engines in Welcoming Vampire and Wrenn and Seven.

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Vampires of Rakdos

The final deck and arguably the spiciest deck of the event comes to us from Eliott_Dragon, piloting Rakdos Vampires! He took 3rd place in the event, but he had one of the coolest decks of the day. The deck is an aggro deck through and through, with a blood token subtheme. Where the deck gets cool is that it has a potential “combo” finish.

The “combo” implies that we have a few vampires in play, which is quite easy to do. Then we want to get a Fablebreaker’s Mirror in game and turn it into Reflection of Kiki-Jiki. Then we play a dominating vampire, targeting our Kiki-Jiki. For as much mana as we have, we can use Kiki-Jiki to “Burst twin combo, making a bunch of dominant vampires to kill our opponent.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kiki-Jiki’s tricks, if you activate this combo at the end of your opponent’s turn, you keep those copies until your end step. Then you can repeat the combo with full mana available to make more copies of Dominating Vampire, and we should be able to earn that.

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All in all, I highly recommend trying out one of these decks. Standard is in a great location, and that’s a rarity for me to say. I haven’t been a fan of Standard for a few years because the meta ends up becoming very stale very quickly. But given how long we’ve been in this Standard and things are still so diverse, I think it’s safe to say it’s great right now.


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