Atraxa, Grand Unifier
2, Apr, 24

Top 10 Best MTG Standard Decks - April 2024

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Throughout 2023, the Standard format went through quite an evolution, to say the least. In a matter of months, players saw oppressive domination, surprise bans, a rotation overhaul, and sets galore. While somewhat mired by controversy, this has made Standard an incredibly interesting MTG format once again with plenty of the best decks to choose between.

With the arrival of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, this interest has reached a new peak. Thanks to new powerful cards and archetypes, Standard feels fresher than ever! So much so, that it doesn’t really need any bans or changes at the moment. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some other MTG formats. 

Considering there are new decks and cards to enjoy, there’s never been a better time to get into Standard. Whether you’re looking to do exactly that, or just build a new competitive deck, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll be covering all the best MTG decks in the Standard format right now!

10 | Azorius Soldiers

Harbin, Vanguard Aviator
Harbin, Vanguard Aviator | The Brothers’ War

Azorius Soldiers, much like mono-white aggro, is capable of applying a decent amount of early pressure. However, this deck leans a bit heavier into the disruption package. The goal of the deck is to assemble a bit of early pressure, then keep the opponent on the back foot with interaction such as Make Disappear. Both Resolute Reinforcements and Zephyr Sentinel have Flash, which allows you to act reactively by casting Counterspells or proactively by developing your board, depending on what the opponent does.

While Azorius Soldiers certainly has its weaknesses and gained very little from the new set, this deck’s tempo-style gameplan can be quite strong against some of the slower decks in the format, such as the various multi-color Leyline Binding decks that have been performing extremely well thus far. Definitely be weary of hyperaggressive strategies like mono-red aggro, though, as fighting through quick starts backed up by burn spells can be a pain.

9 | Gruul Aggro

Questing Druid | Wilds of Eldraine
Questing Druid | Wilds of Eldraine

If mono-red isn’t your thing, Gruul Aggro is a compelling alternative in Standard right now. Sure, you might lose out on pressuring your opponent with burn spells, but it’s not without its own strengths. Boasting a powerful suite of creatures and buffs, Gruul Aggro packs a serious punch. Thanks to an abundance of Trample, most of those punches should land against your opponent’s face.

Within the deck, the core staples are Monastery Swiftspear and Questing Druid. Synergizing with the spells you cast, both these cards quickly scale into massive threats. Once this happens, you unlock Picnic Ruiner’s potential. Having conditional Double Strike, this Goblin should get all the best buffs.

Speaking of buffs, the biggest within this deck is Giant Growth. Alongside this classic staple, Monstrous Rage offers similar power while Tyvar’s Stand provides a mana sink. To make sure your buffed threats make it through Audacity and Ancestral Anger are cheap Trample sources.

As for this deck’s game plan, there’s really not much to talk about. From as early on as possible, you want to be swinging in and dealing constant damage to your opponents. In the mid-game, you’ll likely need to be more careful, potentially using buffs as protection. Ideally, however, the game should really be over before then. As usual, while this aggressive strategy does have some Best-of-Three potential, you’ll find the most success in Best-of-One matches.

Read More: The Top 10 Most Expensive Cards in Standard

8 | Rakdos Discover

Geological Appraiser

Until recently, Standard didn’t have much love for Geological Appraiser. Despite being banned in Pioneer, this card hasn’t gained traction everywhere. Thanks to this new Discover-based Standard deck, however, that is slowly changing. 

Despite the name of Rakdos Discover, only one card within this deck actually features this eponymous ability. As mentioned mere moments ago, that creature is Geological Appraiser, who puts in major work. Capable of Discovering all but one card in the deck, this creature provides excellent value for a reasonable cost.

Alongside Discover as a core theme, this Rakdos deck also features a prominent discard theme. Used in conjunction with Inti, Seneschal of the Sun this gives this deck no end of gas. Allowing access to more removal and for more aggressive plays, this Rakdos deck piles on the pressure rather effectively.

7 | Golgari Midrange

Mosswood Dreadknight
Mosswood Dreadknight | Wilds of Eldraine

Golgari Midrange is quite similar to Dimir Midrange from before Wilds of Eldraine cards became legal. This deck plays a bunch of efficient Creatures, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse as top end, and some removal spells to round things out. The main draw towards playing green instead of another color is definitely Mosswood Dreadknight.

Mosswood Dreadknight is a very powerful Creature. As a two-mana three-power Creature, the card is relatively efficient. However, it also comes with an Adventure stapled to it that lets you draw a card and lose a life for two mana. Sure, that isn’t super exciting, but here’s the kicker: if Mosswood Dreadknight dies, you can cast it from your graveyard as an Adventure until the end of your next turn. This allows you to pay two mana to draw a card, then replay the Creature from exile again for two mana. Outside of exile effects, this card is very difficult to deal with.

Beyond Mosswood Dreadknight, the deck utilizes some other strong beaters, such as Glissa Sunslayer, to put additional pressure on the opponent. Golgari midrange has a lot of tools to fight against aggressive decks and out grind opposing midrange decks. On the other hand, Decks that go way over the top such as four-color ramp, can be problematic.

6 | Bant Toxic

Venerated Rotpriest

Only appearing in the last few weeks, Bant Toxic is the latest and arguably one of the greatest Standard decks. As the name suggests, this deck’s main gameplay is to win through Toxic, rather than outright damage. Thanks to only needing ten damage to win, this means Bant Toxic is surprisingly aggressive.

Employing only creatures from Phyrexia: All Will Be One, many Bant Toxic lists look like god-tier Limited decks. Utilizing Skrelv, Defector Mite and Venerated Rotpriest, this deck swings in fast and often. Accentuating this strategy are cards like Skrelv’s Hive and Charge of the Mites that provide consistent value.

Alongside all the aggressive 1/1s and mites inflicting plenty of Poison, Bant Toxic also dabbles in control. Typically only including a few cheap spells like Fading Hope and Serum Snare, this deck is definitely on the aggressive side. Despite this, however, Bant Toxic is surprisingly viable, even in best-of-three games. 

5 | Temur Lands Reclamation

Aftermath Analyst

If you ask us, Temur Lands Reclamation is one of the strangest decks in Standard right now. Utilizing just nine creatures, this control-focused deck revolves around some Draft chaff from Streets of New Capenna. Rarely seen in constructed play, New Capenna’s Evolving Wilds knockoffs have gone all but unused until now.

Within this fairly new deck, Brokers Hideout, Cabaretti Courtyard, and Maestros Theater are all core to the deck’s unusual strategy. Through their powers combined, you can get all your lands into play remarkably efficiently. This is thanks to their synergy with Aftermath Analyst.

When Aftermath Analyst is sacrificed, all the lands in your graveyard return to play, allowing you to crack the fetches once again. After three or four activations of this ability, depending on your early game, you can have all 15 basic lands in play. From here, you’ve got no end of resources to cast massive spells.

Currently, while the Temur Lands Reclamation deck is already running rampant in Standard, the archetype hasn’t been nailed down. For the most part, players have settled on using Temur colors, but even that’s not set in stone. Some decks choose to splash cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, for instance.

While there’s a lot of variance within this archetype right now, there are a few key cards that you can’t do without. Nissa, Resurgent Animist is arguably the most important of these cards since they ramp while also tutoring an Elf or Elemental. Similarly, most decks tend to run Worldsoul’s Rage and Ill-Timed Explosion to clear the board.

Ultimately, while Temur Lands Reclamation is a very strange deck, it’s also very powerful. To top it off, it’s also one you can experiment with since there’s tons of freedom allotted.

4 | Mono-Red Aggro

Monastery Swiftspear | The Brothers’ War

Mono-red aggro, unsurprisingly, is a great place to start as players are experimenting with new cards. This deck is certainly the fastest deck in the format and does a great job punishing the slower four and five-color decks. By pairing cheap, Hasty Creatures like Monastery Swiftspear and Bloodthirsty Adversary with burn spells, this deck can cross the finish line very quickly. Mono-red aggro also got some new additions from Wilds of Eldraine. Charming Scoundrel can attack as a two-power Creature with Haste, but it can also generate a Treasure token or pitch away excess Lands later in the game, depending on the situation. Goddric, Cloaked Reveler has the ability to attack as a four-power Dragon with Flying, giving the deck some extra reach.

Mono-red aggro is especially strong when players aren’t fully prepared for it, so it’s possible that the deck starts to die down a bit in the coming weeks. After all, it can be weak to decks with high-toughness Creatures like Esper midrange, and Sheoldred is quite difficult to beat without a timely Nahiri’s Warcrafting. Still, the deck’s blazing starts can beat anyone who stumbles even a little, and getting to outpace the slower decks in the format makes it a great choice in certain metagames.

3 | Domain Ramp

Atraxa, Grand Unifier | Phyrexia: All Wi
Atraxa, Grand Unifier | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Four and Five-color ramp strategies are nothing new to Standard. Being able to play lots of colors to maximize Leyline Binding is quite strong, and there are plenty of powerful threats to ramp into. Atraxa, Grand Unifier is one of the most powerful threats to put into play in Standard, and this deck has the tools to cast the powerful Phyrexian ahead of schedule. Both Courier’s Briefcase and Invasion of Zendikar help push out threats early. Archangel of Wrath can help stabilize the board until you can cast one of your haymakers.

Speaking of ramp and haymakers, one new card, in particular, helps fill both parts of the curve. Bramble Familiar acts as a two-mana mana dork, which is decent on its own. However, there’s still more to the card, as Bramble Familiar has an Adventure attached as well. Instead of casting the two-mana Creature, you can cast a seven-mana Sorcery that lets you mill seven cards, then put an Enchantment, Creature, or Land card from among them into play. Both Atraxa and Virtue of Persistence are great hits. The fact that Bramble Familiar and Virtue of Persistence can be useful both in the early game and the late game makes them great upgrades for this strategy.

2 | Boros Convoke

Knight-Errant of Eos

In recent weeks, the popularity of Boros Convoke has been on the up and up in both Standard and Pioneer. While these decks do have some major differences from one another, the game plan is effectively the same. By casting a lot of low-cost high-value creatures you can cheat out major threats.

In Standard, the major threat you’re after is Knight-Errant of Eos. While they may not have the biggest body, this March of the Machine card keeps your hand stocked with gas. This allows you to keep churning out cards and damaging your opponent since your army of creatures can attack too.

Recently, this deck saw a major upgrade thanks to Murders at Karlov Manor. For just three mana Warleader’s Call offers an ever useful buff alongside a source of chip damage. Considering the amount of creatures and tokens this deck plays, this damage can quickly mount up.

While many Rakdos Convoke lists just rely on overwhelming their opponent, there is some optional extra spice. By adding Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might into the mix, the chip damage can turn into major burn. Alternatively, this deck can also get some good use out of Regal Bunnicorn thanks to the abundance of creatures.

Beyond this deck’s aggressive tendencies, it also holds up rather well in best-of-three matches. This is thanks to a sideboard that’s typically filled with burn removal. Giving this deck the option to deal with or dodge an opponent’s creatures, Boros Convoke has plenty of options.

1 | Esper Midrange

Raffine, Scheming Seer

Love it or hate it, Esper Midrange is back as a dominant force in Standard right now. This resurgence in power follows the deck gaining a few new toys in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Specifically, Subterranean Schooner and Deep-Cavern Bat have propelled the deck to new heights. 

Enhancing the already dominant control-focused midrange strategy, Deep-Cavern Bat is undoubtedly the latest Standard star. Providing a glimpse at your opponent’s hand and temporary removal, this bat is an early-game menace. Not only does it disrupt your opponent’s plans, but the knowledge it provides is invaluable for a control deck. 

Most recently, Esper Midrange made waves as the victor of the Players Convention Aichi 2023 Standard Open. Following this win, the deck has massively surged in popularity, becoming even more dominant in the format.

Read More: MTG Hardened Scales Archetype Has Appeared in Standard!

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