30, Mar, 22

MTG's Standard Format is the Best It Has Been In a LONG Time

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Article at a Glance

One of the most common place formats that many players get into in Magic: the Gathering is Standard. It has a more limited card pool, which makes learning the game and format a lot easier. But because of that limited card pool, the format has times where it becomes stale with between 1-3 decks really being the top of the format.

Well, we’re more than a month into the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and about a month out from the release of Streets of New Capenna, and right now, the Standard format is the best it has been in a while!

The Standard Meta

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

Esper Midrange

The first deck that we have is Esper Midrange, from Nicolas Prieto. Nicolas took 2nd in the event after a very strong showing through the top 8. This deck is a very interesting mix of typical control elements, and creatures. There’s a healthy amount of planeswalkers here, including Kaito Shizuki, The Wandering Emperor, and probably the card of the event, Lolth, Spider Queen.

The creatures in the deck are ones that are going to be beneficial to our planeswalker’s abilities to create tokens. Additionally we do have some counter magic and removal 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 whole tournament. This deck aims to go wide with a large amount of token generation.

Some key cards for this strat include Esika’s Chariot, Wedding Announcement and Starheim Unleashed. The deck has some great advantage engines as well in Welcoming Vampire and Wrenn and Seven.

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Rakdos Vampires

The last deck and arguably the spiciest deck of the event comes to us from Eliott_Dragon, pilotting Rakdos Vampires! He took 3rd 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” involves us having a couple vampires in play, which is pretty easy enough to do. Next we want to get a Mirror of the Fable Breaker in play and transform it into Reflection of Kiki-Jiki. Then, we play a Dominating Vampire, targeting our Kiki-Jiki. For as much mana as we have available, we can use Kiki-Jiki to “Splinter Twin combo, making a bunch of Dominating Vampires to kill our opponent.

If you’re not familiar with Kiki-Jiki 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 win off that.

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Overall, I’d highly recommend giving one of these decks a try. Standard is in a great place, 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 very stale very quickly. But considering how long we’ve been in this Standard and things are still this diverse, I think it’s safe to say that it’s great right now.

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