Dealing with the new Standard

Big news in Standard! The format has rotated, Innistrad Midnight Hunt is here, and everything is evolving. Tournaments have started, and we’ve seen the first decks. Today we’ll look at the best-performing decks, see which decks are gaining ground, and which can establish themselves in Standard’s top tier.

 

 

GRUUL WEREWOLVES

 

MID Standard - Gruul Werewolves

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Planeswalker (6)
2
Arlinn, the Pack's Hope
4
Wrenn and Seven
Creature (16)
4
Kessig Naturalist
2
Outland Liberator
4
Reckless Stormseeker
2
Tovolar, Dire Overlord
4
Werewolf Pack Leader
Sorcery (4)
4
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (4)
4
Cathartic Pyre
Artifact (4)
4
Esika's Chariot
Enchantment (4)
4
Ranger Class
Land (22)
4
Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway
8
Forest
4
Lair of the Hydra
2
Mountain
4
Rockfall Vale
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Burn Down the House
4
Burning Hands
2
Cinderclasm
2
Inferno of the Star Mounts
2
Plummet
2
Snakeskin Veil
1
Toski, Bearer of Secrets

 

The previous article discussed how, at least initially, werewolves would be one of the most played decks, and now we see that it’s leading the new  standard format.

 

                                       

 

This aggro deck has the advantage of having cards like Werewolf Pack Leader and Tovolar, Dire Overlord that don’t let resources run out, which makes the difference between competitive and non-competitive decks.

 

                   

 

Esika’s Chariot is another card that makes that difference. You will see it played in many decks, including most green decks. It’s gearing up to be one of Standard’s most dominant cards, even if it didn’t have much space in the past format. It’s a strong card that makes two 2/2 tokens and puts a 4/4 vehicle on the ground with four mana. You can start with a single card from mass removal, develop the board without having to use too many resources (its attack makes a copy of a token and has strong synergy, especially with Wrenn and Seven), and put pressure on your opponent. In short, it does everything you want from a card.

 

                   

 

If initially Arlinn seemed to be a planeswalker destined to be overplayed, the real surprise is Wrenn and Seven. As a planeswalker, it provides advantage by getting lands from the top of the deck, but it can also create a huge threat in the form of a token that can easily win the game if uncontested. In fact, the -3 ability is the most used at the moment when Wrenn and Seven hits the ground. This card has a huge impact on the board, and for its mana cost, I can’t help but think of Nissa Who Shakes the World, which was a must in green decks.

 

I am convinced that this deck is solid and that probably, once the meta stabilizes, will continue to be at the top of the ladder.

 

 

IZZET CONTROL

 

MID Standard - Izzet Control

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Creature (8)
4
Goldspan Dragon
4
Smoldering Egg
Sorcery (12)
4
Alrund's Epiphany
4
Expressive Iteration
4
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (24)
2
Cinderclasm
2
Disdainful Stroke
4
Dragon's Fire
1
Galvanic Iteration
4
Memory Deluge
4
Prismari Command
3
Silundi Vision/Silundi Isle
4
Spikefield Hazard/Spikefield Cave
Land (16)
1
Den of the Bugbear
1
Field of Ruin
8
Island
2
Mountain
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
4
Burning Hands
2
Disdainful Stroke
2
Inferno of the Star Mounts
3
Malevolent Hermit
2
Negate
2
Suspicious Stowaway

 

Despite numerous changes, this deck continues to be among the most played, just as it was before the rotation.

 

                   

 

Smoldering Egg is the most important new addition. It vaguely resembles the Thing in the Ice and gives us a great blocker, which is important in a field of aggro decks. It’s practically unmanageable once flipped. 

 

                   

 

Memory Deluge is the other new card that makes this deck interesting. Prior, cards like Behold the Multiverse were played to draw cards. It was a good, but not notable, card. Now all control decks have gained this new addition. Its flashback makes it a mix between Fact or Fiction and Dig Through Time.

 

 

The rest of the deck has maintained the solidity that distinguished it before. Goldspan Dragon is still one of the strongest cards in the format and is destined to remain so for a long time to come. Prismari Command follows closely behind and is indispensable to this archetype because of its wide variety of functions (don’t underestimate being able to destroy an artifact like Maul of the Skyclaves or Esika’s Chariot, or being able to play a dragon one turn earlier). 

 

                   

 

The deck’s problem is lack of mass removal, which is problematic in an aggro-oriented format, but I am convinced that over time it will be solved (Draconic Intervention?). The Wrenn and Seven token could be a problem, which is why I would consider some Fading Hope between main and side.

 

Overall, I like this deck, and it will establish itself as a true Werewolves antagonist.

 

 

OTHER DECKS

 

After these two decks, which are the strongest in the format currently, we find a variety of possibilities, which is typical of a fresh rotation.

 

                                     

 

Selesnya Ramp is one of these decks. Wrenn and Seven runs the show. The synergy with Scute Swarm is nice and, if handled well, can become unmanageable. Storm the Festival is the new Collected Company and it will have its say even if it ends up being half as impactful as Collected Company.

 

                   

 

Mono-White Aggro tries again to be one of the dominant decks. It’s remodeled and has changed almost all the cards. Luminarch Aspirant remains the representative card of the deck along with Maul of the Skyclaves.

 

 

As a novelty, there’s Intrepid Adversary, which is a 3/1 with two mana. It puts pressure initially and could be good when drawn in late game because it has an ability that greatly increases the strength of your board.

 

 

Adeline is another new creature that comes from Innistrad, and I like it more than Adversary. It is vaguely reminiscent of Hero of Bladehold. Despite being weaker, it is still a great card for Standard and it’s currently well-positioned in the metagame. 

 

Let’s not forget Dimir Control, Orzhov Midrange or the various Delver decks that may not yet be at the top of the deck’s build, but may improve over time and become top tier.

 

The new Standard looks nice with a variety that keeps players’ interest high.

 

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