Welcome back to the Metagame Report. The metagame right now feels very volatile and shifting, and there’s always seemingly a new deck popping up and wrecking people. I think that’s a good thing, but it does make it hard to predict when deck building. But, regardless, let’s look at a sample of what’s new and what is still kicking strong.
You all know the drill. I wouldn’t even mention this deck if it was not still charting a high number of wins and players using it. I’m not fond of every innovation to the deck eventually fading away to mostly the same cards—but, eh, if it works, don’t fix it.
At least the deck is proactive and does something besides just slowly eke you to death with card advantage. It’s not exactly fair that the best control deck in Standard also easily transitioned into a midrange/tempo creation and still wrecks faces, but I guess a pile of interactive cards with high power ceilings will always be able to do some damage.
Guess who’s back in prevalence! My pet deck is ready to kill players yet again with the Phoenix that’s in almost every format. The deck will teach you to pay attention to almost every spell in your graveyard and to not let the deck get away from you when you’re slinging spells and leave yourself without a toolkit. If you haven’t already, give it a try before core enablers rotate away.
I prefer the one with Oketra in it, as that card is just too powerful it seems against a deck that doesn’t have sufficient spot removal, but, in any case, the deck makes more mana in three turns than some decks do late game. Nissa is the real backbone of this deck and it’s not even close. Her ability to animate lands makes for a quick overrun that demands a board clear. Also, I’m super glad to see Paradise Druid getting so much love in a competitive deck.
Very similar to the ramp deck above, the payoff is a little more hilarious. Taking control of an entire board of creatures is something that seems more like a commander play, but I can’t argue with how deadly that can be. Again, Nissa shines here and it’s starting to amaze me that more players weren’t finding homes for her sooner. Ripjaw Raptor is also a cute addition as is the slightly clunky Frilled Mystic.
Repeat after me: this deck is insane and should not work. But it does, and it does with odd interactions. The “Bolas Citadel” deck might have been the first place we saw how you can use a Wildgrowth Walker to out-life-gain a would-be suicidal life cost, but it’s taken to wilder places here with Command the Dreadhorde. This pile is just a mess of greedy choices, but I can’t argue with the deadly results.
Finally! A superfriends deck in Standard! And it’s pretty good, too. Interplanar Beacon finds its home here to not immediately die to RDW and then the deck turns into methodically activating all your planeswalkers until you have enough that Sarkhan turns them into a lethal dragon army. It’s sadly an absurdly expensive deck in paper, but if you can play it, give it a try. War of the Spark is supposed to be a planeswalker set, and this deck is taking that intention to the level it deserves.
And that’s my take on the metagame. Once rotation sweeps a lot of utility spells under the rug, we’ll be seeing a Standard that’s likely to revolve even more around combo and planeswalker options—and I for one find that a fun and exciting prospect.
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