Hello Magic players! I’m a little late on this one, but here’s the Metagame report for July—and boy has M20 warped Standard.
I hate, despise, and utterly dislike Adanto Vanguard every time it’s played. I’m not sure how it’s a fair Magic card, and the fact it triggers Knight of Ebon Legion with every use of the ability is perhaps one of the strongest interactions in the deck and can be achieved on turn two or three. Sorin is also an absurd planeswalker at that mana cost. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a tribal deck in Standard that’s significantly good—but now Standard has three, and this one is a brutal knife of efficiency.
With a name like that, you’d expect a deck with a lot of big monsters, but now there are so many little dinos leftover from Ixalan that the deck acts like a Gruul Aggro deck that splashes black for Rotting Regisaur. Which is justified only because Regisaur is an absurd Magic card for the simple fact there’s no penalty for not being able to discard something. The deck won’t last for much longer because of rotation, so, if you want to rampage over your opponent in standard with a solid deck, now’s the time.
Elementals are such a weird tribe—and I mean the artwork. The actual cards are nutty good. Omnath is the big expensive card that everyone wants, but it’s Risen Reef that enables some of the most broken interactions. Play this deck on Arena if you get the chance, only to see the Stack fly by on the screen and your opponent’s morale drain away. Nissa, like every deck that supports her, is the real all-star and it’s very hard to not lose to her ultimate. But, it’s the new Chandra (and Mass Manipulation) that ensures that even if someone stabilizes against this deck, they can still blow you out of the water.
I know this is contentious, but I love that there’s a Modern-style kill-combo deck in Standard right now. You lose if they play Scapeshift, and with little Teferi you can’t respond to the play—so they will resolve it. Instantly filling their board with zombies and, in some versions I’ve seen, gaining a ton of life off of Plaza of Harmony. It’s such a cool idea that I’m almost sad that Scapeshift itself is going to rotate out and the deck will die with it.
It’s a combo deck like Izzet Phoenix, don’t be mistaken. Reckless Rage is brutal, and Gods Willing is a defensive/offensive trick, but the core of the deck is the interaction and subsequent massive damage of pumping a Tenth District Legionnaire with Defiant Strike or Gird for Battle. The absolute nut move is pumping something once, then recurring it with Dreadhorde Arcanist, then setting it up again the next turn with Feather, The Redeemed. It’s cheap and fun and I recommend it for players who like their aggro with a healthy dose of combo attached.
It’s still alive! This deck will not die, and it’s still strong, and it’s somehow even cheaper to build than it was before. Sure, it’s pretty hard to play optimally, but the fact you can just slam together for less than $100 some fun creatures and counterspells and win games for no particular reason except your opponent can’t stop you is amazing for Magic. Every Standard should have a deck like this: both super cheap and competitive so new players can get into FNM without being demoralized. Get a creature enchanted with Curious Obsession and keep having counterspells whenever they try to kill it and you will win games against decks much more expensive and arguably much more powerful.
That name is no joke. If the deck is running well, there’s no reason for them to ever play anything at Sorcery speed. I was hoping Brineborn Cutthroat was going to find a home where it could cause real damage. It’s honestly really annoying to play against, as you basically must wait for them to tap out before you try anything. Otherwise, expect a Frilled Mystic to utterly wreck your day. I’m not the first person to observe this but seeing Essence Scatter come back into Standard is a nice change of pace. If you like “gotcha” moments in Magic, play this deck.
And that’s the meta right now. Full of powerful but hard to play decks and brutal aggro creations. Because of rotation, almost none of these decks will exist properly, but it’s fun in the meantime and I recommend trying one of them while you still can.
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