Standard hasn’t seemed to change much with Strixhaven. In fact, if you look at Huey’s most recent Standard Power Rankings, the Top 5 decks are Sultai Ultimatum, Rogues, Temur, Mono-Red and Cycling – pretty much the same as at the end of the last season. However, Standard Jeskai Cycling could be well positioned.
I feel like Cycling is a bit of a dark horse because it can be great against most of these decks. While a normal Gruul-based adventure deck usually plows through your 1/1 tokens with Embercleave and annoys your graveyard with Scavenging Ooze, Temur has been the most popular Adventure variant lately that plays neither of those cards. Instead, it focuses more on The Great Henge and flyers like Brazen Borrower and Goldspan Dragon, which get stopped easily by Improbable Alliance tokens.
Sultai Ultimatum is hoping they can slow the game down with sweepers like Extinction Event and Shadows’ Verdict so they can easily ramp to an Emergent Ultimatum that’ll win them the game. However, if you’re sitting on counters while getting free creatures from Improbable Alliance, they have a much harder time beating you.
Mono-Red is often just about who wins the die roll, as being on the draw against a turn four Embercleave on Anax, Hardened in the Forge usually leaves you with few to no outs, but at the same time, it can be hard for them to push damage through without it.
The Rogues matchup isn’t great unless you stick Alliance early, but if you do, they’re in huge trouble.