Some significant shake ups in the list this week!
It seems like the names of New Capenna’s five families haven’t really caught on to describe decks of their respective three-color combinations. I’ll switch back to the more familiar and widely-used “Esper” and “Jund.”
Here are the resources I use to inform all Power Rankings, leaning more heavily on what applies best to the given format:
- Magic Online results. This includes Preliminaries, Weekend Challenges, Super Qualifiers, and MOCS Events.
- MTGMelee results. I typically look at all of the events with at least thirty players.
- Large tabletop events. When applicable.
- Untapped.gg stats. These show win rates of various archetypes on the Magic Arena ladder.
- Previous rankings. Just because a deck didn’t make a top 8 over the weekend, doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a bad deck.
- Public opinion. I discuss things with my teammates, and take a look at what’s getting a lot of attention on Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts and written content.
- My own instincts and experiences.
10. Mono-White Aggro
White Weenie is a fast and punishing monocolor aggro deck. It lost a few positions in the rankings for this installment, but this is due to more archetypes cementing their position on the list, and not due to any fault of Mono-White’s.
Luminarch Aspirant remains legal as one of the strongest cards in the format. Meanwhile, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Elite Spellbinder provide effective disruption. Also important, Mono-White is a great way to attack Naya Runes and Jeskai Treasures, with Archon of Emeria being one of the single best cards for slowing down both strategies. This is a powerful and straightforward deck, and makes for a good entry point for players of any level.
Mono-White had a 58.8 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on the best-of-three Arena ladder. It’s also a great choice for Best-of-One play.
Grixis Vampires was the deck my teammates and I brought to the New Capenna Set Championship. It’s one of the best decks for taking advantage of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, and it accesses all of the best removal and disruption across black, red and blue. It’s a perfectly fine midrange strategy, although it doesn’t see quite the volume of play that Esper and Jund do.
Naya Runes remains extremely powerful, and even picked up Jetmir’s Garden to shore up a shaky mana base. The key cards are Jukai Naturalist, Runeforge Champion and Showdown of the Skalds. With multiple ways to reduce the cost of your Auras, you can chain together a flurry of spells while generating +1/+1 counters from Showdown of the Skalds and Generous Visitor. Between speed, card advantage and a combo element that can kill the opponent with a giant haste creature out of nowhere, this deck really has it all. Runes remains a defining deck of both Standard and Alchemy across best-of-one and best-of-three play alike.
Runes has had a slow couple of weeks, but you shouldn’t let that fool you. It’s extremely powerful and explosive, and is likely to steamroll anyone unprepared for the matchup. Naya Runes still shows a whopping 62.6 percent ladder win rate, which is the highest of any deck.
7. Temur Midrange
Despite not putting a player into the top 8, Temur Midrange was a breakout strategy at the New Capenna Championship. With Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Expressive Iteration and all of green’s excellent value cards, it has many of the best midrange tools the format has to offer. By playing a combination of Koma, Cosmos Serpent and Titan of Industry (great to copy with Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, by the way!), Temur is positioned to go way over the top of the other midrange decks in Standard.
The Orzhov Midrange shell had the #1 position prior to Streets of New Capenna. In a world of “fair” Magic, Orzhov can sometimes be king. Vanishing Verse and Rite of Oblivion offer answers to everything, including planeswalkers and giant creatures. Sorin the Mirthless, Lolth, Spider Queen, The Wandering Emperor and a wide range of other powerful threats give the Orzhov shell a reliable stream of card advantage. The new set brings Elspeth Resplendent and new removal options.
I said last week that Orzhov was flying under the radar, and over the weekend it put up several big finishes, including winning the Japan Championship!
Standard Orzhov Midrange by Sho Kamezaki
Orzhov had a 56.9 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic.
The Izzet colors show up in many forms. Lately, I’ve been impressed by players’ ability to customize and fit Izzet to their own metagame and preferences. At the #5 position, I’m putting all of the Izzet decks which aren’t based around Lier, Disciple of the Drowned or Hinata, Dawn-Crowned. Two popular versions are a control deck that wins with Hullbreaker Horror and a midrange deck that uses Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Bloodthirsty Adversary.
Izzet Control has a 51.4 percent win rate on the Arena ladder.
Jund Midrange was an early leader in the new format, and became even stronger as players began to identify the ideal ways to build within the color combination. These are usually midrange decks with aggressive elements. The cards you’ll see the most are Tenacious Underdog, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Esika’s Chariot. I’ve seen mana curves stretch all the way to a singleton Titan of Industry, although more conservative versions are possible too.
Jund Midrange has a 54.9 percent win rate on the Arena ladder. That said, I think that the best, most tuned versions can perform even better than that number suggests.
All of the great qualities of the Izzet Midrange, Control and Lier decks also apply to Jeskai Treasures, but with the additional combo potential of Goldspan Dragon and Show of Confidence. This archetype put fully six players into the top 16 of the New Capenna Championship!
Jeskai Treasures has a 53.6 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on Arena.
I think it’s fair to say that Esper has been the deck to beat in New Capenna Standard up to this point. It was the most played deck at the Championship, put two players in the Top 8, and continues to dominate on both Magic Online and Magic Arena.
Popular New Capenna options include Void Rend, Obscura Interceptor and Raffine, Scheming Seer. And of course, splashing blue for Kaito Shizuki and a couple of sideboard permission spells is still highly desirable.
Esper still has an impressive 60.1 percent on the ladder, which is second only to Naya Runes.
Jeskai Hinata uses Hinata, Dawn-Crowned and Goldspan Dragon to power out Magma Opus. It was a sleeper deck going into the Championship, but it’s hard to deny that it came out as the most successful archetype. Over the weekend, it won both Standard Challenges in the hands of Magic Online player Jaberwocki (Logan Nettles).