Standard Power Rankings – 5/3/21

Happy Monday! You know what Monday means? Time for the Standard Power Rankings!

When I write these Standard Power Rankings, I try to review the tournaments of the past week and go over the results. There actually haven’t been a ton of Standard tournaments though. Most people are focusing on Historic, I think because the Mystical Archives have shaken up the format so much. There was a Standard Showdown on MTGO, which tends to have many strong players.



1. Sultai Ultimatum

Emergent UltimatumVorinclex, Monstrous RaiderAlrund's Epiphany


Sultai is still at the top of the Standard Power Rankings because of the power of Emergent Ultimatum. The card is strong enough that it nearly always closes the game when cast. That being said, the deck really didn’t have a very strong showing in the MTGO event, which gives me some pause. That combined with the popularity of Mono-Red might be a bad sign for this deck going forward.


2. Rogues

Soaring Thought-ThiefDrown in the LochInto the Story


This deck really hasn’t been showing up much in results. Fool me once, though. Something similar happened after Kaldheim release, and for a few weeks, people weren’t playing a ton of Rogues. I expect as we move into League Weekend in a couple weeks and beyond that Rogues will remain one of the top decks. As I’ve said before, the strategy is simply too strong for this not to be one of the better Standard decks. Cheap interaction, counters, removal, pressure and card draw are all a winning combination.


3. Temur Lukka

Lukka, Coppercoat OutcastKoma, Cosmos SerpentEdgewall Innkeeper


Last week, I made an error while parsing results. The Lukka version has actually been more popular than the non-Lukka version and has been putting up better results as well. The one Temur deck in the Standard Challenge was a Lukka deck, and I actually misquoted results last week and credited a few Lukka decks as being standard Adventure, non-Lukka builds. My mistake.


4. Mono-Red

Faceless HavenEmbercleaveAnax, Hardened in the Forge


Mono-Red is fast and powerful and I think its been doing pretty well this season because it has a good Sultai matchup. Cheap fast creatures and Embercleave can be very strong against that type of deck, as Sultai is reliant on drawing cheap removal to win but sometimes the deck can draw hands with too many expensive cards. The best draws from Mono-Red are so good that the deck is capable of beating any deck given one of those hands. Decks with that kind of characteristic usually makes for a pretty strong deck in Standard. 


5. Jeskai Cycling

Flourishing FoxImprobable AllianceZenith Flare


This deck is kind of amazing. It has been more or less the same cards for several sets, and it will often just have a tournament where it puts up great results after not being in the spotlight for a while. Ultimately, if people aren’t ready for it, it’s fast, pretty consistent and has a great game plan in Zenith Flare for huge amounts of damage.


6. Rakdos/Mardu Sacrifice

Bastion of RemembranceExtus, Oriq Overlord // Awaken the Blood AvatarWoe Strider


Mardu Sacrfice has been decently popular with tokens, Bastion of Remembrance and Extus, Oriq Overlord. A more streamlined Rakdos version made Top 4 in the Standard Challenge as well. Both decks are strong, and it’s possible that the good old fashioned version will be the one that makes it through, but I’m still optimistic on Extus, myself.


7. Izzet Dragons


I still love this deck. It seems to be getting quite a bit of play on the ladder, though mostly it doesn’t seem anyone has found major breakthroughs in innovation, myself included. Someone suggested on Twitter to play Glimpse of Freedom over Ox of Agonas in the sideboard for the Rogues matchup, and although I haven’t tried it yet, it does seem promising to me.


8. Winota

Winota, Joiner of ForcesBlade HistorianKenrith, the Returned King


I’ve heard this deck has been really strong, though I haven’t seen it popping up much in the small number of results that there were to look at over the weekend. Winota, Joiner of Forces herself is a really strong card which has anchored some great decks, so I’m going to take people at their word on this one.


9. Four Color Doom


Mengu gets so mad at me when I don’t include this deck that I figured I should. I’m just kidding, of course – Mengu never gets mad. Four Color Doom is a bit more controlling than Sultai, and due to Doom Foretold, can often better answer problem permanents. 


10. Gruul Magda


I’ve come down a little on this deck, though I do still find it both very fun and rather strong.


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