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 30 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.
Falling off the list: Temur Midrange. Temur was all the rage at the end of May, but has seemed fairly nonexistent in the tournament scene recently. Notably, it does still show a very high ladder win rate of 61.0% according to Untapped.gg. So if you’re a Temur fan, don’t lose heart just because it’s had a slow couple of weeks!
Orzhov holds steady in the #10 position. The Orzhov Midrange shell was #1 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. New Capenna brings Elspeth Resplendent and additional removal options.
Orzhov had a 56.0 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on the Best-of-Three Arena ladder.
With no big news related to Naya Runes, it drops to the #9 position. 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 been quiet lately, 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 61.7 percent ladder win rate, which is the highest of any deck.
White Weenie is a fast and punishing monocolor aggro deck. Luminarch Aspirant remains 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 has a 58.4 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on the best-of-three Arena ladder, which is higher than all of the decks in the #7-#3 positions. It’s also a great choice for Best-of-One play.
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 #7 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 52.2 percent win rate on the Arena ladder, and seems to be trending upward week by week.
The biggest story for this installment of the Power Rankings is Boros going from unranked all the way to the #6 position! After a huge couple of weeks, Boros has supplanted decks like Mono-White, Mono-Green and Runes as Standard’s go-to aggro strategy. Kumano Faces Kakkazan and Luminarch Aspirant curve brutally into Thundering Raiju, giving Boros high individual card quality, plus a strong modified theme built in.
Boros has a 57.4 percent win rate on the Best-of-Three ladder. I also really like it for Best-of-One play.
Jeskai Treasures was all the rage following the New Capenna Championship, but it’s losing steam as more and more players start adapting the deck in the #1 position instead. 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. We shouldn’t forget that this archetype put six players into the top 16 of the New Capenna Championship!
Jeskai Treasures has a 54.0 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on Arena.
Jund Midrange stays rock solid at #4. It 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 54.6 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.
Grixis Vampires continues to hold strong. This 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. Since the Championship, there have been innovations to the archetype. You’ll sometimes see Reckoner Bankbuster and Make Disappear in the main deck, which improves the matchup against slower blue decks.
Grixis Vampires has a 56.6 percent win rate on the Arena ladder, which is way up compared to the last installment of the Power Rankings.
Up until a few weeks ago, Esper Midrange was the one clear deck to beat in Standard. It was the most played deck at the New Capenna Championship, put two players in the Top 8, and continues to stay strong 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 has an impressive 58.9 percent on the ladder.
There’s still nothing that can touch Hinata for the #1 position. This archetype 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.
In addition to tournament dominance, Hinata has a whopping 61.1 percent win rate on the ladder, which is second only to Naya Runes.