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Standard Power Rankings – 8/2/22

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.
  • 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. Rakdos Sacrifice

Oni-Cult AnvilBloodtithe HarvesterThe Meathook Massacre

Over the last two weeks, Rakdos Sacrifice has come back from the brink of extinction to become a top contender in Standard once again. It put up several strong finishes, including winning a Magic Online Challenge in the hands of Matias “Levunga” Leveratto. In addition to all of the normal midrange favorites, this deck uses Oni-Cult Anvil and other sacrifice synergies to generate massive value and bleed the opponent out with noncombat damage. 

9. Jund Midrange

Riveteers CharmEsika's ChariotFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Jund Midrange was an early leader in the new format. I’m still a huge fan of Riveteers Charm, and it’s hard to go too wrong sleeving up cards as powerful as Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Esika’s Chariot. Jund has had a recent dry spell of strong finishes, but due to its historical success, I’m considering this to be an exception rather than the rule, and preserving its spot on the Power Rankings. 

8. Naya Runes

Runeforge ChampionJukai NaturalistShowdown of the Skalds

Likewise, Naya Runes remains on the Power Rankings mostly due to a legacy of strong finishes. That said, I did see it put up multiple Top 8’s in large tournaments held on Magic Arena over the last two weeks. I still have a lot of respect for this archetype, and expect it to do well whenever someone is brave enough to buck popular opinion and bring it to a tournament. It uses Jukai Naturalist and Runeforge Champion to power out enchantments, and generates huge turns with Showdown of the Skalds.

7. Grixis Vampires

Evelyn, the CovetousCorpse AppraiserBloodtithe Harvester

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. 

Grixis lost a few spots in the Rankings for this installment, but this is due to great showings from other decks, rather than any fault on the part of the Vampires.

6. Mono-White Aggro

Hopeful InitiateThalia, Guardian of ThrabenWedding Announcement // Wedding Festivity

One of these great showings came from white-based aggro decks. The most common build is plain old Mono-White, but I’ve seen people splash blue, and one bold player who splashed both blue and black. In any case, the core involves Hopeful Initiate, Luminarch Aspirant, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and a variety of excellent three-drop options to pressure and disrupt the opponent. 

5. Mono-Green Aggro

Werewolf Pack LeaderOld-Growth TrollUlvenwald Oddity // Ulvenwald Behemoth

People had been sleeping on Mono-Green Aggro. It wasn’t heavily played in previous months, but has started winning a lot now that people are bringing it to tournaments. I’d go as far as to say that it was the second-best performing deck over the last two weeks (I didn’t move it quite as high as the #2 spot, because week-over-week consistency still counts for something). Personally, I love a consistent, monocolored aggro deck, and this one is positioned to smash Izzet and Esper players with giant, punishing monsters. 

4. Orzhov

Sorin the MirthlessLolth, Spider QueenThe Wandering Emperor

The Orzhov Midrange shell was #1 prior to Streets of New Capenna, but was somewhat quiet after the release of the new set. More recently, it’s been making a huge comeback, and has climbed all the way to #4. I wouldn’t be surprised if Orzhov soon becomes the #1 ranked Black Midrange deck, in a format where Black Midrange decks are remarkably strong. 

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 steady, reliable stream of card advantage.

3. Boros

Kumano Faces Kakkazan // Etching of KumanoLuminarch AspirantThundering Raiju

After huge results in the past two months, Boros has become 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. The “reach” offered by haste creatures and burn spells gives Boros an angle of attack that some of the other beatdown decks lack. 

2. Esper Midrange

Raffine, Scheming SeerObscura InterceptorKaito Shizuki

I won’t be surprised if Orzhov someday overtakes Esper Midrange. But for now, it holds onto the #2 position, and continues to show up in the top 8’s of big tournaments. It remains a well-rounded midrange deck with high card quality and great sideboard options. 

1. Hinata

Hinata, Dawn-CrownedGoldspan DragonMagma Opus

At this point, everyone else is playing for second place. Jeskai Hinata is the #1 deck in Standard, and I expect that to remain true until a banning or a rotation. This archetype uses Hinata, Dawn-Crowned and Goldspan Dragon to power out Magma Opus. It was a sleeper deck going into the New Capenna Championship, but it’s now impossible to deny that it came out as the most successful archetype. 

 

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