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What’s the Best MTG Deck in Standard? Power Rankings – 9/20/22

Black midrange is still the best, but there are a few new strategies making the Standard Power Rankings this week. 

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.
  • 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. Selesnya Enchantress

Generous VisitorJukai NaturalistSpirited Companion

I’ve loved this deck every time I’ve picked it up, and I’m happy to see it finally notching some wins in tournament play. Like the old Naya Runes deck, it uses Generous Visitor and Jukai Naturalist to supercharge enchantment synergies. However, in place of the old combo/value deck, the new Selesnya Enchantress is a punishing aggro deck that can attack with huge amounts of power and toughness very quickly. 

9. Gruul

Kumano Faces Kakkazan // Etching of KumanoQuirion BeastcallerYavimaya Iconoclast

Red and green are great aggressive colors right now, and when you pair them together you gain access to useful new cards like Karplusan Forest and Yavimaya Iconoclast as well as older stuff from the Werewolves of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. You can go as shallow or as deep as you like on tribal and modified synergies, but what you’ll always see in Gruul is Kumano Faces Kakkazan curving into oversized creatures. 

8. Invoke Justice

Invoke Justice is still one of my favorite decks, but was quiet this week in terms of tournament results. It’s a reanimation strategy that can come in the form of either Naya or Mono-White. The goal is to discard a game-winning creature like Sanctuary Warden or Titan of Industry using connive, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Cathartic Pyre or The Restoration of Eiganjo. From there, Invoke Justice will give you such an overwhelming advantage so quickly that winning the game is a foregone conclusion.

The Elder Dragon War is a new Saga from Dominaria United which brings this archetype to an entirely new level. 

7. Orzhov Midrange

Liliana of the VeilSorin the MirthlessWedding Announcement // Wedding Festivity

The Orzhov Midrange shell has been winning tournaments since even before Streets of New Capenna. It’s one of the best black midrange decks, in a format where black midrange decks are remarkably strong. 

Liliana of the Veil, Sorin the Mirthless, The Wandering Emperor and Elspeth Resplendent give Orzhov one of the strongest planeswalker suites of any color combination. Combined with a wide range of other powerful threats including Wedding Announcement, Orzhov has a steady, reliable stream of card advantage.

6. Jund Midrange

Bloodtithe HarvesterFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-JikiWorkshop Warchief

Two Jund decks make the Rankings this week. At the #6 position is plain, simple, no-frills Jund Midrange. You’ll always see Bloodtithe Harvester, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and a core of efficient removal spells. Beyond that, common creature choices include Briarbridge Tracker and Workshop Warchief

5. Jund Reanimator

The Cruelty of GixSoul of WindgraceTitan of Industry

Jund Reanimator is a little more specific in what it seeks to accomplish. Arne Huschenbeth called this deck “The Midrange Killer.” When you consider the 10 decks that made this week’s Power Rankings, it’s almost impossible to come up with a better sales pitch than that!

The key card for this strategy is The Cruelty of Gix. It can be played straight up on chapter one to accumulate value over the course of three turns. But you can also read ahead to stabilize the battlefield immediately by reanimating a Titan of Industry.

I love both the color combination and the strategy of this deck, and could easily see myself choosing it for a Standard tournament. 

4. Rakdos Midrange

The Power Rankings have been dominated by black midrange decks, and Rakdos is one of the simplest and most effective of them. It capitalizes on Bloodtithe Harvester, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and the excellent removal and disruption of black and red. Invoke Despair is one approach players can take, while simply playing more planeswalkers like Sorin the Mirthless and Jaya, Fiery Negotiator is another. 

3. Grixis Midrange

Invoke DespairSol'Kanar the TaintedLiliana of the Veil

Grixis, or Maestros, is one of the well-supported three-color combinations from Streets of New Capenna. It’s a brewer’s paradise, with any reasonable configuration of cards within these colors resulting in a competitive deck. 

Like Grixis Vampires, non-tribal versions of Grixis get all of the best removal and disruption across blue, red and black. For top end options, you can choose Invoke Despair, Sol’Kanar the Tainted or any of a number of other creatures or planeswalkers. 

2. Mono-Black Midrange

Mono-Black Midrange stays strong at the #2 position. It can be built slightly more aggressive or slightly more controlling. While there’s plenty of flexibility, the key cards you’ll always see include Evolved Sleeper, Tenacious Underdog, Graveyard Trespasser, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Invoke Despair

1. Esper Midrange

Raffine, Scheming SeerEvolved SleeperSerra Paragon

Another one of the Streets of New Capenna supported color combinations. Esper Midrange was a top archetype of the previous format, and looks to be a top archetype in Dominaria Standard as well. Since Raffine, Scheming Seer remains one of the most deadly creatures out there, Esper is always going to be a solid choice that can run away with games early, but also grind people out in the long run. A few new weapons include Cut Down, Evolved Sleeper and Serra Paragon

 

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