Gruul is all the rage in standard right now. Coming off the best performance in League weekend 8 or 9 days ago, the momentum hasn’t stopped. The winner of the Red Bull Untapped, Kazune Kosaka, won the tournament with a Gruul deck. Three of the top 8 in the CFB Clash qualifier were playing Gruul and two of the top 8 in the 209 person field of Big Magic’s online Arena event were also playing Gruul. The deck shows no signs of showing down.
2. Dimir Rogues
Dimir Rogues is still the blue deck of choice in standard, putting up great results across the board; Three in top 8 of RedBull Untapped, victory in the Big Magic event, in the hands of Kazuki Kawata, with an additional two copies in top 8, but no copies in top 8 of the CFB Clash Qualifier. Dimir Rogues is behind against Gruul, which makes its metagame share pretty tough to hold on to here.
This deck didn’t have nearly the results of the first and second place decks, but it did take down the CFB Clash Qualifier in the hands of Mattias Leveratto. A lot of the upside of Rakdos is the ability to prey on rogues due to the milling of Rakdos’s escape cards. If Rogues falls off, Rakdos may too, but Rogues is still one of the two most popular decks and Rakdos is strong enough to have game in every matchup.
Here’s a deck that might rise in the rankings due to preying on Gruul. While no deck is a massive favorite against a solid aggressive deck like Gruul, Selesnya is ahead nonetheless. Wicked Wolf is a great card, life gain can help extend the game, and the cheap interaction like Skyclave Apparition is just where we want to be.
5. Esper Doom
Esper Doom is about where it was last week, in the middle of the pack, the things around it have changed. Esper Doom is a solid strategy that has powerful cards, good removal, and good ways to interact. I’ve really like Elspeth’s Nightmare in the format, and to me, it’s one of the reasons to consider the deck, being pretty strong against both Gruul and Rogues.
6. UW Yorion
Azorius Yorion has been on the slow decline for the past couple weeks. The deck is fundamentally very strong, but people seem to be mostly playing decks that are good against it, have strong plans against it, and are even metagamed for it. The deck is strong enough to be a good choice, but hasn’t been performing as well as some other things.
7. Temur Ramp
This deck did great two weeks ago, but this weekend in the three tournaments that I’ve reference, there was only one copy in the top 8 in total, in the Big Magic event. The deck seems a little weak against Gruul and Embercleave in general, which is why things probably unfolded this way.
8. Abzan Yorion
This deck hasn’t been popular, but it’s pretty good. It basically combines Selesnya Yorion with Eslpeth’s Nightmare, the card I earlier said that I really like in the format. I think Abzan as well as Selesnya has a good matchup against the top decks, and thus is a reasonable choice.
9. Mono Green
While Mono Green didn’t put any in the top 8, I’ve seen the deck popping up a bit again, including the arena open over the weekend. It’s still a decent deck, and I think could likely be built to do well in the Gruul matchup.
I’ve thought this deck was a bit stronger than its results have indicated for a little while. Part of the reason why the results might have been poor was simply lack of people playing it, though usually when the world doesn’t play a deck it’s because the deck isn’t that great. This weekend, Golgari Adventure took 2nd in the CFB Clash Qualifier as well as 5th in the Big Magic event. Those are decent results, and I’ll be curious to see if the deck continues to gain any steam.
Team CFB – What they’d play:
Andrea – I’d play Selesnya Yorion. I think it’s the best deck to beat Gruul and that’s the deck to beat this weekend.
Reid – Gruul. The card quality is extremely high, and even Gruul’s mediocre draws can be very punishing.
LSV – Gruul, I always lose to it with every deck.
Martin – Gruul. If Luis and Huey are willing to cast Embercleave over Into the Story, then you know the deck is good.
Huey – Selesnya Yorion. I think Wicked Wolf is getting to be a better and better card in this format, and I’d like to have it in my deck.