Not much happened in Standard over the past week and the world was mostly focused on Historic due to the Arena Open. Standard has gotten into a pretty advanced state of metagaming – many of the strategies have been tried and tested and lists have been tuned. There isn’t a ton of shakeup this week, for those reasons.
1. Dimir Rogues
I was so close to having Dimir Rogues as the top spot last week so I decided to give it the nod this week. I think of the two format-defining decks of current standard as Gruul and Dimir Rogues, so I’m sharing the wealth a bit, sort of like when they think it’s someone’s turn to win an Oscar. Dimir Rogues is a bit like playing a Legacy deck in Standard; it’s very hard to play and relies on expert sequencing in order to gain small advantages. Affordable interaction and cheap yet powerful creatures have always gone together very well and these current Standard Rogues lists epitomize those things.
Gruul was the first sort of breakthrough deck of this season. In the first weekend of MPL and Rivals League play, some people showed up with Gruul despite it being much more under the radar. The Gruul deck was tuned to be good against the Roguse deck, due to the fact Rogues was expected to show up in large numbers, which it did. Gruul’s appearance into the metagame gave way to some more decks showing up in larger numbers as Gruul became the clear front runner for deck to beat.
3. Esper Doom
Esper Doom was one of the reactions to Gruul climbing up the metagame, tuned heavily to deal with Gruul. Doom Foretold, Elspeth Conquers Death and black creature removal, as well as an extremely powerful late game, turned out to be a good strategy for fighting the Gruul menace. Esper did a good job of having a great Gruul matchup when that was it’s primary focus. The deck has become a bit more streamlined now but is still one of the best decks in the format.
Dimir Control is another Yorion deck that became popular later in the season. Dimir Control has a lot of the good things that Esper Doom has going for it but sacrifices a bit of power for a consistency. That’s definitely a reasonable tradeoff, although the more powerful of the options is often better in Magic these days.
This is another deck that was largely popularized because of its great Gruul matchup. The deck’s fun, has a lot of cool interactions and has game against any deck. All that being said, the matchups against non-Gruul decks are never too spectacular. The Gruul matchup is so good though that the deck’s still a reasonable choice. I think if Gruul were removed from the metagame, this deck wouldn’t see much play at all.
6. Temur Ramp
This deck had two completely different versions during its time. First was the “pure” ramp version that tried to just land big threats and cast Genesis Ultimatum. More recently, the deck has become more of a Temur Ramp Adventure deck, which I prefer. This gave the deck quite a bit more game against the decks like Dimir Control and Rogues that were packing heavy counterspells by forcing the opponent to tap mana more often than just waiting for threats like Terror of the Peaks or Genesis Ultimatum to react to.
Those are the only six Tier 1 decks at this point in the standard evolution, in my opinion. Rakdos was up there for a while, mostly because when Rogues was super popular, since Rakdos is able to have the most effective main deck escape cards that still went well with its primary game plan.
8. Rakdos Ramp
This is a cool deck that can sometimes get Ugin into play very quickly. The other decks on this list are stronger, but there isn’t a separate standout for the eighth best deck.