It's the pinnacle of premier play, and the winner will have the opportunity to have their likeness featured on a future Magic: The Gathering card: Magic World Championship XXVII, broadcasting live at twitch.tv/magic beginning Friday October 8 at 9 a.m. PDT.
You can get all the day-by-day broadcast details over in the World Championship Viewers Guide.
The sixteen best players from the 2020–21 season were faced with the challenge of a brand-new Standard format just three weeks after rotation.
Standard Metagame Breakdown
The World Championship starts with an Innistrad: Midnight Hunt draft on Friday morning, but the final two Swiss rounds on Friday and all five Swiss rounds on Saturday will feature (Best-of-Three) Standard. The Top 4 playoffs on Sunday are Standard as well. Here's the metagame breakdown.
|Deck Archetype||Deck Count||% of Field|
The most played card overall is
Alrund's Epiphanydecks (Izzet Epiphany, Grixis Epiphany, and Izzet Dragons)
Esika's Chariotdecks (Mono-Green Aggro and Temur Treasures)
Luminarch Aspirantdecks (Mono-White Aggro and Azorius Tempo)
Given the Standard metagame developments over the last few weeks, as detailed in the article by analyst Mani Davoudi, a field of Epiphany, Chariot, and Aspirant decks does not come as a big surprise.
Dedicated ramp or control decks would do poorly in a field filled with Epiphany decks, so it makes sense that no one registered
In terms of the specific versions of decks, there are some surprises. While Izzet Epiphany, Mono-Green Aggro, Mono-White Aggro, and Izzet Dragons are well known, Grixis Epiphany, Temur Treasures, and Azorius Tempo are fresh—especially the specific lists submitted for the World Championship. They all contain card choices that appear cleverly adapted to the current metagame, and I am excited to see how they will perform.
All sixteen decklists can be seen now. But in broader strokes, let's go over the archetypes one by one with a sample list for each.
Izzet Epiphany – Four players
Arne Huschenbeth, Ondřej Stráský, Stanislav Cifka, and Keisuke Sato registered Izzet Epiphany. The two Czechs, Strasky and Cifka, tested together and settled on the following build—with Huschenbeth's reflecting a few tweaks but generally being very similar.
Izzet Epiphany is a combo-control deck that aims to bounce, counter, and destroy opposing threats early on. Then they'll draw extra cards and gear up for the endgame. Their ultimate plan is to copy
Most versions (with the exception of Keisuke Sato, who has 4
The archetype has been gaining more and more attention over the past week, and a quarter of the Worlds competitors put their faith in it. In terms of card choice innovations, Huschenbeth, Cifka, and Stráský included
Izzet Epiphany can be tricky to play, and sideboarding is far from trivial. If opponents take out their spot removal, then Izzet Epiphany players can punish that with
Grixis Epiphany – Four players
Eli Kassis, Gabriel Nassif, Jan Merkel, and Matt Sperling tested together as a team and settled on a spicy Grixis list.
Grixis Epiphany has the same core as Izzet Epiphany, but with a minor black splash. One of the key black cards you gain access to is
A unique element in the Grixis Epiphany lists submitted for the World Championship is
Grixis Epiphany looks like an awesome take on the strategy, and the card choices can theoretically give an edge in most matchups. Nevertheless,
Mono-Green Aggro – Three players
Three players registered Mono-Green Aggro. One is Seth Manfield. The other two are reigning World Champion Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Sam Pardee; they prepared together and settled on the following list.
Mono-Green Aggro curves out with some of the most efficient creatures in the format, as almost every card adds an absurd amount of power to the battlefield for its cost. What's more, as a monocolor deck, it gets to take advantage of
In the major MTGMelee events held in the new Standard so far, Mono-Green Aggro has been a slight favorite in the matchup against Izzet Epiphany. But will this remain true when the
In terms of interesting card choices, I want to highlight
Mono-White Aggro – Two players
Rei Sato and Yoshihiko Ikawa prepared together and registered the following list.
Mono-White Aggro is the other major
An innovative one-drop included in the World Championship lists is
Based on the Standard results so far, Mono-White Aggro not only has a good matchup against the
Temur Treasures – One player
There have been many builds of Gruul and Temur going around, but Jean-Emmanuel Depraz registered the following list. It's a red-green aggro deck at its core, with a minor blue splash for counterspells.
While Temur Treasures may have some trouble against a resolved
Azorius Tempo – One player
Noriyuki Mori has showed his deck-building skills earlier this year by finding success with unique Gruul Food or Izzet Control lists, and he's done it again for the World Championship.
Azorius Tempo is unlike anything I had seen before in the new Standard. One way to describe it is as a Mono-White Aggro deck with fewer one-drops but with a blue splash for interactive spells, most notably
Izzet Dragons – One player
Finally, Yuta Takahashi registered Izzet Dragons.
This final archetype in the field can be considered "previous level Izzet." It does contain
Instead, Izzet Dragons races with
The World Championship metagame is showing a move toward more counterspells. It's always interesting to observe these metagame cycles, but I'm not convinced we are already back at the point where Izzet Dragons would be better positioned than Izzet Epiphany.
Based on what the top players brought to battle for the World Championship, the new Standard is dominated by
It's almost time for the final event of the season. Don't miss Magic World Championship XXVII broadcasting live October 8–10, beginning at 9 a.m. PDT each day at twitch.tv/magic!