Since the release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Standard has been in flux. Two weeks ago, at the first MagicFest Online Season 2 Weekly Championship, Jeskai Fires with
Over two days of competition, the 128 invited players for the MagicFest Online Season 2 Finals (invited by either making the Top 32 of a Weekly Championship or by going 5-0 in a Finals Qualifier) battled with their best Standard decks for a $50,000 prize pool and invites to the Players Tour Finals. The following table contains the metagame breakdown for all 128 players in Day 1 and all 64 players in Day 2. Each archetype name hyperlinks to the highest-placing decklist of that type.
|Archetype||Companion||% Field on Day 1||% Field on Day 2|
In total, 73.4% of the Day 1 field used a companion. The top three companions were as follows:
- 38.3% of the Day 1 field had
Yorion, Sky Nomadas their companion.
- 25.0% of the Day 1 field had
Lurrus of the Dream-Denas their companion.
- 7.8% of the Day 1 field had
Obosh, the Preypierceras their companion.
Yorion Is Ruling Standard: 80 Is the New 60
Since the most popular companion in Standard is
Two talented players, both members of the Magic Hall of Fame and the MPL, made the Top 8 with Yorion as their companion. Gabriel Nassif finished second with the following decklist.
Jeskai Lukka was the most popular archetype on Day 1 and Day 2, and it's easy to understand why. Imagine you untap on turn five with
- Play your fifth land and use
Fires of Inventionto cast Lukka, Coppercoat Outcastfor free.
- Activate Lukka's -2 ability to turn the token into a guaranteed
Agent of Treachery, which is the only creature in the deck.
Fires of Inventionto cast Yorion, Sky Nomadfrom your sideboard, blinking all your nonland permanents.
- Pay five mana to cast
Elspeth Conquers Death. This is now allowed because Fires of Inventionhas left the battlefield.
- At end of turn, return your exiled permanents, which resets Lukka's loyalty and triggers
Omen of the Sunand Agent of Treachery.
So on turn five, you've added a planeswalker and 7 additional power to the battlefield; you've exiled your opponent's best threat; and you've stolen two of their permanents, potentially two lands. Indeed, this deck is capable of incredibly powerful turns.
Another popular and successful
Bant Ramp does not have access to
There are various other Yorion decks beyond Jeskai Lukka and Bant Ramp. The most popular and novel one at the Season Finals was Temur Elementals, which can blink
Going Under Yorion: Aggro Decks on The Rise
Given the dominance of
Against Yorion decks, going over is difficult. This is because they often have consistent access to
Instead, many players decided that it's better to go under. Yorion decks can be slow and clunky, and aggro decks can punish any such stumbles. Strategies that revolve around one-drops and two-drops are particularly good because
After players discovered that a blue splash was not necessary after all, Boros Cycling steadily grew in popularity. It started at 1.5% of the field in Week 1, increased to 3.4% in Week 2, and surged to 15.6% at the Season Finals. The strategy is simple, but it's quite effective against Jeskai Lukka:
Mono-Red Aggro with
I see several reasons for this. First, Jeskai Fires, which used to be a bad matchup for Mono-Red, was pushed out of the format by the
All in all, Mono-Red Aggro with
Temur Adventure has also been growing in popularity. It started at 0.2% of the field in Week 1, increased to 0.8% in Week 2, and surged to 3.9% at the Season Finals. I think that many players discounted the deck at first because it didn't gain as much with Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and didn't use a companion. But Temur Adventure is still alive and kicking. A great matchup against Jeskai Lukka is a prime reason for that, as Jeskai Lukka players lack efficient answers to
The Dominant Color in Standard is Currently Blue
The ten most-played non-land cards among all main decks and sideboards break down as follows.
|Card name||Total number of copies||Main deck copies||Sideboard copies|
It's quite telling that the seven most-played cards are all blue. In the current metagame,
But outside this list of most-played cards, there is always some spicy tech to highlight. Two weird cards from the lists of the Hall of Famers in the Top 8 stood out to me:
The Wanderer. This is a sweet sideboard card against Boros Cycling, as it simultaneously kills a large Flourishing Foxand protects you from Zenith Flare. Tale's End: It isn't just a Riley Knight meme. When almost everyone starts the game with a legendary companion, Tale's Endis a reliable Essence Scatter. Alternatively, you can Stiflea Fabled Passage, stop Shark Typhoonfrom creating a token, or most dramatic of all: stifle Yorion, Sky Nomad's end step trigger, preventing the exiled permanents from returning to the battlefield.
Standard is still in flux, with new archetypes and techy cards being discovered daily. Low-curve decks that are trying to go under the Yorion decks are trending up, and I would expect that trend to continue: You shouldn't skimp on early removal or sweepers. I also expect further exploration of techy cards, such as