Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, your weekly guide to the top decks and latest Constructed developments on the path to the Pro Tour. As the hype for Magic World Championship XXIX is building up, let's take an early look at the impact that Wilds of Eldraine is having on Standard. Week 1 has only scratched the surface of Wilds of Eldraine Standard, but based on the exciting innovations so far, we should get ready for an awesome metagame in Las Vegas next week.
The Standard Metagame
Standard is a 60-card format that currently uses expansion sets from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt forward. For this year only, there was no Standard rotation with the release of the fall set, so last week's release of Wilds of Eldraine only expanded the pool of cards with hundreds of new ones.
The newest set, based on an analysis of the Saturday Challenge and Sunday Challenge on Magic Online and Blue Sky Cup on Melee, has enabled a large variety of novel strategies. To grasp the new metagame, I analyzed the decks with non-negative net wins from these events and awarded a number of points to each deck equal to its number of match wins minus losses. Each archetype's resulting share of total net wins can be interpreted as its share of the winner's metagame. It's based on a small sample size of 118 decks, but it provides a first indication.
|Winner's Metagame Share
|1. Golgari Midrange
|2. Domain Ramp
|3. Invasion of Alara
|4. Mono-Red Aggro
|5. Esper Midrange
|6. Esper Control
|7. Dimir Faeries
|8. Naya Tokens
|9. Azorius Midrange
|10. Mono-White Humans
|11. Azorius Soldiers
|12. Esper Legends
|13. Orzhov Midrange
|14. Selesnya Enchantments
In this table, each archetype name hyperlinks to a well-performing decklist close to the aggregate of that archetype. The "Other" category included Sultai Reanimator, Grixis Midrange, Rakdos Aggro, Izzet Powerstones, Grixis Reanimator, Domain Control, Bant Tokens, and more.
Black remains the dominant color in Standard. Indeed, the most-played non-land cards across all main decks and sideboards were
While this early-game removal spell and late-game recursion engine has been a formidable addition, the innovations went far deeper. Let's embark on a closer examination of seven of the most captivating new Standard decklists.
Golgari Midrange Supplanted Dimir Midrange
Right before the release of Wilds of Eldraine, the most prominent Standard deck by far was Dimir Midrange. Yet this archetype didn't gain as much from the newest set, and it has been quickly supplanted by Golgari Midrange. This color combination gained
Toshihiro Saida finished second at the Blue Sky Cup with the list shown above. His main deck also features the aforementioned
Bramble Familiar Empowered Invasion of Alara
This list, which won Saturday's Magic Online Challenge, is a work of art. Instead of ramping with
Indeed, thanks to adventures, prototype cards, and
If you mill
Charming Scoundrel Boosted Mono-Red Aggro
Sunday's Magic Online Challenge was won by Mono-Red Aggro, the well-known strategy that uses haste creatures and burn spells to take the opponent down to zero life as quickly as possible. However, the list was rebuilt to incorporate
Sleep-Cursed Faerie Facilitated Dimir Faeries
Wilds of Eldraine singlehandedly enabled a brand new archetype: Dimir Faeries.
A key card is
Virtue of Loyalty Reinvigorated Naya Tokens
Wilds of Eldraine introduces a variety of sweet new cards for Naya Tokens. The list that won the Blue Sky Cup focuses on adventures, which synergize very well with
The other new adventure is
Lich-Knights' Conquests Unlocked Sultai Reanimator
For example, you can play
Alternatively, you could cycle
Three Blind Mice Cracked Bant Tokens
Soichiro Kato took this deck to a 4-3 record last weekend. Wrapped in a Bant Control shell, it features a token-based combo that instantly amazed me. With
In fact, it's an adjusted Fibonacci sequence! In mathematics, the Fibonacci sequence is a sequence in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, starting from 0 and 1. In this case, the starting values are different, as we begin with 2 Sagas on the second turn and 4 Sagas on the third turn. But afterwards, the number of Sagas you control each turn follow the Fibonacci logic: 6, 10, 16, 26, and so on. Since you'll get an increasing number of increasingly large Mouse tokens every turn, you'll be able to overwhelm your opponent in no time. It's one of the coolest win conditions I've seen in a while!
Happily Ever After
With the introduction of exciting new adventures, types, and build-around mechanics, Wilds of Eldraine is shaking up the Standard metagame. The first tournaments already showcased a lot of amazing innovation, and the format looks wide open going into Las Vegas. I can only begin to imagine the brews and strategies that might be unveiled when over 100 of the best players and deck builders in the world put their minds to it.
I'm excitedly looking forward to their Standard deck choices at Magic World Championship XXIX, the pinnacle of the 2022–23 season! It will be held next week at MagicCon: Las Vegas on September 22-24, 2023, featuring the brand new Standard and Wilds of Eldraine draft. The World Championship is the most prestigious event of the year, and if last weekend's Standard innovations are any indication, then you won't want to miss any of it. Check back next Thursday for the Standard metagame breakdown!