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. This month, I'm taking you on a grand tour of Constructed formats. After covering Pioneer, Modern, and Legacy in previous articles, it's time to dive into Standard. Today, I'll provide a Standard metagame snapshot and highlight the most exciting additions from Wilds of Eldraine.
Standard Metagame Update
Standard is a 60-card format that currently uses expansion sets from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt forward. As announced in the May 7, 2023 article entitled "Revitalizing Standard" sets will rotate out every three years rather than every two years, starting with the current Standard environment. This means that with the release of Wilds of Eldraine, there will be no Standard rotation for this year only. In other words, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and Streets of New Capenna will remain legal until Fall 2024.
As a result, the current Standard metagame lays down the groundwork for the post-Wilds of Eldraine environment. This format will be featured in less than a month at World Championship XXIX, the most prestigious event of the year. It's been several months since Standard was featured on the big stage: The last premier Standard events (Pro Tour March of the Machine and Arena Championship 3) were held in May, after which
So what happened since then?
To understand this, I analyzed over 800 decklists from competitive events over the past two months. I gathered all available Magic Online decklists from scheduled Standard events held in June and August, and I added all MTG Melee decklists from the July Pizza Box Open, August Pizza Box Open, and the VML Championship 2023 where Heathe Butler and Owa Hughes earned Pro Tour invites. Combining popularity and performance, I 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.
|Archetype||Winner's Metagame Share|
|1. Dimir Midrange||26.5%|
|2. Esper Control||14.0%|
|3. Mono-Black Midrange||11.8%|
|4. Domain Ramp||11.0%|
|5. Azorius Soldiers||6.7%|
|6. Selesnya Enchantments||4.6%|
|7. Azorius Midrange||4.1%|
|8. Esper Midrange||3.7%|
|9. Orzhov Midrange||3.4%|
|10. Mono-Red Aggro||3.2%|
|11. Mono-White Humans||2.0%|
|12. Mono-White Midrange||1.6%|
|13. Esper Legends||1.5%|
|14. Azorius Control||1.1%|
|15. Bant Toxic||0.8%|
|16. Rakdos Midrange||0.6%|
|17. Golgari Midrange||0.5%|
|18. Golgari Festival||0.5%|
|19. Jeskai Dragons||0.4%|
|20. Izzet Powerstones||0.4%|
|21. Rakdos Breach||0.3%|
|22. Rakdos Powerstones||0.3%|
Black remains the dominant color in Standard: the most-played non-land cards across all main decks and sideboards were
The Top 10 Standard Decks
Let's take a closer look at the ten most prominent Standard archetypes. For this, I've used a decklist aggregation algorithm that considers the popularity and performance of individual card choices. Along the way, I'll highlight Wilds of Eldraine cards that have stood out to me so far. The new set is brimming with potential, offering the chance for brand new adventures.
At 26.5% of the winner's metagame, the newly spawned Dimir Midrange archetype is the deck to beat in Standard right now. It can be considered the spiritual heir to Rakdos Midrange, embracing countermagic and flash threats instead of
Two open mana represents
From Wilds of Eldraine, I would consider a few copies of
It used to be difficult for control decks to answer
Esper Control, at 14.0% of the winner's metagame, is a purely interactive deck that combines sweepers, spot removal, countermagic, and card draw. Winning is an afterthought, with not a single creature to be seen. Instead, every single card tries to counter, destroy, and take control of the game. Eventually, tokens from
From Wilds of Eldraine,
Mono-Black Midrange, at 11.8% of the winner's metagame, was the third-most prominent deck at the top tables of Standard tournaments over the past two months. Featuring proactive threats and interaction to clear the way, it's a well-rounded strategy. The pristine mono-color mana base allows you to cast
From Wilds of Eldraine,
Domain Ramp was already strong before the bans, carrying David Olsen all the way to the Top 4 of Pro Tour March of the Machine. The deck uses
From Wilds of Eldraine,
Azorius Soldiers is the top aggro deck in Standard. The deck features a low mana curve, disruptive countermagic, and typal synergy. In particular,
In Wilds of Eldraine, the only Soldiers are
Filled to the brim with enchantment synergies, Selesnya Enchantments combines early-game pressure with late-game staying power. You can leverage
From Wilds of Eldraine, I have my eye on some of the new Role cards, as they can boost
Azorius Midrange can be described as Mono-White Midrange with a blue splash, using
From Wilds of Eldraine, I would consider adding
Esper Midrange puts together the most efficient creatures, planeswalkers, and instant-speed interactive spells available in its colors, giving it a well-rounded game against everything. Compared to Dimir Midrange, the main reasons to add white are
From Wilds of Eldraine, I would be most excited to try out the aforementioned
While there are also versions with
From Wilds of Eldraine, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, but I would be excited to try out the aforementioned
Mono-Red Aggro is the tenth and final Standard archetype on today's highlight reel. It's a fast deck that uses haste creatures and burn spells to take the opponent down to zero life as quickly as possible. If left unopposed, it can easily win on turn four.
Wilds of Eldraine introduces multiple new tools for Mono-Red Aggro.
Happily Ever After
Standard is dominated by midrange strategies in a variety of colors, but aggro, ramp, and control strategies are viable as well. Moreover, Wilds of Eldraine offers many exciting new cards that may shake up the metagame. In addition to the potential additions for existing archetypes—and let's not forget
For example, I'm excited to try a Dimir Faeries deck with
Wilds of Eldraine also introduces new infinite combos into Standard. For example,
To get a first glimpse of the new cards, check out the Streamer Event today! From Thursday, August 31 at 10 a.m. PT (17:00 UTC) until Friday, September 1 at 10 a.m., your favorite Twitch and YouTube Magic streamers will be giving you the first look at Wilds of Eldraine in action.