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New Capenna Championship Metagame Breakdown

May 19, 2022
Frank Karsten

It's almost here: The New Capenna Championship begins Friday May 20 at 9 a.m. PT. In total, there are 223 competitors: the MPL and Rivals League, top-finishing players from the Neon Dynasty Championship, plus qualifying players across Premier Series events, MTG Arena, and Magic Online. These 223 players will battle for $450,000 in prizes in both Historic and Standard formats.

Historic Metagame Breakdown

Friday and Saturday feature a combined eight rounds of (best-of-three) Historic. The metagame breaks downs as follows.


Deck Archetype Number of Players Percentage of Field
Izzet Phoenix 69 30.9%
Golgari Food 40 17.9%
Azorius Auras 26 11.7%
Azorius Affinity 21 9.4%
Rakdos Arcanist 13 5.8%
Selesnya Humans 8 3.6%
Azorius Control 7 3.1%
Jeskai Control 6 2.7%
Selesnya Enchantress 5 2.2%
Jund Food 4 1.8%
Esper Control 3 1.3%
Five-color Niv-Mizzet 2 0.9%
Dimir Pact 2 0.9%
Grixis Death's Shadow 2 0.9%
Azorius Lotus Field 2 0.9%
Mono-Red Aggro 1 0.4%
Selesnya Company 1 0.4%
Rakdos Sacrifice 1 0.4%
Gruul Aggro 1 0.4%
Mono-White Humans 1 0.4%
Mono-White Artifacts 1 0.4%
Izzet Wizards 1 0.4%
Mono-Blue Affinity 1 0.4%
Rakdos Goblins 1 0.4%
Esper Pact 1 0.4%
Orzhov Humans 1 0.4%
Rakdos Midrange 1 0.4%
Temur Wizards 1 0.4%

Two months ago at the Neon Dynasty Championship, the top four decks in Historic were Izzet Phoenix, Azorius Control, Golgari Food, and Azorius Auras. Since then, Azorius Control fell out of favor, whereas Izzet Phoenix, Golgari Food, and Azorius Auras all increased their metagame shares further. Another big story is the meteoric rise of Azorius Affinity. All this is driven by new additions to the Historic format over the last two months.

To understand the key new additions, it's useful to take a look at the most-played cards. Before we get to the new additions, we first have to scroll past the usual suspects. With nearly one-third of the field on Izzet Phoenix, it's no surprise that the six most-played nonland cards across all Historic maindecks and sideboards at the New Capenna Championship are Expressive Iteration, Unholy Heat, Dragon's Rage Channeler, Consider, Opt, and Arclight Phoenix. These cards have all been legal for at least half a year, and they form the core of every Izzet Phoenix deck.

But at seventh and eight place, we can spot two important new two-drops from Streets of New Capenna.

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If it costs at most two mana, interacts with graveyards, and can turn into a massive threat in the late game, then you got a winner on your hands for Historic. Ledger Shredder and Unlicensed Hearse will single-handedly decide many games this weekend. At 266 and 259 total copies across the submitted decklists respectively, they're heads and shoulders above the next most-played card from Streets of New Capenna in Historic, which is Strangle at 63 copies.

But where do these and other new cards slot in? To answer that, let's go over the seven most-played cards in Historic at the New Capenna Championship that were either newly released in Alchemy: Kamigawa, rebalanced in April, or newly released in Streets of New Capenna.

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Ledger Shredder is included in the maindeck of almost every Izzet Phoenix deck, largely replacing Sprite Dragon. In a deck filled with cheap card draw spells, it's easy to trigger it turn after turn, and conniving an Arclight Phoenix into your graveyard is exactly what you want to be doing. The card also found its way into the sideboard of roughly a quarter of the Azorius Auras decks, where it can act as an alternative threat against removal-heavy decks.

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Unlicensed Hearse can slot into pretty much every archetype as a colorless graveyard hate card for the sideboard, akin to Soul-Guide Lantern or Tormod's Crypt. Yet it holds two main advantages over those existing cards. First, after exiling the first Arclight Phoenix, it's still around to exile the next one. Second, it can turn into a massive creature in the late game that doesn't even die to a sorcery-speed sweeper.

Given these advantages and the state of the metagame, it's already turned into more than "just" a sideboard card—one-fourth of all copies of Unlicensed Hearse are found in main decks. It fits most cleanly in the main deck of Golgari Food because it's fetchable with Trail of Crumbs and in the main deck of Azorius Affinity because it supports all its artifact-matters cards.

Strangle

Strangle is as close as we can get to Lightning Bolt in Historic, and it's the perfect answer to a turn-two Ledger Shredder. Nearly half of the Izzet Phoenix players and several Rakdos Arcanist players have added Strangle to their main deck. Generally, such players run only one or two copies of the card.


A-Symmetry Sage was rebalanced in April to be more threatening and resilient. It's now 0/3 (from 0/2) and now gives a creature base power 3 (from 2). Accordingly, nearly a quarter of the Izzet Phoenix players picked it up as an aggressive threat, and it enabled spicy Izzet Wizards and Temur Wizards brews.

Slip Out the Back

Slip Out the Back is a cheap, flexible protection spell for Kor Spiritdancer and Sram, Senior Edificer. It doesn't matter whether you're facing Unholy Heat or Wrath of God—phasing will protect your creature and all auras attached to it. Alternatively, phasing out an opposing creature can decide a damage race. Over half of the Azorius Auras players adopted Slip Out the Back in their main deck.

Molten Impact

Molten Impact can be not only a removal spell for a four-toughness creature or four-loyalty planeswalker but also a way to deal with two smaller targets over time. It hasn't seen widespread adoption, but several competitors on spell-heavy archetypes like Izzet Phoenix and Rakdos Arcanist have included it.

Fragment Reality

Fragment Reality is a little risky, but it's a handy catch-all, and exiling a one-mana permanent like Portable Hole is generally safe enough. Over half of the Azorius Auras players added Fragment Reality to their sideboard.

Historic Archetype Overview

All Historic decklists will be published on the New Capenna Championship event page at the beginning of Round 1 on Friday, May 20. Until then, you can find short descriptions of each archetype below.

Izzet Phoenix (69 players): Faithless Looting and Consider put Arclight Phoenix into the graveyard, trigger Dragon's Rage Channeler and/or Ledger Shredder, and enable delirium for Unholy Heat.

Golgari Food (40 players): The trio of Cauldron Familiar, Witch's Oven, and Trail of Crumbs remain a powerful core ever since the inception of the Historic format. In Golgari Food, they are joined by Ravenous Squirrel and The Meathook Massacre in a low-curve, two-color deck that exploits Lurrus of the Dream-Den as the companion.

Azorius Auras (26 players): Kor Spiritdancer and Sram, Senior Edificer will trigger when you're suiting up your creatures with Sentinel's Eyes, Staggering Insight, and so on. Almost every Azorius Auras player included Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice as well by now, along with various singleton enchantments. These singletons can include a splashed Kaya's Ghostform or newcomer Security Bypass.

Azorius Affinity (21 players): The plan, following Jean-Emmanuel Depraz's excellent build from the Neon Dynasty Championship, is to flood the board with cheap artifacts early on, hamper the opponent's development with Portable Hole and Metallic Rebuke, and dominate the late game with Nettlecyst, Karn, Scion of Urza, and Thought Monitor. A massive Germ or Construct token will close out games quickly. The majority of Azorius Affinity players have included Jegantha, the Wellspring as a "free" companion that can be cast off of Treasures and Spire of Industry.

Rakdos Arcanist (13 players): Ideally, you start with Thoughtseize or Fatal Push on turn one, followed by Dreadhorde Arcanist on turn two. After your discard spells and removal spells have depleted your opponent's resources, a big threat like Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, or even newcomer Unlicensed Hearse will seal the deal.

Selesnya Humans (8 players): Selesnya Humans curves out early with Esper Sentinel into Thalia's Lieutenant and keeps up the pressure in the mid-game with Inquisitor Captain and Collected Company.

Azorius Control (7 players): It's the quintessential control deck that says no to spells with Archmage's Charm or Dovin's Veto, says no to permanents with March of Otherworldly Light or Farewell, and eventually wins the game with a planeswalker like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or The Wandering Emperor. Two out of seven Azorius Control players use Yorion, Sky Nomad as their companion.

Jeskai Control (6 players): It's basically Azorius Control with a red splash for Lightning Helix and Expressive Iteration, but there's some variety across the builds. Three players have planeswalkers and Shark Typhoon as their main win condition, sometimes with Kaheera, the Orphanguard as their companion. The other three players exploit Historic newcomer Saiba Syphoner as a value card, along with Ephemerate and/or Yorion, Sky Nomad to re-trigger or even loop the enters-the-battlefield ability.

Selesnya Enchantress (5 players): Sythis, Harvest's Hand will trigger when you're casting enchantments like Sterling Grove or Sanctum Weaver, allowing you to draw into more and more enchantments. The Nine Lives / Solemnity combo is a typical inclusion. Two Selesnya Enchantress players have a light splash of blue for Shark Typhoon and/or countermagic in the sideboard. Another eschewed all enchantments with mana value three or greater in favor of a more low-to-the-ground version with Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion.

Jund Food (4 players): The core of Gilded Goose, Cauldron Familiar, Trail of Crumbs, Witch's Oven, and Deadly Dispute is identical to the Golgari version, but red unlocks Korvold, Fae-Cursed King as well. Other red options include Mayhem Devil and/or Oni-Cult Anvil.

Esper Control (3 players): It's basically Azorius Control with a black splash for Fatal Push and Void Rend. Thanks to Raffine's Tower, the mana is excellent.

Five-color Niv-Mizzet (2 players): Pretty much every spell in this deck is multicolored in order to maximize Niv-Mizzet Reborn. The Triome-heavy mana base required to support Niv-Mizzet also supports Territorial Kavu perfectly—a 5/5 on turn two is not out of the question!

Dimir Pact (2 players): This deck is all singletons except for 2 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and 2 Tainted Pact. When you have one copy of each in your hand, you'll cast Tainted Pact, draw your entire deck except for the bottom card, untap, and cast Jace, Wielder of Mysteries for the win.

Grixis Death's Shadow (2 players): It's a deck filled with one-mana threats and one-mana interactive spells. Death's Shadow requires you to drop below 13 life, but that's doable because of Thoughtseize and a painful mana base. One of the two lists uses the rebalanced Painful Bond as well, turning the downside into an upside for Death's Shadow.

Azorius Lotus Field (2 players): Lotus Field requires a steep sacrifice, but Strict Proctor can negate it. The land allows you to ramp into massive Shark Typhoon quickly, and the rest of the deck looks like a regular white-blue control deck.

Mono-Red Aggro (1 players): Creatures with haste allow you to get out of the gates quickly and put a lot of pressure on your opponent. In the mid-to-late game, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell slingshots your damage output, and the legend synergizes particularly well with Goblin Chainwhirler and Rampaging Ferocidon.

Selesnya Company (1 players): This particular list is not based around the Human tribe. Instead, it includes as many as 17 three-mana creatures. This means that Collected Company will hit two such creatures over half of the time, which is very powerful.

Rakdos Sacrifice (1 players): This is an Oni-Cult Anvil deck with Voldaren Epicure, Experimental Synthesizer, and Ob Nixilis, the Adversary. This may sound like a Standard deck, but Historic offers Mayhem Devil, Ravenous Squirrel, Witch's Oven, and Cauldron Familiar to substantially increase the power level.

Gruul Aggro (1 players): The ideal curve starts with Pelt Collector on turn one, Burning-Tree Emissary into Voltaic Brawler on turn two, and Embercleave on turn three.

Mono-White Humans (1 players): It's basically Selesnya Humans but with A-Faceless Haven instead of the green splash.

Mono-White Artifacts (1 players): This deck features 23 artifacts costing zero or one mana, and the main payoffs are All That Glitters, Steel Overseer, and Michiko's Reign of Truth. Lurrus of the Dream-Den as the companion precludes the inclusion of Tempered Steel but it provides some staying power in the late game.

Izzet Wizards (1 players): The key Wizards in the deck are Soul-Scar Mage, Dreadhorde Arcanist, and the rebalanced A-Symmetry Sage. They are supported by a smattering of one-mana instant and sorcery spells. Given the creature base, Wizard's Lightning is generally a Lightning Bolt.

Mono-Blue Affinity (1 players): This is the best Mox Amber deck I've seen in quite a while. Between Emry, Lurker of the Loch, Sai, Master Thopterist, and The Reality Chip, there are enough legendary creatures to activate Mox Amber reliably. The main plan is to ramp into Antiquities War and then swing with a handful of 5/5 artifacts on the third chapter.

Rakdos Goblins (1 players): The plan is to ramp into Muxus, Goblin Grandee as quickly as possible. Thanks to Goblin Warchief, Wily Goblin, and Skirk Prospector, that's easily doable by turn four, and then you hope to hit Krenko, Mob Boss plus Goblin Chieftain, which may add up to lethal right away. The black splash is for Munitions Expert.

Esper Pact (1 players): It's basically Dimir Pact with a white splash for A-Teferi, Time Raveler, amongst other one-ofs.

Orzhov Humans (1 players): It's basically Selesnya Humans but with Kitesail Freebooter and General Kudro of Drannith instead of Collected Company.

Rakdos Midrange (1 players): It's basically Rakdos Arcanist but with Rahilda, Wanted Cutthroat and Graveyard Trespasser instead of Dreadhorde Arcanist.

Temur Wizards (1 players): It's similar to Izzet Wizards, although the inclusion of Dragon's Rage Channeler over Soul-Scar Mage makes it less tribal based. The green splash is for Scale Up.

Standard Metagame Breakdown

Friday and Saturday feature a combined seven rounds of (best-of-three) Standard. In addition, Sunday's Top 8 double-elimination playoff is exclusively Standard. The metagame breaks downs as follows.


Deck Archetype Number of Players Percentage of Field
Esper Midrange 77 34.5%
Naya Runes 30 13.5%
Jeskai Storm 30 13.5%
Jund Midrange 20 9.0%
Grixis Vampires 12 5.4%
Jund Treasures 9 4.0%
Temur Control 6 2.7%
Izzet Mill 5 2.2%
Mono-White Aggro 3 1.3%
Jeskai Hinata 3 1.3%
Mardu Midrange 3 1.3%
Orzhov Angels 3 1.3%
Izzet Land Destruction 2 0.9%
Rakdos Sacrifice 2 0.9%
Five-color Ramp 2 0.9%
Naya Reanimator 2 0.9%
Izzet Calamity 2 0.9%
Naya Midrange 1 0.4%
Mono-Blue Tempo 1 0.4%
Grixis Midrange 1 0.4%
Orzhov Midrange 1 0.4%
Izzet Aggro 1 0.4%
Gruul Land Destruction 1 0.4%
Bant Tokens 1 0.4%
Temur Mill 1 0.4%
Izzet Dragons 1 0.4%
Boros Reanimator 1 0.4%
Azorius Tempo 1 0.4%
Azorius Connive 1 0.4%

Before the release of Streets of New Capenna, the top-tier decks in Standard—Orzhov Midrange, Esper Control, Mono-White Aggro, and Naya Runes—all used white, and The Wandering Emperor was the most-played card overall.

But Streets of New Capenna shook up the format. Family means business in New Capenna, and the Obscura family in particular has been the big winner. With Raffine's Tower, they enticed Orzhov Midrange players to add blue to their decks. And with Raffine, Scheming Seer, they lured Esper Control players towards a midrange plan based around two-mana and three-mana creatures. The result is the absolute dominance of Esper Midrange. At over one-third of the field at the New Capenna Championship, it's the most-played Standard deck by far.

Besides Raffine, Streets of New Capenna provided new tools for various red and black decks, and in fact Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Ray of Enfeeblement are the two most-played cards overall across all Standard maindecks and sideboards. But to better understand the current state of Standard, let's zoom in on the seven most-played New Capenna additions in particular.

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Tenacious Underdog is now the premier two-drop in the format, and it can fit into every black midrange deck. It has fine stats for a two-mana creature, and the ability to blitz it from your graveyard means that you'll rarely run out of things to do with your mana in the late game.

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Raffine's Tower and Jetmir's Garden are the most-played family tri-lands, which should not come as a surprise when Esper Midrange and Naya Runes are the most popular archetypes. All the family tri-lands add multiple colored sources to your deck, improving the likelihood that you can consistently cast your spells on curve. Moreover, they mitigate mana flood in the late game by cycling towards more spells.

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Raffine, Scheming Seer is the headliner of the new format. It's an early threat that attacks planeswalkers, smoothens your draws, and potentially boosts other creatures the turn it comes down. Raffine also lines up perfectly against most of the most-played interactive cards in the format. It's not easily swept by The Meathook Massacre thanks to its high toughness, it can't be exiled on turn four by The Wandering Emperor due to ward, and it can't be targeted by Vanishing Verse because it's multicolored. Ray of Enfeeblement is the cleanest answer, which explains why it's seeing so much play, sometimes even main deck, but generally Raffine is hard to kill.

Big Score

Big Score is "just" an easier-to-cast Unexpected Windfall, but the single red means that it fits more easily into decks that are merely splashing red. Moreover, certain decks can now run more than four copies of this type of effect. In particular, Invoke Calamity decks and Jeskai Storm decks have benefited from this, sometimes running the full eight.

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Obscura Interceptor, amusingly, is the perfect answer to Big Score. They have to discard a card to cast whether it resolves or not, so returning it to their owner's hand can be quite punishing. More generally, though, Obscura Interceptor a solid tempo play, especially when four mana could also mean The Wandering Emperor. The addition of another four-mana flash card to the Esper line-up makes it more difficult for opponents to play around everything. The majority of Esper Midrange players run one or two copies of Obscura Interceptor.

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Riveteers Charm, actually tied for seventh with Ziatora's Proving Ground in the list of most-played cards from New Capenna, is another excellent answer to Raffine, Scheming Seer. Indeed, the first mode of Riveteers Charm doesn't target the creature and hence gets around ward. Combined with the potential for raw card advantage in the second mode, it found a home in most of the Jund decks.

Notably absent from this list, surprisingly so, is Ob Nixilis, the Adversary.

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It was the standout card from the new set in the first two weeks, but after some serious testing of the new Standard format, most of the New Capenna Championship competitors concluded that it doesn't cut it, perhaps because it doesn't line up well against Raffine, Scheming Seer. And while there are still 53 total copies of Ob Nixilis out there, mostly in Jund Midrange and Rakdos Sacrifice decks, there are many Jund or Grixis decks that could play it, but don't. In fact, in the three-drop slot alone there are more combined copies of Corpse Appraiser and Professional Face-Breaker than of Ob Nixilis, the Adversary!

Standard Archetype Overview

All Standard decklists will be published on the New Capenna Championship event page at the beginning of Round 1 on Friday, May 20. Until then, you can find short descriptions of each archetype below.

Esper Midrange (77 players): The plan is to start with a two-mana creature like Luminarch Aspirant or Tenacious Underdog on turn two, allowing you to get the connive ball rolling with Raffine, Scheming Seer as early as turn three. The rest of the deck is all good stuff—there are powerful planeswalkers like The Wandering Emperor, efficient removal spells like Vanishing Verse, and some of the best value-generating permanents in Standard. The deck will rarely run out of resources and has a lot of staying power.

Naya Runes (30 players): With Runeforge Champion and Jukai Naturalist on the battlefield, Runes such as Rune of Might become free spells. If you chain a bunch of them while controlling Generous Visitor or Showdown of the Skalds, it's possible to assemble a kill out of nowhere.

Jeskai Storm (30 players): This archetype already existed on the fringes before, but it's the release of Big Score that put it over the top. Sometimes referred to as Jeskai Combo or Jeskai Treasures, the plan is to cast a lot of spells in a single turn. When you control Goldspan Dragon, Big Score is mana-neutral, and targeting your own Dragon will create Treasures. After several such spells, Show of Confidence will target Goldspan Dragon multiple times to generate even more mana, allowing you to cast Lier, Disciple of the Drowned and do it all over again. With the capability of such massive turns, it's reminiscent of the storm mechanic—hence the name.

Jund Midrange (20 players): This collection of the best midrange cards in black, green, and red is brought to you by Ziatora's Proving Ground. All lists use Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and The Meathook Massacre, and most have the ability to create an amusingly large number of Ob Nixilis, the Adversary copies via Esika's Chariot.

Grixis Vampires (12 players): This novel archetype is headlined by Evelyn, the Covetous. Bloodtithe Harvester and Corpse Appraiser will happily trigger Evelyn, and it's all wrapped in a shell of the best midrange cards that you can fit into a Xander's Lounge deck.

Jund Treasures (9 players): The defining feature of this archetype is the duo of Jaspera Sentinel and Magda, Brazen Outlaw. Five Treasures can now potentially turn into Ziatora, the Incinerator, which is pretty powerful. The vast majority of Jund Treasures lists also exploit Professional Face-Breaker as a spicy value engine.

Temur Control (6 players): This archetype is arguably the most powerful late game in the format: casting Titan of Industry and then copying it with Reflection of Kiki-Jiki. That's an awesome combo to build towards, and the rest of the deck is mainly comprised of removal, card draw spells, and Treasure-generating Dragons.

Izzet Mill (5 players): This is essentially an Izzet Control deck whose main win condition is Tasha's Hideous Laughter—the only mill card in the deck. I ran the numbers and it turns out that against an arbitrary Standard deck from the New Capenna Championship, Tasha's Hideous Laughter will exile 12.8 cards in expectation. This means that a single Tasha's Hideous Laughter is generally not enough to win the game single-handedly, but copying it with Galvanic Iteration could already get there with some luck, and the third or fourth Tasha's Hideous Laughter will often be good enough in the late game.

Mono-White Aggro (3 players): The ideal curve starts with Hopeful Initiate on turn one, Luminarch Aspirant on turn two, and Adeline, Resplendent Cathar on turn three. The benefit of staying mono-color is consistently casting one-drops on turn one and having access to colorless utility lands like Crawling Barrens.

Jeskai Hinata (3 players): This archetype is based around Hinata, Dawn-Crowned. The dream is to cast a Magma Opus for just two mana by targeting six different permanents.

Mardu Midrange (3 players): You don't get a family tri-land, but if you want to fit Vanishing Verse and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker into the same deck, then Mardu allows you to do that.

Orzhov Angels (3 players): Giada, Font of Hope is the real deal. Along with Youthful Valkyrie, the Angel tribe now has a sufficiently powerful early game to warrant investing into the late-game power of Firja's Retribution.

Izzet Land Destruction (2 players): With all the sweet mana fixers and utility lands available right now, the vast majority of Standard decks (137 out of 223 at the New Capenna Championship, to be exact) have zero, one, or two basic lands. Hence, Cleansing Wildfire and Field of Ruin can quickly turn into hard land destruction. Packed in a typical Izzet Control shell, the land destruction angle offers a fascinating way to punish all the greedy mana bases in Standard.

Rakdos Sacrifice (2 players): This archetype is based around Oni-Cult Anvil and Ob Nixilis, the Adversary. For both, Voldaren Epicure and Bloodtithe Harvester provide handy sacrifice fodder.

Five-color Ramp (2 players): I wasn't expecting to see The Kami War at this event, but with the introduction of Courier's Briefcase and the family tri-lands, most of which are fetchable with Binding the Old Gods, casting a five-color card is now a viable competitive option.

Naya Reanimator (2 players): The idea of discarding Velomachus Lorehold to the second chapter of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and then reanimating it with Invoke Justice was around before, but the latest set added Big Score to improve consistency and Titan of Industry as an alternative reanimation target.

Izzet Calamity (2 players): This archetype is basically an Izzet Control deck with the game-winning combo of Body of Research plus Kazuul's Fury. Invoke Calamity allows you to cast Body of Research from your graveyard or your hand as early as turn five.

Naya Midrange (1 players): This three-color midrange deck has the ability to curve Luminarch Aspirant into Fable of the Mirror Breaker and Esika's Chariot.

Mono-Blue Tempo (1 players): Delver of Secrets and other evasive threats will attack the opponent while cheap spells like Fading Hope or Slip Out the Back provide a temporary battlefield advantage.

Grixis Midrange (1 players): This three-color midrange deck combines Bloodtithe Harvester, Ob Nixilis, the Adversary, and Expressive Iteration.

Orzhov Midrange (1 players): This deck does not include any Streets of New Capenna cards and looks like the type of list that was dominating Standard before the release of the new set.

Izzet Aggro (1 players): The key threats in this deck are Magmatic Channeler, Thermo-Alchemist, and Delver of Secrets, and they're supported by numerous cheap instant and sorcery spells.

Gruul Land Destruction (1 players): In addition to Cleansing Wildfire and Field of Ruin, Gruul Land Destruction also has Dire-Strain Rampage to punish mana bases that are light on basic lands. There are even two unfortunate souls in the event with zero basic lands; Gruul Land Destruction would be their nightmare matchup.

Bant Tokens (1 players): This deck can create creature tokens via Wedding Announcement, Esika's Chariot, and The Wandering Emperor, and it can boost all of them with Brokers Ascendancy.

Temur Mill (1 players): Ruin Crab was available before, but New Capenna supercharged it with the family fetchlands. Alongside Tasha's Hideous Laughter and Maddening Cacophony, the game plan is obvious.

Izzet Dragons (1 players): The Dragons in question are Smoldering Egg and Goldspan Dragon. They are joined by the usual red-blue supporting cast of card draw, removal, and burn spells.

Boros Reanimator (1 players): The plan is to discard Sanctuary Warden or Velomachus Lorehold to Thrilling Discovery or the second chapter of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and to subsequently reanimate such a flier with Invoke Justice.

Azorius Tempo (1 players): About 4,000 words ago, I started this article by singing the praises of Ledger Shredder in Historic. I hadn't talked about it in Standard yet because it isn't easy to build a Standard deck that can support it. For Ledger Shredder to shrine, you need to consistently cast two spells in one turn, which requires a critical mass of one-mana spells. Yet between Delver of Secrets, Fading Hope, Consider, and Guiding Voice, this Azorius Tempo brew may have what it takes.

Azorius Connive (1 players): Finally, here's another Ledger Shredder brew that might get there. Thanks to the combo of Illuminator Virtuoso and Homestead Courage, it's based even more around connive, and the deck can leverage the connive mechanic by discarding Dorothea, Vengeful Victim or Brine Comber for value.

Watch it live!

Of course, making a deck choice is only the first part of the story—now we'll see how these players and metagames shake out as players finish the race to Magic World Championship XXVIII.


Don't miss the New Capenna Championship live broadcast, May 20–22 beginning at 9 a.m. PT each day at twitch.tv/magic!

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