Hello everyone! Victor Nguyen here today to talk to you about the new the new standard format in Magic the Gathering.
Since the release of Ixalan, the Standard format in Magic the Gathering has had the chance to settle in. There have been a lot of changes since Ixalan‘s release. With the new rotation, sets like Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrand and Eldritch Moon are rotating out, which means no more Eldrazis, Zombies, Angels and Demons.
Ixalan is a set that brings back certain archtypes such as Merfolk and new ones like Pirates and Dinosaurs. The set also brings back Check lands, Opt, Spell Pierce, Lightning Strike, which means they are now legal in Standard.
The Standard metagame
The metagame changed a lot with the downfall of Mardu Vehicules and Zombies, while Ramunap Red and Temur Energy are still dominating the metagame. With the release of Ixalan, it doesn’t affect those decks too much. The two decks made it to the 2017 Magic World Championship Finals with Temur Energy winning the whole thing.
While those two decks are currently at the top, Control decks are becoming more and more popular with U/B Control being more dominant it`s U/W control counterpart. Both decks runs Search for Azcanta, which is the new addition from Ixalan. This helps them to dig through their decks much quicker. They also gained more removals thanks to Settle the Wreckage and Vraska’s Contempt.
Abzan Tokens is also another deck that is on the rise. The deck runs cards like Vraska, Relic Seeker and Legion’s Landing to create tokens. If you pair them together with Anointed Procession, you make twice that amount, allowing you to swarm the board quickly.
Pirates and other new archetypes
Pirates have finally been introduced. One of the Pirates that is creeping in the top decks is Hostage Taker. She allows you to gain tempo by removing a creature of artifact that your opponent controls and allows you to use it if you wish to cast it for yourself. Right now, only Sultai Energy and Esper Gift runs 4 copies of her.
Another new archtype that was released in Ixalan (and I’m sure a concept that is a lot of players’ favorite) are Dinosaurs. Similar to Pirates, there is one that has made its way to the top decks. Rampaging Ferocidon has become a fan favorite because of its versatility vs Control decks since they tend to gain life to survive against aggro deck. This concept is more of a rogue deck since it has a lot of potential but most players aren’t too fond of it, in comparison to the other options that are currently available in standard.
One of the fan favorite archtypes is back: Merfolk. Merfolks aren’t as relevant as the other two tribes in Standard, but it’s still a popular choice in Modern, Legacy and Vintage.
Since there’s only been 3 major events so far, the Standard Metagame hasn’t quite settled yet, but let’s see what techs or concepts the community will come up with. Until next time!