We’re excited to announce the next CFB Pro Showdown, a free Standard single elimination tournament on MTG Arena for CFB Pro subscribers, with a prize pool of $1,000 in ChannelFireball store credit! This event will take place Saturday, June 27th, at 9 AM Pacific Time, and we’re inviting every CFB Pro subscriber to join. The winner of the event will face off against Reid Duke after the tournament in a grudge match – if they win that match as well, they’ll double their prize!
The release of Core Set 2021 has kicked off in full force, and one of the first larger Standard tournaments – CFB Pro Showdown, has just concluded to showcase the early metagame. 302 players competed in a single elimination tournament, with a chance to double their prize if they defeat the final boss – Magic Pro League member Reid Duke. Below is the VOD of the stream, and we start with the discussion of the metagame and some standout cards from Core Set 2021 before displaying the top 16 decklists. Click here to skip straight to them.
Metagame and Standout Cards
The Standard metagame prior to Core Set 2021 release was largely settled, with a surprise factor in Orzhov Yorion being picked up and popularized in the Players Tour Online tournament. The metagame breakdown for the tournament was reported as below:
With Standard now consisting of a total of 8 sets, Core Set 2021 is not expected to shake anything up too much in the competitive front, although it does introduce some interesting cards to experiment new archetypes with. As such, this is the phase in the metagame cycle where players trial the new cards to see where they fit in, but in a more competitive setting we generally see the usual suspects with a few of the new cards sprinkled in. What cards have impressed so far in these decks?
It is no surprise that decks that take advantage of the powerful mana accelerating engines – Growth Spiral, Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Nissa, Who Shakes the World, will be the most powerful. Core Set 2021 introduced the most powerful endgame card of them all, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. It is also included in decks that use Risen Reef and Elementals to ramp instead. Teferi, Master of Time is also included in these decks to stall the game and help go through your deck – on your turn and your opponents.
Scavenging Ooze is not a ramp specific card, but just generally an all round great Green card that most decks can just pick up for great value. Jolrael, Mwonvli Recluse is another awesome early play that can start generating tokens that works well with cards with all the incidental card draw in these decks and can also act as a win condition for the end game.
Sacrifice decks, in both Rakdos and Jund varieties, also receive cards to play around with in Core Set 2021. Village Rites is the perfect card draw spell for these decks that further augments their power and for now, looks to be a staple card. Archfiend's Vessel is more of a build around card that can be used in conjunction with cards such as Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Call of the Death-Dweller. Solemn Simulacrum and Fungal Rebirth look to be great value-oriented cards that can fit not only in Sacrifice decks but even in ramp decks also.
Blue receives more weapons in Core Set 2021. Rewind has been used in the existing Simic Flash deck archetype shell, but could have even more applications going forward combined with Wilderness Reclamation. Lofty Denial is also included in the same deck, but could be just the disruption Azorius Flyers needs to bring the deck to tier 2 status, in combination with Watcher of the Spheres. Frantic Inventory has been tentatively included in some Temur Reclamation decks, and as a cheaper card draw spell with a higher upside it makes sense to use it over cards like Chemister's Insight.
Stormwing Entity can enable new deck archetypes that we have not seen in Standard much these days until now – Izzet Spells. While it was not in the top decks today, it has potential to become a player once the deck has been refined further.
Two Mono Green Stompy decks placed 4th and 5th place and Gruul Aggro at 12th, with the only Core Set 2021 card in the main deck being Scavenging Ooze. The 8th place deck is a new Boros Aggro deck featuring Alpine Houndmaster and Seasoned Halloweblade. This is a respectable performance by both decks especially in a single elimination tournament.
Other aggressive (or go-wide) strategies that show promise early in the metagame are Selesnya Counters built around the powerful Conclave Mentor engine, and Mono Red Cavalcade that makes use of Chandra's Pyreling and Chandra's Incinerator. While they are not amongst the top 16 today, they are definitely worth keeping an eye on as the decks develop.
Here are the top 16 decklists from the tournament below, as well as Reid Duke’s deck that he used to defeat the finalist. You can check out the full standings and decklists using the links below: