Zephyr Sentinel Art from The Brothers' War by Inkognit

MTGO Standard Challenge – October 7 & October 8, 2023 – Top 8 Decklists and Breakdown

Hi! My name is Vertyx and I will go over the top finishes of the Magic Online Standard Challenges that took place on the weekend: October 7th and October 8th 2023!

standard challenge 32 #12584896
7 October, 2023 - standard - 32 players
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standard challenge 32 #12584948
8 October, 2023 - standard - 32 players
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October 7th, Top 8 Decks

First challenge of the weekend with some old classics.

1st, 4th and 7th place were taken down with Azorius Soldiers which is a deck that uses a lot of strong and cheap creatures that synergize well together to create a fast paced aggro deck that also has some tricks up its sleeve like counterspells.

2nd place was taken down with Selesnya Enchantments which is a deck that utilizes the best of the best enchantments in the format to create a deck that is able to produce a lot of value thanks to the synergies between its cards!

3rd place was taken down with Domain Ramp which is a deck that aims to ramp and survive in the early game so it can get to a point where its able to hardcast some of the strongest bombs in the format to take over the game with value.

5th place was taken down with Esper Legends which is a deck that uses some of the strongest legendary creatures in the format to create a highly powerful and linear deck that is able to present a bomb after a bomb until the opponent can’t keep up with it.

And 6th and 8th place were taken down with Esper Midrange which is a deck that plays only few of the strongest Esper threats, and combines them with interaction and other value cards like enchantments to create a deck that is prepared to face anything in the format.

Now lets go take a look at the specific decklists!

Azorius Soldiers by ThaisM
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $244.21
Standard
best of 3
1 mythic
33 rare
14 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (5)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$221.4
15 Cards
$71.51
Azorius Soldiers by _Batutinha_
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $244.21
Standard
best of 3
1 mythic
33 rare
14 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (5)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$221.4
15 Cards
$71.51
Azorius Soldiers by remf
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $245.1
Standard
best of 3
1 mythic
33 rare
14 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (5)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$221.4
15 Cards
$71.51

1st (by ThaisM), 4th (by _Batutinha_) and 7th place (by remf) were taken down with Azorius Soldiers!

One of the strongest aggro decks in the format that uses a bunch of cheap creatures like Recruitment Officer or Lunarch Veteran, but also some more expensive payoffs like Knight-Errant of Eos which can get you more cards or Werefox Bodyguard which can get rid of problematic threats.

Some of the most problematic cards for this deck are boardwipes, and for that reason you also got Make Disappear so you can counter it if it ever comes up. And also if you are ever down on creatures or cards you got Wedding Announcement to help you out with that!

Selesnya Enchantments by 4AMDonuts
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $258.89
Standard
best of 3
5 mythic
23 rare
12 uncommon
20 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (15)
Instants (4)
2
Seed of Hope
$0.70
2
Rite of Harmony
$2.98
Sorceries (4)
Enchantments (17)
4
Ossification
$5.16
Lands (20)
6
Forest
$2.10
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Brushland
$9.96
60 Cards
$188.6
15 Cards
$132.67

2nd place was taken down with Selesnya Enchantments by 4AMDonuts!

This deck uses enchantments to generate a lot of value. Lets start with the enablers that let you create more value by being on the battlefield, and those are cards like Generous Visitor, Jukai Naturalist or Hallowed Haunting which can either get you more power or reduce the cost of your cards!

When you got that on the field, you can start to cast your other cards like Teachings of the Kirin, Ossification or The Restoration of Eiganjo which will get you value on their own on top of getting you other benefits from the above mentioned cards like Hallowed Haunting.

And by any chance, if closing the game out becomes a problem, you also got 3 copies of Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr to take over the battlefield!

Domain Ramp by Jaberwocki
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $340.88
Standard
best of 3
5 mythic
37 rare
7 uncommon
11 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (11)
4
Topiary Stomper
$9.16
Instants (2)
Sorceries (10)
2
Depopulate
$0.98
4
Sunfall
$13.96
4
Herd Migration
$1.96
Artifacts (1)
Enchantments (8)
4
Leyline Binding
$51.96
Lands (26)
4
Forest
$1.40
1
Island
$0.35
1
Mountain
$0.35
2
Plains
$0.70
3
Swamp
$1.05
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$396.64
15 Cards
$35.39

3rd place was taken down with Domain Ramp by Jaberwocki!

This deck uses some of the best ramp cards in the format like Topiary Stomper or Invasion of Zendikar in combination with strong removal like Leyline Binding, or Sunfall so it can survive as long as possible while developing itself as fast as possible.

The reason the deck does that is it wants to get to a turning point of 7 mana where it gets to hardcast Herd Migration or Atraxa, Grand Unifier which should take over the game with value. With the new set, the deck also got a new toy in the form of Virtue of Persistence and Up the Beanstalk which should make you never run out of cards again.

Esper Legends by DarthStone
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $633.1
Standard
best of 3
8 mythic
47 rare
3 uncommon
2 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$659.56
Sideboard
4
Cut Down
$3.96
1
Negate
$0.35
15 Cards
$80.39

5th place was taken down with Esper Legends by DarthStone!

This deck combines some of the strongest legendary creatures so it can present a bomb after bomb until the opponent wont be able to recover from the pressure. The curve already starts out with some powerful cards like Skrelv, Defector Mite which protects your creatures and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which in vacuum actually does the same on top of taxing some other non-creature spells. The early threats share the same idea of taxing the opponent in some way (the other threats include Faerie Mastermind or Dennick, Pious Apprentice).

Moving up the curve you got more aggresive cards like Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Raffine, Scheming Seer or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse so you can start closing the game out as fast as possible! And if the opponents side of the battlefield ever becomes a problem, you also got Go for the throat to deal with it!

Esper Midrange by Manuel B
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $628.92
Standard
best of 3
14 mythic
35 rare
6 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (10)
2
Cut Down
$1.98
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (8)
60 Cards
$706.76
Sideboard
2
Kaito Shizuki
$6.98
2
Cut Down
$1.98
1
Negate
$0.35
3
Destroy Evil
$4.47
2
Knockout Blow
$0.78
15 Cards
$30.95
Esper Midrange by Arianne
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $629.33
Standard
best of 3
14 mythic
34 rare
7 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (11)
3
Cut Down
$2.97
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (8)
60 Cards
$709.26
Sideboard
3
Kaito Shizuki
$10.47
1
Cut Down
$0.99
1
Negate
$0.35
3
Destroy Evil
$4.47
15 Cards
$22.37

And the last 2 places (6th by Manuel B, and 8th by Arianne) were taken down with Esper Midrange!

This deck combines some of the strongest cards from each of the major card types so its able to attack the battlefield from various angles! Lets start with the creatures and those include some of the best threats like Dennick, Pious Apprentice, Raffine, Scheming Seer and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse so you can quickly close the games out if they don’t get removed.

Moving onto the interaction you got counterspells like Make Disappear but also removal like Go for the throat or The Wandering Emperor which can also act as a threat. Moving onto the enchantments you got cards that can further enhance the power of your creatures and those are Wedding Announcement which can even draw you cards and Virtue of Loyalty which grows your board every single end step!

And that is it for the first Challenge, lets go take a look at the one that took place on Sunday, October 8th 2023.

October 8th, Top 8 Decks

Second challenge of the weekend and it was also swarmed with Azorius Soldiers!

1st and 3rd place were taken down with Domain Ramp which is a deck that wants to survive until it gets to 7 mana. It does that with removal and ramp so it can get there faster than it would normally be able to. When it gets to that point, it becomes able to hardcast some of the strongest cards in the format that the deck uses to take over the battlefield!

2nd place was taken down with Golgari Midrange which is a deck that uses some of the strongest cards in the Golgari colors to overwhelm the opponent with value that they cannot handle! It does that with a combination of strong creatures and well timed disruption spells that can make it a living hell for the opponent

4th place was taken down with Esper Midrange which is a deck that combines the best Esper creatures, interaction and enchantments to create a deck that is able to interact with a majority of the format while being able to grind its way through it with its threats.

5th, 6th and 8th place were taken down with Azorius Soldiers which is a deck that wants to win the game fast with its synergistic threats in the azorius colors and backs them up with counterspells and enchantments so its more resilient to boardwipes.

And the last 7th place was taken down with Mono-Red Aggro which is the most iconic aggro deck in the game and it combines the fastest red threats with burn spells to be able to lower the opponents life total from 20 to 0 in the quickest timeframe possible!

Domain Ramp by CSwicky97
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $324.06
Standard
best of 3
5 mythic
37 rare
8 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (11)
4
Topiary Stomper
$9.16
Instants (1)
Sorceries (10)
2
Depopulate
$0.98
4
Sunfall
$13.96
4
Herd Migration
$1.96
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (8)
4
Leyline Binding
$51.96
Lands (25)
4
Forest
$1.40
1
Island
$0.35
2
Plains
$0.70
3
Swamp
$1.05
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$395.5
Sideboard
1
Negate
$0.35
1
Destroy Evil
$1.49
2
Knockout Blow
$0.78
2
Duress
$0.70
15 Cards
$12.37
Domain Ramp by Jaberwocki
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $344.88
Standard
best of 3
5 mythic
37 rare
7 uncommon
11 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (11)
4
Topiary Stomper
$9.16
Instants (2)
Sorceries (10)
2
Depopulate
$0.98
4
Sunfall
$13.96
4
Herd Migration
$1.96
Artifacts (1)
Enchantments (8)
4
Leyline Binding
$51.96
Lands (26)
4
Forest
$1.40
1
Island
$0.35
1
Mountain
$0.35
2
Plains
$0.70
3
Swamp
$1.05
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$396.64
Sideboard
2
Destroy Evil
$2.98
2
Knockout Blow
$0.78
2
Duress
$0.70
2
Farewell
$17.98
15 Cards
$36.39

1st (by CSwicky97)and 3rd place (by Jaberwocki) were taken down with Domain Ramp!

The main goal of this deck is to hardcast its bombs which can be quite hard since you need a lot of mana for that. The way this deck achieves that is by ramping itself up with cards like Topiary Stomper or Invasion of Zendikar but also removing problematic threats with cards like Depopulate, Leyline Binding or Archangel of Wrath which all help you in surviving longer.

As already mentioned, the goal of the deck is to hardcast its bombs and those include cards like Herd Migration or Atraxa, Grand Unifier which should hopefully take over the game!

Golgari Midrange by Edel
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $500.04
Standard
best of 3
12 mythic
29 rare
7 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (7)
3
Cut Down
$2.97
Sorceries (2)
2
Duress
$0.70
Artifacts (1)
1
The Irencrag
$0.59
Enchantments (2)
Lands (26)
4
Forest
$1.40
6
Swamp
$2.10
4
Llanowar Wastes
$9.16
4
Deathcap Glade
$59.96
60 Cards
$550.02
Sideboard
1
Cut Down
$0.99
2
The End
$2.98
2
Pilfer
$0.70
2
Path of Peril
$2.98
2
Gix’s Command
$1.18
2
Phyrexian Arena
$11.98
15 Cards
$44.77

2nd place was taken down with Golgari Midrange by Edel!

This deck tries to use some of the strongest threats in the format to overwhelm the opponent with value that can get really hard to interact with! Lets start with the permanents and those include planeswalkers like Liliana of the Veil which used to be one of the strongest planeswalkers in the game, and they of course also include creature threats!

They include cards like Mosswood Dreadknight which can generate a bunch of value if you got enough mana, Glissa Sunslayer which generates value every time it connects, Blossoming Tortoise which ramps you and makes your Restless Cottage way better, and the last card Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which is propably the strongest threat in the format.

Of course those threats can get the job done on their own, but you will likely stumble into some problematic threats from the opponents side and for that you got cards like Go for the throat, Cut Down or Virtue of Persistence so you can clear the battlefield and your threats can connect!

Esper Midrange by Arianne
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $629.33
Standard
best of 3
14 mythic
34 rare
7 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (11)
3
Cut Down
$2.97
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (8)
60 Cards
$709.26
Sideboard
3
Kaito Shizuki
$10.47
1
Cut Down
$0.99
1
Negate
$0.35
3
Destroy Evil
$4.47
15 Cards
$22.37

4th place was taken down with Esper Midrange by Arianne!

This deck combines some of the strongest cards threats and interaction to create a really powerful deck! Lets start with the threats and those include the strongest Esper creatures like Raffine, Scheming Seer or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which can close the game out very quickly. Moving onto the interaction you got counterspells in the form of Make Disappear but also removal in the form of Go for the Throat and The Wandering Emperor which can even make your creatures larger!

The above mentioned threats can be enough to win, but if you wanted to close the games out even faster you also got Wedding Announcement and Virtue of Loyalty where both of these should be able to make your creatures bigger while providing other benefits!

Azorius Soldiers by Brasatore
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $259.87
Standard
best of 3
2 mythic
32 rare
14 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (6)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (6)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$238.84
15 Cards
$73.45
Azorius Soldiers by canepis16
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $244.21
Standard
best of 3
1 mythic
33 rare
14 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (5)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$221.4
15 Cards
$71.51
Azorius Soldiers by _Falcon_
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $232.96
Standard
best of 3
0 mythic
36 rare
12 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (4)
4
Make Disappear
$2.76
Enchantments (4)
Lands (24)
4
Plains
$1.40
4
Adarkar Wastes
$21.96
4
Seachrome Coast
$11.96
2
Deserted Beach
$7.98
2
Mirrex
$6.98
60 Cards
$208.44
15 Cards
$71.15

5th (by Brasatore), 6th (by canepis16), and 8th place (by _Falcon_) were taken down with Azorius Soldiers!

This deck uses some of the strongest Azorius threats to take over the game with a fast paced combat focused threat package! The curve starts out with cards like Recruitment Officer or Lunarch Veteran which puts on pressure as soon as turn 1, moving up the curve you got cards like Harbin, Vanguard Aviator or Zephyr Sentinel which provide even stronger abilities that revolve around combat!

The curve tops out with cards like Werefox Bodyguard which serves as a great removal effect, Wedding Announcement which provides value over a few turns and Knight-Errant of Eos which provides a big body on top of card advantage! One of the most problematic cards for this deck are boardwipes and for that you also got Make Disappear to counter it, if it ever comes up!

Mono-Red Aggro by O_danielakos
by Vertyx
Buy on TCGplayer $75.61
Standard
best of 3
5 mythic
17 rare
16 uncommon
22 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (10)
4
Play with Fire
$13.96
Sorceries (1)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
18
Mountain
$6.30
60 Cards
$97.44
15 Cards
$13.77

And the last deck to cover is 7th place Mono-Red Aggro by O_danielakos!

This deck combines fast paced mono red threats with burn, creating a deck that wants to lower the opponents life from 20 to 0. The threats include some of the best one drops like Monastery Swiftspear or Kumano Faces Kakkazan, but also some more expensive threats like Charming Scoundrel, Squee, Dubious Monarch or Goddric, Cloaked Reveler where they all provide unique abilities that support the aggro gameplan.

These threats can get a lot of damage in but sometimes you might be a few points of damage short and for that you got Play with fire and Lightning Strike to get in the last points of damage

And that’s it for the article! If you want to read more, I suggest you to check out my Mythic decks of the week article where I cover the most interesting decks that reached Mythic every week!

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Vertyx
Vertyx

Hi! I am Vertyx, I am 18 years old and I am from the Czech Republic. Most people know me due to my results on MTGO. I have countless Challenge Top 8s and a handful of wins with a wide variety of decks. I manage data from Magic: The Gathering events on MTG Arena Zone and MTG Meta.

Articles: 1780

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