Hi! My name is Vertyx and I will go over the top finishes of the Magic Online Standard Challengs that took place on the weekend: September 23rd and September 24th 2023!
September 23rd, Top 8 Decks
People have been testing Standard a lot this week since the Wolrd Championship took place on this weekend and that has greatly impacted the format since the best of the best have tried to break it! Lets go take a look at how the meta looks right now before the results from the World Championship kick in.
1st place was taken down with Esper Midrange which is a deck that combines the strongest esper threats like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or Raffine, Scheming Seer with powerful interaction like The Wandering Emperor to create a potent deck that is ready for anything that it might face!
2nd, 6th and 8th place were taken down with Bant Control which is a deck that utilizes the best control cards like Leyline Binding or Syncopate in combination with Up the Beanstalk so you never run out of cards!
3rd place was taken down with Domain Ramp which is a deck that wants to survive and ramp in the early game until it gets to hardcast Atraxa, Grand Unifier to take over the game with unbeatable value.
4th place was taken down with Selesnya Enchantments which is a deck that utilizes some of the strongest synergies in the format thanks to playing a bunch of enchantments that work well together.
5th place was taken down with Azorius Soldiers which is also a synergistic deck, but instead of maximizing on value it uses it to get a huge board with which it takes out the opponent as fast as possible.
And 7th place was taken down with Golgari Midrange which is a deck that tries to have control over the battlefield and gain an advantage on the opponent by using cards that make the opponent use more resources than you have invested while also slowly taking them out of the game with creatures.
Lets go take a look at the decklists!
1st place was taken down with Esper Midrange by Bullwinkkle6705!
Esper Midrange has been having a strong resurgence recently with multiple top finishes in various events over the past 2 weeks! The deck uses only the strongest threats in the esper colors which include cards like Raffine, Scheming Seer or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and other value cards like Wedding Announcement or Virtue of Loyalty to present a curve that is really hard to beat since its full of bombs.
Of course you need to interact with the opponent in some capacity and for that you got premium removal like Go for the throat or The Wandering Emperor and also counterspells in the form of Make Disappear so the deck is always ready to face anything that the format presents!
2nd (by Graciasportanto), 6th (by Veraquios) and 8th place (by Killah_SUV) were taken down with Bant Control!
This deck combines a really strong Azorius base (as most control decks do) with a light green splash for a really strong card. The Azorius base includes counterspells like Syncopate or Make Disappear, premium removal like Leyline Binding or The Wandering Emperor and other interaction like Horned Loch-Whale or boardwipes (Sunfall).
That is a great start for a control decklist but some of you may ask why does this deck play Syncopate or Horned Loch-Whale right? And that is where the green splash comes in with Up the Beanstalk which makes you never run out of cards thanks to a part of your deck costing more than 5 mana!
As for the specific decklists, they are basically the same with only really minor diferencies
3rd place was taken down with Domain Ramp by canepis16! This deck keeps proving how strong it is by puting up great results every weekend including this one!
In the early game, this deck wants to control the board with premium removal like Leyline Binding, Virtue of Persistence or Sunfall while also ramping up mana with Topiary Stomper or Invasion of Zendikar so its able to hardcast its finishers.
The finishers have recently gotten even better with Wilds of Eldraine where these finishers are cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Herd Migration or Virtue of Persistence which is a great addition by providing removal with a late game finisher that lets you take over the game with value!
4th place was taken down with Selesnya Enchantments by pokerswizard!
This deck uses enchantments to get some of the strongest synergies in the entire format thanks to the cards working well together. Lets start with the enablers that include cost reduction like Jukai Naturalist but also threats like Generous Visitor, Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr or Hallowed Haunting.
The enchantments that provide the value are mostly sagas like Teachings of the Kirin or The Restoration of Eiganjo but also removal like Ossification. Those cards alone would not be that strong, but combined with the enablers they create a lot of value for the mana invested.
5th place was taken down with Azorius Soldiers by remf!
This deck is also synergistic but in a slightly different way. Instead of maximizing value from enchantments, this deck maximizes on synergies between its creatures to create a fast clock with its tribal threats! Lets start with the cheapest threats and those include cards like Recruitment Officer or Resolute Reinforcements which let you swarm the board with a lot of cheap threats.
Moving up you got cards like Harbin, Vanguard Aviator, Regal Bunnicorn, Wedding Announcement or Knight-Errant of Eos to take full advantage of these cheap threats by providing more power or additional value. And of course as most creature decks in Azorius colors, this one also plays counterspells this time in the form of Make Disappear.
And 7th place was taken down with Golgari Midrange by FerMTG!
This deck plays a bunch of value threats and spells that let you gain an advantage on the opponent by forcing them to use more resources than you have invested. Starting of with the threats and disruption you got one of the best midrange cards which is Liliana of the Veil.
Moving down the list you got cards like Mosswood Dreadknight which draws you cards on top of providing a threat, Glissa Sunslayer which does the same but in a slightly different way, Graveyard Trespasser which 2 for 1s your opponent whenever they try to remove it and then the 2 strong four drops which are Blossoming Tortoise which ramps you and makes your Restless Cottage way better and the second card is Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which probably doesn’t need much explanation.
And that is it for the first Challenge, lets go take a look at the one that took place on Sunday, September 24th 2023.
September 24th, Top 8 Decks
1st place was taken down with Esper Control which is a deck that maximizes on cheap interaction, great boardwipes and instant speed card advantage to create a deck that is able to deal with anything that the format presents!
2nd and 6th place were taken down with Domain Ramp which is a deck that tries to control the board in the early game while also ramping itself into more mana so it becomes able to hardcast its finishers like Atraxa, Grand Unifier to take over the game.
3rd place was taken down with Golgari Midrange which is a deck that provides strong threats on top of gaining an advantage on the opponent by forcing them to use their resources to your advantage thanks to your value cards.
4th and 7th place were taken down with Mono-Red Aggro which is a deck that maximizes on cheap threats and burn to maximize its speed to become able to finish the game as quickly as possible.
5th place was taken down with Boros Tokens which is a deck that uses a lot of cheap threats to its advantage by either making them bigger to finish the opponent or being able to cast expensive spells with the convoke mechanic.
And 8th place was taken down with Mono-White Aggro which is also a deck that wants to finish the opponent as quickly as possible, but this time it achieves that with potent on-rate creatures that have great stats and powerful abilities.
Lets go take a look a the decklists!
1st place was taken down with Esper Control by Ignotus97!
This deck uses a lot of interaction to create a potent deck that is able to deal with anything that the opponent might present. Lets start with the cheapest interaction that includes removal like Go for the throat, Cut down or Sheoldred's Edict or cheap counterspells like Make Disappear and Dissipate.
Moving down the list, you got some more expensive removal in the form of The Wandering Emperor, strong boardwipes in the form of Sunfall or Farewell and also instant speed card advantage like Memory Deluge or Quick Study to refuel your hand with cards.
2nd (by Raydan) and 6th (by Tutsandallthat) place were taken down with Domain Ramp!
The early game for this deck is rather slow and mostly consists of ramp cards like Topiary Stomper or Invasion of Zendikar to get more mana sooner and removal like Leyline Binding, Virtue of Persistence or Sunfall to survive before you get to your desired mana.
When you get to enough mana you can start taking over the game with value from cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Virtue of Persistence or Herd Migration. And if value from these cards is not enough you also got access to Up the Beanstalk to get card advantage from the mentioned finishers.
3rd place was taken down with Golgari Midrange by gazmon48!
This deck combines powerful threats and value to make it a pain for the opponent. As for the threats, lets go down the list starting with Liliana of the Veil as one of the best midrange cards, Mosswood Dreadknight as card advantage and a threat in one, Graveyard Trespasser or Glissa Sunslayer as two great threats and 4 drops like Blossoming Tortoise which ramps you and makes your creature land Restless Cottage way better and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which is one of the best threats in the format. And these threats are of course suported with removal in the form of cards like Go for the throat, Cut Down or Virtue of Persistence.
4th (by LucasG1ggs) and 7th (by Lennny) place were taken down with Mono-Red Aggro!
This deck uses fast and cheap threats with burn to finish the game as quickly as possible. The threats include cards like Monastery Swiftspear as one of the best aggro threats in the game, Charming Scoundrel as a very versatile threat or Goddric, Cloaked Reveler as a powerful card that can turn into a Shivan Dragon and the burn includes cards like Play with Fire or Lightning Strike so you are able to get in the last points of damage that you might be missing.
5th place was taken down with Boros Tokens by Sapoa!
This deck wants to swarm the board with a bunch of cheap threats to then take full advantage of them with pump spells or convoke spells. The cheap enablers include cards like Gleeful Demolition, Resolute Reinforcements or Voldaren Epicure which let you swarm the board with a bunch of tokens.
When you get enough of the tokens you can start using them with your pay-offs which include cards like Regal Bunnicorn which can provide a large threat, Imodane's Recruiter which lets you get in more damage and Knight-Errant of Eos which provides a big threat on top of getting you more cards to cast.
And the last 8th place was taken down with Mono-White Aggro by jvidarte!
This deck similarly to Mono-Red Aggro also wants to finish the game as quickly as possible, but it does that only with creatures that have great stats for the mana invested while also providing some powerful abilities for you. These threats can include cheap cards like Recruitment Officer or Hopeful Initiate but also some more expensive cards like Spellbook Vendor which makes your creatures bigger, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which makes it harder for your opponent to interact or Adeline, Resplendent Cathar which provides a big threat and a token enabler in one.
And that’s it for the article! The format has been evolving every weekend since Wilds of Eldraine hit the shelves of stores and now it might be evolving even more with the World Championship that took place on this weekend!