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 9th and September 10th 2023. With the new set coming out this week we got a bunch of upgraded decks and completely new archetypes! Lets go take a look at all of the interesting decks people chose to register this weekend!
September 9th, Top 8 Decks
The new set has just dropped and that means a lot of new cards in the format to try in competitive events which is awesome! Of course we got a lot of existing decks that just got upgraded with a few cards, but we also have some completely new archetypes in the format to compete with those already established decks. Lets go take a look at what the first post WOE top8 brought to us!
At 1st place, 4th, 5th and 7th place we got Domain Ramp. This deck has been in the format for so long that it probably doesn’t need much explanation and it still to this day competes at the top tables with multiple copies of the deck in the top8! The core plan of the deck stays the same which is to ramp into expensive spells to win the game with huge bombs but the deck got upgraded with some interesting cards from Wilds of Eldraine which we will cover more further in the article.
2nd place has Esper Legends which is a strong contender in the format full of Legendary creatures. Thanks to the legends support in the recent sets, it has a lot of powerful threats and a great manabase with a lot of strong abilities so its able to battle with other decks.
3rd place has Dimir Faeries which is a newly created archetype in the format. As you propably already guessed its full of faeries and this format has a lot of them to choose from. And most of the time faerie decks also had a lot of cheap interaction that worked well with its creatures and this deck is no exception in that rule!
6th and the last 8th place were taken down with Golgari Midrange which provably got the most upgrades in the entire top 8! Golgari Midrange was a deck that used to put some results in the past, but it was not that strong as other contenders so it probably meant that it was lacking in some way, but the new set has brought so many great Golgari cards that it might be able to slide right into the tier 1 category of the format thanks to them!
The first domain ramp deck to cover and also the first place finish was achieved by Rex_Iudex!
I don’t even know where to start, because this deck has A LOT of new cards. Starting at the ramp cards this pilot replaced Topiary Stomper with Bramble Familiar because its also able to act as a top end card when needed. Being able to serve both of the most important slots in the deck is really good. And Virtue of Persistence also accomplishes by having a removal spell on the adventure side but also serves as a strong finisher!
Moving onto the top end of the deck you also got some cards that are not played that often which include Phyrexian Fleshgorger, Cemetery Desecrator which acts as a good 2 for 1 effect and Invasion of Alara which is able to get you cards and your finishers earlier when you hit Bramble Familiar (where you get to cast the adventure spell for free).
You also got some more non standard slots in the sideboard cards like Mirrorshell Crab but the most important changes were already covered above.
Overall this variant is a really interesting approach to the archetype that is well worth trying if you get access to all of the new cards from WOE!
The rest of the domain ramp lists were piloted by AFX (4th), Edel (5th) and _IlNano_ (7th)!
These lists don’t have huge changes like the first place list but they still have some upgrades from the new set that are worth checking!
The first deck to cover is the 4th place list by AFX. This deck goes all in on ramp with overall 11 copies of cards that are able to ramp you. As the first place list this one also got Bramble Familiar and Virtue of Persistence to get more flexibility against a wide range of decks in the format. Aside from that, the deck has mostly cards that I would call stock in the archetype, only notable one would be Courier's Briefcase but I have seen it multiple times in this archetype already.
The second deck to cover is 5th place list by Edel. This list is almost the same as the one by AFX but this one also plays Beseech The Mirror which serves as a catch-all card since its able to get you anything into your hand, and if its less than 5 mana you are even able to cast it for free!
And the third list to cover is the 7th place list by _IlNano_. This deck plays even less new cards compared to the above mentioned lists, but instead it plays Up the Beanstalk which is able to draw you a card for every card that costs more than 4 mana. And your deck actually has a lot of those so it acts as a great way to gain an advantage on your opponent!
2nd place was taken down with Esper Legends by INickStrad!
Esper legends is a deck that has been in the format for a long time and it does that with a bunch of powerful legendary creatures and a strong manabase support for them.
The maindeck doesn’t have any new cards from WOE but we can still see a version of the deck that has not been played that much recently. Iam talking about the more disruptive version that plays Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Skrelv, Defector Mite so its able to put on much more pressure onto the opponent thanks to the cards making it harder for them to interact. Even that the maindeck doesn’t have any new cards, the sideboard still has 2 copies of Lord Skitter, Sewer King which is able to generate a bunch of rats when left unchecked.
3rd place was taken down with Dimir Faeries by andrw1232!
This deck is a completely new archetype into the format! It consists of a creature package that is full of faeries like Sleep-Cursed Faerie, Faerie Mastermind and Obyra, Dreaming Duelist so its able to put on a lot of pressure for cheap while also disrupting the opponent with them. Faerie decks have also historically played a lot of cheap interaction and this list is no exception. That interaction includes cards like Faerie Fencing, Spell Stutter and Ego Drain where you are able to get the most out of them when you have your creatures on the battlefield.
6th and 8th place were taken down with Golgari Midrange by komattaman and FerMTG!
Golgari midrange got a lot of new cards in the new set so we got a lot of to look at in these lists!
First list to cover is the 6th place one by komattaman. As ussualy lets start with the threat package where I will especially point out the new cards. Starting at 2 mana we already got Mosswood Dreadknight which is able to generate a lot of value when you have the mana for it. moving up we got the ussual threats like Graveyard Trespasser or Glissa Sunslayer but then you also have Lord Skitter, Sewer King which is able to generate a lot of tokens.
At 4 mana you got Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and a new card in the form of Blossoming Tortoise which is able to ramp you on top of making Restless Cottage way better. Next you got planeswalkers in the form of Liliana of the Veil and Nissa, Ascended Animist if you need the extra grind and disruption against some fair decks.
The removal package has all the stock cards but it gets interesting with the enchantments. Those include Teachings of the Kirin as a great value card and Virtue of Persistence which is a great top end that is able to remove a problematic threat early!
And the second list to cover is the 8th place list by FerMTG. This list is really similiar to the above mentioned one but instead of Blossoming Tortoise it plays more cheaper threats and Workshop Warchief. Aside from that the lists look very similiar and share basically the same gameplan.
And that is it for the first Challenge, lets go take a look at the one that took place on Sunday, September 10th 2023
September 10th, Top 8 Decks
A slightly more diverse top8 compared to the one from Saturday, but we can see most of the same decks that appeared in there.
The 1st place was taken down with Mono-Red Aggro. All of you probably know what this deck does, it basically wants to lower the opponents life total from 20 to 0 as fast as possible with cheap and aggressive red cards that this rotation has a lot of.
2nd place was taken down with Domain Ramp. A long existing deck that wants to ramp into big threats and also has been upgraded with new cards!
3rd place was taken down with Esper Legends. A deck that plays a bunch of cheap legendary creatures to disrupt the opponent while presenting pressure thanks to its strong manabase support.
4th and 8th were taken down with Azorius Soldiers. A premiere tribal deck of the format that is centred around the Soldier tribe with its cheap threats, strong lords and card advantage. With that its able to overtake the battlefield when left unchecked.
5th place was taken down with Golgari Midrange. A freshly upgraded archetype with a bunch of new cards from WOE making it a strong contender in the format thanks to them.
6th place was taken down with Mono-White Aggro. An aggro deck that is centred around disruptive and synergistic white creatures to make it a pain for the opponent while presenting a bunch of pressure for cheap
and 7th place was taken down with Dimir Midrange. The best midrange deck before the release of WOE consisting of really strong black threats and cheap interaction to get control over the battlefield.
Lets go take a look at the specific decklists!
The 1st place was taken down with Mono-Red Aggro by O_danielakos!
Mono-Red has had a stock list for a while now so there wasn’t much interesting in the specific decklists, but the new set brought us some interesting cards that upgraded the archetype so lets take a look at em! The first one is Charming Scoundrel which might not look like the strongest card, but its power lies in its flexibility.
The second card is Goddric, Cloaked Reveler which is a 3/3 haste for 3 mana when you cast it, but if you manage to get 2 nonland permanents onto the battlefield in one turn it turns into a Shivan Dragon for free which is great for an aggro deck!
2nd place was taken down with Domain Ramp by BomattCourier!
This list is the same as the first place one I already covered in the above mentioned challenge from september 9th so I will just quickly glance over the upgrades since you propably already read the description from the saturday challenge.
Those upgrades include Bramble Familiar, Cemetery Desecrator, Virtue of Persistence and Invasion of Alara. There are some other cards that are not stock in the archetype in my opinion but these are the most important changes in the deck.
The 3rd place was taken down with Esper Legends by Mogged!
This is an another long existing deck in the format which whole gameplan revolves around cheap and disruptive legendary creatures to put a lot of pressure onto the opponent and finish them before they can interact. The list did not get upgraded with much cards, the only noteable card is Lord Skitter, Sewer King in the maindeck and sideboard as a good way to get a bunch of power against non-interactive decks.
The other interesting thing to mention is that this list is also the cheaper and disruptive one which includes Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Skrelv, Defector Mite as great ways to make it hard to interact for the opponent.
4th and 8th place were taken down with Azorius Soldiers by ThaisM and hermanomlg!
Azorius Soldiers has been one of the most premier tribal decks in the format. It consists of a lot of synergistic soldier cards and a few interaction spells which combined create a strong creature gameplan. Both of the lists share the same early game full of cheap 1 mana threats like Recruitment Officer or Skrelv, Defector Mite. The same goes for 2 drops which can include something like Valiant Veteran or Resolute Reinforcements so as you see its able to present a lot of power very early.
The differences between the decks start at 3 mana where the 4th place list plays more 2 drops and Wedding Announcement when compared to the 8th place list that plays way more 3 drops like Skystrike Officer or Siege Veteran which are able to generate a lot of value when left unchecked. The most expensive card of the deck is Knight-Errant of Eos which both of the lists play. Both also play interaction in the form of Make Disappear and a few removal spells just in case you will need to deal with some annoying spells.
5th place was taken down with Golgari Midrange by jakobpablo with a slight red splash!
This deck got a lot of upgrades in the new set which could potentialy push it into tier 1 of the format, so if you are a fan of golgari based midrange decks i might have great news for you. Starting of with the threats the list has Questing Druid and Mosswood Dreadknight where both of these 2 drops are able to generate a lot of value thanks to their adventure spells. Moving up the curve you got the stock threats in the form of Graveyard Trespasser and Glissa Sunslayer.
The 4 drop slot has Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Blossoming Tortoise which on top of ramping is able to make Restless Cottage way better. The removal package has the stock cards like Go for the throat but it gets interesting again with the enchantments. Those include Teachings of the Kirin which is a great value card and Virtue of Persistence which is a great top end card with a cheap removal spell attached to it.
6th place was taken down with Mono-White Aggro by katubuta!
This creature focused aggro deck that is full of cheap and disruptive threats also got upgraded with new cards. The stock shell of cards like Recruitment Officer, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Coppercoat Vanguard or Adeline, Resplendent Cathar got upgraded with 4 copies of Spellbook Vendor which slots well into the archetype since its able to put on more pressure onto the opponent every single turn.
And 7th place was taken down with Dimir Faeries by Hamuda!
A fresh new tribal archetype that is centred around faeries. Lets start with the creature package that is full of the namesake tribal and those include cards like Sleep-Cursed Faerie, Faerie Mastermind or even something like Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor so you can generate cards with your evasive Faeries.
As most Dimir decks this one also plays a bunch of cheap interaction and this deck has strong synergies with it. If you control some faeries on the battlefield you can get a lot of value from spells like Faerie Fencing, Ego Drain or Spell Stutter. On top of that you also got Kaito Shizuki to top the gameplan off with another great grindy card.
That’s it for today! Wilds of Eldraine has brought us a lot of new and fresh cards that slot well into most archetypes making the format more interesting again! Stay tuned for next weeks article to see which of these decks made it into the top8 again!
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