My Next Top 5 Decks for Grinding the Standard 2022 Ladder
Hello everyone! A few weeks ago I wrote on my Top 5 Standard 2022 decks to grind ladder with which seemed to resonate with a lot of our readers. If you’re interested in reading that, the link will be below.
However, the metagame changes fast and with that, what the most effective decks to grind with changes as well. Realistically you can just jam a deck you’re practiced with or a high tier deck and have strong results, but I like optimizing my process as much as possible. If I can gain any small edge on ladder, I’ll try to do so. With that, I wanted to write about 5 more decks I’ve been having a lot of success with. At the end, I’ll collate both lists in a final top 5 and explain what decks have been bringing me the most success.
Let’s get into it.
5. MONO RED AGGRO
The very first deck on the list is a Standard classic: Mono Red Aggro.
A lot of 2022 has evolved into a sort of arm’s race. A lot of the decks in 2022 have been building to go bigger and bigger than their opponent’s causing their decks to slowly become clunkier and clunkier. It took a little while, but it now seems that the time is right for Aggro to shine again.
Mono Red has the unique advantage for an aggro deck that it’s both very fast and has extremely cheap removal to prioritize keeping the pressure on the opponent. Furthermore, Mono Red probably has the most mana sinks in any aggro deck which allows it to perform well whether you’re operating on a few lands or a lot of lands. These unique advantages help get under slow decks, race fast decks, and grind out really slow decks.
Although I’m a big fan of Mono Red, it’s of course not without it’s flaws. I wouldn’t say Mono Red has many, but it certainly has a pervasive one: The card quality is relatively low. We do play bangers like Goldspan Dragon and Blade Historian, but the cards do feel a bit weak compared to the average.
This can lead to games where if you’re slugging it out with another deck, if you draw the same amount of spells than them you can eventually get outvalued. This can also lead us to struggle against some of the Black based midrange decks that are particularly popular right now, making Monored a simultaneous great choice and awkward choice.
With this in mind, although Mono Red has treated me well, I think it’s the “worst” of my favorite options.
If you want to read the guide on it, you can click the image below.
4. GOLGARI CONTROL
Remember those Black based Control decks we were just talking about? Well here’s one of them!
There’s a lot of different takes on the Black midrange/control decks, but most of them are centered around Treasure tokens and Learn cards. Although this is a great strategy, I prefer going the really low creature count route.
Golgari has been extremely consistent for me as it does a lot well. It feels inherently excellent against the aggressive decks as you have so much removal, multiple board wipes, annoying blockers like Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager and Esika's Chariot, and amazing top end.
However, Golgari has a few endemic issues. First, any Control deck is going to suffer from the issue of “drawing the wrong half of the deck” where you draw too many of one type of card and not enough of the others. Second, although I haven’t felt this way, a lot of users felt that the Control matchups were extremely unfavored. Lastly, I have felt that Golgari can definitely struggle with decks that are looking to go way over it, like a Ramp deck.
If you want to read the guide on Golgari, you can click on the link below.
3. RAKDOS BERSERKERS
Coming in third is likely the strangest deck on the list, Rakdos Berserkers. What started as a thought experiment morphed into an amazingly strong archetype, one that I’m still nearly undefeated with.
Beyond the mana base, I would argue that Rakdos does a lot of what Monored is going for, but a bit better. The deck has more synergy, you get access to some better removal, and you get access to more power cards like Immersturm Predator and The Bloodsky Massacre. Furthermore, Rakdos also takes advantage of decks getting clunkier by providing an aggressive curve backed up by great top end and solid removal.
Similarly to Monored as well, although the card quality can feel low at times with suspect options like Duskwielder, the deck’s synergistic elements make it feel more cohesive as Skemfar Avenger, The Bloodsky Massacre, and Immersturm Predator may better use of the cards that get outclassed compared to Monored where they can really struggle once they start getting outvalued.
Beyond the inherent issue of potentially drawing too much of one card type against certain decks, Rakdos doesn’t seem to have any particularly pervasive issues. The card quality can feel low if you don’t draw any synergy cards, but that’s a very rare scenario.
Overall, I’m still roughly 15-1 with the archetype and still rely on it constantly if I need some quick wins.
If you want to read the guide on Rakdos, you can clink the link below.
2. DIMIR ROGUES
The next on the list wasn’t even a deck idea I had, but one our new columnist Bohe did: Dimir Rogues.
I knew that Zareth San, the Trickster was a very powerful card in 2022, but figured that it didn’t have the support so I never tried it. However, as I reiterate constantly, a lot of decks you wouldn’t expect to work in 2022 do, and sometimes, are great. Rogues is an amazing example of this exact principal as the deck has been performing extremely well for me.
Like most of the decks on the list, I’ve been looking to capitalize on the metagame slowing down, and Rogues does a great job at acting as a foil. Unlike Aggro which looks to close every game ASAP, Rogues doesn’t mind playing a longer game as it uses a solid curve and interaction to stymie a slow deck’s plan. This strategy is so effective as Izzet Dragons taught us that a good clock backed up by counterspells and cheap removal is an extremely potent combination, something that Rogues abuses.
Unlike Izzet, this deck isn’t as reliant on drawing one particular card and is happy as long as it draws a solid mix of lands, creatures, and spells. Furthermore, Rogues hasn’t felt that it had really any bad matchup, only just awkward draws. Furthermore, this is probably the only deck I felt was at least even when on the draw against Monowhite as you have so many cheap spells to keep you alive and heavy hitters like Nighthawk Scavenger and Zareth San, the Trickster to stabilize you.
This deck is excellent for grinding ladder, but will require some practice to make the best use of it.
If you want to read the guide on it, you can click on the link below.
1. TEMUR RAMP
All the previous decks on the list were looking to capitalize on the meta by going under them in one way or another, but Temur is looking to do the exact opposite.
Temur is likely the strongest top end deck played in 2022 with a total of TEN 7+ cmc cards in the deck. Although that sounds extremely clunky, the deck does an excellent job at surviving until it can start casting these spells which makes this an absurdly effective strategy against most of the metagame.
The reason this deck has been so successful for me is that it has a good countermeasure for functionally any strategy, and then the power level of the top end can save you from most positions where you are behind. You have interaction early, you have ramp early, you have both ramp and interaction in the mid game, and then you have the bombs. As long as you keep a hand with a decent curve, you have a really strong chance to win that game.
Lastly, the largest advantage to this deck is that it has been boasting an extremely strong win rate against all 3 of the top decks in the format: Monowhite, Monogreen, and Orzhov, which is a huge boon for the deck’s power level. In particular, I’ve been facing a large amount of Monogreen and this deck has been extremely effective in countering it as they have an extremely difficult time beating a resolved Koma, Cosmos Serpent or Magma Opus.
In terms of flaws, the deck can be clunky at times, you can draw too much removal or early game when you don’t need it, and the deck can be awkward against really hard control, but it’s still performed better for me than nearly anything else recently. It was the deck that got me to Mythic this season and the one I continue to play when I need to get my quests out of the way.
If you want to read the guide on it, you can click the link below.
MY TOTAL TOP 5
So between the two top 5 lists, where does my current overall top 5 stand? Here’s where I’m at.
Every deck I’ve listed has obviously performed well for me, but this is where I rank these decks right now. Although I still consider Mono Green to be the best deck, I’ve been noticing that the meta has very much shifted to respect it, prompting me to course correct with it.
Thank you for reading!