Nerd Street Gamers Qualifier #1: Top 8 Tournament Decklists in Post-Rotation Standard

Storm the Festival Art by Yigit Koroglu
Storm the Festival Art by Yigit Koroglu

On the heels of the recent release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and the Standard rotation that came with it, we have been paying close attention to the Standard tournament scene. It’s a new format, and we have the opportunity to observe some of the top tournament grinders battling it out to determine what the best decks are.

This weekend, US-based Esports network Nerd Street Gamers has launched their first tournament in the MTG space with a three day, $1,000 Qualifier event for their upcoming Championship in late October. The event took place over three days, with two days of Swiss rounds followed by a Top 8 cut to determine the final results.

Below, we’re going to take a look at the metagame from the event and present the Top 8 decklists for you to browse. As of the time of publishing, the final results from the Top 8 bracket have not yet been published by Nerd Street Gamers. We have reached out to the event’s organizers and will update this article if we can obtain the final results.

For those interested in more competitive tournament results, we also covered Sunday’s Clearly Frame Advantage $2k which you can view below:

Additionally, you can find even more competitive decklists by following the links below for Standard Metagame Challenge 7-0 decks as well as our newly relaunched Top Mythic Decks of the Week:

Metagame

ArchetypeNumber of DecksPercentage of FieldWinrate
Izzet Dragons ❄️711.9%52.4%
Mono-White Aggro ❄️58.5%50%
Boros Aggro46.8%51.9%
Rakdos Sacrifice35.1%57.1%
Mono-Green Aggro ❄35.1%40%
Mono-White Aggro (non-snow)35.1%35.3%
Gruul Werewolves35.1%55.2%

To view the full metagame, please see the tournament’s MTGMelee page.

Izzet Dragons continues to be a player in Standard, surviving the rotation and seemingly remaining one of the top archetypes in competitive best-of-three. There isn’t much I could say about the archetype here that hasn’t already been said better by DoggertQBones in his recent deck guide, so go check it out!

Dragons aside, Mono White Aggro was the most represented archetype at the event if you count both the snow and non-snow variants. This was a bit surprising to me, as although we’ve been seeing Mono White all over the place in best-of-one, the archetype hasn’t been showing up much at other recent best-of-three tournaments. The winrate for the deck in non-mirror matches stands right at 50%, so I suppose the jury is still out on whether it will be a real contender in the tournament scene.

A large portion of the meta at the Nerd Street Qualifier #1 was made up of aggro decks of various sorts. In addition to Mono White, Boros, Mono Green, and Gruul Werewolves decks all showed up in numbers at the event.

Rakdos Sacrifice decks also made a significant appearance as the 4th most popular archetype overall, and with one of the highest non-mirror winrates at over 57%. However, no examples of the archetype made it into the Top 8 in the end in spite of its generally high winrate.

Swiss Top 8 Standings

RankPlayerDeckRecord
1hogpog_98Izzet Dragons10-2
2OthkurikSultai Festival10-2
3Jeremy LangevinSelesnya Ramp9-3
4Robert McKeeSultai Festival9-3
5TheFireGolemMono White Aggro8-4
6Travis SowersGolgari Midrange8-4
7Zachary OkornIzzet Turns8-4
8J DobbsBoros Aggro8-4

While the Top 8 of the Clearly Frame Advantage $2k was largely dominated by Izzet decks, the Top 8 after the Swiss portion of this event was quite a bit more balanced – although Izzet Dragons was still at rank 1. Something that’s a little unusual about these results is that many of the archetypes that made it to the Top 8 were not among the most heavily represented archetypes overall.

In particular, there were just two Sultai decks built around Storm the Festival, and both of them made it to the Top 8. The combination of Esika’s Chariot and Wrenn and Seven is a potent strategy that’s a part of many archetypes in Standard, and Storm the Festival is able to put both cards directly onto the battlefield.

Maybe you were hoping Sultai ramp decks were dead after rotation, but at least the archetype doesn’t end the game on the spot anymore without access to Emergent Ultimatum.

Additionally, the third ranked deck after the Swiss rounds was Selesnya Ramp, a deck that’s been making its way around the MTGA ladder in recent days. Jeremy Langevin’s deck was one of only two that fit this archetype entered in the event, and one of just three Selesnya decks total. This deck also plays Wrenn and Chariot similar to the Sultai lists, but the green/white take on the strategy focuses more on Landfall with cards like Kazandu Mammoth and Felidar Retreat.

Is Storm the Festival going to be a key card in the competitive Standard format? The results from this tournament seem to suggest so, but the meta is just emerging and we still have a lot to learn about new Standard. For more information on Storm the Festival decks, be sure to see our deck guide featuring the card in a Golgari shell.

Top 8 Decklists

Paul

Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.