Courtesy of Star City Games and Wizards of the Coast
The Star City Games Tour Online resumed this weekend after a hiatus following the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and the Standard Rotation. The competitive meta is still in its early stages, and for most of the events we’ve seen so far, the metagame has been somewhat diverse. After this weekend’s SCG results, however, it seems that the meta is starting to head to an unhealthy place with a large percentage of decks falling into one of two archetypes.
In this iteration of the SCG Tour, there are eight satellite tournaments each weekend that reward players who perform well enough an entry to a $5,000 Invitational Qualifier that takes place on Sunday. In addition to the cash prizes, the best players from each Invitational Qualifier earn entries into a paper tournament being held by SCG in the fall, as well as a still unknown MTG: Arena Championship.
In this article, we’re going to review the metagame and Top 8 decklists from the Championship Qualifier. Afterwards, we will present the metagame tables and the winning decklists from each of the eight satellites. Let’s get started with a quick review of the overall meta, and then we’ll dive into the results.
At the beginning of the new Standard format after rotation, the metagame and top finishers were looking fairly diverse, with each event looking somewhat different – although Green and Gruul decks have been popular since day one. As time has gone on, the metagame has begun to settle more and more into two primary archetypes: Mono Green Aggro and Izzet Epiphany.
The Izzet Epiphany/Izzet Turns deck, an evolution of the Izzet Dragons archetype and the control decks it spawned, started really gaining traction in the tournament scene last weekend, especially at the Clearly Frame Advantage $2k. Now, the archetype is considered one of the best in Standard, but the SCG events this weekend were dominated by what is perhaps an even bigger menace in the format – Mono Green Aggro.
Gruul and Mono Green beatdown decks have been a part of the competitive scene since the very beginning of the format, but now the deck has risen to potentially problematic levels, both in terms of metagame share and winrate. At a BIG MAGIC Weekly Challenge on Friday, we noted that five of the top eight decks were Mono Green, which made up 25% of the meta overall.
With the full results in from the weekend’s SCG tournaments, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Out of the nine total events, seven of them listed Mono Green as the most popular archetype – the other two had Izzet Epiphany at the top. Six of the nine events were won by a Mono Green player. At the Championship Qualifier, 32% of the meta was made up of the decks, with a remarkable 61% winrate in non-mirror matches.
Is Mono Green too powerful for Standard? It may be, but if cards are banned from Mono Green with no other changes to the format, Izzet Epiphany will likely stand as the best deck left in the format by a significant margin. Nevertheless, if things continue like this in the competitive meta – especially after the upcoming World Championship XXVII – Wizards may be looking at potential bans in the Standard format.