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Play Standard 2020

Standard 2020 Event Guide and Decklists

Play Standard 2020

Throne of Eldraine release and Standard rotation is approaching fast! This special Magic: The Gathering Arena event is your perfect chance to catch up on your Core Set Mastery levels to your hearts desire (before it is replaced by the Eldraine Mastery), and test out some potential post-rotation Standard decks in the process. Read on for more information about the event and our exclusive decklists to help you win some games!

Event Information

  • Duration: September 9 2019 at 8 AM PT (15:00 UTC) until September 26 2019 at 4 AM PT (11:00 UTC) (Throne of Eldraine Release)
  • Format: Standard 2020 Constructed – Only cards from Guilds of Ravnica forward (Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, Core Set 2020, and Throne of Eldraine) will be playable. This includes the event rewards from the Eldraine Courtside Brawl (see below for complete list).
  • Entry Fee: Free!
  • Ends After: 3 wins or 2 losses (whichever comes first)
  • Match Structure: Single matches (BO1)

Event Rewards

  • 1 Win: 50 XP
  • 2 Wins: 150 XP
  • 3 Wins: 250 XP

Note: There are two separate queues for this event:

  • Ranked Standard 2020: Wins and losses will contribute towards the ranked ladder season. Play this version of the event if you want to hit two birds with one stone – climb the ladder and earn XP at the same time, at the expense of playing versus a more competitive field of players.
  • Play Standard 2020: Wins and losses do not contribute towards the ranked ladder season and thus presumably will be less competitive. Play this version of the event if you want to have a higher chance of winning or if your deck is weaker. Recommended if Mastery completion is more important.

What is Standard 2020?

Ranked Standard 2020

Get a head start on the upcoming Standard format and earn extra Set Mastery XP! Play Standard 2020 by using cards from Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, Core Set 2020, and Throne of Eldraine!

You can play this event as many times as you want!

This is a Standard constructed event with the caveat that players are only allowed to use cards from the following Standard 2020 sets that will not rotate out on September 26:

  • Guilds of Ravnica
  • Ravnica Allegiance
  • War of the Spark
  • Core Set 2020

We are also allowed to use the 6 Throne of Eldraine cards earned from Eldraine Courtside Brawl, which are:

  • Heraldic Banner
  • Syr Konrad, the Grim
  • Faerie Vandal
  • Savvy Hunter
  • Inspiring Veteran
  • Order of Midnight

Previously we have had the Ravnica Constructed as part of the War of the Spark Chronicles series of events, which now adds Core Set 2020 cards to the mix since then (as well as the 6 Throne of Eldraine cards).

Recap on Mastery XP

See more: Core Set Mastery

The primary objective of this event is to complete your Core Set Mastery as much as you can, but it is not expected to be something you can go from 0 to 100 – the number of levels you gain will be minor compared to the regular rewards you normally get (more on this below). Remember these important points:

  • You can get up to level 100 if you have purchased the Mastery Pass, or level 72 if you do not.
  • We have until September 26 (inclusive) before the it is replaced by the Throne of Eldraine Mastery system.
  • As of September 9, your sources of Mastery XP include:
    • Weekly Wins: 250 XP per win, up to 15 wins per week – this is 11250 XP or about 10 levels, if you have not finished this week’s wins.
    • Daily Quests: 500 XP per quest, up to 18 new quests remaining – this is 9000 XP (or 10000 XP if you have two more saved up) or 9-10 levels.
    • Codes: 2000 XP from the code LevelUp if you have not redeemed it already.
    • Events: 200 XP every two wins from this event, or any other future ones that may come up.
    • Purchasing levels from the Store: 200 gems per level.

From here, you can calculate how much grinding from this event might be required to reach your desired level. Just with Weekly Wins and Daily Quests, it looks like we have about 20 levels worth of free XP left as of September 8 Weekly Win reset!

Recap on Standard Rotation

See more: Standard Rotation

As stated above, we have the four sets (Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Core Set 2019) rotating out of Standard on September 26 with the release of Throne of Eldraine. We will then see a whole new metagame of Standard decks as well as the Historic format coming int play.

A new set of cards usually completely changes the dynamic of Standard – with less than a quarter of Throne of Eldraine spoiled so far, nobody knows what decks will be the best going forward, and especially when it comes to evaluating new cards! In general, it will be best to build decks with cards you possess already for this event and save Wildcards and resources until the set is released.

EV for Standard 2020 Event – How Many Games Would I Have to Play?

To manage expectations, let’s first consider how many games of Magic: The Gathering you would have to play and how long it would roughly take to reach your desired Mastery level. The math has been updated for the new reward structure.

Win RateXP EVXP EV / Game
  • Compared to the old event reward structure, this is a slight increase in expected value in XP for each game for most players. If each game lasts 10-15 minutes – that means it might take a minimum of about 4.5 hours (down from about 5 hours) for you to gain one level.
  • It is also recommended you restart the event (resign or concede the next match) if you lose your first game, as consecutive wins still grant you more XP in the end and there is no penalty for restarting.

Of course, this is all dependent on your skill, luck and decklist, to give yourself an edge over other players. That’s why we are here writing this guide!

Building Your Standard 2020 Deck – Tips and Strategies

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what kind of decks we can expect from this event.

Effect on the Manabase – How Many Colors?

The biggest impact on Standard would definitely be the “Checklands” rotating (e.g. Hinterland Harbor) out. They have allowed Standard to enjoy the freedom of having three-colored decks without much penalty, in conjunction with the “Shocklands” (e.g. Breeding Pool) from the Ravnica sets.

Mark Rosewater has confirmed that there will not be another set of Rare dual colored lands in Throne of Eldraine – which means we now only have the Shocklands, the “Scrylands” (e.g. Temple of Silence), and the common land cycles (e.g. Gates) to work with. This will considerably slowdown any decks trying to play three colors as a consequence of lands coming into play tapped.

It is clear that Wizards are now pushing mono or two colored decks to have a bit of a break from our perfect manabase that we’ve had for the past year. We also think that going one or two colors is the best option going forward, for consistency and speed. However, that depends a lot on the strength of individual cards we have available.

If we still wanted to go to the three color path, the best colors to play would be the ones that have access to two of the Temples, which are the enemy color wedges – which would be:

  • Jeskai: Temple of Epiphany, Temple of Triumph
  • Sultai: Temple of Mystery, Temple of Malady
  • Abzan: Temple of Malady, Temple of Silence
  • Mardu: Temple of Silence, Temple of Triumph
  • Temur: Temple of Mystery, Temple of Epiphany

Midrange or control decks would best suit this kind of manabase as most lands would come into play tapped, and is a significant factor in slowing down decks.

The Metagame Consideration

The event will naturally favor aggro or combo decks. This is because the match structure is best-of-one matches, so without sideboards it is better for decks to make their own strategy work as efficiently as possible.

Also as mentioned above, the manabase prefers two color decks and it is difficult to go three colors, and these types of decks usually prefer to be consistent and synergistic in nature, in part due to the limited card pool. Another factor is the use of Shocklands – people will be paying 2 life more often, so aggro decks will like to prey on that.

Throne of Eldraine Cards

As mentioned above, you are able to use the new Throne of Eldraine reward cards from the Brawl event – however, none of the cards here look too game-breaking. The Knights stand out as a tribal flavor, similar to Vampires – we all know how powerful Knight of the Ebon Legion is. We have a Knight deck you might want to try below, since Vampires won’t be part of this new meta.

Savvy Hunter is also a solid card that deserves a mention – it can stall games against aggro decks and provides a solid body in the process. We apologize in advance if some of our decks contain the above cards and you missed them during the Brawl event – you will be able to craft these once Throne of Eldraine releases.

Update: As an addendum, in order to use these cards in the deck builder, you need to select the Standard 2020 deck type. If you are building a new deck, select it on the top right hand corner (left image), or for an existing deck select it from the deck statistics screen (right image).

Afterwards you can type “s:eld” into the deck filter to see the Throne of Eldraine cards.

Our Top Standard 2020 Decklist Choices

We already had some good decks to use from the previous Ravnica Constructed event and the Plane-cation Chronicles, which we modified some to make them better with Core Set 2020, as well as some new ones here. We also have added decks from tournaments, which you can find separately from our exclusive decks below.

Twitch Rivals MTG Arena Standard 2020 Challenge Decklists

View article

Fandom Legends Week 24 Standard 2020 Decklists

View article

Wrapping Up

Since the event will be ongoing until September 26, we will keep updating the guide as time goes as neeeded and as the metagame within the event changes. We will also add more decklists and update them accordingly so keep this page bookmarked!

Remember, you can contact us on our social channels on Discord or Twitter, email us, or leave a comment below if you have any feedback or just want to let us know how our decks went.


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