Thundering Raiju Art by Xavier Ribeiro

Standard Metagame Snapshot and Tier List Update – July 21, 2022

The best decks in Magic: The Gathering's Standard format, what to watch out for, and our recommendations.

Overview

With only a few weeks left until Standard’s big rotation, the metagame has seemed to completely solidify. The tier 1 decks are way far ahead of the rest of the pack as the MTGO Standard Challenges seem to mostly be the same 4 or so archetypes occupying the top slots.

This isn’t necessarily new for a Standard that’s winding down, but the lack of impact the tier 2 options have been having isn’t something that’s generally common. Nevertheless, it seems this is the metagame we have to work with until September, and for what it’s worth, the game play has remained relatively exciting despite the matchups being somewhat repetitive.

Since the top decks have more or less been established, I’ll be doing shorter overviews this time around in an effort to not restate information everyone is privy to.

For the full metagame and tier lists:

As always, you can also check out the full metagame data and tier list over at MTG Meta for best of 3.


Events

While there weren’t too many Standard events last weekend, being able to analyze two Standard Challenges alongside the information we can derive from ladder will be extremely helpful.


Tier 1 Decks

Jeskai Hinata

Jeskai Hinata by Fingers1991
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Control
best of 3
8 mythic
32 rare
11 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (8)
4
Goldspan Dragon
$111.96
Instants (20)
2
Voltage Surge
$0.50
2
Negate
$0.50
1
Valorous Stance
$0.25
2
Dragon’s Fire
$0.50
2
Make Disappear
$0.50
4
Magma Opus
$19.96
Sorceries (4)
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
1
Mountain
$0.25
3
Deserted Beach
$35.97
3
Sundown Pass
$28.47
60 Cards
$493.36
15 Cards
$14.99
jeskai hinata
54.4% global win rate
6.74% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs Angels
100.0% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs dimir control
85.7% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs esper control
75.0% win rate
16 tracked matches
worst against
vs gruul werewolves
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs dimir delver
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs naya midrange
12.5% win rate
8 tracked matches

Guide

While many tried to usurp the crown from Jeskai Hinata, none were successful. Week in and week out, Hinata occupies a vast majority of the top slots of any given tournament. The deck is simply too strong to be usurped it seems. With multiple game plans and a combo finish, there’s just too much going on that even decks built in an attempt to counteract it can only do so much.

With the Standard rotation, Hinata will be losing two extremely important pieces in Goldspan Dragon and Magma Opus which will definitely break it’s stranglehold on the metagame. Despite that, I have my doubts that this will be the last we hear of this Kirin as mana reduction effects are always something to keep your eye on.

Orzhov Midrange

Orzhov Midrange by Oscar_Franco
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
10 mythic
33 rare
11 uncommon
6 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (15)
1
Legion Angel
$0.99
Instants (7)
3
Vanishing Verse
$10.47
2
Infernal Grasp
$1.98
2
Hagra Mauling
$4.58
Sorceries (7)
3
Dread Fugue
$0.75
2
Emeria’s Call
$11.98
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (6)
60 Cards
$374.3
Sideboard
3
Legion Angel
$2.97
1
Soul Shatter
$1.49
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Go Blank
$3.98
15 Cards
$20.25
orzhov midrange
52.8% global win rate
10.59% metagame share
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best against
vs selesnya lifegain
87.5% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs izzet giants
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs naya werewolves
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
worst against
vs temur control
30.0% win rate
20 tracked matches
vs five-color ramp
28.6% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs naya aggro
16.7% win rate
6 tracked matches

Guide

While I did say the metagame is now solidified, it did actually undergo a rather big change somewhat recently! Orzhov Midrange has quickly cemented itself as a Tier 1 archetype with its ability to grind and interact. Presumably, the deck has seen so much success as it likely fares better against Hinata than it’s Esper counterpart, but there isn’t too much data to help back that up as of yet.

Never the less, the combination of early game pressure, hand disruption, and generally good interaction seems to be a winning formula for this metagame. Despite it not being able to take away the best deck award from Hinata and it being a bit nebulous if it’s even better than Esper, it’s still one of the best things you can be doing.

Esper Midrange

Esper Midrange by Mogged
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
12 mythic
42 rare
1 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (5)
2
Kaito Shizuki
$18.98
Creatures (16)
1
Legion Angel
$0.99
Instants (6)
2
Vanishing Verse
$6.98
1
Infernal Grasp
$0.99
2
Make Disappear
$0.50
Sorceries (1)
1
Emeria’s Call
$5.99
Enchantments (6)
60 Cards
$543.38
Sideboard
3
Legion Angel
$2.97
1
Negate
$0.25
1
Vanishing Verse
$3.49
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Portable Hole
$6.98
15 Cards
$73.43
esper midrange
52.3% global win rate
10.46% metagame share
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best against
vs izzet dragons ️
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs izzet tempo
75.0% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs selesnya enchantments
74.1% win rate
27 tracked matches
worst against
vs abzan midrange
28.6% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs Mono Blue Tempo
22.2% win rate
9 tracked matches
vs gruul aggro
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches

Guide

Another not so surprising entry on our list, Esper Midrange has been a top deck ever since Streets of New Capenna has dropped. With great aggressive starts and varied interaction, Esper is the perfect encapsulation of a 51% deck. For those not familiar with the term, since Esper can do a bit of everything, it’s seems to be marginally favored in every matchup it’s in, but never wildly favored in any. The one exception to this rule is likely Jeskai Hinata, but Esper will just have to join the club on that one.

As I said in the Orzhov section, it seems pretty unclear if this or Orzhov is better in the current metagame. My gut is saying that Esper has the edge, but considering how quick Orzhov has taken over the tournament scene, I’ll have to differ to the people’s consensus. Either way, both are powerful decks that can easily rack up the wins with proper play.

Boros Aggro

Boros Aggro by bless_von
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
3 mythic
33 rare
9 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (23)
4
Hopeful Initiate
$11.16
4
Brutal Cathar
$13.96
Instants (5)
4
Play with Fire
$7.96
1
Valorous Stance
$0.25
Sorceries (5)
4
Roil Eruption
$1.00
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$166.44
15 Cards
$18.25
boros aggro
50.1% global win rate
4.26% metagame share
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best against
vs Angels
85.7% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs mardu midrange
78.6% win rate
14 tracked matches
vs temur control
72.7% win rate
22 tracked matches
worst against
vs Mono White Aggro
32.4% win rate
71 tracked matches
vs rakdos anvil
32.3% win rate
31 tracked matches
vs azorius tempo
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches

Guide

For our final Tier 1 entry, we have trusty Boros Aggro.

Boros is kind of like the gatekeeper into Tier 1 right now; beyond the aforementioned decks, nothing is better than it, but those decks seem to be much better than Boros. Despite it’s popularity and it’s ability to top 8 challenges, it seems to never actually win them as those spots are taken by Hinata, Esper, or Orzhov.

Aggro is at is best when it’s not expected, but since it has been so popular for so long, every deck has a good plan for it. Boros is a great option if you want to go deep in a tournament or grind out some quick wins on ladder, but despite it being a Tier 1 deck, I’d argue you could still do better.

Tier 1 Overview

I believe with the addition of Orzhov, the Tier 1 of this Standard is officially locked up. These decks have just constantly performed vastly better than the other options and are the decks that are not just consistently taking the top spots of events, but completely dominating them. For the last few weeks, it’s been very rare that I see more than a handful of decks that aren’t one of these four in the top 16 spots of any given tournament and I expect that to be the case until a new metagame descends on Arena.


Tier 2 Decks

Grixis Control

Grixis Control by _Tutenji_
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Control
best of 3
0 mythic
35 rare
13 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (5)
3
Wandering Mind
$0.75
Instants (18)
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
2
Negate
$0.50
2
Make Disappear
$0.50
2
Soul Shatter
$2.98
Sorceries (7)
2
Check for Traps
$0.50
Artifacts (3)
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$347.52
15 Cards
$124.33
grixis control
42.8% global win rate
0.88% metagame share
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best against
vs izzet control
80.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs azorius control
71.4% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs other
66.7% win rate
21 tracked matches
worst against
vs Mono Green Stompy
25.0% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs jund midrange
18.2% win rate
11 tracked matches
vs naya runes
9.1% win rate
11 tracked matches

Guide

While finally being kicked from it’s tier 1 status, Grixis Control does remain a reasonable option for Standard.

Initially heralded as the anti-Hinata deck, Grixis is able to fight off Hinata reasonably well, but seems to come up short in other matchups. That isn’t to say it can only beat Hinata of course, but as other decks became more popular, Grixis became less popular, which clearly isn’t a coincidence.

If you like Control decks that aren’t cheating in spells, this does seem to be your best bet, but things definitely won’t be easy if you’re facing a more aggressive deck.

Grixis Vampires

Grixis Vampires by TunakTunak
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
2 mythic
33 rare
14 uncommon
11 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (10)
Instants (13)
1
Spell Pierce
$0.25
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
1
Abrade
$0.25
2
Negate
$0.50
2
Infernal Grasp
$1.98
2
Make Disappear
$0.50
Sorceries (4)
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (5)
Lands (26)
1
Island
$0.25
1
Haunted Ridge
$16.99
3
Shipwreck Marsh
$13.47
60 Cards
$408.46
Sideboard
1
Annul
$0.25
1
Abrade
$0.25
1
Infernal Grasp
$0.99
1
Power Word Kill
$0.25
2
Duress
$0.50
15 Cards
$140.25
grixis vampires
50.5% global win rate
2.93% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs Angels
100.0% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs esper control
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs Bant Midrange
66.7% win rate
6 tracked matches
worst against
vs Mono Green Stompy
25.7% win rate
35 tracked matches
vs naya humans
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs temur aggro
12.5% win rate
8 tracked matches

Guide

While I am extremely privy to Grixis Vampires, it seems that my opinion isn’t shared by the community at large.

Personally, I always felt that Vampires was a strong iteration of Esper as you gave up a bit of speed for the ability to grind better. However, I will definitely acknowledge that giving up speed in a metagame where Hinata is the best thing to be doing is likely not the way to go.

Vampires is a powerful deck with great threats and interaction, but it will definitely make games drag on which may not be ideal for certain matchups. Even though I have to ultimately relegate it to Tier 2, it will definitely still be one of my favorite options in Standard.

Mono Green Aggro

Mono Green Aggro by panza_quiroga
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
27 rare
4 uncommon
29 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (20)
2
Jewel Thief
$0.50
4
Old-Growth Troll
$11.96
Instants (2)
2
Snakeskin Veil
$0.50
Sorceries (7)
4
Blizzard Brawl
$1.00
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (3)
3
Ranger Class
$2.97
Lands (24)
60 Cards
$135.32
15 Cards
$20.07
Mono Green Stompy
52.8% global win rate
3.53% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs izzet dragons ️
90.9% win rate
11 tracked matches
vs izzet mill
80.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs grixis control
75.0% win rate
8 tracked matches
worst against
vs naya runes
32.8% win rate
67 tracked matches
vs selesnya enchantments
30.0% win rate
10 tracked matches
vs naya midrange
25.0% win rate
8 tracked matches

Guide

Since Wizards talked about their opinions on Standard and mentioned that Mono Green was underrated in their internal data, we’ve seen it have a few strong finishes.

I was a big fan of Mono Green when Rakdos Anvil was the deck to beat, and even now, it still seems like a solid option. Hinata has a lot of cheap removal, but with most of those spells dealing 2 or 3 damage, the 4 toughness creatures of Mono Green and their access to cards like Snakeskin Veil or Tamiyo's Safekeeping can be a real pain for them.

My inherent issue with Mono Green is that it’s definitely rather draw dependent no matter the matchup you’re in. If your cards don’t line up extremely well with what the opponent is doing, you may just die off the back of that. Couple that with Mono Green’s overreliance on Blizzard Brawl, and you have a deck that is definitely a bit of a lottery for a tournament.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Mono Green and respect it’s strength, but it’s also not the most consistent option.

Tier 2 Overview

The Tier 2 decks still definitely struggle against the hegemony of the Tier 1 decks, and despite both Boros and Orzhov fighting their way to Tier 1, I feel that path is now closed. The Tier 2, as usual, will remain as fine options for ladder and tournaments. However, as I mentioned before, I do feel that the difference between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks is definitely a bit larger than normal.


Tier 3 Decks

Tier 3 Overview

If the delta between tier 1 and tier 2 is vast, I’m not even going to get into Tier 3 decks. As of right now, there are no Tier 3 decks that I believe have any shot of reasonable mobility. This isn’t to say that any deck not mentioned above is a Tier 3 deck with no shot. Strategies like Mono White Aggro or Jund Midrange are solid decks, but there’s nothing in the Tier 3 category that I’m excited about.


Conclusion

With only a few weeks left, it’s safe to say Standard has likely solidified. If you’re just looking for a good deck on ladder, a nice thing about this metagame is that there’s no shortage of strategies and archetypes that can suit your needs. If you need a deck for a tournament, I would highly suggest sticking to one of the four top decks as they really seem substantially better than your other options.

Thank you for reading!


Decklists

Card Kingdom - Double Masters 2022
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DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
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