Hello everyone! We want you to have the most up to date information on Standard, and initially, we did that by providing deck guides to fill out your knowledge. However, we realized that we could still do more so we’re looking to be updating Standard’s tier list weekly as well as provide analysis on the standout decks, whether they stand out for their strength, weaknesses, or they have a large change in positioning. As always, you can find the link to the complete tier lists below.
To compile this list, the first metric that I look at the most is recent tournament successes. Following tournament trends is generally the best way to dictate what decks are overperforming for the week and can cut through the noise of inaccurate data. The second metric I use is it’s inherent positioning in the metagame with what decks it’s good at beating and what beats it. The third metric is then win rate data where I see how the deck has historically done over it’s tracked life cycle. Finally, I have the fourth determination of personal bias where I let my feelings fly on why I like a deck that isn’t necessary empirical. This could be deck feel, perceived matchup strength, or any other metric I would discuss that’s not already covered. With that, let’s get into it.
This Week’s Top Performers
- Find more Esper Midrange decklists in our deck database
- Check out our latest Esper Midrange deck guide
If you’ve been paying attention to the most recent Standard tournaments, you have to know that this week’s big winner was Esper Midrange. Before I dive in, who would’ve guessed that PV would’ve seen this coming? Certainly not me.
I digress, you could say the writing was somewhat on the wall with this one as Orzhov(x) midrange seemed to be the best Standard deck coming into Streets of New Capenna so a stronger version of it was clearly going to perform well.
The deck just performs as Orzhov always has, you have an aggressive game plan, you have a grindy game plan, and you have an interactive game plan so literally all your bases are covered. Orzhov’s biggest weakness was that it didn’t necessarily have tools to stop every type of permanent, but now with Blue, having access to counter magic obviously curtails that issue. On top of counter magic, the deck gains access to Raffine, Scheming Seer which is an insanely powerful 3 drop as well as Kaito Shizuki, another powerful 3 drop to fill out the curve with all bangers. Better yet, generally adding a color would be a real opportunity cost (and it still is), but with Raffine's Tower and Pathways, it’s pretty trivial to add Blue to Orzhov.
Esper is pretty capable of doing everything so it’s no surprise to see it rise to the top week 1.
While Esper is definitely this week’s winner, Rakdos is easily last weeks winner that’ still going strong. It’s funny that after all the hype surrounding Ob Nixilis, the Adversary it didn’t even end up in what’s now the best deck, but nevertheless, the card is still amazing.
Similar to Esper, Rakdos can do a little bit of everything. It can be aggressive (albeit not too often), but where it shines is the grindy game plan and the interactive game plan. The deck is so good at prolonging games and whittling away at the opponent’s life total between Oni-Cult Anvil and the aforementioned Ob Nixilis, the Adversary. Furthermore, between Esper and Anvil, these strategies are putting a big squeeze on smaller aggro decks as both can really struggle to fight through the wave of small blockers and cheap removal.
Right now I think Esper has the edge over Rakdos as the aggressive starts the deck can produce are truly scary, but Rakdos is an excellent option as well for those who like this game plan.
For the final top choice of this week, we have to bring it back to an old favorite: Naya Runes.
This deck seems to constantly flip flop between being a reasonable choice to being an excellent choice, but right now, it’s definitely leaning towards the latter. Runes can excel in metagames where it’s just allowed to do it’s thing. If everyone is playing a pile of removal, Runes suffers as it can be stranded with a lot of dead draws where it has all Runes and no creatures. Even then that can be circumvented between Showdown of the Skalds and Hallowed Haunting, but it’s obviously not what the deck is looking for. While I would categorize deck right now having powerful and efficient removal, I wouldn’t say it’s an overabundance.
Naya Runes does two things really well in this particular metagame: it spreads the little efficient removal decks have thin and it has a lot of large, trampling creatures to circumvent small blockers. With these two aspects, Naya can continue to be an excellent deck in the metagame as it seems to line up pretty much perfectly against what the top decks currently are.
The Deck’s Looking To Break In / Next Best Options
Coming in as the newest tier option, we have Esper Angels. For the longest time, Angels was little more than a pipe dream. It had some solid cards between Youthful Valkyrie, Righteous Valkyrie, Firja's Retribution, and Rampage of the Valkyries, but the deck was clunky and lacked focus beyond those pieces. With Giada, Font of Hope coming out, everything changed.
With more synergy pieces as well as a better curve, Angels can finally enact their game plan without having to pay a huge opportunity cost to do so. Giada in particular is obviously insane between being a ramp piece as well as growing your Angels like crazy making them extremely difficult to deal with.
What I like about Angels is that it can have extremely strong starts, their threats can dodge commonly played removal like Strangle and Voltage Surge, and most of the creatures fly which can circumvent the small blockers many decks are good at producing. Angels still needs some time to prove itself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being a high tier 2 or even tier 1 option with some refining.
- Find more Jeskai Control decklists in our deck database
- Check out our latest Jeskai Hinata deck guide
Well, well isn’t this a welcome surprise! At the beginning of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty it seemed that Hinata, Dawn-Crowned was easily the most broken card in the set in conjunction with Magma Opus, but after a week or so, the deck quickly died out in favor of the powerful midrange options. So what changed to bring Hinata back into the limelight? Two big reasons.
First off, the notable absence of aggro decks is a huge boon for Hinata. It’s not like Hinata necessarily had a bad aggro matchup, but building your deck to beat aggro and extremely grindy midrange decks can be extremely challenging. Second, a lot of the most commonly played removal spells miss Hinata, Dawn-Crowned making it much more reliable to keep it in board if you’re forced to tap out.
Hinata is the obvious linchpin of the deck, so if the meta allows it to stick around to cast a bunch of Magma Opus and interactive spells, it seems like a solid time to bust it back out.
Control was having a very rough time in the last metagame trying to find it’s niche and ultimately it seemed unsuccessful in doing so. However, with Streets of New Capenna, there may be some life in it yet. Izzet Control I’ve felt has been on the cusp of good for quite awhile in Standard, and although the midrange options are so powerful and Ob Nixilis, the Adversary very scary, it may still be able to persevere.
With this specific version, the deck looks to leverage an element that hasn’t been in Standard in an extremely long time: land destruction. With 3 color mana bases, the ability to play multiple basics is severely hampered as you need a lot of fixing in most of those decks. What this looks to do is against decks with zero or one basic, you have four Cleansing Wildfire and 4 Field of Ruin to tax their mana base as an additional way to grind them out of the game. While this game plan is extremely meta dependent and would get much worse if every list adopted 2 basic lands to mitigate, it is extremely interesting.
Beyond the Land Destruction plan, you have your normal arrangement of interactive options. Instead of using Goldspan Dragon as a win condition though, the deck now looks towards Arcane Bombardment as the finisher of choice. Bombardment is a bit clunky, but if you untap with it you can go absolutely crazy with a deluge of spells, and each additional turn it’s on board is another turn of a million spells.
Izzet does seem solid, especially if players don’t respect the land destruction plan, but still needs to prove it can beat the powerful midrange decks without gimmicks.
Mono Green Aggro
- Find more Mono Green Aggro decklists in our deck database
- Check out our latest Mono Green Aggro deck guide
For the final list of the article, I’m holding fast to my love for Mono Green Aggro!
Let’s address the elephant in the room first, although I do think it is a decent time to be playing Mono Green, it’s definitely not a stellar time. Mono Green can struggle against decks that have larger creatures than it and/or creatures that can fly and right now, both Angels and Runes are relatively popular decks. Neither matchup is unwinnable by any stretch, and while Runes can definitely be a beating, I feel Angels is not too bad assuming you have a solid hand.
So why do I like Mono Green then? Trample. A lot of the top decks really like having little idiots blocks and Mono Green (and in particular my take on it) really doesn’t care about small creatures. This deck is fast, punishing, and can have near unbeatable starts by just having a decent curve. Once again, Runes coming back into full swing is definitely scary for this deck, but I really do like it’s positioning otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised if by next week it’s completely fallen out of favor, but I still like it as of now.
Thank you for reading!