Cleansing Wildfire Art by Mathias Kollros

Standard Metagame Snapshot: Top Decks for the Week of May 10, 2022

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

Tenacious Underdog Art by Zara Alfonso
Tenacious Underdog Art by Zara Alfonso

Esper Midrange

esper midrange
52.4% global win rate
10.53% metagame share
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best against
vs dimir midrange
80.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs bant tokens
75.0% win rate
16 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 naya aggro
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs gruul aggro
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Bo1 Esper Midrange
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 1
12 mythic
46 rare
1 uncommon
1 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (7)
3
Kaito Shizuki
$32.97
Creatures (18)
2
Legion Angel
$1.58
Instants (5)
4
Vanishing Verse
$13.96
1
Infernal Grasp
$0.69
Enchantments (5)
60 Cards
$589.06
Sideboard
2
Legion Angel
$1.58
2 Cards
$1.58
Esper Midrange by Eliott_dragon
by MTG Arena Zone
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
15 mythic
41 rare
2 uncommon
2 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (9)
4
Kaito Shizuki
$43.96
Creatures (13)
Instants (6)
4
Vanishing Verse
$13.96
2
Obscura Charm
$0.50
Sorceries (1)
1
Emeria’s Call
$6.99
Enchantments (6)
60 Cards
$654.06
Sideboard
2
Duress
$0.50
1
Farewell
$6.99
2
Portable Hole
$4.98
15 Cards
$50.01

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.

Rakdos Anvil

rakdos anvil
48.5% global win rate
4.08% metagame share
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best against
vs izzet dragons ️
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs five-color ramp
80.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs naya humans
73.3% win rate
15 tracked matches
worst against
vs naya runes
31.0% win rate
87 tracked matches
vs selesnya ramp
25.0% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs naya midrange
0.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Bo1 Rakdos Anvil
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Artifacts
best of 1
9 mythic
17 rare
10 uncommon
24 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (8)
Instants (10)
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
4
Deadly Dispute
$19.96
2
Hagra Mauling
$2.98
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (8)
4
Oni-Cult Anvil
$1.00
Enchantments (5)
60 Cards
$606.96
Rakdos Sacrifice by Russell C
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
9 mythic
23 rare
10 uncommon
18 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (5)
Creatures (10)
Instants (10)
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
4
Deadly Dispute
$19.96
2
Riveteers Charm
$0.50
Sorceries (2)
Artifacts (8)
4
Oni-Cult Anvil
$1.00
Enchantments (4)
Lands (21)
1
Mountain
$0.25
1
Swamp
$0.25
3
Darkbore Pathway
$26.97
4
Haunted Ridge
$63.96
60 Cards
$503.5
Sideboard
2
Infernal Grasp
$1.38
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Strangle
$0.50
2
Go Blank
$4.98
15 Cards
$22.89

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.

Naya Runes

naya runes
53.4% global win rate
7.29% metagame share
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best against
vs grixis control
85.7% win rate
7 tracked matches
vs mono-red aggro
83.3% win rate
12 tracked matches
vs esper planeswalkers
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
worst against
vs grixis vampires
25.0% win rate
16 tracked matches
vs mono-white control
0.0% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs temur control
0.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Bo1 Naya Runes
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Aggro
best of 1
0 mythic
35 rare
18 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (15)
Sorceries (4)
Enchantments (18)
4
Rune of Might
$2.76
4
Rune of Speed
$1.00
Lands (23)
2
Forest
$0.50
1
Plains
$0.25
1
Rockfall Vale
$2.29
1
Sundown Pass
$8.99
60 Cards
$230.54
Naya Runes by buttons_gaming (1st)
by MTG Arena Zone
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
38 rare
19 uncommon
3 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (17)
1
Legion Angel
$0.79
Instants (1)
Lands (23)
1
Forest
$0.25
1
Plains
$0.25
2
Sundown Pass
$17.98
60 Cards
$253.64
15 Cards
$32.19

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

Goldspan Dragon Art by Andrew Mar
Goldspan Dragon Art by Andrew Mar

Esper Angels

Esper Angels
50% global win rate
0.03% metagame share
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Bo1 Esper Angels
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Tribal
best of 1
5 mythic
42 rare
4 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Instants (8)
2
Negate
$0.50
4
Vanishing Verse
$13.96
2
Void Rend
$6.98
Sorceries (4)
4
Emeria’s Call
$27.96
Enchantments (4)
Lands (21)
2
Plains
$0.50
1
Swamp
$0.25
4
Deserted Beach
$51.96
60 Cards
$360.22
Sideboard
3
Legion Angel
$2.37
3 Cards
$2.37
Esper Angels v2
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Tribal
best of 3
5 mythic
42 rare
4 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Instants (8)
2
Negate
$0.50
4
Vanishing Verse
$13.96
2
Void Rend
$6.98
Sorceries (4)
4
Emeria’s Call
$27.96
Enchantments (4)
Lands (21)
2
Plains
$0.50
1
Swamp
$0.25
4
Deserted Beach
$51.96
60 Cards
$360.22
Sideboard
3
Legion Angel
$2.37
2
Negate
$0.50
1
Void Rend
$3.49
3
Go Blank
$7.47
2
Crippling Fear
$0.50
15 Cards
$21.09

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.

Jeskai Hinata

jeskai hinata
52.6% global win rate
2.79% metagame share
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best against
vs dimir control
100.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs orzhov control
83.3% win rate
6 tracked matches
vs mardu midrange
80.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
worst against
vs selesnya midrange
33.3% win rate
9 tracked matches
vs azorius tempo
26.7% win rate
15 tracked matches
vs gruul werewolves
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Bo1 Jeskai Hinata
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 1
8 mythic
33 rare
10 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (8)
4
Goldspan Dragon
$95.96
Instants (20)
4
Abrade
$1.00
3
Negate
$0.75
1
Valorous Stance
$0.25
4
Magma Opus
$25.96
Sorceries (5)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
1
Mountain
$0.25
2
Deserted Beach
$25.98
2
Sundown Pass
$17.98
60 Cards
$451.28
Jeskai Hinata by Amanda Cossai
by MTG Arena Zone
Standard
Control
best of 3
8 mythic
34 rare
10 uncommon
8 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (8)
4
Goldspan Dragon
$95.96
Instants (20)
3
Abrade
$0.75
3
Negate
$0.75
1
Valorous Stance
$0.25
4
Magma Opus
$25.96
Sorceries (5)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
1
Mountain
$0.25
2
Deserted Beach
$25.98
2
Sundown Pass
$17.98
60 Cards
$451.52
15 Cards
$35.11

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.

Izzet Control

izzet control
45.8% global win rate
3.72% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs esper planeswalkers
87.5% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs temur aggro
72.2% win rate
18 tracked matches
vs naya humans
68.0% win rate
25 tracked matches
worst against
vs gruul werewolves
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs grixis control
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs temur werewolves
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Izzet Control
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Control
best of 1
7 mythic
23 rare
15 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (6)
4
Smoldering Egg
$7.96
Instants (16)
2
Fading Hope
$2.58
1
Voltage Surge
$0.25
2
Abrade
$0.50
1
Memory Deluge
$1.99
4
Big Score
$1.96
Sorceries (12)
Artifacts (1)
1
The Celestus
$1.99
Enchantments (3)
60 Cards
$247.32
Izzet Land Destruction by scottynada
by MTG Arena Zone
Standard
Control
best of 3
7 mythic
19 rare
15 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (2)
Instants (16)
2
Fading Hope
$2.58
1
Voltage Surge
$0.25
2
Abrade
$0.50
1
Memory Deluge
$1.99
4
Big Score
$1.96
Artifacts (1)
1
The Celestus
$1.99
Enchantments (3)
60 Cards
$240.36
15 Cards
$29.07

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

mono-green aggro
51.7% global win rate
2.81% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs grixis vampires
87.5% win rate
8 tracked matches
vs izzet dragons ️
86.7% win rate
15 tracked matches
vs other
79.2% win rate
24 tracked matches
worst against
vs selesnya enchantments
30.0% win rate
10 tracked matches
vs orzhov control
23.1% win rate
13 tracked matches
vs azorius tempo
0.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
Mono Green Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Aggro
best of 1
0 mythic
27 rare
5 uncommon
28 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (21)
4
Jewel Thief
$1.00
1
Kazandu Mammoth
$0.25
Instants (2)
1
Snakeskin Veil
$0.25
Sorceries (7)
4
Blizzard Brawl
$1.00
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (3)
3
Ranger Class
$5.37
Lands (23)
60 Cards
$134.72
Mono Green Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
27 rare
5 uncommon
28 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (21)
4
Jewel Thief
$1.00
1
Kazandu Mammoth
$0.25
Instants (2)
1
Snakeskin Veil
$0.25
Sorceries (7)
4
Blizzard Brawl
$1.00
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (3)
3
Ranger Class
$5.37
Lands (23)
60 Cards
$134.72
Sideboard
2
Snakeskin Veil
$0.50
2
Tangletrap
$0.50
15 Cards
$18.85

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!


Decklists in this Article

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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
Twitch and Discord.

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