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Grafted Identity Art by Manuel Castañón

The Top Three Off Meta Decks of the Week – January 12th, 2023

Looking for something different, but powerful in Standard? DoggertQBones looked high and low for his top three off-meta choices for this week that you should consider playing!

Hello everyone! I’m back with another week of my top three off meta decks! So while we’re here, I want to be clear that when I say off meta, it isn’t at all synonymous with suboptimal. To me, off meta options are simply those that don’t see much play, whether they are unpopular, new, or otherwise, but can be very good despite that!

To that end, I use this articles to highlight the more off the beaten path options that may be potentially be great! If you want to see the three decks I highlighted last, you can check out the link below.

Let’s get into it!

Boros Midrange

Sanctuary Warden Art by Johannes Voss
Sanctuary Warden Art by Johannes Voss
Boros Midrange by telsacow
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $326.36
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
12 mythic
36 rare
3 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (15)
4
Steel Seraph
$9.16
Instants (4)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (7)
60 Cards
$396.44
Sideboard
2
Destroy Evil
$0.70
4
Depopulate
$1.56
4
Farewell
$43.96
15 Cards
$59.17

Kicking off our list, we have this interesting take on Boros Midrange! This meta has seen plenty of Mono White Midrange and even some Boros Invoke, but Telsa decided that they wanted to dip a bit into both!

Looking at the list, seeing Intrepid Adversary here probably looks quite weird, however, it’s actually a genius inclusion for this deck! While we most typically see Adversary as an offensive card, this is going to be a purely defensive option for this deck. The most likely use case is that you get to trade with another two drop and gain 3 life, however, if you opponent spends their turn removing it or you even get to attack with it, that’s big value as well!

A not so surprising inclusion, Reckoner Bankbuster has been a mainstay in many Standard lists since, if you aren’t looking to go fast, you’re looking to draw some cards!

Moving up the curve, we really get to the meat of the deck!

The Reclamation Sage that has taken Standard by storm, Loran of the Third Path excels in an environment where there’s a lot of great targets for it to hit, and that’s never been more true than now.

Speaking of a juicy Loran target, Steel Seraph is an excellent midrange threat whether you cast it for three mana or six as it can quickly turn a race around if the opponent is not careful!

Excellent in decks looking to go later into the game, The Restoration of Eiganjo is functional ramp for White that gives you a powerful blocker on the third turn. Talk about value!

Finally, we have the whole reason Telsa decided to play Red in the deck! Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is nuts, and its so good, players are even changing their decks to accommodate it. This isn’t even the only deck in this article to do it!

Just like that, we’ve already reached the top of the curve!

A staple in nearly every deck that can cast it, The Wandering Emperor provides excellent interaction whether it’s through the -2, making Samurai to attack or block, or even to increase your clock with the +1!

White’s premiere threat, Sanctuary Warden comes down and immediately dominates any board state it walks into. With a huge body that threatens to produce chump blockers and cards, this is a real pain for pretty much any deck to deal with and barring it getting countered, you’re always guaranteed multiple cards worth of value.

For the final card of the list, we have the versatile removal spell of March of Otherworldly Light. While expensive, being able to nab anything that isn’t a planeswalker is excellent, and since this deck is likely to have a lot of mana anyway, it being clunky isn’t really a big deal.

Since Mono White is such a powerful deck, it’s no wonder that players are trying to iterate onto it. If the metagame moves away from Lay Down Arms being good, splashing Red for Fable of the Mirror-Breaker could be an excellent choice.

Bant Storm

Storm the Festival Art by Yigit Koroglu
Bant Storm by TraceOn0818
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $303.8
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
10 mythic
43 rare
3 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (2)
1
Spell Pierce
$0.25
1
Soul Partition
$1.99
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (3)
Enchantments (7)
60 Cards
$390.4
15 Cards
$38.27

For our second deck of the list, we have an old classic with Bant Storm!

Older lists were looking to load up on more expensive cards to make the most use of Storm the Festival, but this version goes much leaner!

An extremely underappreciated card in this Standard format, Surge Engine is just a 3/2 to start off with, but once you start investing mana, it can grow in a hurry! Going from a medium blocker to an unblockable threat that can chunk the opponent and draw cards is definitely an upgrade, so no matter the opponent, they can’t ignore this forever.

There’s a common adage in Magic that if a card is broken in Limited, it probably has Constructed applications, and we’re seeing if that rings true for Kappa Tech-Wrecker. A two mana 1/3 Deathtouch wouldn’t be a good enough stat line on its own, but being able to Naturalize something if you can hit the opponent and having Ninjutsu to make that easier? Maybe this card has been unfairly ignored in a metagame filled with excellent artifacts and enchantments!

The best defensive two drop around, Dennick, Pious Apprentice can keep your life total high, and when it dies, can come back as a scary threat that can quickly pile on Clue tokens for additional value!

Once again we Reckoner Bankbuster making an appearance. As a rule of thumb, if you aren’t aggro, you’re probably playing Bankbuster, and that has definitely held true for most decks in Standard.

Moving up the curve we have two excellent three drops to work with.

This list is ensuring no artifact or enchantment is safe, as on top of Kappa Tech-Wrecker, we have Loran of the Third Path as well! Imagine playing a Loran then being able to Ninjutsu in a Tech-Wrecker off of it? Sheesh!

Currently living in the shadow of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Wedding Announcement isn’t as universally acclaimed as Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, but is not that much weaker as it provides multiple bodies/cards, and then an anthem at the end!

Next up we get to the targets that we really want to hit with Storm the Festival!

Once again, we have a midrange White deck, so its no shock to see The Wandering Emperor! This deck is definitely lacking on interaction inherently, so having access to Emperor is a huge deal to not fall too far behind or to deal with problem creatures!

An interesting take on Mind Control, Grafted Identity is cheaper and buffs the creature, but forces you to sacrifice one of your own creatures. Thankfully, between Kappa Tech-Wrecker, Loran of the Third Path, Wedding Announcement, and The Wandering Emperor, this is pretty easy to do, however, if you hit this off of Storm the Festival, you get to ignore that line of text all together and just get a better Mind Control!

The best hit in the deck by far, Ao, the Dawn Sky is an absolute monster as it hits like a truck, can’t be exiled by The Wandering Emperor, then gets you pretty excellent value on death culminating into one of Standard’s scariest midrange threats.

Reaching the spells, we have a few pieces of interaction and the deck’s namesake!

I’ll be honest, I don’t know the logic behind a single Spell Pierce and Soul Partition. It looks to be following the logic that you’re building a 75, not a 60, so having some “sideboard” cards main deck can be good, but why these two in particular is tough to say. Nevertheless, you probably feel like a genius if you ever counter anything with the miser Spell Pierce!

Finally, we have the whole reason the deck is built like this! The Green Invoke Despair, Storm the Festival can instantly shift the tide in your favor if you hit a few good permanents with it, and if the game goes long enough, you get to do it again!

Bant fell out of favor in lieu of other midrange options, but if you wanted a deck that could go bigger than the other midrange decks without sacrificing too much equity against aggro, this is a great choice.

Naya Enchantments

Jukai Naturalist Art by Anna Steinbauer
Jukai Naturalist Art by Anna Steinbauer
Naya Enchantments by Katilda
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $291.13
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
4 mythic
39 rare
8 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (11)
Instants (4)
3
Rite of Harmony
$3.87
1
Destroy Evil
$0.35
Lands (22)
4
Plains
$1.00
3
Brushland
$5.97
1
Sundown Pass
$7.99
60 Cards
$330.54
Sideboard
1
Lion Sash
$2.49
2
Serra Paragon
$23.98
3
Destroy Evil
$1.05
15 Cards
$93.47

For the last deck of the list, we have yet another old favorite from last Standard with Naya Enchantments!

Starting the curve at two, we also get many enablers to start with!

Just a one of in this deck, Kami of Transcience grows with each enchantment, can come back with any enchantment dying, and is a general nuisance for opponents looking to grind late into the game.

A simple Elvish Visionary, Spirited Companion gives you an enchantment, body, and a card. What more could you ask for?

A way better mana dork for enchantments, Jukai Naturalist can let you double or even triple spell extremely early due to it being cost reduction rather than adding mana!

Functionally two enchantments in one, Teachings of the Kirin provides multiple small advantages, but in a deck that’s looking to deploy as many creatures and enchantments as possible, this is the perfect two drop for it!

Moving up the curve just a little bit, we have pretty much the rest of the deck!

An excellent enchantments payoff, Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr is an absolute menace in this deck as it can easily be a Baneslayer Angel, and even if it gets killed, can just come back an an enchantment to grant its strength to a different creature!

A card that seems to be designed for this deck, Wedding Announcement provides an enchantment, provides bodies or cards, then it flips into an Anthem to grow your presumably wide board. Hard to do better than this!

As a piece of interaction offensively or defensively, Touch the Spirit Realm can work as a pretty typical Oblivion Ring, but if you need to insulate one of your threats, the channel ability can help you out there pretty easily!

While we’re not looking to necessarily go late with this deck, The Restoration of Eiganjo fills the role of enchantment and creature with extra abilities stapled on! However, unlike most decks playing this card, being able to recur powerful two drops by pitching a card can be invaluable, especially if it’s bring back a Jukai Naturalist.

Once again, we see another deck stretching the mana to make Fable of the Mirror-Breaker playable! It of course is a busted card, but also provides multiple bodies and enchantment ETB triggers just in case it wasn’t good enough already!

One of the biggest payoffs for this deck, Hallowed Haunting is one of the reasons we go so hard on the Enchantment theme. With each enchantment cast, you get a Spirit, so this functionally doubles the power of each card you play! This will be tough for the opponent to contend with as you can go really wide, and if they can’t get rid of your enchantments, they’ll all be mini Serra Angels as well to make life even more difficult for the opponent.

So you may be wondering, why is this deck so concerned with putting multiple enchantments or bodies into play? Rite of Harmony is why. Even early on, with the right set up, you can easily refill your hand by casting this, and to make it even better, you can flash it back for just four mana! The turns you can pull off with this card are absolutely insane, and this is the only deck in Standard that can really make good use of it.

Similar to Bant, this fell out of favor some time ago in lieu of other midrange options, but if you needed a deck that can play to the early game really well and have explosive turns in the mid game, this is an excellent option.

Do you have any interesting decks I should consider for the next highlight? Make sure to let me know on our Discord!

Thank you for reading!

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DoggertQBones
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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