MTG Arena Zone Premium
MTG Arena Zone Premium
Invoke Justice Art by Kekai Kotaki

Top 3 Off-Meta Standard Decks of the Week – October 8, 2022

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! We’ve been in this new Standard environment for awhile now, and while I don’t feel this way, I’ve heard a decent amount of dissatisfaction surrounding it. Black is definitely the top dog in this metagame, and to that end, it may seem that the meta is rather closed off.

While the top decks are mostly Black decks, that doesn’t mean they are the only good options! Players are constantly innovating, and even if they approach Standard with a deck that isn’t technically the perfect choice, there are plenty of powerful options waiting to be discovered. That said, I wanted to start a new series where I can shine a light on these decks!

While not every brew is going to work, I did a deep dive of all the published Standard lists available for this week and pulled three decks that are fresh, powerful, and above all, very interesting! If you feel that you want to try something new in Standard, this is the article for you! Let’s get into it!

Mono White Midrange

Elspeth Resplendent Art by Anna Steinbauer
Elspeth Resplendent Art by Anna Steinbauer
Mono White Midrange by JiggiestJay
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $214.69
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
9 mythic
21 rare
8 uncommon
22 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (5)
Creatures (16)
3
Serra Paragon
$38.97
Instants (3)
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (4)
1
The Celestus
$1.79
Enchantments (6)
Lands (23)
18
Plains
$4.50
60 Cards
$228.06
15 Cards
$66.19

Kicking us off we have a deck I’ve been seeing periodically in the top spots of Standard tournaments, but has yet to make a splash: Mono White Midrange. This deck is really as simple as it gets.

The first phase of the game of the game is setting up some card advantage. All your early plays (barring Anointed Peacekeeper and The Celestus) accrue you advantage in some way, but predominately, they draw you cards. When every early threat, at a minimum, replaces itself, it’s going to be difficult to grind you out.

The mid game is then to start establishing a more tangible advantage. Anointed Peacekeeper can stifle your opponent’s best play, or at least slow it down significantly. The Wandering Emperor can take out the opponent’s best threat or start building a wide board. Finally, Serra Paragon is yet another way to keep grinding, and considering all your early threats replace themselves, you’ll get excellent value by recurring even one of them.

That leads you to the late game where your pricier threats can start taking over. I already spoke on Paragon, but Elspeth Resplendent fills a similar role by demanding a quick answer lest the value she generates takes over the game. Although a one of, Ao, the Dawn Sky is quite capable at ending a game quickly, and even if killed, providing a lot of value.

To round out the deck, despite not playing much removal, what they do play is extremely high impact! March of Otherworldly Light, while slow, can take out almost anything which is a nice safety valve to have. It’s unfortunate that this can’t tag planeswalkers, but having main deck interaction that can exile the rest is reassuring. Opponent is getting a little too far ahead? Then just wipe the board! Playing board wipes in a deck with a lot of creatures may seem weird, but again, when all your early game replaces itself, you actually lose very little value.

Overall, this deck can compete in a midrange metagame well as each card either serves a powerful and specific function, or replaces itself to help fuel these cards. You’re not going to be caught with dead cards in your hand too often between The Celestus, The Restoration of Eiganjo, and Roadside Reliqaury so flooding or drawing dead cards is mitigated. Furthermore, between Spirited Companion, Ambitious Farmhand, and The Restoration of Eiganjo, it’s going to be pretty tough to be mana screwed as well ( and you obviously can’t get color screwed)! The strength of this deck isn’t that it does something obscenely powerful or unfair, but it’s just insanely consistent, it’s hard to catch it flat-footed, and will be able to enact a similar game plan in virtually all of it’s games.

Boros Invoke

Sanctuary Warden Art by Johannes Voss
Sanctuary Warden Art by Johannes Voss
Boros Invoke by YungDingo
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $347.62
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
12 mythic
28 rare
0 uncommon
20 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (14)
4
Ao, the Dawn Sky
$13.96
Instants (2)
2
Fateful Absence
$2.98
Sorceries (4)
4
Invoke Justice
$1.40
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (8)
60 Cards
$385.24
Sideboard
1
Lion Sash
$1.49
2
Fateful Absence
$2.98
1
Destroy Evil
$0.25
3
Farewell
$28.47
15 Cards
$82.71

Up next we have a nearly Mono White deck with a drastically different game plan: Boros Invoke.

Unlike Mono White midrange that’s looking to play a value game, Boros Invoke is a mix of midrange and combo. For starters, we have Guardian of New Benalia and Raffine's Informant to get the combo game plan rolling. Furthermore, because this is a slower deck and it’s a great card, Reckoner Bankbuster will help to get you closer to your end game pieces. Finally, while not the most value oriented, if you need to kill something on the cheap, Fateful Absence will definitely get the job done.

We have our mid game, and oh boy, is it good. Getting to play two of the top non-Black cards in Standard is a big deal, and this deck utilizes it well. Wedding Announcement isn’t any sort of synergy piece here, it’s just an excellent card that will gum up the ground and give you time.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, on the other hand, will be working triple duty. The first chapter produces a Goblin to ramp you, letting you accelerate to five ahead of schedule, and wouldn’t you know it, Invoke Justice costs five. That’s not all though as the second chapter also perfectly lines up this play as it lets you rummage for two! That’s still not all! The final chapter is just great on it’s own, but is obscene if you have a Sanctuary Warden in play making this already powerful card the perfect addition to the deck. If you’ve noticed, it’s quite literally the only Red card in the deck, but with how much it does, I think it’s well worth it.

Then of course, you have The Wandering Emperor, which once again, is just a fantastic card, whether it’s building a board or removal.

Finally, we reach our late game. The powerful part about this deck is that it will happily reanimate it’s large threats, but can simply hard cast them as well!

Ao, the Dawn Sky has became significantly more popular since Black’s rise to prominence, and it’s obviously excellent here. It can kill very quickly, and when killed, it makes sure to leave you with a lot of value.

Although Ao is excellent, Sanctuary Warden is the crown jewel of this deck. Coming down as a 5/5 Flier with a shield counter, 1/1, and card drawn? Talk about value! Remember thought that this can take a counter off of any creature or planeswalker, so if you have a creature with a +1/+1 counter (looking at you Raffine's Informant and The Wandering Emperor), you can preserve your shield counters as well!

I mentioned it before, but of course, the glue that makes this deck work is Invoke Justice. Being able to reanimate any permanent then give anything you want four +1/+1 counters (divided as you want as well) is a huge tempo swing that’ll be hard to come back from. Usually, this will mean a massive Ao, the Dawn Sky or Sanctuary Warden, but there’s a lot of things you can do here.

What makes this deck so powerful, similar to Mono White Midrange, is the consistency factor. Nearly every card is working towards getting you to five mana so you can start windmill slamming your large threats until the opponent is simply overwhelmed. Even if they can kill them, Invoke Justice will just bring them back and make them even more threatening than before. This is a tough deck to truly stop, hence making it a great call in a metagame filled with midrange Black decks.

Five-Color Zur

Zur, Eternal Schemer Art by Jesper Ejsing
Five Color Zur by Salvatto
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $519.92
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
6 mythic
41 rare
3 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Creatures (9)
Instants (6)
2
Cut Down
$1.18
4
Make Disappear
$3.16
Sorceries (1)
1
Farewell
$9.49
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (13)
4
Leyline Binding
$59.96
60 Cards
$476.22
15 Cards
$188.63

Don’t worry everyone, I saved the coolest deck for last! What I thought was going to be perpetually relegated as a lower tier Bo1 deck, Luis Salvatto seems to have plans to prove me otherwise!

The deck is named Five Color Zur, and Zur is an important piece, but it’s built a lot more like a 5C Control deck! The early game is all about stalling in one way or another. Either you’re drawing cards off of Spirited Companion and Reckoner Bankbuster or you’re interacting with Make Disappear and Cut Down.

Need stuff to do in the mid game? Hardly an issue. We have plenty of enchantments to work with (more on this in a second), but also just some powerful cards. I don’t need to praise The Wandering Emperor anymore in this article, but Ertai Resurrected is a nice tool to have as well. Being able to take out any spell or creature and potentially replace it with something worse, this is also puts the opponent in a brutal spot where they don’t know whether to play around this or Emperor when you have four open mana.

While not a major element of the main deck (much more so in the post board games), we have plenty of board wipes at our disposal. Farewell is really good at cleaning up board states, and as long as you aren’t naming Enchantment, you’re unlikely to lose out on much value. The Meathook Massacre needs little introduction as it’s a great smaller scale board wipe that can passively gain some life!

Now we get to the Zur part of the Zur deck! Zur, Eternal Schemer is a very narrow card, but being able to convert your Enchantments into permanent threats is a pretty nifty upside, especially when they come with Lifelink, Hexproof, and Deathtouch (when Zurs still on board of course). Zur requires you to play a lot of Enchantments, but I can’t say we mind here!

Once again, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker rears it’s head as an excellent card both in general and in conjunction with Zur. When Zur is out, your Reflections of Kiki-Jiki has hexproof! Talk about value! The Cruelty of Gix has seen quite the uptick of play, and for good reason. The card is a midrange machine that’s capable of accruing some solid value in the mid game, or randomly blowing the opponent out if they happen to have anything high impact in their graveyard. Finally, the whole reason we are playing such a wonky mana base, Leyline Binding. Oblivion Ring is a solid card that has seen play in a multitude of Standard formats, but what about if it was one mana, had Flash, and can also turn into a permanent 6/6 with Zur? Yeah, that’s a pretty solid deal! You of course have to have a dedicated mana base to make that work, but since we do, we get to play pretty much any card you would want!

While this is definitely the most speculative of the lists, Luis Salvatto is an extremely good player and if he thinks the list was worth the time, he’s probably seeing something the rest of the metagame missed. For what it’s worth, having a slower mana base in a metagame where few decks can punish you can only be so bad!

Hopefully, at least one of these decks caught your interest and can inspire you to try something new in Standard!

Thank you for reading!

Enjoy our content? Wish to support our work? Join our Premium community, get access to exclusive content, remove all advertisements, and more!

MTG Arena Zone Premium
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.

Articles: 544

Leave a Reply