Top or Flop: Best and Worst Standard Decks for the February Kaldheim League Weekend – Featuring 2 MPL Players!

Murder-Investigation-Magic-Origins-Mtg-Art

Hello everyone! Today I’m buddying up with my good friend and excellent streamer, Sorquixe, to bring you our opinions on what’s going to happen during the MPL/Rivals League splits this weekend.

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Since we are both competitive by nature, Sorquixe suggested we make this a competition to see who’s correct about more things which I’m all about. The winner gets nothing but the pride and satisfaction that they’re better than the other person and that’s all that we need. Furthermore, we also got the opinions of 2 MPL players for this article as well! Martin Juza and Chris Kvartek were both gracious enough to give us their thoughts on what’s going to happen this weekend. Let’s get to it!

QUESTION #1: What Will Be The Most Played Deck Of The Tournament?

embercleave_by_joeslucher

DoggertQBones

With it’s continued dominance despite being such a known quantity, I’d have to assume Monored Aggro is going to be the most played deck of the tournament. Monored was brought in as a counter to Sultai Ultimatum, and despite Sultai seeing huge dips in play rate and decks rising up to challenge Monored, it still continues on strong. The combination of a strong curve, good removal, and Embercleave is just a winning strategy and Monored’s best draws are extremely hard for any deck to beat.

Sorquixe

I think the most played deck will be Mono-Red. In a completely wide open meta, being proactive has always been the most winning strategy and that deck has proven to be among the best decks already anyway. There is currently no deck that has no bad matchups, but Mono-red is capable of even the bad matchups by just curving Anax, Hardened by the Forge into Embercleave and it also does well against the hot deck of the week, Naya Fury.

Chris Kvartek

Monowhite, Monored, or Naya, but likely Mono White

Martin Juza

N/A

QUESTION #2: What Deck Will Have The Highest Win Rate This Weekend? Which Will Have The Lowest?

Kazuul's Fury

DoggertQBones

For the highest win rate, I think it has to be Naya Fury. Naya has the tools to beat every deck when it’s played and built properly and I think in the hands of the best players in the game, this will prove to be even more true. It did lose some stock as the surprise factor of the deck is now through, but the deck seems inherently so hard to counter as it can attack on so many different axes.

For the lowest win rate of the weekend, I’m going to have to go with Cycling. Cycling also caught the metagame by surprise last weekend and that may inspire some people to play it, but I think the jig is now up and people will be prepared to handle cycling with any deck that they choose. Unlike Naya, the deck can much more easily be countered with a variety of spells like Tormod's Crypt, Elsepth’s Nightmare, or even something like Shadowspear (which isn’t a hard counter, but it’s still great against them). Furthermore, Embercleave in general is just a really difficult card for them to beat. I don’t hate it as a choice, but I don’t think it’s going to pan out well for any Cycling pilots.

Sorquixe

I think Naya will have the lowest win rate. That deck has absurd potential to kill quickly while playing some of the best cards in Standard right now, but you have to remember that the combo aspect is quite easy to interact with and it’s much harder to win when your opponent knows what you’re up to. It might have been good when no one was prepared, but I don’t think that will be the case going forward. The deck has a large target on its back and the lack of consistency doesn’t give me enough faith in this deck to perform under these circumstances.

I assume Mono-White will have the highest win rate. Even though Naya is not the best matchup (and that will be popular), it’s a strong, straight forward, consistent deck  and it’s also strong against Mono-Red. White does have some bad matchups as well, but given that I don’t think these matchups will be popular enough (besides Naya), it should do well in my opinion!

Chris Kvartek

Naya will have the highest win rate, Rogues will have the lowest

Martin Juza

Highest Winrate: Temur Turns

Lowest Winrate: Rakdos

QUESTION #3: What’s The Most Overrated Archetype Going Into The Weekend?

Archon of Absolution

DoggertQBones

Although I think the deck is quite good, I think Monowhite is the most overrated. Monowhite is likely the strongest game 1 deck in Standard, but I find that Monowhite struggles more against the anti-aggro cards compared to Monored or something like Gruul. Furthermore, with the uptick of Archon of Absolution in both Monowhite and other white decks, I think monowhite pilots are going to cannibalize each other and it’s going to end up being an ok choice, but certainly not as good as it may seem at the moment.

Sorquixe

I teased it a bit already: But I think Naya will be the most overrated deck. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you should be good because you play the strongest cards in the format, but the clunkiness in the mana base and the fact that some of your cards don’t do a lot if you don’t have Goldspan Dragon on the battlefield is a huge downside. Also, try and surprise MPL-Members with the Unleashed Fury combo – it’s much harder to execute. 

Chris Kvartek

Monored 

Martin Juza

Rakdos

QUESTION #4: What’s The Most Underrated Archetype Going Into The Weekend?

Emergent-Ultimatum-Ikoria-MtG-Art

DoggertQBones

Easily Sultai Ultimatum, and it’s not close. I think the many players believe the deck to be dead since Monored was such a bad matchup, but the power level of the deck is still very much there. The deck definitely has the tools to beat aggro and just needs the right build to do so, and if any group of players can figure that out, it’s going to be the members of the MPL and Rivals League. I’ll go even further to say that I believe Sultai Ultimatum may end up having one of the highest win rates of the tournament. If a pilot is bringing Sultai Ultimatum, it would be fair to assume that they believe they have the tools to beat aggro decks consistently which is likely going to be a large portion of the meta.

Sorquixe

I think Cycling will be the most underrated deck. I don’t think Cycling is the best by any means, but it can be good when people don’t respect it, and I think people currently don’t (or they don’t do it enough). It got a huge boost with the 12 Pathways, allowing it to play 3 colors and most decks don’t kill fast enough to outrace Zenith Flare. In general, counterspells right now are a bit problematic because there are so many different targets you need to be prepared for, which makes it much better for Cycling: Removal and counterspells is how you can win against that deck. I think Cycling will beat a lot of people when they are not prepared for it. 

Chris Kvartek 

Boros Aggro, it’s a better Monowhite!

Martin Juza

Rogues

QUESTION #5: What’s Your Favorite Archetype Going Into The MIQ?

Seasoned Hallowblade

DoggertQBones

My favorite archetype going into the MIQ has to be Boros Aggro. I’ve been a big fan of the strategy for awhile and it plays a lot easier than something like Naya Fling. The largest issue is that since so few people believe in the deck, the archetype has remained rather untuned, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the deck I settle on.

Sorquixe

Right now, I would prefer to play Mono-White. That deck is just proactive, and as I already mentioned, I don’t think the decks that are good against it are popular right now. You can also change your sideboard a bit and make these matchups a bit better and since Mono-Red will also be popular, I like that choice. 

Chris Kvartek

Boros Aggro or Naya Fury with a lot of Archon of Absolution in the sideboard

Martin Juza

Rogues

That’s all that we have for today! Who do you agree with the most and did all of us miss something? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for reading!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and 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 teaching!

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