This weekend we saw the beginning of the end for this Standard. Magic 2020 is now legal and the race to rotation is on. As is typical for a core set it did not reinvent the format; core sets provide a skeleton for the coming Standard to be built upon. However, nearly every tier deck has new toys to play with and some archetypes are entirely new. Our first peek at this updated Standard was SCG Worcester and today we are breaking down the Top 32 decklists. As always, they are all available here.
The graph above, apart from Ramp, paints quite the diverse and interesting picture. UGx Ramp decks have been a bit of a plague at Standard events post-WAR. Nissa has given them ability to go from big to massive, with the nut draw producing more than eight mana on Turn 4. It usually does not come out this fast, but it consistently goes bigger than anything else in the format. Much of it will still be legal post-rotation as well but I expect it to strictly be Simic. A distant second was Mono-Blue which had lost much of its notoriety in recent months. We will discuss the updated list tomorrow but if you are interested in the strategy behind it, look no further. It was a bit of a wild west after these two archetypes though.
Mono-Red Aggro, Simic Flash, RUG Elementals, Orzhov Vampires, and Boros Feather all managed to put three players into the Top 32. Mono-Red has been a constant force since week one but we will be discussing the updated list that took the trophy tomorrow. In fact all of these archetypes, apart from Simic Flash, made it all the way to Top 8 so they will be covered in detail. I do not want to ignore Simic Flash though because it is an awesome list and is at least good enough for a Top 16. M20 has a bit of a flash theme baked into it for limited. Pair this with the already legal Frilled Mystic and Merfolk Trickster and you have quite the deck. The deck is basically flash tribal as every spell in the maindeck can be cast on your opponent’s turn. Brineborn Cutthroat will grow every time you do so and Nightpack Ambusher functionally spawns a 3/3 every turn to reward you as well. The manabase will take a small hit but this may be the way forward for Tempest Djinn lovers when rotation hits.
It feels crazy to have it fear but yes Esper was pretty much a rogue deck. Two players made Top 32 with it; a far step down from recent performances. However, those players made 8th and 12th place so clearly the archetype is still very viable. None of the other rogue decks managed to make Top 16 but the Top 32 is still something. A sleek Rakdos Aggro deck made 27th, White Weenie (splashing for Heroic Reinforcements) made 30th, and Bant Scapeshift snuck in at 32nd. I was really hoping that Maze’s End was going to end up in Standard to enable a Scapeshift combo deck but Field of the Dead is awesome too. When you Scapeshift seven lands onto Field, it sees that you have the token spawning requirement and all of the lands entering so you will get fourteen 2/2 zombies. It is pretty easy to win from there and the more lands you shift, the more absurd the output is. I do not think this placement captures the deck’s true potential. Regardless, I am pleased that Scapeshift found a purpose in Standard.
My affinity for Mono-Red decks in Standard may be introducing some bias but I am quite pleased looking at these results. Ramp decks are still pretty nuts but at least Esper has waned significantly. The format looks like a ton of fun right now. How do you feel about the new tribal decks? What will you be sleeving up at your post-M20 event? We would love to hear about it in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.