Not only is there a diversity of archetypes but also a wide spectrum of ways to build them. I was also shocked to see various Boros decks around 13% in second place, since I see way more RDW, White Weenie, Jeskai, and The Rock on MTG Arena. I’m a big fan of the card. I have eight decks on today’s list and each is a viable option. Last week was packed with exciting news from Wizards and I’m still sifting through the chaos, trying to understand how my world has changed. While we’ve seen bizarre warped Red Deck Wins, Jeskai, and Boros decks performing well this week, The Rock deck that won the PTQ is very “stock” The Rock. Again, we see the pattern where major archetypes have multiple and often far ranging variation of builds. On the last seven days, mtgtop8.com updated its database with 566 decks that performed in 82 events worldwide. When one or two decks are head and shoulders better than the rest of the options, it gets boring quickly. Brian DeMars has played Magic pretty much since the beginning. I chose to rank the decks in my countdown based on their place in the winner’s metagame, rather than based on my opinion because I honestly don’t think there is a big difference in one archetype over another. 8th Kazandu … Andrew Vorel also knows his way around Izzet Drakes! I know my Ann Arbor friends played the deck in Milwaukee and all three cashed with it, so it’s still very powerful in the hands of a capable pilot. The Pro Tour, or Mythic Challenge, changes are neat but will ultimately only affect 0.01% of players at any given time. How lucky! I find they are the most focused. Even if the deck has Sacred Foundry, the giveaway that the list is White Weenie is 12+ 1-drops. This is the one deck on the list that I cannot and have not built on MTG Arena. The choice is yours. When asked, “who’s the beatdown?” RDW quickly answers: ME! I’ve mentioned that this Standard format is one of the best ever and a major reason I find the format so enjoyable is the wealth of viable strategies to choose from. There’s a large cast of characters that Selesnya can incorporate. Either way, I was surprised because I assumed based on my preferences and observations that it would be a firm 2nd place. Wait, what!? Like many people, I’m obsessed with making lists. ChannelFireball - Magic: The Gathering Strategy, Singles, Cards, Decks. Well, it probably doesn’t come as too much a shock by this point that The Rock is on top. I still dust it off from time to time. The fact that he plays it tells me that it is powerful, since he never plays bad decks. It’s a nuanced balance I appreciate. White Weenie is a numbers game and a powerful choice. The cool thing is that Boros can be whatever you want it to be: a sleek, low-to-the-ground beatdown machine or a regal, elite Angel deck. Good old mono-red. The deck also has a nut draw of “evasive creature + Curious Obsession + 1-mana protection,” darting into the red zone on the second turn. Data sources include Tcgplayer, Mtgtop8, Starcitygames, Wizards of the Coast, The … When 1 in 4 opponents are rocking out, it makes sense to hedge against midrange Golgari decks. One feature I tend to associate with weak formats is a lack of diversity. There’s a whole range of great cards available to the Jeskai monk. I somehow still only have one Arclight Phoenix! I associate the deck with Owen Turtenwald because he’s racked up some nice finishes with it. It is also worth noting that other builds have pushed far to the other end of the spectrum. The other popular build of the deck utilizes Ajani’s Pridemate and Leonin Vanguard as a mondo combo and premium threat package. It’s a very easy deck to play poorly, which doesn’t help with unfair evaluations. I play more than I’ve ever played before and I do it from the comfort of my own home. One aspect of the format I appreciate is the wide array of cards that are playable even within the most popular archetypes. What I can tell you is that I have immense respect for the deck and it’s challenging to defeat because it is capable of extremely explosive turns. It’s fun and easy to play on stream, which means that I can enjoy the company of others while I’m battling foes from my desktop! With that being said, I know little about building and playing from the Drakes side of the matchup, though I’ve played against it hundreds of times. Let me know in the comments below. I’m also happy to report that Standard is one of the best iterations of the format I’ve ever played. It’s got smooth mana and a bunch of great cards that climb the ladder into the always busted Niv-Mizzet, Parun. People throw a lot of shade at this deck but I think it’s actually better than most give it credit for. Do you want to be all Niv all the time or do you want to be fairly Niv but only after sideboard? 7th Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass — 5342 Copies. I love the synergy between Treasure Map and the big monsters like Siege-Gang Commander. It has individually powerful cards that can stabilize a board and dominate a game if answered by spot or mass removal. The fact that Arena will be a significant part of how the majority of Magic players play, view, and experience the game is the definition of a game changer. Burninating all the peoples who live in thatched roof cottages! It’s really exciting to make so many choices when building even a known great deck! The Rock has a million ways to swat the Dragon as though it were a fly. I was surprised to see White Weenie down to 4% of the metagame. While I do believe that I’ve highlighted the best archetypes in the format, the bigger theme I hoped to illustrate is that there is a ton of customization among lists. At a whopping 23% of the metagame The Rock has created separation from the rest of the pack and is in my opinion the best deck in Standard. Still, the general idea is similar. The Dragon is in the sideboard, presumably for the mirror where it really shines. I’ve also never seen Conjecture, which is a very cool piece of tech that makes me excited to cash in some mythic wild cards to finish the deck. With Arena being such a big part of Magic’s future it makes sense that Standard will take on an enhanced role in 2019. The advantage comes from finding thoughtful ways to gain an edge in various matchups, which I’ve tried to highlight with some of the lists I’ve chosen. It’s truly a great format. If you are the interested in playing the deck, I’d start by reading everything he’s written about it and doing everything he suggests. Here’s an example of a more beatdown-oriented Boros Aggro deck: There’s a lot of overlap with White Weenie, but it’s clearly different. The tide has largely gone out on this deck, but it is still a viable choice if for no other reason than it’s extremely budget friendly. Mono-Blue Aggro rode a wave of hype early in the season after The Yellow Hatted One, Gabriel Nassif, finished second at a Grand Prix with it. I’ve always played a couple copies of Chart a Course main, but it looks like he’s got them in the board for grindy matchups. It’s a special moment in Magic history. How would you rank these decks based on your personal preference and play experience? Evolving gameplay and fresh strategies make it one of the most fun and popular ways to play. 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