Metagame: Winota in Standard, Splashes in Modern and Planeswalkers in Legacy!

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Metagame: Winota in Standard, Splashes in Modern and Planeswalkers in Legacy!

In this week's Metagame we see Winota's rise in Standard, defined archetypes resorting to splashes in Modern, Mono Blue Delver back in Pauper, and Planeswalkers in Legacy!

By Romeu, 07/29/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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We're back with another Metagame, where we do our weekly analysis of competitive formats and events from the last weekend. Before we begin, I would like to emphasize that the

Standard 2022

format had no relevant or large player tournaments for the second weekend in a row, so I will not be quoting the format in this article and will be suspending its section in this series until new events that have a sufficient quorum for us to conduct an analysis arise. That said, let's start, as usual, with Standard.

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Standard

Saturday's Standard Challenge had the following Top 32: 7 Sultai Ultimatum 5 Jeskai Cycling 4 Rakdos Sacrifice 3 Mono-Green Aggro 2 Mono-Red Aggro 2 Naya Winota 2 Mono-White Aggro 2 Dimir Control 1 Naya Adventures 1 Dimir Rogues 1 Azorius Artifacts 1 Temur Lukka 1 Gruul Adventures 1 Izzet Dragons And its Top 8 was: 2 Sultai Ultimatum 2 Dimir Control 1 Mono-Red Aggro 1 Rakdos Sacrifice 1 Naya Winota 1 Naya Adventures On Sunday, Standard Challenge finished with the following Top 32: 8 Sultai Ultimatum 7 Temur Lukka 3 Naya Winota 3 Gruul Adventures 2 Naya Adventures 2 Jeskai Cycling 2 Mono-Green Aggro 1 Mono-Red Aggro 1 Rakdos Sacrifice 1 Dimir Control 1 Mono-White Control 1 Azorius Artifacts And the Top 8: 3 Sultai Ultimatum 1 Mono-Red Aggro 1 Temur Lukka 1 Naya Adventures 1 Gruul Aggro 1 Azorius Artifacts In addition, the SCG Satellite circuit has returned, bringing several events with a quorum of around 100 players in each of them. However, since the rankings of these events are considered by their winrate, and as we are talking about an average of eight events, it would be absurdly long to do a survey of each deck that made a positive result in the events, so I will be compiling them into a single “event”, placing only the archetypes that made 6-0. 4 Temur Lukka 3 Dimir Rogues 1 Jeskai Cycling 1 Gruul Adventures 1 Mono-Green Aggro 1 Abzan Yorion This weekend, we also had the SCG Tour 5K Championship Qualifier, with 186 players, and it had the following Top 32: 8 Naya Winota 6 Gruul Adventures 3 Temur Lukka 3 Abzan Yorion 3 Mono-Green Aggro 2 Jeskai Mutate 2 Dimir Rogues 1 Dimir Control 1 Rakdos Sacrifice 1 Jeskai Cycling 1 Sultai Ultimatum 1 Mono-White Aggro And the following Top 8: 2 Naya Winota 2 Gruul Adventures 2 Jeskai Mutate 1 Temur Adventures 1 Sultai Ultimatum Some interesting points to mention regarding this weekend: Despite the high representation in Challenges, Sultai Ultimatum decks did badly in the StarCityGames events, which feature a much more significant Metagame conversion rate (over a thousand decks in total) than Challenges. The two decks that stood out this weekend were Naya Winota and Temur Lukka, while the deck with the highest Winrate was Gruul Adventures.
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Winota, Joiner of Forces, a card that is peculiarly still banned from Historic, has always been a step or two away from making a difference in Standard, coming up last season with a Mardu version and receiving slow but efficient additions in the last few months to become a viable, but not broken, acrhetype. With Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the deck switched to a Naya base, using cards like Lotus Cobra, Tangled Florehadron and the new Prosperous Innkeeper to have good bodies to activate Winota's trigger, while being allowed to cast it in turn 3, granting at least one trigger of the card in the process. The deck's payoffs also include Elite Spellbinder as a disruptive creature with evasion, Blade Historian, which can often close the game in the same turn or a few turns after it hits the battlefield, and Kenrith, the Returned King, which has a series of abilities ranging from extra life to evasion or pump for your creatures. The deck also features Esika's Chariot and Den of the Bugbear to create, with hard-to-remove permanents, two or more Winota triggers, adding even more consistency to the deck. Some lists also use Minsc, Beloved Ranger, a Human-type creature with an acceptable cost, which creates another token that triggers Winota's ability, and whose ability also allows your creatures to grow, allowing them to survive in combat or deal lethal damage, making a great combo with evasive creatures like Elite Spellbinder.

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Temur Lukka has grown significantly this week as one of the few archetypes that has an acceptable or even good match against decks like Mono-Green Aggro and Sultai Ultimatum, demonstrating once again how Standard adapts each week to handle the best deck from the previous week.

Historic

Inight eSports' 5K championship had 63 players and the following Top 32: 10 Jeskai Control 5 Jund Food 2 Orzhov Auras 2 Izzet Phoenix 2 Dragonstorm 2 Dimir Rogues 2 Five-Color Niv-Mizzet 1 Golgari Stompy 1 Mono-Black Aggro 1 Mono-White Aggro 1 Goblins 1 Vampires 1 Grixis Control 1 Sultai Ultimatum And the Top 8 was: 4 Jeskai Control 1 Orzhov Auras 1 Dragonstorm 1 Izzet Phoenix 1 Jund Food These were the results of the first event since Brainstorm's suspension. What we can see is that there was a significant weakening of Izzet Phoenix, previously considered the best deck (or, at least, the most played deck) in the format. The decline of Izzet Phoenix also leads to the decline of decks that sought to prey on the archetype, such as Dimir Control and Azorius Auras, while promoting decks that tries to play a fair game of favorable exchanges and card advantage, as is the case from Jeskai Control:
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Jeskai Control, with a decline in Izzet Phoenix and therefore also a decline in graveyard-focused sideboards, primarily adopted the Magma Opus + Mizzix's Mastery and/or Torrential Gearhulk package to create explosive turns, while also proposing a very efficient control strategy, where you can close the game with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria after answering the opponent's threats like Lightning Helix and Anger of the Gods, or delaying the opponent's game plan with Memory Lapse.
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In a fair game world, Midranges and decks that can prey on the Aggro decks, Jund Food definitely stands out as the mix of Mayhem Devil with the inevitability of Witch's Oven + Cauldron Familiar is enough to handle most Aggro decks in the format, while using Trail of Crumbs to generate value and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King as a card that wins the game in a few turns gives the deck enough resources to play well against the Control decks.
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Apparently, the absence of Brainstorm in the format led to the decline of the various combo decks that were part of the format, such as Indomitable Creativity lists, but the player Sam Beaulieu achieved fantastic results with a version of Dragonstorm which uses the combination of Bladewing the Risen + Terror of the Peaks to deal infinite damage to the opponent: It pulls two Bladewing + Terror of the Peaks from the deck to the battlefield, sacrifice one Bladewing to the Legends Rule, with the trigger of the other Bladewing you return the sacrificed Bladewing to the battlefield, sacrifice one of them to the Legends Rule, returning it with the Bladewing the Risen trigger and repeating this loop to deal infinite damage with Terror of the Peaks. It's still too early to define what will happen to Historic after the suspension of Brainstorm, but whatever happens, it will likely be overshadowed by the release of JumpStart: Historic Horizons, which will bring more than 370 new cards to the format, including some Modern Staples like Ranger-Captain of Eos, and exclusive cards that will only exist in the Magic Arena. If you'd like to better understand this story and my analysis of what this new set means for the format and for Magic Arena, you can read my article here.

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Pioneer

Saturday's Pioneer Challenge had the following Top 32: 6 Mono-Black Aggro 4 Niv-to-Light 3 Dimir Control 2 Enigmatic Fires 2 Lotus Combo 2 Mono-Green Walkers 2 Selesnya Angels 1 Bant Spirits 1 Rakdos Pyromancer 1 Izzet Phoenix 1 Boros Burn 1 Selesnya Company 1 Mono-White Devotion 1 Gruul Legends 1 Azorius Ensoul 1 Simic Devotion 1 Azorius Yorion 1 Azorius Control And the Top 8: 1 Mono-Black Aggro 1 Dimir Control 1 Enigmatic Fires 1 Azorius Yorion 1 Bant Spirits 1 Mono-White Devotion 1 Selesnya Angels 1 Boros Burn On Sunday, it had the following decks on Top 32: 6 Niv-to-Light 3 Bant Spirits 3 Azorius Ensoul 3 Azorius Yorion 2 Dimir Control 2 Izzet Phoenix 2 Boros Burn 2 Mono-Green Walkers 2 Mono-White Aggro 1 Rakdos Midrange 1 Lotus Combo 1 Four-Color Ascendancy 1 Vampires 1 Mono-Black Aggro 1 Enigmatic Fires 1 Mono-Red Aggro And its Top 8 had these decks: 1 Dimir Control 1 Bant Spirits 1 Niv-to-Light 1 Vampires 1 Four-Color Ascendancy 1 Izzet Phoenix 1 Mono-White Aggro We've seen an increase in Azorius Yorion' lists in Pioneer, while new decks like Selesnya Angels and Mono-White Devotion seem to be losing ground in the format, with Azorius Ensoul being the only archetype among those most benefiting from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to maintain good results, growing significantly in the format.
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The ones that have less expressive results are the lists that try to take advantage of a “blink” theme, with several ETB effects and including the combo of The Book of Exalted Deeds with Mutavault for soft-lock purposes while accumulating a huge amount of value. The other variants are closer to Azorius Control, like the list above. The deck has several cards that have good effects to hold the game and obtain card advantage in the form of enchantments such as Omen of the Sea and Omen of the Sun, while using Shark Typhoon and Planeswalkers to close the game. It's important to remember that Yorion, Sky Nomad also exiles Planeswalkers, which can make a big difference when you need to deal with troublesome permanents with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, or to reset Narset, Parter of Veils' counters. Outside these cards, the deck has the classic Control package we see in the format, with counters like Dovin's Veto and Absorb, as well as sweepers in the form of Supreme Verdict and Settle the Wreckage and a low-cost removal with Portable Hole.
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Another deck that stood out this weekend, making a Top 8 on Sunday, was Mono-White Aggro, which unfortunately I can't call it a “budget” option for the format because of Skyclave Apparition increasing its price tag by 60 tix. The list bets on a plan similar to Standard's Mono-White Aggro, betting on the individual strength of its creatures and the added value of cards like Luminarch Aspirant to win the game, using other powerful cards of the format like Elite Spellbinder, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Basri's Lieutenant and Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants. The deck also features an underused Standard card, Sparring Regimen, which acts as extra copies of Luminarch Aspirant that can't be removed easily, but forces the creature to attack to get a counter. The card also has the Learn ability, which means that the deck can adopt some cards to search on its sideboard, such as Academic Probation and Reduce to Memory. Bonus points for the fact that the deck uses Archangel Avacyn on the sideboard, a card I particularly feel that doesn't get the respect it deserves in Pioneer.

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Modern

Saturday's Modern Challenge had the following Top 32: 6 Living End 5 Hammer Time 2 Izzet Tempo 2 Amulet Titan 2 Jund Company 1 Rakdos Shadow 1 Jund Lurrus 1 Jund Shadow 1 Elementals 1 Urza’s Kitchen 1 Dimir Mill 1 Temur Cascade 1 Esper Control 1 Burn 1 Goblins 1 Grixis Tempo 1 Four-Color Turns 1 Colorless Tron 1 Jeskai Control And it had the following Top 8: 2 Izzet Tempo 1 Jund 1 Jund Shadow 1 Living End 1 Grixis Tempo 1 Amulet Titan 1 Elementals On Sunday, the event finished with this Top 32: 4 Hammer Time 4 Izzet Tempo 3 Temur Cascade 3 Living End 2 Elementals 2 Grixis Tempo 1 Mardu Shadow 1 Urza’s Kitchen 1 Dimir Mill 1 Orzhov Stoneblade 1 Jund 1 Ad Nauseam 1 Esper Control 1 Boros Burn 1 Goblins 1 Rakdos Lurrus 1 Jund Lurrus 1 Temur Tempo 1 Four-Color Omnath 1 Four-Color Turns And its Top 8 had these decks: 2 Hammer Time 2 Temur Cascade 1 Elementals 1 Izzet Tempo 1 Urza’s Kitchen 1 Dimir Mill We also had the Modern Super Qualifier this weekend, which finished with this Top 32: 5 Hammer Time 5 Izzet Tempo 3 Grixis Tempo 3 Temur Cascade 2 Four-Color Turns 2 Heliod Company 2 Four-Color Scapeshift 2 Grixis Shadow 2 Living End 1 Golgari Yawgmoth 1 Jeskai Control 1 Mardu Lurrus 1 Boros Taxes 1 Tron 1 Boros Prowess And the following Top 8: 3 Grixis Tempo 2 Four-Color Turns 1 Hammer Time 1 Izzet Tempo 1 Heliod Company This weekend we also had the ManaTraders Series, to which we have access to a lot of information from this particular event thanks to the compilation made by the user Bamzing on PasteBin. Starting with the event's Metagame, which had 213 players: 33 Hammer Time 16 Izzet Tempo 14 Living End 14 Temur Cascade 11 Grixis Tempo 8 Dimir Mill 7 Rakdos Lurrus 7 Elementals 6 Mardu Lurrus 6 Amulet Titan 6 Eldrazi Tron 4 Boros Burn 4 Jeskai Control 4 Jund 4 Jeskai Breach Station 3 Heliod Company 3 Four-Color Turns 3 Ad Nauseam 3 Cascade Glimpse 2 Grixis Shadow 2 Golgari Infect 2 Orzhov Weenies 2 Izzet Prowess 2 Golgari Yawgmoth 2 Bant Ephemerate 2 Mono Red Prowess 2 Azorius Spirits 2 Five-Color Scapeshift 2 Gruul Ponza 2 Bant Stoneblade 2 Jeskai Kitchen 2 Orzhov Stoneblade 1 Dredge 1 Gruul Titan 1 Four-Color Shadow 1 Four-Color Cascade 1 Izzet Breach Station 1 Grixis Rogues 1 Jeskai Prowess 1 Hardened Scales 1 Amulet Breach 1 Reanimator 1 Dice Tron 1 Elves 1 Jeskai Stoneblade 1 All Spells 1 Jund Lurrus 1 Goblins 1 Mono-Red Obosh 1 Grixis Food 1 Four-Color Creativity 1 Mono-Blue Tron 1 Jund Company 1 Naya Enchantress 1 Sultai Food 1 Jeskai Tempo 1 Humans 1 Izzet Swans 1 Four-Color Ephemerate 1 Izzet Delver And the following decks had 18 points or more: 5 Izzet Tempo 4 Hammer Time 4 Mardu Lurrus 2 Boros Burn 2 Temur Cascade 1 Grixis Tempo 1 Dredge 1 Grixis Shadow 1 Amilet Titan 1 Living End 1 Gruul Titan 1 Heliod Company 1 Rakdos Lurrus 1 Four-Color Shadow 1 Golgari Infect 1 Four-Color Cascade And its Top 8 was: 3 Hammer Time 2 Izzet Tempo 1 Dredge 1 Grixis Tempo 1 Grixis Shadow So, there's a lot to evaluate in Modern, to the point that I believe the format this week deserves an article of its own for a more in-depth look at its Metagame two months after Modern Horizons II's release, and I promise to write it as soon as possible. But let's not leave this section of the article blank, and I'll take a look at what these events have shown us. The first point is that, both in personal choice and results, Hammer Time is considered the best deck in Modern today.
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Hammer Time was by far the most played deck in the ManaTraders Series and one of the decks that consistently appears in the Top 8 in Challenges and other events. The explosive combination that the base of this deck already had along with the additional consistency of Urza's Saga, plus new additions like Esper Sentinel and Ingenious Smith make this archetype one of the most played and most respected decks of the format today.

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The other decks that have succeeded in the events and in the Metagame are the Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer decks, which have several variants between the Izzet versions, the numerous versions with Lurrus of the Dream-Den, among others. One pattern we've seen in the format this week has even been the use of splashes of green on Rakdos lists and black on Izzet lists to get better answers for both archetypes that define the format today.
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The addition of green to Rakdos decks means the inclusion of Tarmogoyf to increase the clock, but especially Wrenn and Six, a card whose ability to deal 1 damage to any target for a very low cost proves to be powerful in a world of Ragavans, Dragon's Rage Channelers without Delirium, Esper Sentinels, and more, allowing the deck to leave its efficient removals to other threats. The addition of black to the Izzet decks, which cuts Murktide Regent to gain access to Lurrus of the Dream-Den, allows the archetype to have discard spells such as Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek, great ways to deal with a deck like Hammer Time, as you can have access to information on what your opponent has in hand and possibly take away an important piece of what the deck needs to function. Adding black to the deck significantly improves the matchup against Hammer Time as it also gives access to cards like Drown in the Loch, which works as a hard counter/removal when the opponent's deck's mana curve is too low, in addition to Kolaghan's Command, which has always created remarkable 2-for-1 effects against artifact decks, while also serving as a powerful grinding engine alongside Snapcaster Mage. I believe that, two months after the release of Modern Horizons II, the format finally seems to have established what its main decks are and the impact of the new set is notable when it comes to defining these decks. Now, it will be up to players to adapt to the new Modern Metagame, as they are already doing by including splashes in the established decks of the format. I'll be elaborating some better ideas about the format soon, in an article dedicated exclusively to the Modern Metagame.

Pauper

Saturday's Pauper Challenge had the following Top 32: 9 Affinity 6 Storm 6 Dimir Faeries 5 Tron 3 Mono-Blue Delver 2 Dimir Delver 1 Elves And its Top 8 was: 2 Mono-Blue Delver 2 Storm 2 Dimir Faeries 1 Tron 1 Affinity On Sunday, the event had these decks on the Top 32: 8 Affinity 6 Storm 6 Dimir Faeries 4 Mono-Blue Delver 2 Mono-White Soul Sisters 1 Orzhov Pestilence 1 Dimir Delver 1 Tron 1 Elves 1 Dimir Serpentine 1 Jund Cascade And its Top 8 was: 2 Affinity 2 Storm 1 Dimir Faeries 1 Mono-Blue Delver 1 Orzhov Pestilence 1 Dimir Delver While the Top 8 of both events creates a false sense of stability or even diversity in the format, Pauper continues to struggle with a problem caused by archetypes that have become too prevalent in the format. Some people argue that even though Storm is a broken deck, Affinity is not a problem for the format, mainly because it is put in check by the Dimir decks with Snuff Out and Cast Down. As for Affinity, one point to consider is how many other Aggro decks you've seen in the Top 32 of Challenges in recent weeks. Look at this week, for example: the only Aggro deck in the Top 32 is Affinity, with Soul-Sisters shyly showing up with two copies. The big issue with Affinity today is much more about the fact that it is the only viable Aggro deck on Pauper today than whether there are enough answers for it. No deck can play under it when the archetype starts with its streak of large creatures, no other Aggro can create a larger board position than it does, and no other deck can put as much pressure as it can without losing its gas.

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Of course, it's important to consider how many responses there are to the archetype, but it's not because a deck like Dimir Faeries can handle it, which means the deck is "okay". To define how healthy a deck is for the format, it is necessary to assess how much it is impacting the Metagame, and not just the personal perception of the players who pilot the deck or who play with decks that beat the archetype. It also doesn't mean that I don't particularly consider that the Blue-Based decks aren't also demonstrating how “above the rest of the format” they are, especially the Dimir decks, but these decks before Modern Horizons II had the Cascade decks, in addition to other archetypes, to be able to play “over” them, while decks like Boros Bully and Stompy managed to establish enough pressure earlier or faster than it could handle. That said, we're still seeing the format trying to adapt:
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The winning deck of Saturday's Pauper Challenge, for example, is a Mono-Blue Delver list that takes Alan Comer's Turbo Xerox theory very seriously, where the deck uses only 14 lands while using 18 means of drawing cards, plus scry with Faerie Seer and a mana curve where all of your maindeck spells can be played for a maximum of two mana, allowing the deck to significantly reduce its mana and have more action cards to apply pressure to the opponent with evasive creatures, or to respond to threats with cards like Vapor Snag and Spell Pierce. Historically speaking, Tempo decks have always been the natural predator of Combo decks in virtually every competitive format, and it's no different with Pauper, where Mono-Blue Delver has a clean manabase and very efficient means of, when played well and knowing how, when and what to answer, has great results against Storm, and we've seen this archetype grow in the format for the past week to adapt to the current Metagame, as its evasive creatures and use of low-cost responses like Vapor Snag and Annul allow the deck to play relatively well against Affinity as well.
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On the other hand, making a 3-3 result, we had this Jund Cascade list totally focused on responding to the two main decks of the format with discards and land destruction to deal with Storm, while Fangren Marauder, Plundering Barbarian and Conclave Naturalists deals with Affinity. Apparently it didn't work, especially considering how well the Blue-Based Decks performed this weekend. Ultimately, Pauper seems to remain stuck in its trio of Storm-Affinity-Blue Decks, with Tron approaching a viable option last Saturday with five copies in the Top 32, while the other decks become absolutely overshadowed. Compare this format state to Modern, or Pioneer, or even Legacy, and you'll notice that there is a significant difference between the current state of Pauper now than in other "healthier" formats.

Legacy

Legacy Challenge had the following Top 32 on Saturday: 9 Izzet Delver 3 Miracles 2 Jeskai Tempo 2 Death and Taxes 2 Doomsday 2 Izzet Painter 2 Lands 2 Dimir Delver 1 Jeskai Delver 1 Temur Cascade 1 The Epic Storm 1 Selesnya Depths 1 Reanimator 1 Maverick 1 Eldrazi Post 1 Slivers And the following Top 8: 3 Izzet Delver 2 Miracles 1 Jeskai Tempo 1 The Epic Storm 1 Selesnya Depths On Sunday, the Legacy Challenge had the following Top 32: 6 Izzet Delver 5 Miracles 3 Lands 3 Jeskai Tempo 2 The Epic Storm 1 Death & Taxes 1 Hogaak 1 Elves 1 Karn Echoes 1 All Spells 1 Mono-Red Painter 1 Doomsday 1 Hammer Time 1 Grixis Control 1 HollowVine 1 Azorius Bomberman

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1 Jeskai Planeswalkers And its Top 8 had the following decks: 2 Jeskai Tempo 1 Yorion and Taxes 1 Hogaak 1 Izzet Delver 1 HollowVine 1 Lands 1 Jeskai Planeswalkers A first point I would like to emphasize is why seeing nine copies of Izzet Delver in the Top 32 of a Legacy Challenge doesn't bother me as much as seeing nine copies of Affinity in the Pauper Challenge.
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The first thing to consider on this occasion is the role that Delver decks play in the format, which is being the “fun police”, that is, the decks that keep the format's most unfair strategies in check. Historically speaking, Tempo decks are the natural predators of Combo decks, I commented in the Pauper section on how it is precisely this point that makes Blue-Based decks succeed in the current Metagame, and it doesn't differ in Legacy. There has been a relatively long debate over the last few years in the format about how healthy it is to have Delver of Secrets in Legacy, where the cantrips, answers and manabase are very effective, how much it is really worth having its deck as the best strategy in the format, putting in significant numbers during most weekends. In particular, I believe the role of Delver of Secrets in the format is well established, and I can't imagine the format being any better without a 3/2 Flying creature for one mana putting pressure on unfair decks while fair decks can handle the archetype, which is not always the case because current Tempo deck lists in all formats have attrition and card advantage aspects such as Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and before him, Oko, Thief of Crowns and Dreadhorde Arcanist in Temur Delver. That doesn't mean I'm saying we should ban Ragavan or remove Delver's attrition elements from Legacy (although I believe the archetype has gotten much better and much more consistent with Modern Horizons II), I'm one of the people who faithfully believes Tempo Decks will always be the best decks of their respective formats when they have the necessary elements to do so, and Legacy abounds in these elements with Daze, Force of Will, Lightning Bolt, Wasteland, good cantrips, among other things, and that this isn't necessarily bad because Tempo decks tend to act as a regulator for the formats, keeping unfair strategies in check while managing to hold up against Metagame's fair strategies. But how is it possible to beat or prey on Legacy's Delver decks? Well, João made a great article where he explains how to deal with Ragavan decks, which are mostly Tempo Decks these days, and which strategies or decks succeed in doing so. I could, of course, summarize it between decks that don't allow Tempos decks to execute their game plan well using cards like Chalice of the Void, or decks that manage to create a powerful board position quickly I even missed the mention of the Hogaak decks at this point, a deck that to some extent I consider a natural predator of the Delver decks, not only because it manages to create an absurd board position on turn 2 or 3, but also because it adheres to another strategy that works very well against Tempo decks: cheating on mana better than them, virtually invalidating 1-for-1 exchanges.
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A deck like Hogaak can do this because cards like Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Vengevine can play around counterspells and removals easily, making these exchanges pointless for Delver decks while their creatures will naturally be larger than theirs and/or you don't mind making trades between creatures because yours can always come back from the graveyard, making your opponent's game plan meaningless.

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Another deck that has come up with this proposal since the release of Modern Horizons II is HollowVine, or Madness, if you prefer.
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The deck manages to have absurdly explosive turns even on turn 1 by combining Lion's Eye Diamond with Basking Rootwalla and Blazing Rootwalla, along with cards like Vengevine and Hollow One that take advantage of discard abilities to secure an extremely advantageous board position, while cards like Anje's Ravager and Ox of Agonas allow the deck to keep a stream of cards in hand to maintain the efficiency of its game plan.
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And last, but not least, an interesting deck that emerged this weekend was the Planeswalkers Stompy, which the player MrApple65 used to reach the Top 8 of Sunday's Challenge. The list uses the Sol Lands package along with Interplanar Beacon and manafixers like Azorius Signet and Izzet Signet to cast your Planeswalkers early in the game, featuring a powerful team that includes Dack Fayden, Teferi, Time Raveler, Jace, The Mind Sculptor, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and the Karn, the Great Creator alongside an artifact toolbox accessible from the Sideboard. The deck also features disruptions in the form of counterspells and lock pieces with Chalice of the Void, Dovin, Hand of Control (which is an interesting tech against Tempo Decks and Storm), in addition to the combination of Karn, the Great Creator with Liquimetal Torque to permanently lock the opponent, destroying their lands

Conclusion

That was my review of this week's Metagame. Standard appears to have taken a small turnaround this week, with Sultai Ultimatum doing poorly while declining decks like the Adventures lists resurfaced and Naya Winota exploded as a potential competitor. There's not much to say about Historic because, despite the expected dominance of Jeskai decks in the format, its Metagame will change significantly with the launch of Historic Horizons on August 12th. Pioneer doesn't seem to have changed much this week, and its Metagame seems to be stabilizing again with the additions of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. After two months, we can finally define the new Modern's Tiers, and we'll look over the next few weeks as players will adapt to the current state of the format. There's not much to be said for Pauper as long as Storm and Affinity continue to prey on the rest of the format, even in weeks when the Top 8 seems less focused on them, and more oriented towards Blue-Based decks. Speaking of Blue-Based, Izzet Delver is the best deck in Legacy today, just as the archetype has been the best deck in the format for years. While it has impressive numbers, it's not removing diversity from the format, so it's important to assess whether keeping it as the best deck (and that doesn't exactly mean keeping Ragavan in the format or not) makes it a healthy option for the Metagame . Thanks for reading!
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Romeu

Writer and translator for Cards Realm. Plays virtually Magic: The Gathering competitive formats. Pauper Masters' Organizer.

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