On May 29th, three cards were added to Standard's banned and restricted list: Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Reckoner Bankbuster and Invoke Despair, indispensable pieces for the strategy of many decks, mainly in Rakdos Breach and Grixis Midrange.
These two decks, specifically, were considered the strongest in the format and were the most popular, being wildly dominant both online and at large tabletop events.
But what will become of Standard without these cards? Will the format finally breathe? Which decks will see the light in this new phase of Standard?
In this article, I will present my bets for the current Metagame until the arrival of the next set, Wilds of Eldraine, which will be released in September.
Decklists and Bets for the New Standard
Soldiers is one of the most played decks in the format, even pre-ban, and has always had a good win rate.
The archetype has gained good additions recently like Knight-Errant of Eos, Invasion of Gobakhan and Surge of Salvation and now has great chances to grow in this new Metagame. It's a fast, consistent deck that can play toe-to-toe with the remaining midranges.
There's still a lot to be explored and tested on this list, and this is the perfect time for that to happen.
Mono Red Aggro
Mono Red Aggro is another popular deck that has been overshadowed by the format's overwhelming midrange presence.
The archetype suffers against massive lifegain and very long games, but there are many tools that need to be tested in this color, and I believe that now the deck will have the space it needs to grow.
The format has access to cards like Reckless Impulse, Wrenn's Resolve and Invasion of Mercadia that can fit well in Mono Red and give more chance in grindy games, in addition to other cards like Invasion of Tarkir and Nahiri's Warcrafting which fit pretty well too.
Mono White Midrange / Orzhov Breach
Despite these decks being hit by the ban, losing Reckoner Bankbuster, which was the main source of card advantage in both cases, I still believe that BW and Mono White will be a force to be reckoned with in the Metagame.
Both have access to Wedding Announcement, which, like Fable, was also mentioned as a possible ban, but remains in the format and is a powerful weapon for white-based midranges.
Orzhov has other resources that can help a lot in matchups against midranges, such as Duress which is a great card in attrition games, Steel Seraph which is a powerful and underrated creature that doesn't enter the range of the most of the format's removals, in addition to Breach the Multiverse, which is an absurdly powerful card.
This deck has more recently emerged as a new archetype and caught a lot of attention during the Arena Championship 3.
The strategy revolves around Zurgo and Ojutai and the plan is to generate a lot of value while dominating the board, ending the game with consecutive attacks from your dragons. The deck has an excellent package of powerful spells and interactions, and there's still a lot of room to explore more about this archetype.
This strategy was strong in the format and lost a lot with the Fable ban. However, the departure of the Kiki-Jiki saga makes room for other excellent cards to shine in this archetype, such as Corpse Appraiser, Liliana of the Veil and The Cruelty of Gix.
There are several strategies involving Atraxa, but I think Reanimator is the most interesting of all, and I believe that this deck will still have space in the format.
Atraxa also appears in another very powerful strategy that was not affected by the bans. I'm talking about Ramp decks. Here the strategy, as its name suggests, is to accelerate the mana to abuse powerful bombs like Atraxa, Etali and Herd Migration.
The archetype has the necessary tools to deal with Aggro and the match against midranges is very favorable, making Ramp a strong candidate to take the crown of the format. These strategies can incorporate basically any bomb in the format and can splash all 5 colors, making this deck very interesting.
Being one of the main rivals of Rakdos before the bans, this deck has been among the best ones in the format for a while and has not been hit by the bans. Now is the perfect time for Esper to shine again.
Its more aggressive approach, making use of powerful creatures like Raffine, Scheming Seer and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse while being able to adopt a more defensive stance puts it on a different level from other midranges in the current Metagame.
Rakdos or Grixis Midrange
Yes, I still believe these decks will survive. Both were the main targets of bans and lost a lot in speed and consistency.
However, the format still supports these strategies and I believe that some cards can receive greater prominence and help these two decks to resurface soon.
Liliana is a card that should appear more often due to her interaction with Underdog. Breach and Chandra will have room to be further explored, perhaps with Grixis focusing on one of them or mixing the two.
Rakdos will be able to adopt a more proactive build, with more creatures, especially the value drops like Evolved Sleeper, Graveyard Trespasser and Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor. And let's not forget about Sheoldred, who survived the ban and will continue to be a nightmare for many players.
Rakdos and Grixis Midrange received a sore blow. However, I believe that these decks are not dead yet in the format, but will need some time to adapt and resurface with new rosters.
BW and Mono White can easily adapt without Bankbuster and are strong candidates for the best deck. Atraxa decks haven't lost much and are also still strong.
Jeskai is a deck that needs to be explored due to its great potential, but the decks that are likely to have its spotlight will be the Aggro ones.
Azorius Soldiers and Mono Red, in addition to several others that I haven't mentioned here, will finally be able to develop in the Metagame and I believe that Midranges will have work to do.
Another finished article, I hope you liked it. Leave your questions and suggestions in the comments, and I'll try to answer them all.