The Top Five Standard Decks This Week - 7/5/2023

Hello everyone!

Looking to be on top of the metagame or simply want some new decks to try? We're here to help! With Standard tournaments happening every week, seeing the spiciest new brew or even new tech to an old favorite can easily put you ahead of the competition, so I wanted to start this series so you can have your pick from five highly curated options!

These will be in order if that matters to you, but all should be great options!

#5 Mono Black Midrange

Mono Black Midrangeby MTG StormStandard - MidrangeBest of 3
12 mythic
17 rare
4 uncommon
27 common
26
0
9
1
6
2
8
3
4
4
3
5
0
6
4
7

Mainboard

(60)
Creature (19)
4
Evolved Sleeper
0
2
Tenacious Underdog
0
1
Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor
0
4
Graveyard Trespasser
0
4
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
0
4
Phyrexian Fleshgorger
0
Planeswalker (3)
3
Liliana of the Veil
0
Instant (8)
4
Cut Down
0
4
Go for the Throat
0
Sorcery (4)
1
Duress
0
3
Gix's Command
0
Land (26)
3
Mishra's Foundry
0
22
Swamp
0
1
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
0

Sideboard

(15)
1
Disfigure
0
3
Duress
0
2
Parasitic Grasp
0
2
Razorlash Transmogrant
0
2
Sheoldred's Edict
0
2
Phyrexian Arena
0
1
Sorin the Mirthless
0
1
Whack
0
1
Sheoldred
0
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Coming in fifth we have Mono Black Midrange dropping down a spot!

Last week, I was unsure about the future of this archetype as I said it felt more like a metagame call than a overall solid deck, but that was obviously not the case considering it keeps doing well in a varied field. Well, another week, another set of strong performances from Mono Black.

I liken its success to the value of simplicity - with a straightforward game plan and all cards that build towards that plan, it's hard for it to go wrong. Furthermore, with a one color mana base, you're never getting color screwed and rarely getting mana screwed making the deck even more consistent.

While promising, I still contend that this deck has a natural ceiling mostly by the virtue of its matchup spread, but for now, it still is doing well in a field that isn't that optimized for it.

#4 Golgari Midrange

Golgari Midrangeby MTG StormStandard - MidrangeBest of 3
8 mythic
26 rare
7 uncommon
19 common
26
0
3
1
12
2
11
3
4
4
2
5
1
6
1
7

Mainboard

(60)
Creature (23)
2
Cankerbloom
0
4
Deeproot Wayfinder
0
1
Tenacious Underdog
0
3
Briarbridge Tracker
0
3
Glissa Sunslayer
0
3
Graveyard Trespasser
0
1
Tranquil Frillback
0
4
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
0
2
Sheoldred
0
Planeswalker (2)
1
Vraska, Betrayal's Sting
0
1
Nissa, Ascended Animist
0
Instant (9)
3
Cut Down
0
4
Go for the Throat
0
1
Tear Asunder
0
1
Blot Out
0
Land (26)
1
Boseiju, Who Endures
0
4
Deathcap Glade
0
5
Forest
0
3
Llanowar Wastes
0
2
Mirrex
0
4
Riveteers Overlook
0
6
Swamp
0
1
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
0

Sideboard

(15)
1
Cut Down
0
3
Duress
0
1
Unlicensed Hearse
0
2
Path of Peril
0
1
Phyrexian Arena
0
3
Tranquil Frillback
0
2
Fade from History
0
2
Breach the Multiverse
0
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Coming in with a second Midrange Black deck, we have a new innovation this week in Golgari Midrange!

Since Rakdos got banned out of the metagame (for the most part anyway), no deck has been able to fill that hole that it left. Mono Black Midrange is doing a decent impression in that regard, but I think a key feature of Rakdos wasn't the quality of its interaction, but the quality of its threats. To that end, this deck is built heavily around Deeproot Wayfinder.

Deeproot Wayfinder

To be honest, I never had any real expectations from this card. While it is solid when it connects, the consistency of getting a land off its ability is low which made it feel like a card that makes you jump through a hoop that isn't worth jumping through. However, with Riveteer's Overlook, this ability has been turbocharged. If you can keep the way clear, you can hypothetically get a free Surveil, land, and life every time this connects which is pretty nutty.

Of course, building a deck around Wayfinder isn't worth it, but how Wayfinder is our Bloodtithe Harvester analog, Glissa Sunslayer is the Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki analog. Obviously, I'm not trying to say Glissa matches up to Fable, but she is extremely powerful. Literally unbeatable in combat and powerful when it connects, Glissa can quickly get you ahead with a steady stream of cards or even interaction to specific permanents as needed.

So how good is this deck? It's hard to say, but I've been relatively impressed so far so I'm curious where this goes. Personally, I think the juice isn't exactly worth the squeeze in this current build, but if we postured to a Reanimator deck or anything else that better leverages the Surveil from Wayfinder, I can see that being successful.

#3 Mono Red Aggro

Mono Red Aggroby MTG StormStandard - AggroBest of 3
8 mythic
11 rare
16 uncommon
25 common
23
0
16
1
15
2
6
3
0
4
0
5
0
6

Mainboard

(60)
Creature (19)
4
Monastery Swiftspear
0
4
Phoenix Chick
0
4
Bloodthirsty Adversary
0
3
Feldon, Ronom Excavator
0
4
Furnace Punisher
0
Instant (8)
4
Play with Fire
0
4
Lightning Strike
0
Sorcery (2)
2
Nahiri's Warcrafting
0
Enchantment (4)
4
Kumano Faces Kakkazan
0
Land (23)
4
Mishra's Foundry
0
17
Mountain
0
2
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
0
Other (4)
4
Invasion of Tarkir
0

Sideboard

(15)
4
Lithomantic Barrage
0
2
Obliterating Bolt
0
3
Bloody Betrayal
0
1
Chandra, Dressed to Kill
0
2
Nahiri's Warcrafting
0
2
Jaya, Fiery Negotiator
0
1
Koth, Fire of Resistance
0
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For yet another week, we're seeing a super consistent performance out of Mono Red Aggro!

Rather than beat a dead horse, this is simple case of a good deck with a good plan in a not too hostile environment. While there have been more Sheoldred, the Apocalypse now than I would like for Mono Red, this deck is fast, powerful, and punishing against any slow or awkward starts.

It seems that the meta is trending towards being more and more hostile to Mono Red, but with hard control and Domain doing well (more on this later), it's hard to say that this isn't a good time to bust out the Red cards.

#2 Five Color Domain

Five Color Domainby MTG StormStandard - RampBest of 3
5 mythic
36 rare
8 uncommon
11 common
26
0
0
1
4
2
4
3
8
4
3
5
4
6
11
7

Mainboard

(60)
Creature (14)
4
Topiary Stomper
0
4
Archangel of Wrath
0
4
Atraxa, Grand Unifier
0
1
Etali, Primal Conqueror
0
1
Tyrranax Rex
0
Planeswalker (1)
1
Kaya, Intangible Slayer
0
Sorcery (7)
3
Sunfall
0
4
Herd Migration
0
Enchantment (8)
4
Ossification
0
4
Leyline Binding
0
Land (26)
1
Boseiju, Who Endures
0
4
Forest
0
2
Island
0
4
Jetmir's Garden
0
2
Mirrex
0
2
Mountain
0
2
Plains
0
1
Raffine's Tower
0
4
Spara's Headquarters
0
1
Swamp
0
3
Ziatora's Proving Ground
0
Other (4)
4
Invasion of Zendikar
0

Sideboard

(15)
3
Lithomantic Barrage
0
3
Disdainful Stroke
0
1
Negate
0
1
Chrome Host Seedshark
0
3
Knockout Blow
0
2
Tyrranax Rex
0
2
Vanquish the Horde
0
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Coming in as our runner up is my totally and completely unbiased opinion of Five Color Domain!

Ok, maybe I have an affinity for Domain, but I still think this deck is criminally underrated! This deck has a brutal game plan, and barring the games you somehow get mana screwed in a deck of 26 lands and four Herd Migration, you can enact it consistently. You wouldn't believe how few decks can beat a hard cast Atraxa, Grand Unifier, but that's where the deck's power mainly lies. You're going one for one for most of the game, and the second Atraxa comes down, it's just game over.

This plan is so effective that it's pretty much the only deck from Pro Tour March of the Machines that stood a chance against unnerfed Rakdos and still does well to this day. While I would love to put this deck first, it's actually starting to have a big problem and that's the metagame. Not only does Mono Red remain popular, Dimir Tempo has had an uptick of popularity as well which can be a brutal matchup depending on their build and how they play. However, there's even one more matchup that's giving me a lot of concerns...

#1 Esper Control

Esper Controlby MTG StormStandard - ControlBest of 3
4 mythic
38 rare
8 uncommon
10 common
27
0
3
1
12
2
5
3
8
4
3
5
2
6

Mainboard

(60)
Planeswalker (4)
4
The Wandering Emperor
0
Instant (21)
3
Cut Down
0
1
Disdainful Stroke
0
2
Go for the Throat
0
3
Make Disappear
0
1
Negate
0
2
Sheoldred's Edict
0
1
Siphon Insight
0
2
Dissipate
0
2
Void Rend
0
4
Memory Deluge
0
Sorcery (7)
1
Silver Scrutiny
0
1
Sunset Revelry
0
3
Sunfall
0
2
Farewell
0
Artifact (1)
1
The Celestus
0
Land (27)
2
Adarkar Wastes
0
4
Darkslick Shores
0
4
Deserted Beach
0
1
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
0
1
Island
0
2
Mirrex
0
1
Otawara, Soaring City
0
1
Plains
0
4
Raffine's Tower
0
2
Shattered Sanctum
0
2
Shipwreck Marsh
0
1
Swamp
0
2
Underground River
0

Sideboard

(15)
2
Duress
0
1
Disdainful Stroke
0
1
Negate
0
2
Siphon Insight
0
2
Sunset Revelry
0
3
Chrome Host Seedshark
0
2
Temporary Lockdown
0
2
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
0
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For our winner of this week, we have an archetype that's been long missing from Standard - Control!

Control had an awful problem is Standard for so long, and that was the threat quality was disgustingly high. Resolved Reckoner Bankbuster or Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki? Good luck ever grinding through those. With those cards gone, there's actually very little to punish this style of deck now. You still have to be concerned with the classic issue of your answers not lining up with the threats, but none of the threats just kill you when they resolve or are super hard to deal with.

Why is this deck successful? I actually spoke on this topic in my Domain guide, but it comes from the innocuous superstar of the deck - Mirrex.

Mirrex

Mirrex kills ways faster than many people give it credit for, and has nearly zero opportunity cost to play as it's just a land! With "no win con" Control, you can pack your deck with all interaction, and then use your land to kill the opponent. We saw this many years ago with Nephalia Drownyard and Elixir of Immortality, but both decks couldn't close the game out quickly giving the opponent time to find outs. Mirrex doesn't have that problem as, uncontested, this will kill in four turns. It may seem ridiculous to expect that you'll be able to have four turns unobstructed, but you have to keep in mind that the opponent has to stick something relevant in that time, not just anything. I've won many games with Domain by just making a bunch of Mites and swinging a few times with a grip full of removal, so building a deck around that concept seems super smart right now.

Esper does have to be careful as there are many cards that would be good against it like planeswalkers, but as long as it keeps up, this seems like a strong option.

End Step

That's the top 5 decks of this week!

If you have any questions for me, be sure to join the Discord where I'd be happy to answer them.

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Thank you for reading!