Is there anything quite as exciting and invigorating as a new set release? The seemingly endless deck building possibilities, new archetypes, old archetypes with new toys and just generally a breath of fresh air in what often seems like a stale format.
To be honest, the last two weeks of Dominaria standard brought quite some experimentation to the MTG: Arena ladder. Temur Ramp, WB Tokens, Jeskai Control and Indomitable Creativity are just some of the decks I’ve seen pop up more than once. Now, with the release of Core Set 2019 I am hoping to see even more of new archetypes and old ones with new techs.
We’ve decided to split the lists between established (some, but not all of which are packing new techs and toys) and new, experimental archetypes that will have to prove their worth in the coming weeks. A full Meta Snapshot with a Tier List and a comprehensive analysis of the meta will be available on the 22nd of July.
The Export Codes will be added with a full snapshot release. The majority of preliminary Meta Snapshot is sampled from MTGO Competitive Standard League and will be updated to MTGA brews with the full release.
While mono-red aggro doesn’t really get anything with M19, its position as the top dog of the format should remain intact in Bo1 due to its speed and consistency. That being said, decks have already adapted to its dominance and its meta share has dropped significantly in the last days of Dominaria. Are we finally on the brink of its fall from grace?
There are generally two ways to deal with Chainwhirler. Either go over it or under it. This variant of mono-red does the latter. Hyper-aggressive by definition, The Flame of Keld aims to unload its hand as quickly as possible and refill it with The Flame of Keldd and/or Bomat Courier.
A third red-based aggro on the list trades some of its consistency and speed for a better mid game and sideboard options. The original Rakdos midrange will likely remain unchanged. We've chosen to show a Grixis variant of the list that opts to splash blue for Nicol Bolas, the Ravager and The Scarab God.
This deck focuses on one-for one trading to slow down creature based decks in the early game, and multiple ways to gain card advantage and establish dominance in the mid-game through The Scarab God and Torrential Gearhulks. The Esper variant splashes white for Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.
The draw-go control list of the format aims to survive the early game through 1-for-1 trades until it stabilizes, generally through a board wipe in the mid game. After establishing a lockdown with Teferi, the deck generally wins through Gideon, Lyra or Torrential Gearhulk beatdown, or especially in Bo1, Approach of the Second Sun.
Winding Constrictor lays coiled at the heart of this deck. With the possibility of extremely explosive starts, solid mid game and even late game potential, this deck remained a viable aggro/midrange option all throughout the Dominaria Standard. It’s main issues are the vulnerability to board wipes and the counter-synergy it has with Soul-Scar Mage/Goblin Chainwhirler Combo when facing Red-based aggro.
The aggressive cousin of UB Control was left on the sidetracks in the early Dominaria Standard but literally exploded in popularity after its performance at GP Pittsbourgh. Relying on its aggressive starts and incredible mid-late game, Dimir Midrange can pose a threat to Aggro and Control Decks alike. It’s slightly less reliable in Bo1 as two of the stars of the deck (Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and Champion of Wits) are absolute bombs against control and a huge liability against Goblin Chainwhirler. With an abundance of ways to splash red, Nicol Bolas will inevitably find its home in this deck as well.
Not unlike Dimir Midrange, God-Pharaoh’s Gift gained in popularity after its GPG victory in Singapour and Top-8 in Pittsburgh. This reanimator-style control deck performs exceptionally well in Bo1, especially after Abrades lost on popularity in red-based aggro.
Mono-Green in Bo1 and Golgari in Bo3, Stompy is one of the few aggro decks that can race the mono-red. Based around Ghalta, Primal Hunger, Llanowar Elves and Steel Leaf Champion, this deck has an immense blow out potential but sometimes falls victim to removal and bad draws.
Increasingly more popular towards the end of Dominaria Standard, Jeskai Control is basically an Izzet control with a white splash for Teferi. It trades some of the power in control mirrors for quick and reliable answers to creatures in form of burn spells, Sweltering Suns and Hour of Devastation. It can prove to be a tough nut to crack even for dedicated creatureless control post-board as well.
An ever-evolving archetype grow vastly in popularity after it’s solid performance at the US nationals, and will hopefully see a lot more play come M19. Hour of Promise, Sifter Wurm, Spring /// Mind and Grow from the Ashes are the core of the deck, alongside red removal. The deck has several different ways to take the game; be it Wurm beatdown, Zombie Swarm or even milling through Ipnu Rivulet.
I’ve always had a thing for MTG Zombies and it’s no wonder I was as giddy as a puppy with sausage when Death Baron and Graveyard Marshal were spoiled for Core 19. I’m certain with the addition of them and Diregraf Ghoul, zombies will be chomping some brains both in MTG: Arena and the upcoming paper tournaments.
Though not quite as powerful as zombies, there are now enough elves in Standard to create a tribal variant of Steel Leaf stompy. Elven Clancaller, a GG elven lord, Steel Leaf Champion and Rishkar will likely work together to summon Ghalta and simultaneously pressure the opponent. Will it be enough to go through all the trouble? We will see.
Leaving zombies aside, Stitcher’s Supplier was the card I was most excited to see in Core 19. This 1/1 for B might single handedly push the UB God-Pharaoh’s Gift side by side with the UW variant. Though Gate to the Afterlife is somewhat trickier to make work than Refurbish, this little bugger might just make it worth the trouble.
Of all the Elder Dragons, Nicol Bolas, the Ravager is the only one I was certain will find a home in constructed. A 4/4 flier for 4 that will almost always go two for one is well worth the trouble of splashing a third color. Unlike Dimir Midrange with a splash, this deck trades some of the mana consistency and speed for the absolute best of all three colors.
With an abundance of new and old-new weenies (Mentor of the Meek, Militia Bugler…) that survive the big bad goblin, WW was inevitable. We will see how the deck navigates the meta, but I remain optimistic about its future.
Orzhov Knights is an archetypes that’s tried to break out a few times during the Dominaria-Standard already, but never with much success. We will see if Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants and Valiant Knight are enough to help the Benalian Cavalry break into the meta.
Goblins share their fate with Elves. Every iteration of the deck I’ve tried simply feels like a watered down version of their goodstuff alternative, in this case RDW. Ironically, in addition to simply being worse than the RDW, goblins are weak to Goblin Chainwhirler, making them a risky choice at best.
|Meta Snapshot: Core Set 2019||Meta Snapshot II||August 05, 2018||v786_640159|
|Meta Snapshot: Core Set 2019||Meta Snapshot||July 22, 2018||v786_640159|
|Preliminary Meta Snapshot: Core Set 19||Preliminary Snapshot||July 12, 2018||v786_640159|
|Meta Snapshot: Kaladesh||Snapshot II||July 01, 2018||v744_635428|
|Meta Snapshot: Kaladesh||Snapshot I||June 17, 2018||v727_633495|
|Preliminary Snapshot: Kaladesh||Preliminary Snapshot||June 07, 2018||v727_633495|
|Snapshot - Dominaria III||Snapshot III||June 03, 2018||v667_618725|
|Snapshot - Dominaria II||Snapshot II||May 20, 2018||v667_618725|
|Snapshot - Dominaria I||Snapshot I||May 06, 2018||v667_618725|
|Preliminary Snapshot - Dominaria||Preliminary Snapshot||April 26, 2018||v667_618725|
|Meta-Snapshot II||Snapshot II||April 16, 2018||v607_607936|
|Preliminary Meta-Snapshot||Preliminary/Snapshot||April 01, 2018||v607_604597|
A Magic: The Gathering Arena content group.
This website is not produced, endorsed, supported or afiliated with the Wizards of the Coast.
© Copyright 2018 Compleat - All rights reserved.