The weird timing of the Aetherworks Marvel ban led us to a new Standard metagame just a few weeks before the new set, Hour of Devastation.
For many, pre-Hour-of-Devastation, Aetherworks Marvel-less Standard is irrelevant, as they don’t have any tournaments to play. But if you want an edge when the new expansion comes out, you should be aware of the current format.
I fall in that category. I haven’t played Standard since Grand Prix Montreal and my next event is Pro Tour Kyoto. Especially because Hour of Devastation is a small set, knowing which existing decks beat which decks, how those decks function, and their optimal build is going to give get you a step ahead of people who only knewMarvel Standard.
Never Before Seen
As I scoured the Magic Online 5-0 League deck lists, I stumbled upon a few decks that we essentially never saw do well prior to bannings. Those should be high on your list of decks to be aware of when the new cards roll in.
We’re going to see a ton of new midrange decks pop up. That’s because the presence of Aetherworks Marvel and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger made it impossible for another strategy to play fair midrange creatures and removal, since it had no chance against that two-card combo.
Here’s a great example. Assembling card advantage engines that do not kill fast nor stop Aetherworks Marvel used to be an unplayable game plan. Take out the artifact from the equation and you give life to decks like this.
If you’ve played with Oketra’s Monument in Limited, you know how powerful it is. It takes time, but it snowballs the game into one you can hardly lose.
This deck looks like it would be weak to other creature Black-Green Snakes and Zombies since those go so much bigger. Dusk is the perfect answer to those decks, and with the Clues from Bygone Bishop and Thraben Inspector, you can count on finding it.
Midrange at its finest, average removal, and a curve of threats that start at 3 mana.
I’m personally not very attracted to this deck, and that says a lot since it has Thought-Knot Seer, but it’s been seeing a little success and that’s something.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this deck is this card:
It lets you cast colorless Eldrazi and of course, flips Hanweir Garrison. It’s a little unfortunate that your 5-drops already have haste, but I guess that’s not actually a problem.
I haven’t played any games with this deck, yet I’m underwhelmed by the look of it. This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be on your radar, though.
Metalwork Colossus has always been on the brink of playability. Ever since it was printed, many pro teams have tried to make it work, but it was always just not quite good enough.
Magic Online user StickyWicket piloted this list to 5-0 three times recently, and it is pretty much the same core everyone used before.
I’ve always liked that your Aether Hub, Spire of Industry, Prophetic Prism, Cultivator’s Caravan, and Renegade Map essentially let you play any color. You mainly want artifacts, but your answers can be anything, which makes the archetype pretty flexible.
I’m excited to see if we will finally see some successful Metalwork Colossus decks at Pro Tour Kyoto. I’m a little less excited to play it and face Dispossess, though.
I’ve only seen Sam Black 5-0 with this deck, and this is his own creation. Still, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this deck and not all the 5-0 deck lists are posted. I believe it chooses X at random every day, which means that there might have been more than that doing well.
This deck seems to play out a little similarly to the Mono-White Monument deck, except it has a lot more going on with a total of 15 weird enchantments. Is it for better or worse? I have no idea. It doesn’t seem trivial to play, so I suggest that everyone starts playing around with it to at least have a sense of what’s going on in here.
I spent a reasonable amount of time testing white-green shells last Pro Tour since I went 8-2 with it in Dublin. It turns out that the deck was not that good against an early Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.
There is plenty of room for innovation in the remaining slots of the deck for cards other than the ones mentioned above.
Angel of Sanctions is interesting, but is it really better than Avacyn? Glory-Bound Initiate seems unexciting if Walking Ballista sees a ton play. Why not Lambholt Pacifist instead? Pair that with Rhonas, the Indomitable…