GRN Standard Week 2 – Getting There

It’s week 2 of Guilds of Ravnica Standard, and that means the decks are starting flesh out their correct builds, and the field is becoming a known quantity. No more guesses as to which answers are needed to line up with the assortment of possible threats. But then again, I think we all knew where things were headed. Don’t make me bring up the Jay-Z reference again…

With no major tournaments to report on this weekend, thanks to a flood in Philadelphia causing Star City Games to completely cancel the Open Weekend, we must rely on the Magic Online Competitive Standard 5-0 decklist dumps in order to navigate our way through this new Standard meta. With only 41 decks in the Thursday, October 11th posting and 42 decklists in the Monday, October 15th results, we are seeing about a 20% drop off from last week and are well on our way to establishing the major players in this early meta. There were 27 decks with Planeswalkers in the main-60 for both the decklist postings, up 5% over the initial results published on Monday October 8th.  But, identifying the most influential of the space-time warping mages can be tricky.

On Thursday, Vraska, Relic Seeker shows up in the most number of individual decks at 9, but there are only 18 total copies of the Stone Cold Queen Gorgon being played where Teferi, Hero of Dominaria on the other hand represents the 2nd most individual decks at 7, but far outpaced the competition with 26 total copies of the card being sleeved up.  Moving into the Monday results, we see something shifting. Vraska, Relic Seeker is still found in the most main decks with 9 lists running her. The total copies are up to 21 now, but she still hasn’t toppled Teferi, Hero of Dominaria for most total copies (still sitting staunch at 26 copies across 7 decks). The big shift is the fact that Vivien Reid has come up to challenge for a spot as top ‘walker in town.  Repping 13 copies main across 7 decks doesn’t sound that overwhelming, however if you account for the ADDITIONAL 14 copies in sideboards across 12 total decks, she represents only 1 fewer copy than Teferi but a much more significant share of the meta (28.57% vs 19.05%).  I am here to declare Vivien Reid as the true Queen of GRN standard (I just won’t look Vraska in the eyes while I’m saying it). Here are what I would consider the best builds of the 9 different archetypes that Vivien brings to the table:

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I really like the last of these decks.  Having a straight up Golgari build of the grindy value engine deck means that you can streamline your mana and your threats in order to continue the value grind and beat down plan.

As the 1b option and absolute engine of control builds in this GRN Standard format (and, really, let’s be honest, ALL formats), Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is probably the real MVP here, but he doesn’t give the versatility of archetype options as Vivien, representing only 3.  The best version of a Teferi deck, and probably the BEST deck in Standard right now is the following Jeskai list by Twizzlers33:

Wrapping up week 2, the Standard meta is shaping up to be a midrange, 2-for-1, value engine format. It’s not good enough to just be strong and fast. Your cards have to not only have an immediate impact on the game, but you need to be able to get a second or third use out of them to win the long game.  Guilds of Ravnica Standard will inevitably be known as the attrition format. A test of who can stick the last threat and generate the most value out of each spell cast.

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