Yes, the multi-format mono-black playoff has returned to drain your opponents out of the game.
The value of life has changed a bit since Gray Merchant of Asphodel was in Standard. White, black and green decks are all packing life gain between Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Cauldron Familiar and Hydroid Krasis, so Gray Merchant is less likely to win the game the moment it enters the battlefield. On the other hand, Standard also has more competitive ways to turn extra life into more resources, like Dreadhorde Invasion, Castle Locthwain and Bolas's Citadel.
That means you have to (get to?) build a bit more creatively to reap the full value of Gray Merchant of Asphodel. As Dev explains, his preferred build is only one of many viable options.
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