It's Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast's metagame now, and we all just live in it.
This past weekend Jeskai Lukka was more than a third of the winners' metagame. Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Obosh, the Preypiercer aggro made up another third of the metagame, and the only deck capable of fighting both ends of the spectrum is Temur Reclamation. Here's the winner's metagame for last weekend, comprised of Red Bull Untapped day two and two Standard Challenges on Magic Online:
Jeskai Lukka runs the metagame now, and that means your options are to beat it or join it. Ignoring it and beating everything else is no longer a reasonable choice.
If your goal is to beat Jeskai Lukka, the aggro decks and Temur Reclamation are about it. Jeskai Lukka is simply too strong against other midrange decks, and you need to either fight them on the stack or kill them quickly. There is one more option in Temur Adventures, but it struggles too much against the non-Lukka portion of the metagame.
That said, there's still a lot of innovation and churn going on in the format, and while Jeskai Lukka is the best deck in the format by a wide margin, it's certainly not the only option.
This is the new stock list. Archon of Sun's Grace has risen as an anti-aggro sideboard option much the way it did in old builds of Azorius Control. Jeskai Lukka naturally plays a lot of enchantments, and the sweeper of choice has shifted from Shatter the Sky to Solar Blaze, allowing Archon of Sun's Grace to not only survive, but also gain some life.
If you want to succeed in this Standard format I recommend you read up, get your reps in, and play this deck in every event for the foreseeable future.
Obosh, the Preypiercer and the prevalence of Jeskai Lukka have finally brought Mono-Red back into the limelight. Mono-Red is fast enough and resilient enough to play through Jeskai Lukka's sweepers, and has the closing power to end the game quickly.
However, Mono-Red has struggled against decks with multiple early removal spells and good blockers. Temur Reclamation with Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is a prime example.
Cycling vs. Lukka is a strangely interactive matchup, despite how opponent-agnostic these decks tend to be. The recent addition of Archon of Sun's Grace helps the Lukka side immensely, and Cycling itself is struggling a little from the rise of Mono-Red.
Cycling is still one of the decks to beat, however, and executes its game plan with ruthless consistency. These aggro decks are all lean and mean, and any newcomers trying to exploit Jeskai Lukka will need to pass the litmus test that is aggression.
The only non-companion competitor in the top tier, Temur Reclamation thrives on playing control in a format defined by aggro and Lukka. Capable of trading cards until it can cement its position in the midgame, Temur Reclamation really is combo-control. The big challenge for Temur Rec is balancing the interaction in the 75.
Aggro decks demand cheap spot removal, while Lukka demands countermagic. It's possible that something like Quench is the flexible answer required, but right now the successful versions of Temur Reclamation are basically preboarded for Lukka with a large pile of anti-aggro cards in the sideboard.
Temur Adventures is one of the non-aggro decks with a positive Lukka matchup, but I cannot currently recommend it. It struggles a bit too much with the rest of the format for my taste.
This has dropped to almost non-existent levels of metagame presence, but people are still signing up for it. If the format is two thirds aggro and Lukka, I can't imagine registering this deck. The aggro matchups aren't good enough, and the Lukka matchup is miserable. Don't play Bant right now.
While Rakdos Sacrifice is fairly good against some of the aggro decks in the format, the matchup against Lukka and Reclamation continues to be poor. I don't think this deck will be well positioned until Lukka's grip on the format loosens up.
This archetype came out of nowhere but has had a breakout weekend. Essentially functioning as an Auras deck with lifelink creatures and Stonecoil Serpent, Mono-White is taking advantage of the lack of spot removal to build a creature that's unbeatable by other aggro decks and which can punch through and close the game against Lukka.
Alseid of Life's Bounty and Stonecoil Serpent make it difficult for Lukka to actually remove the enchanted threat. Karametra's Blessing gives indestructible against sweepers, that's not even necessary with the shift to Solar Blaze, because several of the enchantments in the deck grant more toughness than power.
This deck looks like a port of the Pioneer Auras deck, but so far it has been much more successful than I'd have imagined. I think this deck will stick around, and that means you need to respect it. Consider shifting back to Shatter the Sky in Lukka decks, or packing more Glass Casket. Remember, if a creature gets protection from white, all those white enchantments will fall off.
Jund Sacrifice looked dead as a result of being too slow and board-centric. But recently, there have been more aggro decks to pick on, and Yuuki Ichikawa solved the slowness issue by playing Bolas's Citadel.
Gilded Goose and Priest of Forgotten Gods can ramp out Citadel incredibly early and provide the closing speed the deck was lacking against Jeskai Lukka.
This new version of Jund Sacrifice takes elements from last format's Rakdos Sacrifice and splices them with Gilded Goose, Trail of Crumbs and Bolas's Citadel to cover the long game. This deck looks incredibly promising, and I'll definitely be taking it for a spin.
The mana for Mardu Knights is only barely there, but I can't deny that the deck has been successful lately. I don't think it's necessarily a top choice, however. It has largely been successful because it's basically preboarded for Lukka, but the success rate suggests that Mardu Knights is not good enough against the rest of the format, much like Temur Adventures. I recommend one of the other aggro decks if you're looking to beat down on Lukka.
As much as I'd like to play a deck like Jund Sacrifice or the recent Sultai Citadel list, both from Yuuki Ichikawa, I think Jeskai Lukka is the best deck in the format, and can't recommend anything else over it.
My current list has a lot of Glass Caskets instead of Omen of the Forge as the cheap removal spell, and I'm trying out Narset of the Ancient Way over Commence the Endgame as an alternate threat that can remove walkers, but I'm not entirely sure if she's better yet.
Don't mess too much with the core of Lukka if you can avoid it, though three vs. four Agent of Treachery is still a debate. My personal opinion is that if needing the fourth Agent of Treachery comes up in a game, you've probably played something wrong earlier in the game.
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There may not be any more MagicFest Online Qualifiers, but there's still a big focus on Standard right now. ChannelFireball just announced the CFBPro Showdown for this weekend, and Wizards of the Coast announced the Arena Open taking place next weekend.
The Arena Open is unfortunately best-of-one on the first day, but I don't have enough data or experience in the format to give you all a reasonable breakdown. I highly recommend keeping an eye out on the Arena Decklists Twitter account to see any developing Bo1 tech.
That's all for this week. I sincerely hope you listen and play Jeskai Lukka. For those of you stubborn enough to try and beat Lukka, I've at least given you guidance. For those who just aren't playing Standard right now, fair enough. But I still love Standard no matter how degenerate it gets—restriction breeds creativity, and I enjoy figuring out mirrors. I'm still trying to find a good way to break serve on the five-mana breakpoint of the Lukka mirror when on the draw, so if you figure it out, please hit me up. My DMs are open.