There has been quite a bit of movement in Standard over the past few weeks. The combination of Worlds, Dreamhack and the Mythic Point Challenge have shaken up the format, with new decks emerging seemingly every day. In my opinion this is the best Standard format we have had in quite some time. The top decks are all very competitive with one another, as one hasn't really established itself as the decisive best of the bunch.
That makes my job a little harder, but that's okay! I'm going to do my best to rank what I believe to be the current 10 top decks in the format. However, as I have already said, there are many viable options!
There are a few decks that could go in this slot, but I think it is important to not forget the existence of Flash strategies. This is the archetype I chose for the last Mythic Championship, mostly because of how well it answers Jeskai Fires. The more popular Fires and control become, the more I like the Flash deck. Also, Threnody Singer is a surprisingly effective option after sideboard as a way to stop Mono-Red.
This deck hasn't changed a ton, and that's okay. I expect it to pick up some popularity if Lucky Clover strategies start to lose momentum, as that specific card is pretty difficult to beat. Izzet Flash is another deck I could have put in this spot, though I still have a bit of a preference for Nightpack Ambusher and Frilled Mystic.
Right now, Sultai is extremely focused on Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and surrounding it with a bunch of interactive spells that can hit the graveyard and turn on escape. There is even a Polukranos, Unchained so you can tell escape is definitely a priority. The deck does a bit of ramping, enough to be able to cast Nissa, Who Shakes the World on turn four, which is very important. The late game here is Nissa plus Hydroid Krasis, which we know has the potential to be very strong if accelerated into early in the game.
The reason Sultai has trouble getting higher on this list is the aggro matchup. In this list we do see a mix of Enter the God-Eternals, Lovestruck Beast and Disfigure after sideboard, which are all very annoying cards for Mono-Red. Casualties of War is a card I want to highlight here, because not many decks can play it, yet it is one of the most powerful ways to combat some of the most popular decks right now. Many of them rely on important artifacts, enchantments or planeswalkers to win a lot of their games.
Chris Kavartek continues to crush it in Mythic Point events, this time with Rakdos Sacrifice. This is a great deck for players who want something a little different than straight Mono-Red, and there is also more play to it.
Woe Strider is the newest addition to this strategy, and the card has been very impressive as an additional sacrifice outlet that you can replay from your graveyard in the later turns. Claim the Firstborn is an awesome removal spell here, providing a good answer to Uro and other super annoying creatures you might run into.
We see Chris knows which spells to prioritize in the deck, so why not just play four of all the best cards. This is the kind of deck building I can get behind. One of the sideboard cards worth mentioning is Angrath's Rampage, as that is one of the best ways to answer Lucky Clover, while still being reasonable when there is no Clover in play.
Going into Worlds I thought this was one of the top couple strategies in the format, but it has fallen a bit since then. Other archetypes have sprung up, and decks have been adapting to combat Temur Reclamation. I have played this deck a lot, but can't recommend it to most players because of how difficult it is to play, and it often can be frustrating to play too. Right now, unless you are looking to target specific matchups with Temur Reclamation, I wouldn't be inclined to pick it up.
Now that we are at the top six decks, I think you could make arguments for any of them being the number one deck right now, which makes for an excellent metagame. Azorius Control has been going up and down the charts after it won Worlds. The emergence of Temur Clover kind of crushed it for about a week or so, but die-hard control fans picked the deck back up and have been finding success again. It seemed like there were not many players who chose this deck for the Mythic Point Challenge, but all of the players I know that did found success with it.
Perhaps the biggest innovation to the deck is the maindeck copies of Aether Gust, a card that happens to be good against a lot of the top decks, while doing nothing in the mirror match. It's a great metagame call by Austin here. I also like trending back toward playing more Dream Trawler—the card is so incredibly powerful, and an efficient way to close out games. Only three Shatter the Sky makes sense too. This is Azorius list I want to be playing right now.
What!? I know, I know, you were all expecting this to be at number one.
Look, I'm not trying to steer anyone astray. I still think Mono-Red Aggro is a very good deck, but it has a number of predators in the format that are also quite strong. Not seeing a Mono-Red deck make it to 10 wins from the Mythic Point Challenge is part of the reason it isn't higher. The Temur Clover matchup and other Lovestruck Beast decks are a challenge, though every matchup is winnable. The Clover matchup is similar to the Jeskai Fires matchup, which we saw plenty of at Worlds. I don't feel ahead in the matchup, but I'm never surprised to beat it.
As far as updates to the list, I'm still playing the same maindeck. Cards that can be added to the sideboard now are Embereth Shieldbreaker to kill Lucky Clover, and Fry as a generic answer to threats like Teferi and various annoying white and blue creatures. In order to make room for this stuff, shaving on Lava Coil, Redcap Melee and even Unchained Berserker is okay. Mono-Red is still clearly the best aggro deck in the format, and it could be the top deck here if not respected enough.
Unlike Mono-Red, Jund Sacrifice had a very good showing this past weekend, and that's a big reason why it is so high on the list. This is not a strategy you can sleep on. The Food engine remains very strong, and there aren't that many effective ways to attack the deck. This is also one of the best decks to play against control, as you actually have the superior late game. The reason we haven't seen a ton of this deck lately is it didn't gain many new additions from Theros Beyond Death, but that doesn't mean it's not still a great deck.
Stanislav Cifka is known for making great deck choices and innovations to decks. Small additions like the one Polukranos, Unchained and playing an extra land to improve the consistency of the deck go a long way here.
Sorry Crokeyz, but I'm not putting Bant at number one. Ken's list is actually a bit different from some of the other versions because of the three copies of Arboreal Grazer. We will often see a card like Narset, Parter of Veils in that spot, but Ken wants even more ramp, which of course allows for a potential turn-three Nissa, Who Shakes the World. The Knight of Autumn are also in the sideboard, where some versions might elect to have them in the main. These are adjustments that I think are okay to make depending on how the metagame is shifting, as Knight is one of your best cards against Temur Clover.
Bant Ramp is one of the top decks in the format, there is no denying that.
It seems like Jeskai Fires never truly faded. It has been on top of Standard for a while now, and the engine remains incredibly powerful.
We saw Marcio do well with the deck at Worlds, including beating yours truly, and then to come back and get 10 wins in the Mythic Points Challenge is quite impressive. This is the deck I have been playing against the most on the Arena ladder recently, and I have yet to find many decks that I really like my matchup against Fires with. As I mentioned earlier, it might be time to pick up countermagic again, because Fires is naturally well suited for creature-based matchups.
Cavalier of Gales was out of style for a little bit, but I like bringing it back as a very powerful five-drop that still works great alongside Cavalier of Flame, and is going to make your turn-five plays that much more explosive. Tithe Taker is also a good sideboard card as a way to hedge a bit if opponents show up with a control deck. The creature package gives you plenty of play after sideboard.
Aaron Gertler did it! He took the number one spot on the Arena ladder, won Dreamhack, and completely changed Standard with Temur Clover.
This deck existed before Aaron did his work with it, but was not even close to this level of popularity or efficiency. We saw multiple players make it to the maximum amount of wins with Temur Clover in the Mythic Point Challenge, and I've been generally impressed by the strategy. It's also a deck without a ton of weaknesses or bad matchups. There are specific cards that are situationally annoying like artifact destruction for the Clover itself, but nothing too scary.
When your deck has good matchups against aggro, control and midrange, it simply checks all the boxes. The adventure creatures like Lovestruck Beast and Bonecrusher Giant are great against Mono-Red. Lucky Clover itself provides inevitability against control. The Fae of Wishes toolbox allows you to go over the top of other midrange decks. The deck is simply great, and I expect to continue to see a lot of it moving forward. Also, having a Fae of Wishes deck be so good is pretty sweet, as there are a lot of players who love playing these sorts of toolbox decks, that don't need to sideboard much in any matchup.