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Kaldheim Standard Decks from Day 1

Kaldheim release day is in full swing &#; players and content creators are having a blast experimenting with new powerful cards from the latest set.

Jund and Rakdos seem to be the primary focus of this early exploration. The newest red monster, Goldspan Dragon, is showing up in a variety of builds, varying from aggro to midrange to ramp style decks. A huge flying threat with haste that also provides some mana generation &#; it is indeed quite a flexible card.

Meanwhile, Rakdos aficionados enjoy the power of Valki, God of Lies. A useful two drop on the front side, and a strong planeswalker on the backside &#; once again, flexibility is the name of the game here. Valki is a power-card that will affect the game no matter the point in the match you drew it.

Among other card types, Sagas are coming back, and they will certainly be seeing a ton of play in these first few days. Waking the Trolls, Showdown of the Skalds, and Binding the Old Gods are finding their ways into various builds today. As for impactful instants with the new mechanic foretell, Saw It Coming and Behold the Multiverse looks like have fit right into the flash decks and some of the blue control decks of the format.

On this page, we have collected various lists by content creators and high-level players that we&#;ve seen today on the Ranked ladder. Remember that it&#;s too early to know which of these decks and ideas are worth investing your wildcards into &#; so if you&#;re on a budget, think twice about making any commitments.

Enjoy the Kaldheim experimentation, and we hope you&#;ll have fun in the new Standard!

Sours: https://mtgazone.com/kaldheim-standard-decks-from-day-1/

The Top 5 Decks to Beat in Early Kaldheim Standard

With the release of any set, every serious player tries a whole slew of decks looking for the ones that will stand out above the rest resulting in an extremely turbulent meta. When you’re trying to parse what’s good in the new metagame, one of the best metrics to go by is what decks you are seeing over and over. With a lot of Standard practice under my belt, I have a strong idea of what decks are rising to the top of the metagame. To be clear, this isn’t a Tier list, this is just the 5 decks that keep popping up on Standard ladder which I then rank from what I believe is the weakest to strongest among the five. Let’s get to it.


Rumti Monogreen 

Planeswalkers (3)


Vivien, Monsters' Advocate

Creatures (26)


Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig


Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

Spells (4)
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (3)
Lands (22)

Cards (60)

Mogged Monogreen 

Creatures (27)


Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

Spells (4)
Artifacts (8)
Lands (21)

Cards (60)

Mono Green really hasn’t seen much play yet, but I believe that could change soon. I slated Mono Green as a winner with Kaldheim’s release and I’ve seen results that may prove that prediction to be accurate. First, Rumti once again hit Mythic with his version of Monogreen in 8 hours time. That’s as surprising as saying fish are good at swimming, but it’s still relevant. Rumti doing well with Mono Green is expected, but on top of that, MythicRichard also took Rumti’s list to a #1 placement yesterday as well. To top that off, Mono Green won a Standard challenge as well. Don’t sleep on Mono Green or Vorinclex may come around to ruin your day. I’ve included both Rumti’s and Mogged’s list for comparison.



Creatures (12)
Spells (20)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (24)

Cards (60)

A day 1 creation of LSV, Izzet Tempo looks to utilize cheap interaction to put the opponent off balance then to finish them off with a Goldspan Dragon or large Shark Typhoon token. This deck has been picking up a lot of steam as it won a Standard challenge and put 5 more pilots in the top 16 of the same event. With that, this is likely the deck I see the most on ladder, but not one I’m a particularly big fan of. I think the strategy of cheap interaction into large threat is a great game plan, but I think Izzet suffers from a few fatal flaws.

One, the deck doesn’t do much if you don’t find your end game in a timely manner. Two, if a sizable threat slips under your counterspells, you only have Brazen Borrower to stop it. It feels really bad to have control the entire game just for your opponent to land an Elder Gargaroth while you stare helplessly at it. I think Izzet Tempo has a great game plan for early Standard as these styles of decks can prey on the unrefined, but as decks improve, this deck will be forced to adapt or die.


Rakdos V2 



Jegantha, the Wellspring

Creatures (22)


Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Spells (7)
Enchantments (7)
Lands (24)

Cards (60)

Out of all the popular decks, this is the deck I’ve seen the least, but it’s definitely a strategy to be wary of. Rakdos looks to demolish creature decks with its plentiful amount of interaction then to finish them off with a Kroxa or Immersturm Predator. This deck can feel very polarizing since you’re playing 4 Claim the Firstborn and 3 The Akroan War main deck, game one can be miserable if you’re facing a deck that isn’t reliant on it’s creatures. That being said, if Rakdos wasn’t good against non-creature decks, it simply wouldn’t exist. Once you reach the post board games, Rakdos can completely shift gears into a more aggressive deck with Skyclave Shade and Duress.

That being said, although it has seen a reasonable amount of play on ladder, it’s more of a tournament deck where if you anticipate a lot of creature decks or Rogues, this will be one of your best options; if you envision you’re going to face a lot of Ramp and Yorion, you’d be better served playing something else. If you’re looking to beat Rakdos, Klothys is the easiest way but you can also pick apart their board with exile effects like Glass Casket, Skyclave Apparition, and Elspeth’s Nightmare.


MythicMatt Abzan Yorion 

Creatures (19)
Spells (5)
Artifacts (6)
Enchantments (18)
Lands (32)

Cards (80)

Binding of the Old Gods is a very good card, and when a good ETB permanent is available, Yorion players flock to it in droves. Abzan Yorion has seen a huge uptick in play compared to it being functionally non-existent in Zendikar Rising Standard just off the back of Binding the Old Gods and Darkbore Pathway. That being said, Abzan Yorion is in a solid spot of the metagame where it can realistically beat anything, and has strong matchups against creature decks.

Since Abzan Yorion has been so prevalent, I believe that helped justify that large play numbers of Izzet Tempo and other decks that look to prey on slow strategies like Temur Ramp and Rogues. If you are looking to play a creature deck, make sure you have a plan to deal with both their insanely powerful late game and their interaction heavy early game. If you want to beat Abzan Yorion, as I said before, going bigger than them with Ugin or way under them with Rogues is a very safe bet.


Naya Adventures v2 

Creatures (26)
Spells (3)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (5)
Lands (22)

Cards (60)

Gruul was the definitive best deck in Zendikar Rising and it looks like it got a bit of a face lift. Gruul traded in some of the aggressive elements for better grinding ability and more interaction by adding White for Giant Killer, Shepherd of the Flock, and Showdown of the Skalds. Naya is a popular and fantastic option right now as it truly has game against any strategy and doesn’t have any particularly terrible matchups in the process. Although it prefers to not face strategies like Abzan Yorion or Monogreen Food, since it has Showdown of the Skalds, Naya’s ability to draw out of a bad spot is significantly higher than Gruul’s was.

The only real downside to Naya is that the list is pretty tight so teching for particular matchups can be quite challenging. This makes it a solid deck for ladder where you can face any variety of decks, but slightly worse in tournaments where it can be a bit difficult to tune the list to the expected metagame. Despite that small shortcoming, Naya is clearly one of the best decks to be playing right now and having a plan to beat it is near mandatory for any deck.


Rogues v2 



Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Creatures (15)


Thieves' Guild Enforcer

Spells (23)
Lands (22)

Cards (60)

Rogues was one of the best decks in Zendikar Rising standard, and as of right now, I think it’s the best deck to be playing. Do I think it’s going to be the best deck in a week or two? Not necessarily, but it’s insanely well positioned right now. If you thought Izzet was well positioned because it beats up on clunky decks, Rogues is the king of demolishing decks not expressly prepared for it. Rogues didn’t receive anything it really wanted to add to the main deck, but it received a slew of powerful sideboard options in Weathered Runestone, Disdainful Stroke, and Crippling Fear.

I know this is still the early brewing season and everyone is just trying to build their cool decks, but if you do not pack a lot of hate for Rogues, you’re going to have a bad time every time you come across it. In the same vein, if you’re looking to rank up quickly in new Kaldheim standard, Rogues is a great place to be before everyone starts packing their 4 Ox of Agonas again.

That’s all that I have for today! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out here. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Sours: https://mtgazone.com/the-topdecks-to-beat-in-early-kaldheim-standard/
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The Standard Metagame Challenge event is returning to Magic: The Gathering Arena this weekend, offering loads of Kaldheim booster packs as rewards for multiple wins. 

Wizards of the Coast is running the Standard Metagame Challenge via MTG Arena from Feb. 6 to 9. An entry cost of gems or 2, gold is needed to play, offering players up to 30 Kaldheim booster packs for seven wins. Since the digital release of KHM on Jan. 28, numerous Standard Constructed decks have left a mark on a wide open and mostly undetermined meta.

The Standard MTGO Challenge showcased top MTGdecks like Izzet Tempo (Nathansteuer), Temur Ramp (Herotsukai), and Mono-Blue Snow (KelMasterP). Deathtouch tribal builds have performed well as a budget build and Mono-Green Food may have a greater impact on the meta than most players realize. 

From Aggro to Control archetypes, here are the best KHM decks to play in the upcoming MTG Arena Standard Metagame Challenge. 

Izzet Tempo

With the release of Goldspan Dragon via KHM, most players will agree that Izzet Tempo might be the most popular deck played this weekend in the MTG Arena Standard Metagame Challenge. Bonecrusher Giant and Brazen Borrower are the only other two creatures within Nathansteuer’s build. Four copies of Shark Typhoon apply late-game pressure, along with Faceless Haven.

Controlling the tempo of a match is vital and this deck does that with two new KHM Instant spells. Behold the Multiverse provides card draw and a peek at what a player can draw while Disdainful Stroke, Essence Scatter, and Saw it Coming keep opponents from playing powerful cards. Powerful creatures like Ox of Agonas and Phoenix of Ash are standing by in the sideboard, along with more removal.  

Here’s Nathansteuer’s first-place Izzet Tempo deck:

  • 4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD)
  • 4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39
  • 4 Goldspan Dragon (KHM)
  • 3 Shatterskull Smashing (ZNR)
  • 4 Behold the Multiverse (KHM) 46
  • 2 Disdainful Stroke (KHM) 54
  • 2 Essence Scatter (IKO) 49
  • 2 Negate (ZNR) 71
  • 4 Saw It Coming (KHM) 76
  • 4 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
  • 4 Fabled Passage (M21)
  • 3 Faceless Haven (KHM)
  • 4 Riverglide Pathway (ZNR)
  • 7 Snow-Covered Island (KHM)
  • 3 Snow-Covered Mountain (KHM)
  • 3 Volatile Fjord (KHM)
  • 3 Frost Bite (KHM)
  • 2 Negate (ZNR) 71
  • 3 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58
  • 3 Ox of Agonas (THB)
  • 2 Phoenix of Ash (THB)
  • 2 Scorching Dragonfire (M21)
  • 1 Shredded Sails (IKO)
  • 2 Storm&#;s Wrath (THB)

Mono-Green Food

Mono-Green Food maintains its Standard Constructed S-tier status, adding Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider as an additional finisher. Players should have most of these powerful Green cards unlocked with wildcards by now, making it a cheap and ideal deck to play this weekend. Mono-Green Food is one of the best MTG decks to play at the Standard Challenge Event, according to the pro player and streamer Yoman5. 

“Mono-Green Food is incredibly well-positioned right now, and it&#;s a strong proactive deck capable of playing through a lot of nonsense,” Yoman5 said.

Heavy with creatures, Gilded Goose provides mana ramp while Feasting Troll King, Lovestruck Beast, and Kazandu Mammoth apply early pressure.  Thrashing Bontodon is the ideal creature who doubles as Artifact and Enchantment removal. Wicked Wolf, likewise, applies its own removal, along with Kogla, the Titan Ape. 

Here’s Yoman5’s Mono-Green Food deck:

  • 4 Castle Garenbrig
  • 3 Chainweb Aracnir
  • 3 Faceless Haven
  • 3 Feasting Troll King
  • 4 Gilded Goose
  • 4 Kazandu Mammoth
  • 2 Kogla, the Titan Ape
  • 4 Lovestruck Beast
  • 2 Questing Beast
  • 4 Ram Through
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 15 Snow-Covered Forest
  • 4 Tangled Florahedron
  • 4 The Great Henge
  • 2 Thrashing Brontodon
  • 3 Trail of Crumbs
  • 1 Trail of Crumbs
  • 1 Vivien, Monsters&#; Advocate
  • 1 Vivien, Monsters&#; Advocate
  • 2 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
  • 1 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
  • 4 Wicked Wolf
  • 2 Wilt
  • 1 Witch&#;s Oven

Boros Aggro

Mono-Red Aggro placed eighth in the MTGO Challenge event, beaten out by Theo_jung’s Boros Aggro build (fourth place). Three KHM cards have given Boros Aggro a boost in MTG Standard tier rankings: Goldspan Dragon, Showdown of the Skalds, and Usher of the Fallen. Other familiar names like Bonecrusher Giant, Robber of the Rich, and Sheperd of the Flock make up the build.

Rather than running multiple copies of Embercleave, Theo_jung only included one copy alongside three copies of Maul of the Skyclaves. In conjunction with the Equipment, the saga Showdown of the Skalds pumps up low-cost creatures in the late game for extra value, while Shatterskull Smashing is the primary form of removal. 

Within the sideboard, Embereth Shieldbreaker and Giant Killer provide additional removal options. Ox of Agonas and Phoenix of the Ash are the creatures, along with the new KHM angel, Reidane, God of the Worthy.

Here’s Theo_jung’s Boros Aggro deck:

  • 4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD)
  • 2 Goldspan Dragon (KHM)
  • 4 Robber of the Rich (ELD)
  • 4 Seasoned Hallowblade (M21) 34
  • 4 Selfless Savior (M21) 36
  • 4 Shepherd of the Flock (ELD) 28
  • 2 Skyclave Apparition (ZNR)
  • 4 Usher of the Fallen (KHM) 35
  • 4 Shatterskull Smashing (ZNR)
  • 1 Embercleave (ELD)
  • 3 Maul of the Skyclaves (ZNR)
  • 4 Showdown of the Skalds (KHM)
  • 4 Mountain (KHM)
  • 4 Needleverge Pathway (ZNR)
  • 8 Plains (KHM)
  • 4 Temple of Triumph (M21)
  • 2 Skyclave Apparition (ZNR)
  • 2 Embereth Shieldbreaker (ELD)
  • 3 Giant Killer (ELD) 14
  • 3 Ox of Agonas (THB)
  • 3 Phoenix of Ash (THB)
  • 2 Reidane, God of the Worthy (KHM)

Honorable mentions

There are a number of decks that players will underestimate or overlook in the MTG Arena Standard Metagame Challenge event. Dimir Rogues is still one of the most powerful Magic Standard builds and it doesn’t need any KHM cards to pop off. 

  • 3 Agadeem&#;s Awakening
  • 4 Bloodchief&#;s Thirst
  • 4 Clearwater Pathway
  • 1 Cling to Dust
  • 1 Confounding Conundrum
  • 4 Drown in the Loch
  • 4 Fabled Passage
  • 1 Hagra Mauling
  • 2 Heartless Act
  • 4 Into the Story
  • 5 Island
  • 2 Lullmage&#;s Domination
  • 1 Lullmage&#;s Domination
  • 1 Lurrus of the Dream Den
  • 4 Merfolk Windrobber
  • 2 Mystical Dispute
  • 4 Negate
  • 3 Of One Mind
  • 4 Ruin Crab
  • 3 Skyclave Shade
  • 4 Soaring Thought-Thief
  • 3 Swamp
  • 4 Temple of Deceit
  • 4 Thieves&#; Guild Enforcer
  • 1 Thieving Skydiver
  • 2 Zagoth Triome

Temur Ramp had a solid showing at the MTGO Challenge, created by Herotsukai, earning a second-place finish. 

  • 4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon (M21)
  • 2 Goldspan Dragon (KHM)
  • 4 Beanstalk Giant (ZNC) 61
  • 4 Cultivate (CMR)
  • 4 Genesis Ultimatum (IKO)
  • 1 Seize the Spoils (KHM)
  • 2 Shatterskull Smashing (ZNR)
  • 4 Fire Prophecy (IKO)
  • 2 Into the Roil (CMR)
  • 4 Jwari Disruption (ZNR) 64
  • 2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58
  • 4 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
  • 1 Barkchannel Pathway (KHM)
  • 4 Cragcrown Pathway (ZNR)
  • 3 Fabled Passage (M21)
  • 4 Forest (KHM)
  • 4 Island (KHM)
  • 4 Ketria Triome (IKO)
  • 2 Mountain (KHM)
  • 1 Riverglide Pathway (ZNR)
  • 1 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58
  • 3 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD)
  • 2 Essence Scatter (IKO) 49
  • 3 Koma, Cosmos Serpent (KHM)
  • 1 Mazemind Tome (M21)
  • 3 Negate (ZNR) 71
  • 1 Shock (M21)
  • 1 Shredded Sails (IKO)

And for players itching to play the returning Snow mechanic, KelMasterP put together a solid Mono-Blue list that finished third in the MTGO Challenge event. 

  • 4 Ascendant Spirit (KHM)
  • 4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39
  • 4 Cosima, God of the Voyage (KHM)
  • 4 Frost Augur (KHM) 56
  • 2 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48
  • 2 Icebreaker Kraken (KHM)
  • 2 Voracious Greatshark (IKO) 70
  • 4 Essence Scatter (IKO) 49
  • 2 Neutralize (IKO) 59
  • 4 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
  • 4 Faceless Haven (KHM)
  • 24 Snow-Covered Island (KHM)
  • 2 Bubble Snare (ZNR) 47
  • 2 Graven Lore (KHM)
  • 3 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58
  • 4 Negate (ZNR) 71
  • 4 Threnody Singer (THB) 75
Sours: https://dotesports.com/mtg/news/best-mtg-kaldheim-standard-metagame-challenge-decks

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Mtg arena decks kaldheim

Keeping it cool: The best decks of early Kaldheim Standard

Kaldheim, the latest Magic: The Gathering expansion, is now released on Magic: The Gathering Arena as of January 28 and on paper as of February 5. Since online players get access to new expansions first, players on MTGA have already had the opportunity to explore the frosty fjords of Magic’s newest plane for about a week now.

Kaldheim is a set packed with powerful cards, including the new Modal Double-Faced Card (MDFC) Gods, Foretell cards, exciting new Sagas, and the final pieces of the Pathway land cycle. These cards are potent, but fortunately, they break away from the trends of the past year’s worth of Standard releases. There are no obviously broken cards for Standard like Teferi, Time Raveler, Oko, Thief of Crowns, pre-nerf Companions, or Omnath, Locus of Creation to come out of Kaldheim, and for that, the Standard community is surely thankful.

Even if there’s nothing broken in the context of Standard, Kaldheim is still bound to have an impact on the format. In the week since its release, we’ve already seen quite a few new decks pop up, as well as quite a few upgrades to existing decks that are sure to change how several matchups play out. Without a major event yet to set netdecking trends, the format is in its Wild West phase. The title of “best deck in Standard” is yet to be claimed.

Which new decks can you expect to see in the coming weeks? It’s a young format, and not much is set in stone, but there are quite a few new decks that are already making their mark. Let’s take a closer look.

Naya Adventures

Gruul Adventures has been the marquee aggro deck for Zendikar Standard since the Omnath ban. Will that change for Kaldheim? If anything, it’s bound to evolve and become even stronger. One likely evolution is to splash white and add Showdown of the Skalds, the all-star red/white Saga that functionally draws cards while pumping your creatures. Having a full complement of on-color Pathways makes the white splash arbitrarily easy, allowing the deck to play other solid white cards as well, such as Giant Killer and Shepherd of the Flock. Add in Goldspan Dragons to top out the curve, and you end up with Naya Adventures.

For an aggro deck, Naya Adventures is packed with card advantage engines and two-for-ones, including Edgewall Innkeeper, Bonecrusher Giant, The Great Henge, and Showdown of the Skalds with Shepherd of the Flock to loop it. With these engines in play, it can be difficult for mid-range and control decks to shut out Naya by simply removing their creatures and running them out of resources. Factor in haymaker finishers like Goldspan Dragon and Embercleave, and Naya is sure to find ways to win games even through fierce resistance.

Thanks to these updates, it’s possible that Naya replaces Gruul as the format’s premier Adventures deck moving forward. Even if it doesn’t, there is a wide range of powerful white cards that you can add even beyond Showdown and the Adventure cards, so the Naya approach is sure to be explored further.

Izzet Tempo

Ever since M20 rotated out of Standard and took Frilled Mystic and Nightpack Ambusher with it, Dimir Rogues has been the only reasonable option for “Flash”-style gameplay. That may change thanks to Goldspan Dragon, which has inspired a new wave of Izzet Tempo decks that are bound to make their mark.

Since it has Haste and creates Treasure tokens when it attacks, Goldspan Dragon is an ideal threat for a tempo deck that wants to play spells on its opponent’s turn. The Dragon’s Treasure token generates 2 mana, which is exactly as much as you need to cast one of the deck’s 2-mana counterspells, or more notably, one of the Instants you Foretold on a previous turn. It turns out that both Saw It Coming and Behold the Multiverse are monstrously powerful, thanks to the flexibility that Foretell grants to how you spend your mana, and the deck is packing the full four copies of each. Beyond the Dragon and Foretell package, the deck’s game plan is straightforward: remove, counter, and bounce the opponent’s early plays, then eventually beat them up with an Adventure creature or Shark token.

Being a two-color deck, the mana base is simple enough to be able to fit 16 snow lands into the mana base in order to maximize the power of Frost Bite, Faceless Haven, and Graven Lore out of the sideboard. The addition of snow mana to mono-color and two-color decks is a recurring theme that you’ll see plenty of as we move on.

Mono-White Aggro

White has long been regarded as the weakest color in Standard. Thanks to the release of Kaldheim, that’s subject to change.

Usher of the Fallen is the high-powered one-drop that white needed to usher in a new age for the classic white weenie archetype. Kaldheim-era Mono-White Aggro features legions of cheap yet efficient beaters along with the equipment needed to turn them into fearsome threats. A curve of Usher of the Fallen, Luminarch Aspirant, Maul of the Skyclaves, and Halvar, God of Battle is lethal on turn 4 if the opponent puts up no resistance. Of course, the opponent is sure to put up at least some resistance, but with protection effects like Selfless Savior and Sword of the Realms, it’s tough for them to keep Mono-White off of the battlefield for long.

Speaking of Halvar, God of Battle and Sword of the Realms, the white MDFC God cards give the deck a wide yet powerful range of plays. It’s rare to find a situation where neither Halvar nor Sword of the Realms are useful, and having access to both sides in one card helps give the deck the depth and flexibility it needs to compete with more powerful strategies. As for Reidane, God of the Worthy, she’s a fine creature in her own right, especially against big-mana and snow-mana strategies; but the extra protection granted by her flip side, Valkmira, Protector’s Shield, is often relevant, especially in aggro mirrors.

As for the mana, Mono-White is yet another deck that takes advantage of the low-cost switch to snow basics in order to enable Faceless Haven. Since Reidane, God of the Worthy is one of the few ways to punish players for making the switch to snow basics, Mono-White Aggro is a rare deck that can both penalize opponents for following the trend and follow the trend itself.

Mono-White Control

Mono-White Aggro isn’t the only white deck seeing a renaissance in Kaldheim. We also have Mono-White Control, which forgoes the early beatdown path in favor of grinding the opponent down and burying them under a mountain of Angels.

Mono-White Control features all of white’s control staples from the past Standard year, including The Birth of Meletis, Skyclave Apparition, Elspeth Conquers Death, and high-value colorless options like Mazemind Tomb, Solemn Simulacrum, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. These cards are all solid, but it’s the Kaldheim newcomer Doomskar that really makes the deck possible. Simply put, Doomskar is one of the best white board clears ever printed. Having access to a Wrath of God–style effect on turn 3 makes Solemn Simulacrum a more reasonable turn 4 play against fast decks, and the ramp from Solemn Simulacrum helps bridge the gap to get to Elspeth Conquers Death or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and seal the game for good.

Doomskar isn’t the only Kaldheim card worth mentioning. Search For Glory is a shockingly effective tutor that can find your bombs like Ugin or Elspeth Conquers Death, or it can find Snow-Covered Plains or Faceless Haven in a pinch. Kaldheim also brings us Starnheim Unleashed as a potent finisher that can be Foretold early for a massive board in the late game, or alternatively, cast for its regular cost to recruit an Angel to help hold the board.

Mono-Blue Snow

Kaldheim’s snow theme isn’t just an idle splash for mana bases. Snow actually has the potential to be a solid basis for a deck in its own right, and Mono-Blue Snow is one of the first competitively successful strategies to explore it. The deck is reminiscent of classic decks like Autumn Burchett’s Mythic Championship–winning Mono-Blue Tempo, and while it’s a dark horse now, it’s likely to be refined into a serious contender.

So, what does the snow theme bring to the table for Mono-Blue? How about Ascendant Spirit, along with a full snow mana base to support it? Ascendant Spirit is a clear throwback to Figure of Destiny, and just like its predecessor, it can level up quickly and win the game all on its own. Snow also enables Frost Augur to be a reliable draw engine, and when you’d prefer to beat down instead, Frost Augur can conveniently crew The Omenkeel and enter the red zone. The most surprising addition may be Icebreaker Kraken, and while this style of big blue monster is usually slow and underwhelming, the full snow mana base helps you drop this massive beast and lock down the board long before your opponents expect it.

The rest of the deck is the classic blue bag of tempo tricks, including counterspells like Essence Scatter and Disdainful Stroke, card filtering and draw with Opt and Gadwick, the Wizened, and, of course, the adventurous Brazen Borrower. Put it all together, and Mono-Blue is alive and well in Kaldheim Standard.

Abzan Doom (Yorion)

We mentioned the potential of the Kaldheim Sagas earlier with Showdown of the Skalds in Naya Adventures, but that’s far from the only Saga that’s being explored. Binding the Old Gods is another Saga that’s shaking up Standard. On the face of it, Binding the Old Gods is a cheaper Elspeth Conquers Death (ECD) that also ramps your mana, and while the {III} trigger on Binding is a little underwhelming compared to ECD, the extra mana gained and the lack of restriction on what it can target more than make up the difference.

What do you get when you combine Binding the Old Gods with ECD, Doom Foretold, and Yorion, Sky Nomad? Abzan Doom, the latest in a long line of Yorion decks that’s designed to grind its enemies into a fine dust. In Abzan Doom, every card that’s not a land or a Yorion will either draw cards, destroy the opponent’s cards, or both. If the grindhouse strategy is somehow not enough, the deck also packs Eerie Ultimatum as a finisher that dumps your graveyard onto the battlefield.

Of course, Abzan Doom has to compete with other Yorion decks like Azorius Blink for its spot in the meta, so what does Abzan do that Azorius doesn’t? Abzan has an edge in its ability to interact in a variety of matchups, thanks not only to Binding the Old Gods, but also to Elspeth’s Nightmare, which provides access to hand and graveyard disruption. It’s probably not enough to unseat Azorius Blink, but it is enough to be a viable alternative.

Abzan Party

Kaldheim has a heavy tribal theme, but these kinds of tribal themes tend to fall flat in Standard, unless the synergies are particularly busted. Of course, deckbuilders love to put this theory to the test, and sometimes they end up finding a tribal deck that can buck the trend and make its mark in constructed. Abzan Party, pioneered by Sam Black, is one such deck that may be more than the sum of its parts.

Abzan Party combines the party mechanic from Zendikar Rising with tribal enablers from Kaldheim like Harald, King of Skemfar and Masked Vandal, allowing it to build a full party of a Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue with shocking speed and reliability. Once you build a party, there are numerous payoffs, ranging from a fully buffed Archpriest of Iona to an exceptionally cheap mana cost for Tazri, Beacon of Unity. If that’s not enough, the deck can also utilize Coveted Prize to its full potential. With a full party, Coveted Prize is not just an efficient tutor, but it can also be a massive tempo swing by deploying powerful conditional cards like Binding the Old Gods and Squad Commander for just a single black mana.

Keep in mind, Abzan Party is heavily reliant on the tribal synergies to operate effectively, so it’s even more susceptible to ruin from mass removal like Doomskar than the typical aggro deck is. That doesn’t mean the deck is dead on arrival, but it does suggest that the deck’s success is dependent on how the meta shakes out. Still, it’s a powerful deck that’s also serious fun, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

The Takeaways

Kaldheim may not have introduced anything that’s obviously broken to Standard, but it has added enough fresh blood to shake up the Standard meta without completely upending it. We’re seeing updated takes on older decks like Naya Adventures and Abzan Doom, along with the revival of classic decks like Izzet Tempo and Mono-White Aggro, as well as the emergence of new decks like Mono-White Control, Mono-Blue Snow, and Abzan Party. Altogether, there’s a lot to explore in Kaldheim Standard, and we’re less than two weeks in on the new set, so now’s the best time to enjoy the new format before things settle in.

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you in the Arena.

Sours: https://tempostorm.com
Kaya the Perfect Kaldheim Control Deck - MTG Arena - Original Decks - Standard

Standard Metagame Breakdown

It's almost here: The Kaldheim Championship, featuring all members of the Magic Pro League and the Magic Rivals League as well as top players from qualifying events held on MTG Arena and Magic Online, begins Friday March 26 at 9 a.m. PDT broadcasting live at twitch.tv/magic.

This weekend here are competitors battling in both Standard and Historic formats. Let's see what they all brought to battle.

Friday and Saturday feature a combined seven rounds of (best-of-three) Standard. In addition, Sunday's Top 8 double-elimination playoff is exclusively Standard. The metagame breaks downs as follows.

The macro-archetype "Naya Adventures" is comprised of 8 Naya Tokens variants (with , , and ) and 3 Naya Fury variants (with , , and ). Using these more fine-grained archetypes, a full breakdown can be found below.

Deck ArchetypeNumber of PlayersPercentage of Field
Sultai Ultimatum47%
Temur Adventures37%
Mono-Red Aggro35%
Dimir Rogues17%
Mono-White Aggro15%
Naya Tokens8%
Gruul Adventures7%
Four-Color Doom Foretold5%
Gruul Food4%
Naya Fury3%
Esper Doom Foretold2%
Bant Adventures2%
Sultai Control2%
Rakdos Sacrifice1%
Jeskai Mutate1%
Selesnya Adventures1%
Four-Color Gyruda1%
Abzan Midrange1%

At the February Kaldheim League Weekend, the metagame was still sorting itself out, with aggressive decks in various colors and flavors vying for the top spot. Now, at the Kaldheim Championship, Mono-Red Aggro, Cycling, Mono-White Aggro, and Naya Adventure variants are still hanging on, but Sultai Ultimatum and Temur Adventures have claimed the top spots.

The builds of all these decks are fairly well-established—they were covered in detail by broadcast expert Mani Davoudi—and there were no major surprises. Among Temur Adventures players, 20 registered as their companion, whereas 16 preferred to have access to cards like in their main deck, but most Temur Adventures builds look very similar. Honestly, given the metagame developments over the past few weeks, the Standard field is roughly what I expected it to be. It's settling close to an equilibrium state where most decks are well-tuned against each other.

Accordingly, there are few archetypes that are particularly well-positioned in this field. If I had to make a pick, then based on win rate data obtained from MTG Melee earlier this month I'd say that Cycling is a good choice: I believe it's favored against Sultai Ultimatum, even against Temur Adventures and Mono-Red Aggro, and decent against the rest of the field. But the margins in these matchups, if I'm even evaluating them correctly, are slim at best. Especially when you're facing off against the best players in the world.

Ultimately, I expect that most Standard matches will be decided not by deck choice but by playing skill, sideboard mastery, and matchup experience. This should make the Top 8 Standard matches exciting to watch.

and , with copies and copies each respectively, are the most-played nonland cards across Standard main decks and sideboards. and are in fourth and fifth place. All of these spells have sat near the top of the Standard charts ever since Throne of Eldraine was released, so there are no major surprises there.

More interesting is that has established itself as the most-played nonland card from Kaldheim, at copies total. The card makes good use of the foretell mechanic, is an essential piece of many piles, and is one of the most powerful spells that a Temur Adventures player can cast when they're ahead on board.

The top of the Standard metagame chart contains few surprises, and the most popular decks were already explained in detail by broadcast expert Mani Davoudi. However, there were several unexpected rogue choices. One example is Gruul Food, which is basically what you get when you start with Mono-Green Food and then splash for and . Yet, the spice runs far deeper. All Standard decklists will be published on the Kaldheim Championship event page at the beginning of Round 1 on Friday, March 26—but right now I'll highlight my three favorites.

It's been a while since I saw in Standard, especially after the rotation of and . But one Kaldheim Championship competitor registered Four-Color Gyruda, and I love it. Hitting or is still viable, and Kaldheim added the "combo" of and . These can yield a (mana-intensive) way to keep a Gyruda chain going. What's more, is particularly sweet to hit against decks, so this deck has a lot going for it.

One player registered Jeskai Mutate. With the perfect draw involving ; ; , and a bunch of follow-up spells, this deck can theoretically kill on turn 3. If you ever see such an absurd turn in action, you may never think of or the same way ever again. Consistency may be an issue, but this deck shows that with the right support, any spell that can generate mana or draw cards can be broken.

Finally, two players registered Bant Adventures. It's similar to Naya Tokens, but even more extreme. After all, drawing a few extra cards with and is nice, but drawing basically your entire deck with is even nicer. Especially when you also control and to exploit all those landfall triggers. I don't know how well it'll perform in practice, but it's definitely spicy.

Friday and Saturday each feature four rounds of (best-of-three) Historic. The metagame breaks downs as follows.

The macro-archetype "Jund Sacrifice" is comprised of 56 Jund Food variants with and and 10 Jund Company variants with and . A full breakdown using these more fine-grained archetypes can be found below.

Deck ArchetypeNumber of PlayersPercentage of Field
Jund Food56%
Orzhov Auras31%
Azorius Control18%
Gruul Aggro11%
Jund Company10%
Sultai Ultimatum8%
Abzan Midrange8%
Bant Midrange8%
Boros Cycling5%
Mono-Red Burn5%
Bant Angels3%
Five-Color Niv-Mizzet3%
Selesnya Company2%
Mono-Black Control2%
Selesnya Aggro2%
Four-color Midrange2%
Temur Adventures2%
Paradox Engine2%
Selesnya Midrange2%
Nine Lives1%
Rakdos Midrange1%
Bant Spirits1%
Rakdos Sacrifice1%
Dimir Gift1%
Mono-Blue Tempo1%
Orzhov Gift1%
Selesnya Angels1%
Dimir Control1%
Grixis Arcanist1%
Kethis Combo1%
Boros Burn1%
Enigmatic Incarnation1%
Golgari Midrange1%
Rakdos Arcanist1%

At the January Kaldheim League Weekend, Sultai Midrange was dominant with Jund Sacrifice not far behind. Since then, Historic was shaken up by the release of Kaldheim, the addition of Historic Anthology IV, and the banning of Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath.

The set releases gave rise to new strategies, such as Elves and Angels, but the ban of Uro was arguably even more impactful. It effectively eliminated Sultai Midrange as a competitively viable archetype and paved the way for Jund Sacrifice, previously the second most-popular archetype, to dominate the format.

To many Kaldheim Championship competitors, this won't come as a surprise. While it's hard to predict the exact percentage of field, most competitors surely would have expected Jund Sacrifice to be the most-played archetype. But this did influence card choices. For players who wanted to run themselves, for example, they had to prepare for the mirror match. I believe this is one of the reasons why the Jund Food variant has now eclipsed the Jund Company variant. The latter was more popular at the inception of the Historic format, but the former is better against other Jund Sacrifice decks because the staying power provided by dominates the long game.

Looking further, Orzhov Auras as the second most-played deck comes as a surprise to me. Sure, is powerful and the deck got better with Uro gone, but I doubt the deck is well-positioned against Jund Sacrifice. With and , Jund Sacrifice traditionally preys on these small creature decks.

Azorius Control as the third most-played deck is in line with my expectation, but I also have doubts regarding its matchup against Jund Sacrifice. With recurring threats and green card advantage spells, Jund players rarely run out of steam and can keep up pressure in the face of sweepers and countermagic.

Instead, I believe that players with had the best metagame read, as it's a great way to prey upon Jund Sacrifice decks, particularly the Food variants. After all, "the pig" not only stops and but also nullifies and . There are quite a few good homes for Yasharn, including Abzan Midrange and Bant Midrange, and I expect that they will do well in the metagame at the Kaldheim Championship.

Combo decks, including ramp-heavy card Sultai Ultimatum variants, can also attack Jund Sacrifice from an effective angle, so they seem well-positioned. is even more powerful in Historic than in Standard. We might see creative piles like + + or + + that, depending on the game state, will effectively end the game no matter what the opponent chooses.

In summary, I believe that many of the decks that rose from the ashes of Sultai Midrange are poised to do well. There are few hyper-aggro decks around to keep them in check, and as long as they were constructed with Jund Sacrifice in mind, they'll be happy to face the most popular deck in the field.

The most-played nonland card across Historic main decks and sideboards is , at copies. This was to be expected. The second most-played card, however, came as a huge surprise to me. If you had told me two months ago, right after seeing the full contents of Kaldheim, that would become the second most-played spell in Historic then I'm not sure I would have believed you. But it's true. It's used to ramp into , to give deathtouch to , or to synergize with , so it's found a home in a lot of archetypes, with total copies.

The next most-played cards in the list are not as surprising: It's and , both at copies each, followed by six other Jund Food essentials. It's the biggest archetype by far, after all.

Right below the Jund Food components, we find several efficient two-mana removal spells: at copies, at copies, and at copies. Most of those copies are found in sideboards.

Next, we find answers that can shut down entire strategies: and , at copies and copies respectively, While , mostly found in sideboards, is fine against Jund Company, it's not particularly effective against the more popular Jund Food. Yasharn, mostly found in main decks, excels against Jund Food, and I'd say it's one of the defining answers of the format.

After focusing on the most-played spells overall, let's now zoom into the additions from the last two sets specifically.

Kaldheim had a major impact on Historic. Besides and the rest of the Pathway lands, it also added , , and —each with around 40 copies at the Kaldheim Championship—as a boost for control decks.

Additionally, there were between 15 and 25 copies of the following Kaldheim cards across Historic decks:

  • , a popular addition to the sideboard of Goblins.
  • and , which turned Elves into a real archetype.
  • , a worthy addition to white aggro decks.
  • , an essential part of many piles.
  • and , which gave Angels the critical tribal mass.

Historic Anthology IV has not had a major impact on the Historic decks at the Kaldheim Championship. The most-played Historic Anthology 4 card is , at 22 total copies. There are also several copies of , , and among the decklists, but on the whole Historic Anthology 4 has not changed much—yet.

All Historic decklists will be published on the Kaldheim Championship event page at the beginning of Round 1 on Friday, March Many of the spicy new Historic decks, including Elves, Angels, and were already highlighted in Mani Davoudi's excellent format overview article, but there are always some surprises. I'll highlight three archetypes that he did not yet cover.

Two players registered Mono-Black Control. has always been powerful in such a deck, but for a long time it was lacking a sufficiently powerful end game in Historic. Kaldheim offered a big boost in and , both of which synergize nicely with . is more efficient than at enabling Golos' five-color activation, and can reset the board while returning Golos. Once you control multiple s, you might activate Golos multiple times per turn, at which point it's hard to lose.

One of my favorite homes for is Five-Color Niv-Mizzet, an archetype registered by three players. For a long time, Historic was missing a reliable non-creature two-mana spell that could both ramp and fix colors. from Historic Anthology IV is exactly what Niv-Mizzet was hoping to see. Meanwhile, what I like to see is the math. As it turns out, a Niv-Mizzet trigger in the versions registered for the Kaldheim Championship will yield approximately spells in expectation—a great amount of value!

I like Cycling in Standard, but in Historic you need something extra to compete. from Amonkhet Remastered helped, but it was not yet enough. Historic Anthology IV, however, provided , which was the one-drop the archetype needed to be viable in Historic. Although all spells in the main deck are red, white, or colorless—hence the label "Boros Cycling"—there are typically several copies of in the sideboard, ready to pounce on Jund players.

Mani Davoudi's wish was for neither format to have any singular archetype be more than 20% of the field. That wish did not come true, but there's still a fair amount of diversity and a good amount of spice. Both formats get you to Top 8, and on Sunday it's all Standard. I can't wait to see which decks will come out on top.

Don't miss the live broadcast, March 26–28 beginning at 9 a.m. PT each day at twitch.tv/magic!

Sours: https://magic.gg/news/kaldheim-championship-metagame-breakdown

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