The Metagame Report, June 4 – June 13

Another “exciting” week of Standard has come to a close, and nothing much has changed besides the evolution of W/U Delver with LSV’s World Magic Championship Qualifier–winning Delver deck:

The deck has reverted back to the Equipment packages of Sword of War and Peace (most likely to deal with the mirror), but the major innovation from LSV was the addition of Tamiyo in the sideboard to help deal with the admitted weakness against control decks of Gerry’s list from the StarCityGames Open in Nashville.

Wizards didn’t publish the Pro Tour Qualifier–winning winning decks for this past weekend, but the SCG Open results show that Delver is still the metagame force.

Deck nameTop 8Top 4FinalsWinner
Solar Flare1111
Delver6310
Wolf Run Ramp1000

The deck of not from the SCG Open was Solar Flare, a deck that hasn’t been seen in a while (and has for the most part been replaced by more traditional Esper control decks), but I’m not sure this deck has a permanent place in the metagame for a few reasons:

  • It’s easy to include hate such as Grafdigger's Cage to turn off the graveyard-based component of the deck.
  • The presence of Lingering Souls was good for a week when fewer people had Sword of War and Peace in their main deck (in favor of Feast and Famine), but as War and Peace becomes more popular again (since LSV played it in the list above) the efficacy of Lingering Souls against Delver decreases.
  • Delver decks have started to include transformational sideboards that allow them to go over the top against control decks (just as Caw-Blade used to do).

I started collecting Magic Online results, but I just gave up after four Daily Events, as the only deck performing significantly well was Delver, and it was pretty useless to assign a number to how good it is; just like last week, it is basically still impossible to justify playing anything else unless you know you have a plan against Delver. However, since people aren’t fully rational (See: People not playing four Stoneforge Mystics when it was legal), I’ll provide some decklists here that aren’t Delver that are putting up at least some results on Magic Online.

Tokens has been preforming well this week on Magic Online as a consequence of three major factors: There are fewer people playing Sword of War and Peace, there are fewer Wraths, and there is less of Wolf Run Ramp. Tokens is probably also among the best decks against Delver thanks to being a creature deck that’s resilient to Vapor Snag. In addition to this, ramp has been almost eliminated from the online meta, removing the token deck’s worst matchup.

I really dislike Pod decks overall, but the fact that EdB (@eduardobsg) has been playing this to consistent finishes led me to include it. The deck includes two main-deck Thalias to fight both control and Delver, and the inclusion of Restoration Angel to use the enters-the-battlefield effects of creatures over again is quite nice—I imagine that casting an Angel in response to Fiend Hunter’s trigger feels quite excellent.

This deck isn’t actually good; I just found it slightly amusing that a deck with only four Blighted Agents as a win condition managed to win enough matches to cash a DE.

Carrie Oliver won an English WMCQ with this deck, so although I haven’t played with or against it, I imagine it’s at least somewhat of a contender. Revenge of the Hunted is infuriating to play against, and I imagine that card alone may be the source of some number of wins, although Vapor Snag and Dismember existing in such abundance probably diminishes how good it is.

Probably the best aggro deck of the format, the deck has a large number of cards that benefit from things dying, and it has the excellent sacrifice outlet in the form of Falkenrath Aristocrat. The deck is fast, but Aristocrat seems less than optimal in a format of so many Gut Shots and Vapor Snags, but this deck’s somewhat consistent performance may prove that wrong.

Conclusion

Play Delver.

Chris Mascioli
@dieplstks on Twitter