“The Best Deck in Standard”

Written by Ryan the Goblin King on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

“The Best Deck in Standard”

Ryan the Goblin King

Hailing from Goblinville, IN, Ryan AKA the Goblin King has been brewing Standard decks since Kaladesh block. Ryan has only one goal as a competitive Magic player and that’s to participate in a pro tour where every participant brings with them only the finest in jank.

We both know why you’re here.

You’re here because you need a little bit of premium content in your life ‘cause the basic cable just ain’t doin’ it for ya anymore.

Well that’s just what I’m here to give you- some premium content. Because In a sea of 3-star buffets, I understand, as an entitled millennial, that sometimes only a 5-star buffet will do.

You’re sick of losing Magic games.

You’re sick of finding yourself losing to the player that gets all the right draws, or who has the best cards, and enough, is enough, and the only, ONLY, thing that’s holding you back is that you have a good deck, but it’s not quite good enough, and you’re here in search of only the most premium Magic deck that your current Standard environment has to offer.

You’ve come to the right place, and boy can I say that we’re glad to have you.

Before we get into the best team, and why it’s the best team, I should let you know that we’re operating under an assumption here- that there is a best deck in Magic.

But there always is, isn’t there?

Last we saw it, it was Red/Black.

Before that it was Temur Energy.

Before that it was Ramunap Red, and then going way back we had a brief reign of hellfire when infinite cats and their infinite, crazed owners, were on the loose.

But it makes sense, I think, for there always to be a best deck. For there not to be a best deck, it would be required that everything, every pay 4 life, and draw 2 cards, and when this enters the battlefield return target permanent to it’s owners hand, then Surveil 4 card would have to be perfectly balanced in each color set.

I don’t think you can perfectly balance cards that say things as different as “look at opponents hand, choose a non-land card from it and discard it” with, “deal x uncounterable damage” a la Banefire.

They seem to operate on a different plane of existence.

This is about finding that best deck if there is one, and one month into the meta, it seems an awful lot like the jolly green giant has already reared it’s ugly head.

Black-Green Midrange is the most premium deck in Standard right now. Here’s Christopher Larsen’s top 8 decklist from GP Lillie:

What makes this the best deck in Standard?

For starters, it’s Teferi proof. When you’re trying to determine whether or not a deck is indeed the best deck in your current Standard format, it’s important to ascertain how exactly that deck performs against the de facto, pound-for-pound best card in the format.

With access to efficient answers such as Assassin’s Trophy and Plaguecrafter, and more powerful options to choose from including The Eldest Reborn and Vraska’s Contempt, the Golgari scourge is not short on solutions for the current MVP.

It’s a pile of cards.

Black-Green Valuetown isn’t black-green counters. Nor is it Temur Energy. And it definitely isn’t a deck that’s named after one card and one card alone like Frenzy or Approach.

Black-Green Midrange is instead a ‘good stuff’ deck where the cards all are good in their own respect and do not have any one synergy that they all carry between them.

Vraska, Relic Seeker

Does it build an army?

If you’re ever staring down a new Planeswalker and you’re curious as to whether or not the 3+ different modes add up to a Planeswalker that’s more good and less Tibalt, then the first question I’d ask would be “does it make an army”?

If it does, then like so many of the token producing Planeswalkers before it (Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Liliana, the Last Hope, Karn, Scion of Urza)- it’s likely to be a good Planeswalker card.

Golgari Findbroker

This is the most crazy cat lady card that I’ve ever seen in my life. To start off, she’s holding a locket, the hallmark symbol of such an individual. Add onto that that she has the option of filtering through the past (a graveyard) in order to get a coupon discounted (for free) card of her choice to deal with whatever existential threat resides within her immediate whereabouts. Crazy. Couponing. Eldest Reborn. Cat. Lady.

Find // Finality

These split cards (Find // Finality, Flower // Flourish) are entertaining to evaluate from a flavour perspective. Pretty inoffensive, fairly cheaply costed, bookkeeping ability on one side of the card. Game ending, board-overrunning, nightmare inducing effect on the other. I wonder whether or not that was intentional, and if so- what the game designer was really trying to say with these cards?

Carnage Tyrant

Unlike the longest game of Quidditch ever played (3 months) Golgari Valuetown mirror matches do eventually end and so much of why that happens is on the back of Carnage Tyrant. On it’s own, Carnage Tyrant has the ability to end the game with 3 short-armed swings. The medium sized dino is an easy hedge against any control deck (especially with Settle the Wreckage being out of style), it’s decently costed, and unlike Gigantosaurus, it has trample. Also, Banefire, it’s always important that your deck be able to outrun Banefire- tiny dino arms and all.

Wildgrowth Walker

I’m curious as to what the person that got really into Explore when it first came out is thinking now, 1 year later, that overnight it went from obscurity to what arguably is the best deck in standard? Walker was overshadowed in the format by the snake but now that the snake is gone opposing players are moaning at the new best 2-drop green has to offer. Much like constrictor, you’re gonna need to bolt the bird immediately or else things might get incredibly out of hand.

Golgari’s Most Wanted

The Golgari swarm is resilient but it’s not without it’s own Chainwhirler in the format. The greatest threat to this decks existence comes in the form of a seemingly unimpressive 1/3 that was, until a few weeks ago, draft chaff in the Standard format. Tocatli Honor Guard turns off a full 100% of the various ETB’s of the Black/Green menace which makes it a bane to all that the Golgari tribe hold dear.

A bunch of 1 of’s

I don’t know how others approach the deck building process but the way I approach brewing is to find what I feel are the best fits for whatever style of play I’m going for, make them all 4 of’s, do some testing to add a few more cards, and then I’m pretty much done. That’s why I’m always impressed when I see a deck where there’s like 8 different 1 or 2 of’s. It’s obvious that the person that built the deck put a lot of thought into the reasoning behind each inclusion, rather than you know, making a bastardized grocery list of the whole process.

Some sweet tech that World Champion Javier Dominguez (the other top 8 Golgari player) was running at GP Lillie:

Midnight Reaper. The Reaper is an unusual card in that it’s pretty efficient card advantage, but unlike it’s most recent predecessors (Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, Rogue Refiner) it’s extremely circumstantial card advantage that depends so much on the make-up of the game. With that being said, the majority of removal spells in the format kill and don’t exile, so it’s best to think of this card as Rogue Refiner that at the very least draws you one, then turns into a Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, continually drawing you cards as the game drags on, if it manages to stick around.

Don’t let the colors fool you: This is Jund.

Which means that these are gonna be grind you out, out-value you, long-winded games where you will certainly be finding out whether or not it’s been your deck or you that’s been holding you back this whole time.

You gon’ learn some Magic.

This is premium, so it’s gonna cost you extra. This land filled with glowing lights certainly ain’t free.

But it is a land of glowing lights that you’ll find yourself in.

Winner, winner chicken dinner.

Top 8’s.

First place at PPTQ’s. First place at RPTQ’s.

This is as premium as premium gets.

Are you ready?

To go to a land that is filled with glowing lights?

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