Due to the new changes with Theros Beyond Death, it’s going to be a little hard to nail down what exactly the new Meta looks like, and what pros will be playing. I mostly want to highlight some of the more interesting developments and not just point out that RDW and Simic Ramp are very good.
The thing I’m most disappointed with is that Theros Beyond Death literally didn’t change certain decks and they are still powerful. Jeskai Fires sometimes runs the absolutely insane Dream Trawler as a new addition, and maybe Shatter the Sky, but, otherwise, it’s still the same insane deck that we’ve grown to hate/love. Activated abilities on creatures played for free and a shockingly consistent ability to get down their namesake card adds up to a strong deck worth playing.
A deck almost good enough before gets a lot of new tools and is suddenly rather competitive. They finally have a wrath effect worth playing in Shatter The Sky, and Dream Trawler works as a hard-to-deal-with finisher. The newest builds of this deck are the most heavily Theros of the new meta—which is nice to see. If you want to play a classic hard control deck and grind your opponent out through card advantage and removal, then this is the best place to go.
The deck that Heliod built. Combining heavy life-gain with creatures that get bigger means this is an aggro deck that can play the long game easily and outpace red decks without much issue. Even when you get this deck under control, it still can come back because they can tank so many hits—it’s not uncommon to see this deck reach 30 life within the first few turns. If you’re playing on Arena, then this is a deck to always consider as an opposing matchup.
Yes, Gary is a big part of why this deck is seeing play. It’s quite a deadly finisher and combines really well with Nightmare Shepherd. The composition of this deck varies, as they sometimes run the cat oven combo, or forgo it for a larger midrange game plan. Regardless, though, the power of this deck is that it can just as easily kill you with aggro tricks as it does with pure direct damage.
Simic Ramp, but with Casualties of War and Enter the God Eternals as options to kill things. Though Uro is a very strong card and is a big hitter in some meta decks, it seems like Sultai is forgoing it for almost exclusively high impact cards that take over the board as soon as they resolve. Voracious Hydra is good at all stages of the game, as is Hydroid Krasis. Nissa—the best planeswalker in Standard, yes, really—is also pulling ramp, aggro, and defense duty here. Respect this deck’s ability to utterly blow you out of the water or that’s exactly what it will do.
The old deck comes back with enough new toys to be worth it. A tap-out control deck that’s good at overwhelming the opponent, this deck simply deals with everything that resolves while simultaneously flooding the board. It’s named after the Hero for a reason, as almost every other card in the deck manages to trigger him and create more attackers and blockers. If you like control, but want to be more proactive with your plays, then this is the deck for you.
And that’s the cooler parts of the meta. Though a few decks are clearly taking the spotlight as the best, there are still a lot of fun options to play.
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