Updated: Jun 5, 2020
The State of Arena 6/4/2020
Welcome to the inaugural edition of “The State of Arena”. Each week we will discuss my findings on the state of Magic the Gathering Arena. Standard, Historic, and what it takes to get to the mythic ranking on the ladder are what we will try to convey.
This week brought the recent Banned and Restricted (B&R) announcement, banning Agent of Treachery and Fires of Invention in standard, and suspending it in Historic. In addition, the companion mechanic overall saw a massive change in function. This will dramatically change how they are used or if they are even usable anymore as companions. These changes fundamentally will shift the Standard metagame on MTG Arena moving forward. The powerful combo decks like Keruga Fires, Jeskai Yorion, and 4 color Winota all essentially died with this banning, making room for other decks to surge to the forefront. In Historic, the suspensions allow Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) to monitor the metagame to see how things shake out, but the community already questions the lack of action taken against Winota. The Historic metagame now consists of Nexus of Fate, Field of the Dead (FOD), and Winota combo (without Agent). These decks are powerful and make the game spiral out of control relatively quickly. We will monitor the Historic meta moving forward, but I predict Winota will be king until they take action.
For Standard, I believe the following deck types will find their way to the top of the meta:
Temur Wilderness Reclamation (Temur Rec) – This deck takes advantage of the power of massive mana to interact with and kill the opponent. This deck was already close to being the best deck in standard, and with the recent B&R the deck loses nothing but gains a foothold against everything else. Key Cards: Wilderness Reclamation, Expansion/Explosion.
Mono Red Embercleave, aka Red Deck Wins (RDW) – This deck is full on aggression. Speed and powerful red cards are keys to win as early as turn (4 or even 3 if the opponent literally does nothing). This deck had turned into an Obosh deck, but I think it will revert back to its old self crushing opponents quickly, especially in best of 1 standard (BO1). Key Cards: Embercleave, Torbran, Anax
Control Variants – Whether it’s tapout control (meaning you play most of your spells on your turn) or it’s reactive control (meaning you pass your turn and react to your opponent), control is positioned to still be strong and still use Yorion. I predict a more reactive control deck to fight off Temur Rec above. The only question is will it be jeskai, esper, or 4 color? Key Cards: Teferi, Time Raveler; Shark Typhoon; Elspeth Conquers Death
Big mana/Ramp decks – Big mana is still a thing with Nissa, Who shakes the world still in the format. Be on the lookout for Simic, Bant, and Sultai Ramp decks that may very well take over #1 before it’s all said and done. Cards like Hydroid Krasis, Uro, Cavalier of Thorns, and Casualties of War are still very powerful and viable cards!
All of the rest – There are a lot of decks that will be on the fringe. We will see how they pan out, but keep an eye out on the cycling decks (Zenith Flare should be rare). Other decks to watch are Temur Adventures, mono white boggles (depends if Lurrus can still see play) and the various sacrifice decks will be widespread and played. They can be overcome but be mindful!
I hope that this article finds you well as we all progress in the new meta. Feel free to provide feedback by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a comment below! Happy gaming my friends, and keep grinding towards mythic!