Metagame Update: Week 6

by Looter-Scooter

The Winners and Losers of Last Week

Last week, Grixis Control emerged as a new control variant, using Sedgemoor Witch Sedgemoor Witch , Smoldering Egg Smoldering Egg Ashmouth Dragon
and Lier, Disciple of the Drowned Lier, Disciple of the Drowned as their threats instead of other decks playing Hinata, Dawn-Crowned Hinata, Dawn-Crowned or Hullbreaker Horror Hullbreaker Horror . This variation worked out well, all 3 Grixis decks won their match, proving its place in the meta. The other control decks performed horribly. Izzet Control went 0-4, Jeskai Hinata went 0-3 and Dimir and Azorius Control each went 1-1 (though the two Azorius decks faced each other this week for a mirror match.) What does this mean for the future of control? I believe that the UR core of Expressive Iteration Expressive Iteration , red removal spells, and Galvanic Iteration Galvanic Iteration provide a good foundation, the problem was the win conditions people chose. Hinata Hinata, Dawn-Crowned /Magma Opus Magma Opus and Hullbreaker Horror Hullbreaker Horror were too slow against aggro and Goldspan Dragon Goldspan Dragon didn’t help stabilize a losing position. Sedgemoor Witch Sedgemoor Witch , Smoldering Egg Smoldering Egg Ashmouth Dragon
, and Lier Lier, Disciple of the Drowned solve both of these issues. Witch and Egg are cheap enough to apply pressure early in the game while Lier Lier, Disciple of the Drowned flashes back any removal spells that were previously cast.

Orzhov Midrange also did well last week, putting a 4-2 win rate and its 2 losses coming from mirror matches. Orzhov has always been great against the aggro decks but new variants of the archetype are appearing, with Concealing Curtains Concealing Curtains Revealing Eye
and Luminarch Aspirant Luminarch Aspirant being used over Shambling Ghast Shambling Ghast and Deadly Dispute Deadly Dispute . This allows the deck to be better against control and combo but worse against aggro, giving it nice flexibility depending on what you expect to face. Of the remaining popular decks, Mono White continued its good performance with a 7-4 record. Other decks had a 6-5 record, Naya Runes went 5-2 and Jeskai Storm ended up at 2-3. Mono White, Naya and Other decks have stayed consistent in their win rates, but Storm has fallen recently as more people adapt to it.

This Week’s Decks

The 3 most popular decks last week all fell a bit in popularity. Mono White lost 3 decks, while Other and Runes each lost 2. Orzhov and Jeskai Storm stayed the same. Interestingly, Izzet Control and Jeskai Hinata each gained a deck despite their struggle last week. Esper Control shows up as a variant on the Orzhov MIdrange decks, splashing blue for Kaito Shizuki Kaito Shizuki and sideboard counterspells. The other big newcomer is Rakdos Artifacts. This deck plans to create Blood tokens early with Blood Fountain Blood Fountain , Bloodtithe Harvester Bloodtithe Harvester and Voldaren Epicure Voldaren Epicure , then sacrifice them to Oni-Cult Anvil Oni-Cult Anvil or Deadly Dispute Deadly Dispute for value. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Reflection of Kiki-Jiki
also shows up to discard extra lands and be a late game threat. Thanks to the deck’s low curve, it is able to pressure opponents early and has a strong late game with the sacrifice engine.