I’ve been playing magic again since the end of the Innistrad block, putting in my reps playing standard every week at my local FNM and I think it’s worth taking a minute to appreciate how great a job Wizards are doing with their set design.
Gone are the dark days of Kaw-Blade and Affinity where one deck ruled standard, in our modern era the Magic design team have been exceptional in balancing new sets to support both great limited and constructed formats. As I type this we are sitting the meat of the Dragons of Tarkir meta-game and I couldn’t be happier.
The meta-game in standard at the moment feels really broad and open. It seems to me that there are more options for truly competitive decks in standard than at any other time I’ve been playing magic. You can choose between Mono-Red, UW heroic, Abzan Agro, Jeskai Tempo, Green ramp, GB Devotion, Bant Megamorph, Abzan Midrange, UB Control, Esper Dragons and Abzan Control… and those are just the acknowledged Tier 1 decks.
If we move down a half step we pick up other decks like RG Bees, RG Dragons, Temur Aggro, Sultai Whip and various flavors of collected company to name just a few. We’re absolutely spoiled for choice.
The meta-game is so broad that I feel like the difference between the top Tier 1 decks and a well tuned home-brew is really negligible in terms of pure power and a lot of that difference can be made up by playing something that no-one expects. For a while I was quite happy playing a (probably hugely sub-optimal) 5 colour dragon ramp deck, and I’m currently running an aggressive Temur deck that I feel confident with against any deck in the mega-game.
It feels like every time there is a GP or PT level tournament, the entire format shifts and a brand new deck lands up on top and that makes it exciting as a brewer, a competitor and a magic player.
Well done, Wizards. Keep it up.
“Dragons emerge from tempests fully formed and terribly hungry” – Decent of Dragons, flavour text