The Weekly Gauntlet: Standard Week

Standard is at a pretty stable place right now. Some believe there are a clear top three decks as well as a few just on the outside.

Grixis Control
3 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
2 Radiant Flames
1 Dragonlord Silumgar
3 Read the Bones
2 Ultimate Price
3 Fiery Impulse
2 Grasp of Darkness
3 Kolaghan’s Command
3 Ruinous Path
2 Transgress the Mind
3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
3 Evolving Wilds
1 Island
1 Mountain
5 Swamp
3 Wandering Fumarole
4 Smoldering Marsh
2 Sunken Hollow
4 Foreboding Ruins
3 Shivan Reef
1 Silumgar’s Command
SB: 1 Silumgar’s Command
SB: 2 Negate
SB: 2 Duress
SB: 1 Dragonmaster Outcast
SB: 2 Rending Volley
SB: 2 Radiant Flames
SB: 1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
SB: 1 Virulent Plague
SB: 2 Dark Petition
SB: 1 Infinite Obliteration

Grixis control is what we believe to be the third best deck in the format but not that far behind number two. Grixis is really a midrange deck playing a more controling game than most over midranges decks, but can still put the beatdown on the Esper, and BW control decks of the format. Having Grixis in your gauntlet will be important as it is very popular right now and not being able to beat it could lead to some Match losses in a larger event.

4c Rites
2 Brood Monitor
4 Catacomb Sifter
4 Cryptolith Rite
4 Collected Company
4 Duskwatch Recruiter
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Loam Dryad
2 Zulaport Cutthroat
4 Reflector Mage
3 Forest
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Swamp
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Llanowar Wastes
2 Westvale Abbey
4 Yavimaya Coast
SB: 4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
SB: 4 Reality Smasher
SB: 3 Transgress the Mind
SB: 2 Ultimate Price
SB: 2 Enlightened Ascetic

4c rites is what happens when you just jam two of the best decks together and add an infinite combo. This deck is quite good against the best deck in the format as well as just being able to win games out of nowhere. Knowing how to play against this deck will be important as you don’t want to just lose out of nowhere.

One huge part of having this deck in you gauntlet is the Reality Smasher post board. This lets 4c Rites attack from another angle you might not be prepared for.

GW Tokens
3 Oath of Nissa
4 Archangel Avacyn
2 Den Protector
4 Dromoka’s Command
3 Lambholt Pacifist
2 Hangarback Walker
4 Sylvan Advocate
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
2 Declaration in Stone
3 Secure the Wastes
8 Forest
7 Plains
2 Westvale Abbey
4 Canopy Vista
4 Fortified Village
SB: 2 Den Protector
SB: 2 Tragic Arrogance
SB: 2 Angelic Purge
SB: 2 Declaration in Stone
SB: 2 Clip Wings
SB: 2 Silkwrap
SB: 2 Evolutionary Leap
SB: 1 Hallowed Moonlight

GW Tokens has emerged as the best deck in the format with the Lambholt Pacifist tech being huge on shoring up some of the problems the deck might have had. This deck is full of some of the most powerful cards in current standard and leverages their power to just be doing something great every turn.

2 Anointer of Champions
4 Dragon Hunter
4 Expedition Envoy
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
2 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
14 Plains
4 Battlefield Forge
4 Always Watching
3 Gryff’s Boon
4 Declaration in Stone
4 Town Gossipmonger
SB: 2 Archangel of Tithes
SB: 4 Hanweir Militia Captain
SB: 1 Gryff’s Boon
SB: 3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
SB: 3 Needle Spires
SB: 2 Stasis Snare

Humans is a deck that has dropped in the rankings since week one making people believe it is a bad deck. Whether or not that is true isn’t quite as important as the fact that there are going to be enough people playing the deck that you will want to prepare for it. This deck makes the gauntlet as the aggro deck that you will want to be able to beat.

BW Control
3 Anguished Unmaking
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
3 Grasp of Darkness
2 Hallowed Moonlight
4 Languish
1 Planar Outburst
4 Read the Bones
2 Ruinous Path
3 Secure the Wastes
2 Transgress the Mind
2 Ultimate Price
3 Westvale Abbey
6 Swamp
4 Shambling Vent
3 Plains
4 Forsaken Sanctuary
4 Caves of Koilos
1 Blighted Fen
SB: 2 Dead Weight
SB: 3 Duress
SB: 1 Bearer of Silence
SB: 1 Eldrazi Displacer
SB: 2 Transgress the Mind
SB: 1 Thought-Knot Seer
SB: 1 Ultimate Price
SB: 3 Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
SB: 1 Hallowed Moonlight

BW Control is another deck with some extreme popularity. This is a deck that World Champion Seth Manfield won a recent GP with. The deck comes in many different forms with players tuning it they way they would any other control deck for the expected metagame.

Testing against these five decks is likely going to give you the best chance to win. Obviously there are other great decks in standard right now. Bant Company, GB Aristocrats, and Ramp decks all are things you are likely to play against but being ready for the best and most popular decks in this standard format will really help you at your next GP and PPTQ.

Thanks for reading everyone. Let me know if I missed a deck and we will see you for our modern Gauntlet next week.

Spencer “The Heeze” Howland
Twitter: @Spencer13H

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