Falcon Fly By: Standard State of Mind

Hey guys!

The Falcon is back with another fly by. This time I want to talk about where I believe Standard currently is. Frank Karsten wrote an article a few weeks ago about the equilibrium of a standard meta game with Marvel in it. The results of that equilibrium were 13/17 B/G, 2/17 Zombies, 1/17 U/R Control. This would lead the format to all decks being about 50% against the field. Also noted in his results were the win percentages for 6 broad archetypes.

The 6 archetypes listed were B/G, Marvel, Vehicles, Energy Aggro, Zombies, and U/R Control. Naturally we can remove Marvel from our studies as we are looking at what standard will look like going forward. Let’s look at a quick review of the match ups listed. I will simply list the number of match ups that are 50% or higher for each of the decks.

B/G – 4/5
Vehicles – 3/5
Energy Aggro – 3/5
U/R Control – 3/5
Zombies 2/5


Please note again that these are numbers from when Marvel was legal. They will be skewed a bit in different directions because of the loss of a deck. Also to be noted that these numbers were derived from combining variations of archetypes as well. Constrictor, Energy, and Delirium for B/G. Jeskai, Mardu, and 4C Vehicles. Pummeler and Temur energy. Mono Black and W/B Zombies. Looking at these numbers very quickly we can see that B/G in its flavors is currently one of the best decks. How you build it will be completely to your personal preference and I believe all flavors are very good right now. Something else we can find is that B/G was a whopping 66% vs Vehicles which says to me that we can anticipate some drop in the play of that deck. Knowing these two things leads me to believe that Zombies is much better than it shows. It has above 50% against B/G and if Vehicles is seeing less play then that also bodes well for Zombies.

My pick for the first few weeks of best decks will be B/G and Vehicles. These two archetypes have seen a lot of play during their times in standard. It will be very easy for people to pick up these decks as many still have them. Zombies and U/R will be seen and will be strong contenders at the second tier. I’m not sure where Energy Aggro decks will stand in the upcoming standard. It’s very possible that the Temur versions of the deck picked up some wins from people sideboarding incorrectly thinking about marvel. Pummeler will still be a very reasonable choice and can still produce combo finishes that are luckily much easier to deal with.

I personally would recommend B/G. We can now get away with playing midrange decks with wraths, planeswalkers, and tap out on our turn for things. With a few more removal spells, Liliana, the Last Hope, and Yahenni’s Expertise, we can improve the Zombies match up by a lot and help other match ups as well. We have all the tools to take over the standard format in a way that people can interact with us.

That is what I have to say about decks currently available. New Perspectives Combo and Abzan Tokens might just be great choices because they will do well versus midrange strategies. But what I really want to do is find that niche that no one else is doing. Go out to the great beyond and find they key. And I know just the card to start with.


This card is great! Now I cannot say I’m the first explorer to land on this great piece of tech. Daniel Ward has been shouting from the top of every mountain about this card. And I acknowledged that it was a good card and that his Bant Marvel deck was great because of it. Marvel mirrors seemed horrible and I wanted no part of that. But now, now we have a time where we can tap 6 mana, cast a sorcery, and smile because none of our opponents creatures are surviving or ever coming back. And sometimes we get a 4/4 Angel token. Seems good. Black Green Delirium would be a solid place to start with this card, but every time I start a list for it I’m knee deep in creatures thinking about what spots in can fit my wrath in. So I’m back to a Black White drawing board. Something with little creatures and a lot of spells. Planeswalkers, card draw, and removal. The great part about B/W is that we get so many cards that are universal at removing permanents. Cast Out, Forsake the Worldly, Never // Return, and Anguished Unmaking. There is a strong possibility that adding red will make something like this very good.

This is where I would start:

This is where I would start. There are powerful removal, planeswalkers, and creatures. This is step 1 in building our best B/W list. I am probably going to be playing this or something similar at a PPTQ this weekend. The sideboard isn’t anything spectacular. Just additional numbers to help add a few percentage points in all matchups. I chose to forego Dispossess because I don’t feel all that afraid of Torrential Gearhulk. I included Lost Legacy because I felt more inclined to interact with the New Perspectives Combo more than the U/R Control. If they lose their primary combo piece then the deck falls apart. There isn’t much of a plan B. Out of the sideboard there might be cards like Drake Haven which are also hit by the cards that I would choose to bring in. I will make sure to let everyone know how I do. And if you pick up this list or something similar please let me know how you did! Another removal spell and more wraths for the Zombies deck. And a few more grindy go big spells to help the post board Vehicles matchup.

All in all I think this list is solid. If you choose to pilot this or something similar please let me know how you did. I will let every one know how I do as well.

As always, stay humble and hungry.

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Josh Peragine

Josh Peragine

Magic grinder. Lover of all things Black, Green, and Red. Together we can stop the menace known as the basic island! MTGO: CaptainSarang
Josh Peragine

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