Grixis Midrange/Vampires and Esper Midrange
Without a doubt, Grixis Midrange and Esper Midrange are the big winners of the last weekend. Black-centered decks are still hugely prominent in Standard, and almost mandatory if you want to have success in the format.
Both decks have a similar plan, and have all their power in the flexibility of cards they can play in their three colors. In this past weekend’s events, the manabases for both of these decks seem to have been tuned to near optimal. Below are my picks for the ideal builds for each deck. Grixis has some variances in deckbuilding, but I’ve been sticking with the one below, which was the winner of Sunday’s challenge. Esper Midrange tends to have one gameplan and much fewer flex slots, and we expect that to be the case for weeks to come.
Jund Midrange and Mono-Black Midrange
These are both great options for this Standard rotation. Jund is a very flexible deck with the advantage of having access to the color green – cards like Titan of Industry and Unleash the Inferno make this deck have a lot of potential to dominate the format. Unfortunately, it is very fragile against counterspells, and almost for this reason alone it is not yet an S Tier deck. As long as Esper and Grixis continue to be played at the highest levels, we believe Jund will remain in this category.
Mono-Black Midrange decreased in representation and top results this week. This was to be expected, and it will probably continue to drop in the tier list by our prediction week after week. It is, of course, a very solid deck with a very marked curve; the only problem is that it has little card flexibility when just playing Swamps, and the sideboard is pretty weak compared to other decks in the format. In the first week of Standard, the deck was very strong thanks to Liliana of the Veil and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, but now most decks have adapted to these cards and have made Liliana of the Veil almost unplayable in Standard at the moment. Sheoldred is still a great card, but Standard deckbuilders have already found optimal ways to defeat it.
Gruul Aggro and Mono-White Reanimator
Gruul has been the only aggro deck with a serious chance of fighting for a spot amongst the best Standard decks. Unfortunately, it has to dive into a sea of midrange decks, from which it can find itself drowning in. The deck itself has a good gameplan, a very aggressive curve and interesting cards that are very good on their own, but – in our opinion – we would be surprised Gruul becomes more popular in upcoming tournaments. We do believe the deck will remain a solid B-Tier choice, however.
Mono-White/Boros Reanimator has declined quite a bit this weekend. Standard players saw it as a great way to push back against the influx of Mono-Black decks – but when Mono-Black fell and the decks with blue have been dominating this last week of tournaments, Reanimator took a huge hit. It is very fragile against countermagic and aggressive Esper wide boards. We really like the deck itself, but it doesn’t seem to have enough tools to succeed in Standard at the moment.