The first week of Standard is in the books, and we have the results of our first major tournaments. Star City Games held a Team Constructed Open in Columbus and their Classic Open, and there was also a MTGO PTQ weekend, so lets dive right in! We had a Selesnya Tokens mirror for the final of the SCG Open, Boros Angels take down the classic, and Golgari take down the PTQ!

Here is the data of the top 8:

The week one metagame is not very surprising, with almost 50% being established aggro decks. Something important to note is that the SCG Team Event is not necessarily a true reflection of the power level of a deck as individual stats are not tracked. The only known statistics for it is that Todd Stevens went 14-1-3 over the whole event, which is an impressive result but is irrelevant in the context of the event.

The one deck I wanted to highlight is Boros Angels. It appears to have taken on the mantle of Best Aggro deck in Standard currently and, in my personal view, the best deck in Guilds of Ravnica Standard. With its powerful maindeck evasive creatures, sweepers in the form of Deafening Clarion, and the ability to pivot post sideboard into a more controlling deck with Settle the Wreckage and Seal Away, it appears to just be one step above the competition.

Golgari has also put up numbers this week to show that the color combination in Standard may be stronger than its draft archetype suggests. Each deck was built in its own separate way—the only general consensus appears to be that Ravenous Chupacabra finally has its time to shine. We have a massively graveyard-centric deck using Stitcher’s Supplier and Glowspore Shaman to crank out some early Molderhulks (which is an interaction I expect to see a lot more of), a controlling shell using the power of Planeswalkers and The Eldest Reborn to generate value, and also a deck which is using elements of both. The interesting part is that opponents will need to work out quickly what deck you are on, as each has their own playstyle and require different sideboard cards to deal with.

Winners and Losers

Winner—Lyra Dawnbringer

There was a repeated storyline told throughout the entirety of the SCG Coverage. The aggro deck would get the opponent down to a low life total, their opponent would play Lyra, the game would stabilize, and the opponent would win. This happened with enough frequency that it comes as no surprise that there were four copies maindeck in the Boros Angels deck that won the SCG Classic. With the same deck also top-eighting the MTGO PTQ, it’s safe to say that she is still the real deal. If you aren’t equipped to deal with her she’ll runaway with the game.

Loser—Doom Whisperer

Heralded as the card to define Standard and (at time of writing) still currently the most expensive card from Guilds of Ravnica on MTGO, Doom Whisperer was as prevalent as its name suggests. Whispering from the shadows, it just didn’t have the same impact on paper. While this is a loser for now, I’d expect that to change when the paper metagame catches up with the online one.

Winner—Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice

Aurelia is Standard-playable for the first time! From what we saw from the SCG Coverage, the Exemplar of Justice is in the best deck in Standard—Boros Angels. Her ability to effectively turn herself into a 4/5 trample vigilance flier means that she provides a steady clock and a challenge for any creature to try and fight through her.

As the metagame adjusts and Boros Angels adjusts with it, Aurelia will be here to stay.

Loser—March of the Multitudes

“How can this card be a loser if it was in both decks in the final of the SCG Open?” Simply put, it was the safe pick for the event. Selesnya tokens is a deck with powerful cards in almost every matchup. When testing time is at a minimum for everyone, a deck like this will naturally put up some good results. This is even more evident at a team constructed event, where your teammates can save you.

If you compare this to the SCG Standard Classic and the MTGO PTQ, the deck does not appear in either top 8 at all. With some of the top decks in the format currently running maindeck sweepers, the format already appears too hostile for Selesnya Tokens to be successful.

Winner—Experimental Frenzy

Experimental Frenzy seems to be the sleeper card of Guilds of Ravnica. We should have really learned by now that Future Sight effects are incredibly powerful. Combined with Runaway Steam-Kin, the number of cards that you can end up going through in a single turn is absurd. In the Max McVety vs Zan Syed match, Syed simply conceded the match after about the ninth card in a single turn that Max cast. Red decks are here to stay, and this card will almost certainly be a centerpiece.

Loser—Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Let’s be realistic here. Teferi was always going to have a tough time in an undefined metagame. Week one of Standard is always time for proactive rather than reactive strategies. You could have a removal-heavy build and be weak to planeswalkers or swarm strategies. Or you could build a permission deck but lose to the low-to-the-ground aggro decks. Teferi will not stay in the losers’ bracket for long though. I expect by the time that Grand Prix Lille and Grand Prix New Jersey roll around, Teferi will have started to re-solidify a place in Standard.

There we have it—our first week of Standard is in the books. With Boros Angels and Golgari Midrange leading the way, Standard is shaping up to be the slowest it has been for a while now, to the delight of many. We’ll just have to see if that continues. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions please let me know on social media!

Daniel Roberts (@Razoack) is a UK based player writing about all things Standard. Playing since the release of Gatecrash, he loves nothing better than travelling to European GPs with friends and losing in the feature match area. His best record is 12-3 at GP Barcelona 2017, but he’s aiming for that one more win.

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