Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica begins on Friday, which would traditionally mark the beginning of a new Standard metagame. But that hasn’t been true for the last few Pro Tours, where there was one definitive best deck going into the event there and you either played that deck or brought a deck with a good match up against it.

This time around, though, the Standard metagame is wide open because with the release of Guilds of Ravnica and the rotation of the Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks. Success will not be handed to you if your deck’s only good matchups are Jeskai Control or Golgari Midrange. This Pro Tour has the potential to be the most open Standard PT in recent memory, which will hopefully mean that a lot more teams will bring new decks, new tech, and result in exciting matchups.

I’m here to be your guide on the decks you’re most likely to see at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica this weekend. And don’t forget that you can draft your favorite cards from these decks in your own Fantasy Pro Tour PT Guilds of Ravnica league—or join one of our public leagues!

As a note of warning, decks at the Pro Tour are designed for that specific metagame. Successful decks there will not always translate to success in local metagames or even be generally viable outside of the Pro Tour.

10. Bant Nexus

Bant Nexus hasn’t really changed since it’s emergence with M19. It’s goal is to use Fog effects to survive the early game, then lock opponents out of the game by chaining consecutive extra turns with an active Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, eventually removing all of your opponent’s permanents with Teferi’s emblem. The deck will then close out the game either with Karn, Scion of Urza tokens or by decking the opponent. It is great against aggressive strategies but can be vulnerable to hand disruption or a well timed counter.

Key card: Nexus of Fate

9. White Weenie

A classic strategy, left by the wayside by most people other than the Craig Wescoes of the world, White Weenie utilizes a low land count and an even lower curve to overwhelm its opponent. Builds either utilize the most popular hate card in the format, Tocatli Honor Guard, or go for more raw stats by including Venerated Loxodon. The deck is efficient and cheap but can really struggle to recover from a sweeper such as Ritual of Soot.

Key card: Benalish Marshal

8. Grixis Control

A control deck with a dragon sub-theme, Grixis Control—wait for it—controls the early and mid game with efficient removal spells and a discard engine of Disinformation Campaign plus Surveil cards. The deck’s strength is in it’s closing power. When the board reaches parity, it can slam haymakers until the game ends. Even with two sets of shocklands available, the manabase is a weakness that faster decks can exploit.

Key card: Nicol Bolas, the Ravager

7. Mono-Blue Tempo

Mono-Blue Tempo is another budget deck putting up results, but it may be the most inconsistent deck on this list. Some of the draws that this deck has can feel unbeatable, especially if starts with turn one creature, turn two Curious Obsession. The deck leans heavily on these kind of draws and is very susceptible to flooding out as it doesn’t have any card advantage and plays mostly unremarkable creatures.

Key card: Tempest Djinn

6. Mono-Red Aggro

Most likely the default aggressive deck of the format, Mono-Red isn’t flashy but it gets the job done. With twelve burn spells backed up with fast creatures, the deck makes every point of life matters. In a format with shocklands, playing against Mono-Red produces a conundrum: play shocklands untapped and die to a burn spell or play shocklands tapped and die before you can cast a relevant spell.

Key card: Experimental Frenzy

5. Selesnya Tokens

This is the deck that has the most potential to vault up the rankings in this list. The pieces of Selesnya Tokens are powerful individually; but from all of the lists that have done well, I do not think the correct build has been found yet. Using powerful mythics in History of Benalia, Trostani Discordant, and March of the Multitudes, this deck has the tools to pressure opponents in the early game, as well as the abliity to end a game out of nowhere, giving it a good control matchup.

Key card: March of the Multitudes

4. Boros Angels

Boros Angels is the first of the heavy hitters in Standard and may be the most “mythical” deck here (in theme and in card rarity). It can easily dominate a game if the opponent’s answers don’t line up well. The deck’s best curve is Resplendent Angel into Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice into Lyra Dawnbringer. The high threat density combined with the natural evasiveness of the creatures give Boros Angels a lot of edges. The deck also has a great aggressive matchup due to it’s many cards with lifelink plus with it’s ability to main deck sweepers with Deafening Clarion.

Key card: Lyra Dawnbringer

3. Izzet Drakes

Izzet Drakes is probably the newest deck to make this list. It is remarkably consistent, recurring Arclight Phoenixes and killing out of nowhere with Maximize Velocity, making the deck a legitimate Golgari killer. Older versions of the deck ran higher-costed spells and Goblin Electromancers; but if you forego these and just run the lower CMC spells and more drakes, you give yourself better threats and reduce the chances of stumbling on vital turns. The main downside of this deck is it’s weakness against control strategies, but with pros preferring to be proactive rather than reactive at Pro Tours, Izzet Drakes seems well placed to do well.

Key card: Arclight Phoenix

2. Golgari Midrange

The most popular deck in Standard, Golgari Midrange combines resilient threads and efficient answers. Almost every card is a two for one, providing value on entering the battlefield or being too difficult to deal with on its own. The last few major events have shown that there are ways to take down Golgari, but with the introduction of more Find // Finality to rebuy threats, it will almost certainly be a popular choice at the Pro Tour.

Key card: Carnage Tyrant

1. Jeskai Control

Jeskai Control was the biggest winner from the Grand Prix last weekend, putting the most copies of any one deck into the Top 8s. With card advantage engines in Azor’s Gateway, efficient counter spells like Ionize, and access to four different sweepers, the deck is ready for every matchup. The only weakness of the deck is the amount of time it takes to win—being a control deck, there are many decision points to be considered and it can lead to a lot of draws. Because of this, I don’t expect it to be the most popular deck, despite many Magic pros’ preferences for control decks.

Key Card: Expansion // Explosion

That’s my run down of the best decks in standard. Maybe Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica will be Dinosaurs’ time to shine, or maybe Lich’s Mastery will prove to be a real deck, or maybe someone will gamble on Sword-Point Diplomacy. We could see anything do well next weekend with a Standard meta this wide wide open, and frankly, it’ll a wonderful time.

Don’t forget to sign up for one of our Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica fantasy leagues! They add another layer of excitement to the tournament.

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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