You asked for it. You got it. Here is your season-ending event to grind infinite Season Pass Experience Points before the expiration of the Magic 2020 Season Pass. The event launches today and has no entry fee, and no limit to how many matches you can play.

What’s the prize? Every time you win two consecutive games (your choice of ranked or unranked best-of-one), you win 200 Season Pass XP. That means you need to repeat that feat five times to earn one level on your pass.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is, can I get to level 100 (or whatever level your goal may be)? The answer to that question lies in how much XP you can still attain before September 25th (the Magic 2020 season pass expires early on September 26th).

  • 3x Weekly Rewards Remaining (3,750 XP for 15 Wins) = 11,250 XP
  • 17x Daily Quest Rewards Remaining (500 XP per Quest) = 8,500 XP
  • TOTAL XP Available Remaining: 19,750

You may have a bit more XP if you have your daily quests from the past two days queued up. That gives you another 1,000 XP to gain. So that’s 19 or 20 levels depending on your daily quests. Also, since the weekly rewards reset yesterday, you could have picked up this week’s 3,750 XP already, which means you only have 16 levels left to gain.

Personally, as I write this I’m at level 76, with 600/1000 XP towards level 77 gained. If I collect all 19,750 XP available between now and September 26th, I’ll gain 20 more levels and hit 96, with 350/1000 XP towards level 97. That means I’ll need 3,650 XP to complete the season pass. That means picking up the rewards from the Standard 2020 event a total of 19 times.

Easy-peasy, right? Wait, there’s more…

The Standard 2020 Event Card Pool 

You can only build your decks for this event using any cards from the Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, Magic 2020 Core Set, and Throne of Eldraine expansion sets. The only cards available from Throne of Eldraine are the five cards that were awarded as prizes from the Eldraine Courtside Bawl event.

Obviously there are some pretty big losses as Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Magic 2019 Core Set rotate out of the format. Here’s just a few of the format staples we’re going to be waving goodbye to:

That doesn’t leave us a whole lot to work with to be honest, but since we need to grind out a few more mastery levels to get that sweet, sweet Chandra Exquisite custom sleeve artwork, we’re gonna start breaking down this format.

Below we’ll take a look at three categories of decks. First, we’ll pick some decks from the current metagame and see if we can adapt them for the Standard 2002 Format. Next, we’ll highlight some decks that are probably no longer viable. Last, we’ll brew up some new lists to experiment with while we wait for the rotation to come at last.

Adapting Our Current Decks

Bant Ramp/Temur Ramp: The two flavors of this deck, Bant and Temur, really only vary by a few cards. My personal preference is to go Temur for Chandra and Omnath, but I can understand the desire to go Bant for access to Teferi, Time Raveler and Deputy of Detention. Either way you get there, the goal is to land Nissa and then cast a massive Hydroid Krasis to reload your hand.

Sample Ramp

Arboreal Grazer
Cavalier of Thorns
Hydroid Krasis
Leafkin Druid
Paradise Druid
Voracious Hydra
Deputy of Detention
Risen Reef
Teferi, Time Raveler
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
24 Lands

Esper Control/Esper Hero: Even without Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Esper Control likely isn’t going anywhere. Teferi, Time Raveler still exists, as do Thought Erasure, Oath of Kaya, and Dovin’s Veto. What remains to be seen is which version of this deck will emerge as the more popular one, but both should be viable.

The pure control version will still have access to Narset, Parter of Veils, Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Cry of the Carnarium, and Kaya’s Wrath. The more aggressive version can still pack Hero of Precinct One, Deputy of Detention, and the Elite Guardmage/Bolas’s Citadel duo.

Mono-Red Aggro: Everyone’s favorite deck loses plenty of key components but that won’t stop anyone from just replacing them with more burn spells and throwing them at your face until you’re crying to your parent and/or guardian for burn ointment. Let’s throw a decklist together and see what you’ll likely be facing for 50% of this event.

We’ll focus around Cavalcade of Calamity, an enchantment that can create some explosive turns with Krenko, Chandra, or Chandra’s Spitfire. Lava Coil might not be the right pick here, and depending on how the metagame goes Fry might be a better choice, so feel free to experiment with your burn spells.

Sample Mono-Red

Scorch Spitter
Electrostatic Field
Ember Hauler
Chandra's Spitfire
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
Legion Warboss
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
Cavalcade of Calamity
Lava Coil
Mask of Immolation
Light Up the Stage
Skewer the Critics
18 Mountain

Scapeshift: 99% of this combo has nothing to do with the card Scapeshift, but without the ability to explosively fill the board with Zombie tokens can this deck remain competitive? My instinct is that for the Standard 2020 event you can probably still rattle off some wins with this deck, but once Throne of Eldraine is released in full it might be the end for this combo.

It’s possible that without Scapeshift, Yarok, the Descrated becomes the engine for this deck. Similar to the ramp decks it’s about a matter of preference between using black control cards like Thought Erasure or white ones like Teferi.

Decks that Can’t be Salvaged

Boros Feather: Even though this deck’s namesake, Feather, the Redeemed, isn’t leaving the format, I have serious qualms over the deck’s ability to remain competitive. Adanto Vanguard and Reckless Rage represent a lot of firepower being taken away from the deck. The latter, especially, was one of the key components of the deck, that could be recurred with Dreadhorde Arcanist to clear a path for attackers like Tenth District Legionnaire and Legion Warboss. It’s likely you’ll still face this deck but it won’t be as powerful as it used to be unless Throne of Eldraine ends up replacing those missing components.

Golgari Citadel: This combo, built around Bolas’s Citadel, really relies on the Wildgrowth Walker engine to gain enough life to keep playing spells with the Citadel. With that entire suite of creatures leaving the format, this combo is dead in the sludge-infested waters that surround the citadel.

Jund Dinosaurs: This deck runs actually loses fewer cards than you’d expect, especially considering that the dinosaur expansions are going away. Even though Marauding Raptor and Rotting Regisaur will still be around, losing Otepec Huntmaster, Ripjaw Raptor, and Ghalta, Primal Hunger, is probably enough to make this archetype extinct. The loss of Commune With Dinosaurs and Unclaimed Territory is just salt on the open wound.

Kethis Combo: I love this combo deck. It’s only been around for a few months since it relies on its namesake card, Kethis, the Hidden Hand, as an engine. In Standard 2020 the deck loses too many key components, especially Mox Amber and Diligent Excavator. There’s no replacement for these right now and it’s difficult to imagine Throne of Eldraine will provide any.

Mono-Blue Tempo: While most of the creatures remain in this deck there are too many key cards that rotate out that will be too difficult to replace. This includes Opt, Dive Down, Spell Pierce, Wizard’s Retort, and Curious Obsession. Basically everything that allowed this deck to play a tempo game. Also the loss of Tempest Djinn and Siren Stormtamer is the final nail in the coffin on this deck.

Orzhov Vampires: Looking at a stock decklist and stripping out everything that rotates leaves us with just Knight of the Ebon Legion, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord, Legion’s End, and Mortify. While those are all powerful cards, there isn’t enough to build a dedicated vampire deck anymore and it’s time for these conquistadors to sail into the sunrise.

Simic Nexus: Adios Nexus of Fate! See you in Historic until you get banned there!

Adding New Decks to the Format

With several decks leaving the format and some new cards coming in, it’s a great time for deck-brewers to experiment with some new ideas, or even old ideas that couldn’t make the top tiers of the previous metagame. Let’s take a look at three new brews!

Mardu Knights: If you played through the Eldraine Courtside Brawl event then you picked up four copies of Inspiring Veteran, a RW 2/2 that gives all other Knights you control +1/+1. You also should have gotten four copies of Order of Midnight, a 2/2 flying Knight that can’t block for 1B. What other knights can we string together?

Sample Mardu Knights

Knight of the Ebon Hand
Corpse Knight
Inspiring Veteran
Order of Midnight
Judith, the Scourge Diva
Skyknight Vanguard
Skyknight Legionnaire
Sephara, Sky's Blade
Raise the Alarm
Cosmotronic Wave
24 Lands

Simic Ascendancy: This mid-range combo deck never really took off, perhaps due to the prevalence of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Without the oppressive control card being able to lock out our ability to grow our combo, is there room for a Simic control deck that wins with this alternate win condition? I also wanted to try to abuse Faerie Vandal, another card that was available from the Eldraine Courtside Brawl event.

Sample Simic Ascendancy

Faerie Vandal
Frilled Mystic
Galloping Lizrog
Spectral Sailor
Growth-Chamber Guardian
Pollenbright Druid
Simic Ascendancy
Winged Words
Growth Spiral
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
24 Lands

Orzhov Tokens: Last up is a fun little mid-range deck that abuses some of the quick token-producing spells in the format and then tries to capitalize on sticking Divine Visitation.

Sample Tokens

Haazda Marshal
Hunted Witness
Tithe Taker
Dreadhorde Invasion
Raise the Alarm
Teysa Karlov
Dawn of Hope
Divine Visitation
Finale of Glory
Ethereal Absolution
Kaya's Wrath
24 Lands

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