Bant Golos appears to be the deck to beat after one week of Throne of Eldraine Standard.

Magic’s newest expansion entered Standard on Friday October 4 while Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019 rotated out of the format. Standard rotation is a Magic tradition every Fall that results in the transition from a “large” Standard format (with a full eight expansion sets in Standard) to a “small” Standard format (with only five sets). Rotation is usually an exciting time, with existing cards finally getting their time to shine and new cards allowing for new archetypes.

A look at how Standard rotation works.

But Week 1 of Throne of Eldraine Standard hasn’t been filled with the usual brewing fervor. Instead, both MTG Arena’s Standard queues and Magic pros have gravitated towards a single archetype: Bant Golos. The Star City Games Philadelphia Open (Team Constructed) was the only major Standard event over the weekend, and 13 of the 28 teams (46%) that made Day 2 had a Bant Golos player in their Standard seat, with six of the eight teams in the Top 8 playing the deck.

Standard Bant Golos by Felix Sloo

Creatures (17)
Arboreal Grazer
Beanstalk Giant
Hydroid Krasis
Fae of Wishes
Kenrith, the Returned King
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Realm-Cloaked Giant

Planeswalkers (2)
Teferi, Time Raveler

Spells (12)
Once Upon a Time
Growth Spiral
Circuitous Route
Lands (29)
Fabled Passage
Field of the Dead
Breeding Pool
Overgrown Tomb
Steam Vents
Hallowed Fountain
Temple Garden
Azorius Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls
Blossoming Sands
Tranquil Cove

Sideboard (15)
Agent of Treachery
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Kenrith, the Returned King
Devout Decree
Realm-Cloaked Giant
Deputy of Detention
Assassin’s Trophy
Aether Gust

Bant Golos is a ramp deck whose goal is to turbo out Field of the Dead with Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and Circuitous Route to start making waves of Zombies. It’s a variation on the Scapeshift deck from pre-rotation Standard, which was able make a horde zombies all at once with a single spell.

Obviously, there are some caveats to Bant Golos’s dominance—team events tend to skew players’ deck choices to the perceived “best deck” rather than trying to beat a metagame and one SCG Open does not a format make. But MTG Arena players have been battling against the Golos menace for the last few weeks (as Standard rotation happened early online on September 26) and still haven’t found an answer. Plus, Week 1 is the best time for hyperbole and quick judgments about how awful the Standard format is.

Mythic Championship V, which starts on October 18, will be the biggest test of the new Standard format. Wizards didn’t take any preemptive action in this week’s Banned and Restricted update, but announced yesterday that it was moving the next update to October 21, the Monday after Mythic Championship V. With Mythic Championship VI scheduled to start three weeks later on November 8, Wizards seems to be keenly aware of the potential for a bad Standard format and wants to have a safety valve between Mythic Championships to address it.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.