With Pro Tour completed, now is the time to see what deck is the one to play and what deck you should watch out for. With no ones surprise Boros Aggro is the deck to look out for. Taking 6 spots in the Top 8 Boros proved that small aggressive creatures can take over a tournament. Most of the decks have many similar aspects to them including Conclave Tribunal, History of Benalia and Legion’s Landing with the enchantments but its the creatures that varied between each deck. The constant for most was Adanto Vanguard, Benalish Marshal, Dauntless Bodyguard and Skymarcher Aspirant. The most important part of the deck are the 1 drops that you put in front of your opponent. Many have decided to go with the fliers with Healer Hawk for lifelink and Rustwing Falcon to stay out of Chainwhirler range and stop other Hawks. The version that Luis Scott-Vargas piloted I thought had the best match up combining the Leonin Vanguard and Ajani’s Pridemate. The life gain can put the pridemate well out burn range real quick. Many had the sideboard option of going into a mid-range deck with Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice and some have the spicy sideboard tech of Experimental Frenzy. Once you empty your hand, just play off the top.
One deck that I have seen coming out of this Pro Tour frenzy is Izzet Drakes. The combination of quick draw and burn makes this deck a formidable foe. Crackling drake and Enigma Drake are the name sake cards but the strength comes from beyond the grave with the Arclight Phoenix. With this deck being able to cast multiple spells a turn is not a difficult task to accomplish. The first step is getting the Bird into the grave. Tormenting Voice and Chart a Course is one of the best options to discard the bird. A great form of card advantage in the deck is Goblin Electromancer. Giving you cost reduction on all your spells makes it so you can get the Arclight Phoenix back from the grave and sculpting your hand to battle any threat coming your way. In certain match ups these decks tend to go into a more controlling with the leader of the Izzet League himself in Niv-Mizzet, Parun. This monster of flier can dominate the air creating tons of damage and card advantage.
The other big deck to come forth through the Pro Tour and into the Grand Prix scene is Jeskai Contol. This has the means and tool to perform with the rest of the decks out there. it has a leg up against the Control mirror in Esper because of the threat of going to the face with direct burn with spells like Expansion/Explosion and Bane Fire. This deck has a very good match up with the smaller aggro decks because of the use of Deafening Clarion and cheap removal. The Deck Piloted by Grand Prix winner Adrian Sullivan had 4 copies of the big dragon himself in Niv-Mizzet Parun. His presence on the field is devastating and have 4 copies at your disposal make it so you do not have to be as protective because there is plenty more were that came from.
With standard wide open for anything to come and take home a FNM or big event, many people are testing out many different cards and see how they fit in with the different archetypes. Nullhide Ferox is another beastly creatures that has posted problems for many players and the Selesnya decks have been getting a big boost from Trostani Discordant. One cool little guy that i’ve been wanting to tinker with is Lazav, the Multifarious. this innocuous little 2 drop have the ability to become anything in the graveyard. Two great targets have been either Thief of Sanity or Legion Warboss, but with the right build like Sultai he can become something far more dangerous on the ground like Steel Leaf Champion or a Carnage Tyrant. If you are feeling spicy maybe a Gigantosaurus. The possibilities are endless. Aggro, Mid-range and Control. Each style has its own unique taste on the format and its all the matter of what style you like playing and are willing to put forth the effort to expand on the existing decks in the format.
Ravnica Allegiance is right around the corner and many guilds will come to fruition. Gruul, Rakdos, Orzhov, Azorius and Simic. which guild do you think will contain the greatest potential to this ever changing standard that we are in. Will Control reign supreme? Will Aggro crush the meta? Will there be a Combo deck that slithers to the top? Or will things become a grind with Mid-range? I guess we will find out come January.