The arrival of Throne of Eldraine and rotation has shaken up standard. The first major national tournaments of Eldraine season were last weekend at Star City Games Philadelphia. Also, the Win Condition Cup qualifier for October was last Saturday. The results from these events give us an early look at how standard will develop over the rest of Eldraine season. The standard Classic, Team Open, and Win Condition events had a variety of decks, but the clear winner was Golos/Field of the Dead decks.

There are three versions of Golos/Field of the Dead and all finished well at the events: Bant Golos, Golos Fires, and Sultai Golos. Each version used 28 or 29 lands, most of the lands were dual lands to maximize the effect of Field of the Dead. SCG Team Open was so dominated by the deck that most of the standard matches were mirrors.

Expect Golos/Field of the Dead to remain the top deck in the format until a deck is developed that can counter Field of the Dead’s zombie army or overrun the deck before Field of the Dead can be activated. Those of you who have played or played against Field of the Dead know that the deck can stumble at times, if it gets multiple copies of the same land before seven different lands are in play. This is how I usually defeat the deck.

Let’s look at the three versions of the deck. Then I will look at some strategies for fighting Golos.
The Bant version of the deck did very well. Alex Hon won the Win Condition Cup Qualifier with Bant Golos and Felix Sloo finished second at the Star City Games Classic Philadelphia. Below is Sloo’s deck.

Bant Golos, Felix Sloo, 2nd Place at Star City Games Standard Classic Philadelphia

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

Planeswalker (2)
Teferi, Time Raveler

Instants (8)
Once Upon a Time
Growth Spiral

Sorcery (4)
Circuitous Route

Land (29)
Field of the Dead
Fabled Passage
Blossoming Sands
Thornwood Falls
Tranquil Cove
Temple of Mystery
Gruul Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Azorius Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Hallowed Fountain
Breeding Pool
Steam Vents
Temple Garden
Overgrown Tomb
Island
Forest
Mountain
Plains
Sideboard (15)
Realm-Cloaked Giant
Kenrith, the Returned King
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Agent of Treachery
Aether Gust
Devout Decree
Deputy of Detention
Assassin’s Trophy

Golos Fires performed well with Jeremy Bertarioni finishing second at the Star City Games Team Open event.

Golos Fires, Jeremy Bertarioni, 2nd Place at Star City Games Team Open on 10/5/2019

Creatures (16)
Kenrith, the Returned King
Fae of Wishes
Beanstalk Giant
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Hydroid Krasis

Enchantments (4)
Fires of Invention

Instants (4)
Growth Spiral

Sorcery (8)
Time Wipe
Circuitous Route
Deafening Clarion

Land (28)
Field of the Dead
Fabled Passage
Thornwood Falls
Temple of Epiphany
Temple of Mystery
Boros Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Azorius Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Hallowed Fountain
Breeding Pool
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Mountain
Forest
Swamp
Island
Plains
Sideboard (15)
Agent of Treachery
Legion’s End
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Shared Summons
Planewide Celebration
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Casualties of War
Enter the God-Eternals
Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God
Time Wipe
Unmoored Ego
Chance for Glory
Deafening Clarion
Planar Cleansing

Finally, Sultai Golos finished in fourth place at the Star City Games Team Open.

Sultai Golos, Zach Allen, 4th Place at Star City Games Team Open on 10/5/2019

Creatures (17)
Yarok, the Desecrated
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Agent of Treachery
Risen Reef
Arboreal Grazer
Hydroid Krasis

Instant (10)
Once Upon a Time
Growth Spiral
Find//Finality

Sorcery (4)
Circuitous Route

Land (29)
Fabled Passage
Castle Locthwain
Field of the Dead
Jungle Hollow
Thornwood Falls
Dismal Backwater
Temple of Malady
Temple of Mystery
Simic Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Azorius Guildgate
Breeding Pool
Overgrown Tomb
Watery Grave
Forest
Island
Swamp
Sideboard (15)
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Healer of the Glade
Legion’s End
Veil of Summer
Casualties of War
Cry of the Carnarium
Assassin’s Trophy

One approach to take against Golos/Field of the Dead is an aggressive aggro deck. Mono-Red, Mono-Black, and Rakdos Aggro are all options against the deck. The goal is to overwhelm Golos before it gets its seventh different land on the field. This strategy works because the Golos deck wants to spend its resources early in the game to get out extra lands, so it tends to not interact much with an opponent early in the game. Creatures with haste are especially effective because they can get in early damage and can help finish off Golos by turn five or six. Below is John Phillip Whetstone’s Mono-Red from last weekend.

Finally, Sultai Golos finished in fourth place at the Star City Games Team Open.

Mono-Red Aggro, John Phillip Whetstone, 15th Place Star City Games Classic Philadelphia

Creatures (22)
Fervent Champion
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Rimrock Knight
Bonecrusher Giant
Scorch Spitter
Runaway Steam-Kin

Instants (8)
Slaying Fire
Shock

Sorcery (8)
Skewer the Critics
Light Up the Stage

Enchantment (2)
Experimental Frenzy

Land (20)
Castle Embereth
17 Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Claim the Firstborn
Flame Sweep
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Lava Coil
Experimental Frenzy

This version of Mono-Red wants to keep the speed of the previous version of the deck and increase the amount of burn that can be played against an opponent. It uses Rimrock Knight’s adventure to add two damage to an unblocked creature or to a creature that can kill one of your opponent’s creatures. Then you get to cast Rimrock Knight as a 3/1 aggressive attacker. Scorch Spitter provides a second one drop to go with Fervent Champion. Getting one or both creatures out over the first few turns puts pressure on your opponent that must be answered or when Torbran comes into play damage will pile up quickly.

The more mid-range version of Mono-Red that I am playing has worked very well against Golos. I have better than a 50%-win rate against the deck. My version of the deck replaces Runaway Steam-kin with Robber of the Rich, Experimental Frenzy with Fires of Invention, and Skewer the Critics with Skarrgan Hellkite. I prefer these choices because it gives me the ability to attach more aggressively and getting to take away opponent’s cards with Robber is a powerful ability when you have Fire’s of Invention in play.

Another strong performer last week was Selesnya Adventures.

Selesnya Adventures, Aaron Barich, 1st Placeat Star City Games Standard Classic Philadelphia

Creatures (27)
Shepherd of the Flock
Questing Beast
Lovestruck Beast
Faerie Guidemother
Flaxen Intruder
Edgewall Innkeeper
Venerated Loxodon
Knight of Autumn

Planeswalker (1)
Gideon Blackblade

Instants (8)
Once Upon a Time
Unbreakable Formation
Flower//Flurish

Land (24)
Castle Ardenvale
Temple Garden
Plains
Forest
Sideboard (15)
Glass Casket
Devout Decree
Gideon Blackblade
Unbreakable Formation
Trostani Discordant
March of the Multitudes
Conclave Tribunal
Knight of Autumn

Two versions of adventures saw play this past weekend. The Selesnya version above and a Golgari version. Both are powerful and can effectively take on Golos. The key card in the deck is Edgewall Innkeeper. It draws you a card every time you play a creature with an adventure. The extra card draw gives these decks good tempo that can close out a game before Golos can fill the battlefield with zombie.