Ding dong the wicked wizard is dead!!!

Today’s surprise ban announce will shake up standard. Since the banning of Fires of Invention, Wilderness Reclamation decks have dominated standard. Today Wizards of the Coast banned four of the most problematic cards in standard: Wilderness Reclamation, Growth Spiral, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Cauldron Familiar. You can link to Ian Duke’s article about the bans here.

What does this mean for Standard over the last two months before rotation?

First, expect to see a wide variety of decks over the next few weeks. The first wave will be aggro decks that have been stunted by Temur Reclamation and Bant Ramp. Mono-Red and Mono-Green should be the most played this week with Mono-Black seeing a rise in play as well, so plan accordingly if you are playing on Arena. I think that Mono-Green is the best of the three decks because it can go wide and tall. I have played a lot of Mono-Green over the last month. It has performed well against over aggro and mid-range decks. I took the deck to Mythic last month on Arena and I have already reached Platinum 1 this season with a 64%-win rate in BO1. Below is the deck that I am playing.

Mono Green | Scott Trepanier | Standard Best of One

CREATURES (27)
Pelt Collector
Barkhide Troll
Questing Beast
Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
Stonecoil Serpent
Gemrazer
Scavenging Ooze

INSTANTS (4)
Ram Through

SORCERIES (2)
Primal Might

PLANESWALKERS (3)
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger

LANDS (24)
21 Forest
Castle Garenbrig
Mobilized District

SIDEBOARD (15)
Shifting Ceratops
Lovestruck Beast
Heroic Intervention
Ranger’s Guile
Primal Might
Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Other decks that I expect to see are control decks. Azorius Control has been a good deck over most the last year. The lose of Teferi will hurt the deck, but it could move towards a more traditional control deck with more counter spells to make-up for the lose of Teferi. Another control deck that I expect to see more of is the Orzhov Doom Foretold. This deck relies on Doom Foretold to take down aggro decks that can not finish the game by turn five or six. What makes this deck competitive is all the removal that it can utilize. Oath of Kaya, Eliminate, and Heartless Act are a few examples. Whether the deck moves into competitive play will depend on whether it can find the right mix of support cards.

Finally, Mid-range decks have not seen much play of late, but I think that we will see an attempt to make them work again. The best early choice will be Gruul Mid-range. The deck has seen play off and on over the last year. The mana base for the deck is a bit awkward, but with the changes to standard it will be a little easier to play. Having access to Embercleave gives the deck the ability to make explosive kills.

Overall, I’m excited about the changes to standard and the opportunity to build new decks. It will be interesting to see what people come up with between now and rotation. I feel that standard will be in a healthier place now that these bans are in place. The one card that I continue to worry about is Nissa, Who Shakes the World. All the key bans this year have been around mana ramping. Nissa is the last powerful mana ramping card left in standard. I wish that Nissa had been banned as well.You should expect to see more of Nissa in the coming weeks as players adapt to the bans. Simic based decks will adapt. Cultivate, Guilded Goose, and Arboreal Grazer will replace Growth Spiral. I would not be surprised, if another version of the Uro deck makes its way to the top of standard.Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!