What's up, fellow Planeswalkers?! Strixhaven has been out for a couple weeks now, and people are putting together some truly epic decks both in their IRL friend groups and meta games, but also on MTG: Online and MTG: Arena. You ready to jump in and start slinging spells? Let's go!
So, first off... Those Wildcards are pretty sparse for most of us out there, so making sure we spend our precious resources on the right kind of decks is key to victory in tournaments like this. So today we're going to break down four meta decks that are very common, very successful, and hopefully not bank-breaking for folks wanting to jump in and start winning some games!
Mono Red Aggro
As far as decks go so far this expansion, this one is pretty bread-and-butter for most people. Mono Red is a classic approach for Magic players, and one that has a lot of potent options starting right out at turn one. Dropping one drop Fervent Champions followed up with Robber of the Rich and dropping Bonecrusher Giants for early damage and even more pressure - all leading up to massive damage potential with cards like Blade Historian, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell or Embercleave.
And honestly, this is a pretty low barrier for entry as far as potent decks go, because there's a lot you can make work in the 1-3 mana range, and if you've got some spare Rare and Mythic Rare Wildcards sitting around for some Embercleaves or Torbrans, you're going to be tough to deal with in most games, that's for sure! Mono Red is a staple in the MTG meta game for a reason, and I don't see that changing anytime soon!
Blue/Black Mill (Dimir Rogues)
A deck that I've seen pop up a TON in my current Meta Game (and one that I play more than anything else, don't hate me...), is the one and only: Mill Deck. Mill is a function that creates so much pressure and stress in your opponent that it can sometimes be pretty demoralizing right out of the gate at turn one - nobody likes to see a one drop mill card force you to discard your best creature or that counter card you need. What's great about the current iteration of the Blue/Black Mill, is it's got a pretty darn low barrier for entry and is overall a pretty cheap and easy deck to throw together - especially if you don't splurge on double lands like Clearwater Pathway or Temple of Deceit.
It's also a smooth deck to play - you're looking for killer combos with Landfall milling with a bunch of skittery Ruin Crabs, or you're hoping to overwhelm them with a party of Thieves' Guild Enforcers and Soaring Thought-Thieves. Oh, and if your board gets wiped or you lose that all-important mill creature? Cards like Lurris of the Dream-Den get you creatures out of your graveyard every turn, and Agadeem's Awakening is a back-breaking Sorcery that can get creatures back on your board ready to keep up the Mill - and to top it ALL off, you have quite an array of counters and creature removal to keep the momentum up no matter what deck you're facing!
Red/White Aggro (Winota)
Aggro decks are super popular right now, and will likely make up a good portion of your meta game wherever you're playing - whether it's on Arena or in person. However, there's a new take on the Red/White Aggro that leans more into the Midrange territory, making it a bit more resilient and hardy against other Aggro decks, while still being a bit more formidable against Control decks. Not unlike the Mono Red Aggro deck we covered already, the goal here is relatively straight forward: overwhelm your opponent with a board of creatures able to withstand some punishment, and set up some pretty devastating damage as well.
There's a lot of strong pressure early with creatures like Usher of the Fallen or Bonecrusher Giant, but some nice utility from Professor of Symbology, a new Strixhaven card, utilizing the new Learn mechanic and pulling cards from your sideboard - this means that you can have a 7 or 15 card sideboard that essentially is available to your deck at all times thanks to the Professor, meaning you have a lot of answers to almost any deck you'll face! Combine all of this with some real nasty mid and late game combos thanks to the incredibly potent Winota pulling indestructible creatures attacking straight out of your graveyard, and you have a very tough to punish and potent deck!
Blue/Black/Green Control (Sultai Control)
Now this bad boy here... This deck is a DOOZY. This insane Control deck has become incredibly popular in a variety of meta games, both casually and on pro circuits, and it truly is a monster of a deck. It's one of the larger in the Standard format, with many players utilizing the Companion function of Yorion, Sky Nomad to get a deck with AT LEAST 80 cards in it, which is totally nuts, but it absolutely works. Here's the kicker: this deck can be tough to play, and boy howdy is it expensive to make - not only because it's more cards than you're average deck, but to be played at maximum effectiveness you have to make use of a lot of double (and even triple!) lands - Triome and Pathway cards are seriously your friends with a deck like this, because the last thing you want is for the dream set up to show itself, but you're missing that all important blue mana to set it all off...
The deck leans on a small collection of potent creatures like Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and Valki, God of Lies, along with the additional pressure and control of the Professor Onyx Planeswalker card. But the real bread and butter here, of course, is it's extensive list of spells and enchantments to respond to pretty much any Midrange or Mill type deck you'll face, and even some options to deal with Aggro decks, which are usually the bane of a good Control deck. Cards like Sea Gate Restoration, Alrund's Epiphany, and Kiora Bests the Sea God combine to give you a massive card advantage, access to a ridiculous amount of options to deal with any threats, all culminating in an overwhelming end game for your opponents!