Best in Class: Dominaria
With the closing of Dominaria Standard this week we begin to make a tradition of the “Best in Class” series with Best in Class: Dominaria.
As usual this is a deck designed using the most iconic cards from the current Standard, colours and playability do not get a say, but curve does.
Starting a one mana we have not only one of the best cards in Standard, but one of the most iconic cards of all time; Llanowar Elves. This card almost single handedly gave a return to Mono Green Stompy as a deck. The ability to play a three drop on turn two has always been good, hence the age old saying “Bolt the Bird,” or in this case, “Push the Elf.”
Going straight onto the two mana slot, only Heart of Kiran makes the cut. RB Vehicles saw a return for this and a couple other cards on this list. But it was not only RB decks that were quick to use this oversized flyer. Mono Green Stompy was more than happy to have a 2 mana 4/4 flyer, and WB Benalia and Esper Vehicles were each piloted to relative success at various points during this season.
At three mana there is the obvious include of Goblin Chainwhirler.
This card has absolutely dominated the format. It has pushed strategies like Tokens and White Weenie into being simply unplayable, and has to be a consideration for every deck going forwards. If you are wondering why Mono Red is back to Soul-Scar Mage and not always Bomat Courier this is why. Chainwhirler makes playing x/1’s a liability against at least 25% of the field at most major events. This card has shaped the format and has proved that mono-colour decks still have what it takes compete in modern day Magic.
At four mana we have also only have one creature, Rekindling Phoenix. As the Red Decks have slowed down a little, Hazoret the Fervent has fallen out of favour with some players. The Phoenix evades blockers, hits hard and is hard top remove. What’s not to love? It may not be the flashiest card on this list but all season its done its job and terrorised the field.
Topping off the creatures we have Glorybringer and Lyra Dawnbringer. Each of these have one thing in common, they dominate the games in which they are played. Glorybringer allows the red decks to run the midgame just as well as they do the early. Removing blockers and hitting for four is no joke. The dragon was seeing lots of Sideboard play before now but this season has proven itself worthy of the main deck.
Lyra on the other hand is the control deck’s answer to Glorybringer. An efficient blocker that gains life all too often spells the end for an aggressive strategy. Since both Green and Red have been getting aggressive, this card has proven invaluable.
This time 'round two Planeswalker’s have made the cut. Both because entire archetypes have been created to fully utilise them.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria has been good in all UW decks, but both UW Historic and No Win-Con Control were designed to fully utilise this all powerful Planeswalker. Karn, Scion of Urza also had several decks built to best suit him. The first main one was GB Constructs. This Tribal deck utilised both Winding Constrictor and Karn to create a formidable Aggressive Midrange deck. However, the most well documented Karn deck is UG Karn, the baby of Channel Fireball. This was a far more grindy deck designed to go long and gradually win through Karn and various other value engines.
Our removal Package is full of the best spells from the past season, as you’d expect. With so many artifacts being played, both Unlicensed Disintegration and Abrade have seen a return to favour with Vraska’s Contempt proving valuable for dealing with the aforementioned ‘Walkers. Sorcerous Spyglass has been another great weapon against Planeswalkers, but has also proven valuable against the Vehicles of the format. Finally, Syncopate makes an appearance for being crucial to every control deck given the aggro nature of the format.
So here it is. Best in Class: Dominaria.
Best in Class: Dominaria
Once again, let's look at the percentage of cards from each set present in this deck. Remember, Basic Lands do not contribute towards any set. Additionally this time each set will have a bracket number next to it. This represents the change in representation since Best in Class: Rivals of Ixalan.
Kaladesh: 10% (-28%)
Aether Revolt: 8% (-2%)
Amonkhet: 17% (+10%)
Hour of Devastation: 5% (-12%)
Ixalan: 10% (+0%)
Rivals of Ixalan: 5% (+2%)
Dominaria: 40% (N/A)
Here we can clearly see that Dominaria has had a major impact on the format, which is something we are always happy to see.
This week I want to take a moment to discuss local metagames vs Magic's overall metagame. This past week was the Store Championship and naturally I attended. Merfolk was not even mentioned in the Wizard’s official breakdown of Pro Tour Dominaria, and thus may not even have been played. However, at my LGS Merfolk made up 40% of the decks played. I think this illustrates the difference between different levels of play. If you want to do well at such events, be prepared to face your local decks, not the last Pro Tour. Just something to keep in mind.
That's me for this week guys, as usual if you enjoyed the article be sure to share it with your friends and your LGS. You can find Best in Class: Rivals of Ixalan right here, and you can find me on Facebook right here, where you can ask questions, show support, and get updates on the interesting world of Magic as well as my latest articles. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you guys next time.