This is an update, after Grand Prix Warsaw and Grand Prix Santiago, to the top cards ranking of the Standard format.
- Ishkanah, Grafwidow [Last Month: N/A]
So many Spiders…. G/B Delirium was the top dog this weekend, despite U/W Flash winning both of the Grand Prix events. The Top 8 was absolutely loaded with G/B decks, and Ishkanah and Grim Flayer were both the top cards from each one. What we merely suspected last weekend came true as the metagame moved toward a trifecta of W/R/x Vehicles, G/B Delirium, and U/W Flash. In such a meta, Ishkanah is far more relevant than Emrakul and every indication is that the meta will stay like this.
- Thraben Inspector [Last Month: N/A]
That’s the most popular creature in the top decks. Despite the massive population of G/B decks, Inspector remains the little 1 drop that could. Every white aggro/tempo strategy that can go Inspector into Smuggler’s Copter remains a respectable threat in this format. There’s enough value in curving out that aggro remains a reasonable option despite the push back from G/B.
- Grim Flayer [Last Month: N/A]
Grim Flayer is the on-again off-again relationship for G/B Delirium. At this point there’s no question, you want a set simply because the meta overall simply doesn’t have a great answer to him on turn 2. U/W Flash in particular has a bunch of mediocre removal options on the draw and can’t even Reflector Mage before the G/B player gets to attack once. As long as U/W Flash remains popular, Grim Flayer should be ensured playset status.
- Gideon, Ally of Zendikar [Last Month: 4]
Grand Prix Warsaw showed us the potential endgame of the Standard metagame, one defined by the trio of W/R/x, G/B Delirium and U/W Flash, with B/R Zombies/Aggro being the only non-niche deck with a number in the Top 64. Gideon is a threat that G/B can’t easily deal with and still provides plenty of value in the other two matchups. Gideon is effectively locked as the most popular planeswalker choice for the foreseeable future.
- Liliana, the Last Hope [Last Month: N/A]
Maybe Liliana has what it takes to steal the crown from Gideon before Aether Revolt. As G/B grows in popularity, so does play for Liliana, and the number of X/1 creatures that are viable takes a dive. Selfless Spirit takes a beating despite the utility it provides because Spirit is the only creature in U/W that straight up dies to a Lili +1. It cannot be stressed enough how bad it is when your turn-2 play can be eaten by a turn-3 planeswalker. The uptick in Liliana will help mold which cards are actually viable.
- Spell Queller [Last Month: 5]
While G/B Delirium put up amazing numbers, U/W Flash still won both Grand Prix events, which cements it as a top choice even with a bullseye on it. It turns out Spell Queller is still a significant roadblock for many midrange decks and combined with the other utility from U/W, keeps a number of decks from being viable. This card is single-handedly keeping combo from making a resurgence to pick off all these durdly G/B decks.
- Transgress the Mind [Last Month: N/A]
One reasonable way to combat U/W while not having too many dead cards is to lean heavily on discard for interaction. Transgress the Mind has seen a major uptick since the Pro Tour and is becoming one of the top sideboard cards in the format. It gracefully dodges Spell Queller and hits nearly all the key cards in both Delirium and U/W Flash. While not great against Vehicles, they also have enough cards to hit that Transgress isn’t dead game 1. As we see midrange decks popping up again, Transgress will see more game-1 play out of the delirium decks.
- Smuggler’s Copter [Last Month: 2]
Copter takes a dive this week due to the burst in popularity of G/B Delirium. Not only does the deck have better answers to the card than most, many of the builds cut the Copter, which lowered its dominating presence from the past few weekends. Grasp of Darkness remains arguably the best removal spell in the format, and, combined with any artifact removal out of the board, actually makes Copter a liability post-board. Sideboarding Copters out is a serious option at this point for many decks.