After much anticipation, we finally have our first Kaladesh Standard results to talk about! The SCG Tour made a stop in Indianapolis to showcase everyone’s takes on the new format. Let’s get into it!

SCG Hall of Famer (if they had one) Chris VanMeter was victorious after 15 rounds of swiss and 3 elimination rounds. He, along with 4 other top 8 competitors, played WR Vehicles (or a variation on it). He defeated Zach Voss in the finals, who was piloting a Grixis Emerge deck that featured all of the graveyard synergies that you could want in this format. In total, the top 8 had 5 WR Vehicles variants, 1 GB Delirium deck, the Grixis Emerge deck, and RB Aggro. But, the common theme throughout the top 8 was…

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Smuggler’s Copter! The flying vehicle put 32 copies into the top 8. Yup, every single top 8 deck had 4 copies of Smuggler’s Copter. I cannot remember the last time that one card was a 4-of in every single top 8 deck of a large tournament. The rest of the top 64 was more or less similar to the composition of the top 8. Dedicated vehicle decks showed up in force, with a smattering of other interesting decks, such as Temur Aetherworks Marvel and Bant Control showing up. The top 64 showed a more diverse metagame than what the top 8 would indicate, but that’s to be expected during week 1 of a Standard format.

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Another thing to expect during week 1 of a Standard format is that non-interactive aggro decks tend to thrive while the format is still figuring itself out. This is the reason why I suggest not making assumptions or panicking about the state of the Standard format. Additionally, Smuggler’s Copter on its face is a very good week 1 card. It’s proactive, evasive, dodges removal well, and helps filter through your deck. All of those things are generally good when deckbuilding in the format is yet to be solved.

3 Takeaways from the Weekend:

  1. Chris VanMeter is not a one-trick pony! Many of the criticisms (unjust as they may have been) towards CVM was that he was good at Jund Monsters or RG Monsters (way back in the day) and not much else. He proved them wrong! It would be great to see Chris and his beard start to tear up the SCG Tour again.
  2. Smuggler’s Copter is good, like really good. I’ve talked enough about this card so far, you get the point.
  3. Synergy trumps card power in this format. And, yes, I do consider Thraben Inspector + Smuggler’s Copter to be synergy. You get a free clue!

Looking forward, I’m very excited to see how players make changes to their decks, or perhaps explore new strategies, in order to answer Smuggler’s Copter’s perceived stranglehold on the format. A conditional 3/3 flyer for 2 isn’t good enough to warp an entire format (I’m simplifying the card, but the point still stands).

Will Smuggler’s Copter maintain it’s dominance? Will new strategies emerge? Let’s find out together next weekend!

Or not! This coming weekend, there are a pair of Sealed Grand Prix, so we’ll have to put Standard aside for the time being. The weekend after that is the Pro Tour! We’ve seen what the SCG Tour has made of Standard, now it’s time to see what the pros think. I’ll see you all then.

For what Standard decks Zack Kanner thought we would see this weekend and what we’re likely to see down the line, read his article found here.

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