Welcome back everyone! I have just returned from Grand Prix Toronto, which didn’t go too well for my team, but did answer a few questions about the relatively new Standard format.

While the last couple of weeks have been pretty different in terms of results (with UW Control dominating the first week, BW Vehicles doing well the next few, and RB Vehicles gaining a large edge more recently, this week brought about what I think will be an accurate representation of the meta going forward.

The Grand Prix was won by BW Vehicles, so lets start by taking a look at the deck.

White-Black Vehicles by Morgan McLaughlin at Grand Prix Toronto – 1st

Creatures (15)
4 Toolcraft Exemplar
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
3 Knight of Malice
3 Walking Ballista
1 Lyra Dawnbringer

Non-Creature Spells (21)
1 Doomfall
2 Fatal Push
1 Cast Down
4 Heart of Kiran
4 History of Benalia
2 Cast Out
3 Ixalan’s Binding
4 Karn, Scion of Urza

Lands (24)
4 Ifnir Deadlands
2 Swamp
9 Plains
4 Isolated Chapel
1 Forsaken Sanctuary
4 Concealed Courtyard

Sideboard (15)
1 Fatal Push
1 Forsaken Sanctuary
1 Cast Down
4 Duress
2 Skywhaler’s Shot
1 Invoke the Divine
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Angel of Sanctions
2 Treasure Map
1 Gideon’s Reproach

This deck is a pretty stock BW list, with a couple of interesting choices in the maindeck.

Doomfall is a powerful tool against the control decks of the format, and the card is also rising in stock as the RB decks start to lean more on Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Karn, Scion of Urza, and Glorybringer to fight the control matchups. Overall, Doomfall is a versatile hand disruption spell that also isn’t bad at killing something like a Lyra or a Glorybringer that your opponent hopes to kill you with.

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While most BW decks play two copies of Lyra Dawnbringer, McLaughlin opted to only include a single copy of the five drop. I found this to be a small but good choice, as the uptick in cards like Doomfall and even The Eldest Reborn are super bad for a card that has no immediate impact. Cutting down on Lyras to go up in numbers on a card like Karn or Cast Down seems like a super solid choice in the current meta.

Speaking of removal spells, McLaughlin decided to play 0 Gideon of the Trials, but opted to play THREE Ixalan’s Binding in his maindeck. This is in no doubt due to the prevalence of the mirror and RB Vehicles as the top two decks in the room. Binding also isn’t awful against Control, as it answers their threats but also their answers in the form of Cast Out and Seal Away. Ixalan’s Binding a Cast Out means that a control opponent is locked out of playing Cast Outs for the rest of the game (unless they tuck it with Teferi, in which case you will likely kill it on the swing back), which opens them up to all manner of threats from your deck.

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Overall, I think BW Vehicles is a deck that won’t be going away anytime soon, and I won’t be surprised if it’s still standing towards the top of the metagame as we continue with the final months of Dominaria Standard.

The second place deck was UW Control, which also managed to put a second copy into the top 4. I won’t talk about the deck because only three UW players made it to Day Two, but what I will say is that the deck is great and you should never show up to a tournament without being prepared for it. My final piece of advice regarding UW is to please play quickly, no matter if you are piloting the deck or playing against it, and to know when to concede. Also, please don’t make them mill you, you’ll just play a single game and take away your shot of winning instead of having a chance in the next two games.

The next deck I want to talk about is RB Vehicles. This is the deck that I think is the king of the metagame, and the deck to beat in the coming weeks.

RB Vehicles, by Jennifer Crotts at Grand Prix Toronto – 1st

3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
2 Walking Ballista
2 Pia Nalaar
4 Goblin Chainwhirler
2 Rekindling Phoenix
3 Glorybringer
2 Magma Spray
4 Abrade
3 Unlicensed Disintegration
3 Heart of Kiran
3 Karn, Scion of Urza
4 Canyon Slough
4 Dragonskull Summit
3 Aether Hub
1 Spire of Industry
10 Mountain
1 Swamp
2 Cinder Barrens

Sideboard (15)
1 Unlicensed Disintegration
3 Bomat Courier
2 Duress
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
1 Chandra’s Defeat
2 Hour of Glory
2 Cut // Ribbons

This deck is pretty stock vehicles, and to be honest, I think that is a very good choice right now. While WB Vehicles and GB Constrictor are both solid decks, they are both disruptive aggro decks that do roughly the same thing as RB Vehicles, with small changes between all of them. With that said, I believe that RB is simply a better version of both of these decks.

I played against Vehicles expert Matt Severa this weekend, and we traded some thoughts about the deck. I want to give a quick shoutout to Matt for being a great opponent and a really chill person. The way he beat me was with an Arguel’s Blood Fast in the late game, a card that to me, seems like the best possible thing we can be doing games 2-3 against control and midrange matchups/ If it were up to me, I’d cut a couple of Bomat Couriers from the board and fit the two Blood Fasts in. The card is so versatile, and against a deck like control, where they have no way to pressure you (except Lyras post board) you should be drawing 5 or more cards each game you play it. This, coupled with the fact that the card is hard to remove, makes it a fantastic post board choice.

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Going forward, I’d recommend that you play RB Vehicles, or if it really doesn’t fit your playstyle, UW Control, but please don’t make the mistake my team made and make sure to play at least one Commit. While both GB and WB are solid, RB is just so much better at following its game plan, but also changing what it is doing at a moment’s notice.

As always, I hope you enjoyed, and have a great weekend of Magic! I’ll be in D.C. with the gang once again this weekend, and I only hope we open about 3-5 Karns in our sealed pool.

See you all next week!

Riccardo Monico

If you’ll also be in D.C. this weekend, or just want some pointers on this Limited format, Jonah Gaynor is here to help with another Limited article!

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