The first few days of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Standard have come and gone, and while we may still be waiting on hard metagame data, I think the rules of engagement are clear.
- Alrund's Epiphany marks the upper limits of the format and continues to make otherwise appealing options like Golgari Control❄ non-starters.
- The beatdowns are coming primarily from green and Esika's Chariot, but it's possible that white-based aggro is figuring out its plans and improving rapidly.
- Floating somewhere in the middle of these two poles (and occasionally staring alongside both of them) is Goldspan Dragon, the best standalone threat in the format.
With these facts seeming indisputable, there's only one thing to do — play none of these cards.
I get that this seems backwards, but I know the aforementioned stuff is good, and I know it'll get the lion's share of attention from the broader Magic community. In the interest of non-duplicative work and with the goal of moving the format forward, it makes far more sense that I spend my time challenging the status quo.
And I come to this column today bearing good news. There's overlap in both these defining cards and the options to challenge them. It's possible to outscale Alrund's Epiphany late-games, sweep the leg of aggressive strategies, and answer Goldspan Dragon at a mana advantage. The key is Dimir Control.