I’m absolutely in love with the new Standard 2022 format. For those of you who aren’t yet familiar, Standard 2022 is a Magic Arena format that was released with the future in mind. In two months Innistrad: Midnight Hunt will be released which forces the Standard rotation. With this in mind, Standard 2022 gives us a chance to experience what Standard might look like as the only legal sets are those that won’t be rotating: DnD: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Strixhaven, Kaldheim, and Zendikar Rising.
Technically there are a few more cards legal in the format in the form of the beginner expansion Arena Base Set (ANB). This collection of cards is rather weak, but is legal in all Standard Best-of-One queues and does give life to Goblin decks as Shock, Raging Goblin, and Goblin Trashmaster are all in the set. For the most part though these cards have little-to-no impact on the format.
It’s also worth noting that the format on Magic Arena is currently only Best-of-One. While it’s really nice that there’s at least a ranked queue this time around, I’d still love to see a Best-of-Three queue sprout up. I did get to scratch my itch last week with one of Insight Esports Standard 2022 tournaments as they were Best-of-Three, and I really hope they run more of them in the future.
I bring this up because today we’re going to just be focusing on Best-of-One so our decklists will look a bit different than they usually do. Some decks will have sideboards as learn + Lessons and Legion Angel are in the format, but we will not be focusing on any non-Game 1 strategy. I’ll redress this in a later article if a best of three queue is opened up on Magic Arena, or if there’s a large spike in third-party Standard 2022 tournaments on the horizon.
Anyway, I’m not the only one excited to take a break from what Standard has become over the past year. Yesterday, Sam Black wrote about some of the brews he’s been working on which you should definitely give a read. I’m also expecting other content creators from Star City Games to write about this format and I just can’t wait to see what they have to say about it so be sure to be on the lookout!
While Sam’s brewing up a storm, I’ve been playing with all the “best decks”. This is my typical process when I dip my toes into a format as it allows me to learn what needs to be beaten. That, and I just love tuning great decks. So yeah, our focus today will be what I think are the best archetypes in the format, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how I feel they need to be built.