Why Orzhov Midrange❄ Is Making Waves In Innistrad: Crimson Vow Standard

Orzhov Midrange❄ claimed a surprise victory this past weekend. Is midrange truly back in Innistrad: Crimson Vow Standard? Todd Anderson investigates.

Edgar, Charmed Groom, illustrated by Volkan Baga

Midrange strategies have gotten battered over the last few months, with Alrund's Epiphany being the primary offender. That card is so difficult to interact with and so powerful that it completely invalidated midrange as an archetype. Since midrange decks don't win quickly and usually interact by killing creatures or playing discard spells, it stands to reason that the blue decks would adopt Alrund's Epiphany and dodge both of those pretty easily.

Fast forward to the format devolving into Aggro VS Alrund's Epiphany, and you basically have a snapshot of the last few weeks of tournaments. Mono-Green Aggro❄ and Mono-White Aggro❄ were both at the top of the curve, and the Izzet decks were trying to fight them while simultaneously trying to beat each other. It led to a lot of in-fighting among Izzet pilots, and caused the archetype to branch in a few different directions. Copying Alrund's Epiphany with Galvanic Iteration was the way to beat mirrors, but that version often left you feeling inadequate against creature rushes.


The release of Innistrad: Crimson Vow was supposed to shake things up a bit, but what we're mostly seeing is those three strategies getting a bit of a boost. A few other decks popped up this past weekend, but three major tournaments yielded predictable results. The rise of aggro is upon us now, which means it was no surprise when a mopey midrange deck ended up winning one of the three events. Orzhov Midrange❄ by ManaFox won the Crokeyz Crimson Vow tournament, even though Izzet was still looking good. So what happened?

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