The Top 16 Standard Decks from Cardmarket Series Paris
- Lee Murphy
Theros Beyond Death gave us a brand new Standard format. The Top 8 of the Standard main event of Cardmarket Series Paris 2020 already featured a bunch of innovations, and the next eight players in line added even more spice to the mix. Check out their decklists here!
What a difference a set can make! As memories of broken Oko, Thief of Crowns fade, the latest set has clearly made its mark. Sacrifice decks have incorporated Nightmare Shepherd with such ease as to think it had always been with us. Azorius Control gained Dream Trawler and Archon of Sun's Grace, the former moving from Limited bomb to Constructed bomb in a matter of weeks. And what about Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath? That Elder Giant recurs so often it should be renamed Uro B. Mandelbrot — with the B. standing for "busted."
The Top 8
The Top 8 ended up with:
- 2 Temur Reclamation, including the winner with Uro
- 2 Bant decks — Control and Ramp
- 1 Black-Red Sacrifice
- 1 White-Blue Control
- 1 Doom Foretold
- 1 Izzet Flash
This showcases a couple of changes to the previous iteration of Standard. Most notably, White-Blue Control is back and instead of Simic decks we now have Bant and Temur. By now, you may have seen the winning deck in action again, as its pilot Jean-Emmanuel Depraz was taking the exact same 75 to Worlds.
The Best of the Rest
|9th – Jean-Baptiste Bonaventure – Bant Uro|
Talk about value! There's barely a card in this 75 that doesn't generate some incremental advantage when it hits the table. I'm not sure where to begin with this. There's ramp to get you to a 5-drop that much sooner, at which point you're generating excess mana and card advantage. And there's something intrinsically beautiful about casting Hydroid Krasis to give a Dream Trawler +10/+10 with Teferi keeping watch.
|10th – Thomas Fauvel – Doom Foretold Constellation|
This is a deck that takes huge advantage of cheap enchantments, all of which help control the board or advance your own position. Blessing refills your hand, and can then be fed to Doom Foretold. You don't necessarily mind that you might lose some life through playing spells as Oath and Birth of Meletis will help keep your health intact while you wait to drop an Archon and churn out an armada of lifelinking Pegasus tokens.
|11th – Matthias Mertz – Jeskai Fires|
Jeskai Fires was 11th in Prague and again here. This version doesn't run a wish sideboard and is more geared toward sculpting a stronger starting seven and your first few draws. Brazen Borrower loses some small amount of utility in that you're not going to be able to sneak it into play at end of turn. But the Cavalier/Kenrith package remains as strong as ever and can find a win out of nowhere. The sideboard is all about beating the control matchup.
|12th – Elohim Neulat – Jund Sacrifice|
Jund remains a presence. The Cat Oven engine is only part of the deck, with Trail drawing you more cards each time you cycle either a kitten or a Food token. If you have Mayhem Devil in play you get to ping down opposing creatures, more so if you're facing the mirror. Korvold is your primary beater if you're planning on going to the face. The sideboard is a bit more controlling, and benefits from being able to swap in Casualties on the play.
|13th – Alexi Krochmaluk – Monored|
Monored thrives, always. Anax makes this deck removal resistant, with creatures replacing themselves with Satyrs. Rimrock Knight is a flexible instant as needed and a powerful attacker thereafter, Torbran is a threat that generally needs to be answered immediately, while the red Castle is there to make it tough to defend oneself if the deck goes wide. Phoenix of Ash is a great new addition to the format, recurring over and over, as it does.
|14th – Laurent Bonin – Black-Red Sacrifice|
The Cat Oven ping engine again, this time combined with more linear creature and hand destruction. Kroxa helps ensure your opponent is always struggling to hold onto resources. The Reveler feeds the graveyard to help Kroxa escape, while also drawing you into more action. Rankle is incredibly versatile, either helping thin the board, or to draw more action, or to further the misery of your opponent. Quite the Swiss Army Faerie.
|15th – Paul Kuhnert – Monored|
The winner in Prague makes Top 16 in Paris. The 60 plays as listed above with Alexi's deck, but here the sideboard is tasked with beating white lifegain. Tibalt ensures that Archon of Sun's Grace and Dream Trawler don't stabilize immediate, and the Berserker can get in for damage each turn. Dragonfire deals with opposing Phoenixes should there be any, or Cats, or Narsets or Teferis … There'll always be a target.
|16th – Quentin Pottier – Bant Control|
That there weren't more Knights of Autumn in the Top 16 seems almost an oversight. It's a flexible spell, able to buff your life total, provide a beefy warrior, or eat Ovens, Sagas, Spyglasses, and so forth. In some matchups it's a cheaper Nekrataal or Ravenous Chupacabra, able to remove Daxos, Anax, Nightmare Shepherd. Tamiyo is always a great planeswalker to have when running Uro, able to feed the beast when needed. Expect to see her more regularly over the coming weeks and months.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.