• OndrejStrasky

MC VII Metagame Breakdown | ELD Standard

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

The decklists for MC7 have been posted and I sit here writing this at midnight before I fly to Long Beach to cheer for Stan. Today I’m going to break down the field, highlight some interesting lists that caught my eye and offer my opinion on who won the pregame. You can look at all the lists here. First things first, I think Wizards finally did it! We have (somewhat) varied field. Here’s the metagame breakdown from the official article.


The most played decks are Fires and Food decks. No surprise there. Food edged out Fires with little more than a quarter of the field deciding that throwing a Cat into the Oven is the way to go. Jund is slightly more played than BG, and is the most played decks by the MPL members. That’s no surprise as the deck is incredibly powerful, versatile, and has a lot of play to it, something that attracts skilled players. Looking at the food lists they’re mostly stock, but couple interesting techs here and there. The Portuguese included District Guide, while Piotr Glogowski (Kanister) has a Beanstalk Giant. Both lists omit Paradise Druid, which might be concession to it dying to Deafening Clarion and Mayhem Devil pings. The Czechs have a Bolas Citadel, which is a card I really like. More on the list Martin and Stan submitted later this week in our video, deck primer should be coming next week after the MC. Personally, I think the Cat + Oven + Trail decks are great, I expect a great showing from them and I commend anyone who submitted them. Savjz, Butakov and Teruya Kakumae all submitted a Rakdos Cat deck, each version a little bit different. Kakumae has a Rix Maadi Reveler, a card he’s very fond of. It was in his Mythic Invitational deck as well. Not a huge fan of these decks as I can’t really imagine them beating their green counterparts. Trail of Crumbs is helluva card. My pick for the best food deck, you guessed it - Stan Cifka.



4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160

7 Forest (ELD) 266

3 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

4 Trail of Crumbs (ELD) 179

4 Cauldron Familiar (ELD) 81

8 Swamp (ELD) 258

4 Midnight Reaper (GRN) 77

4 Temple of Malady (M20) 254

2 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241

1 Massacre Girl (WAR) 99

2 Casualties of War (WAR) 187

1 Vraska, Golgari Queen (GRN) 213

4 Witch's Oven (ELD) 237

3 Wicked Wolf (ELD) 181

4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253

4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97

1 Bolas's Citadel (WAR) 79


4 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

1 Return to Nature (ELD) 173

1 Massacre Girl (WAR) 99

1 Casualties of War (WAR) 187

1 Vraska, Golgari Queen (GRN) 213

1 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110

2 Duress (M20) 97

1 Epic Downfall (ELD) 85

1 Wicked Wolf (ELD) 181

1 Bolas's Citadel (WAR) 79

1 Assassin's Trophy (GRN) 152


If you go by Wizards metric, Jeskai Fires is the most played deck. Likely the most powerful deck, but a choice I don’t like much. With a target on its back, I think this deck is pretty exploitable, and Fires limits your options when building a deck. I like the fact that all players submitted at least three copies of Sphinx of Foresight. A card that helps you find the card you deck is based on and it’s a body you can play alongside it. Sing me up! On the other hand two people are playing Fae of Wishes, which is a choice I don’t agree with. The card isn’t much of an upgrade to other options, and it’s making you play with worse sideboard. My favourite list of the bunch is the one from the team Sigrist, Nass, Damo Da Rosa. Aether Gust has been great for me in UW, and here it can be discarded to Cavalier of Flames, if it ends up being dead. Justice Strike is an interesting tech, Korvold is a big problem for this deck, and this is a clean answer. This list looks clean and neat. I’m going to be rooting for Mike and Matt to keep their MPL slots this weekend.

2 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115

4 Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125

3 Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52

2 Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303

4 Sphinx of Foresight (RNA) 55

4 Deafening Clarion (GRN) 165

3 Shimmer of Possibility (RNA) 51

1 Justice Strike (GRN) 182

4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125

3 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

2 Island (ELD) 254

2 Mountain (ELD) 262

1 Plains (ELD) 250

2 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

3 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253

3 Temple of Triumph (M20) 257

4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221

2 Aether Gust (M20) 42


1 Aether Gust (M20) 42

2 Devout Decree (M20) 13

2 Disenchant (M20) 14

2 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115

4 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

2 Justice Strike (GRN) 182

1 Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303

1 Drawn from Dreams (M20) 56


The third most played deck is BG Adventures. This is surprising to me, because I honestly don’t think this deck beats anything. Anytime I play against on ladder, I have a good time. There are four people, who chose to run the Lucky Clover package, including two MPL players - Autumn and Reid, although Reid isn’t playing Smitten Swordmaster, which is a card that I like. Chris Kvartek’s list looks interesting, with Rotting Regisaur, but I’m going to cheat a little bit here and highlight Jean-Emmanuel Depraz’s list. Little surprising that Jean-Emmanuel is the only person playing Temur Adventures, but it’s a fact that the deck “broke out” only a day before the MC decks submission. Depraz’s list is a little different from the stock version going around, no Innkeeper or Lovestruck Beast, but more ramp and Krasis. Beast is an awful card right now, so I can only agree with this decision, and I expect Depraz to do well. Hope we see lots of Fling endings on camera.


4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

4 Forest (ELD) 266

4 Fae of Wishes (ELD) 44

4 Lucky Clover (ELD) 226

3 Island (ELD) 254

4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115

4 Beanstalk Giant (ELD) 149

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

3 Escape to the Wilds (ELD) 189

3 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255

4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

2 Mountain (ELD) 262

4 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

3 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

2 Return to Nature (ELD) 173


1 Return to Nature (ELD) 173

1 Lava Coil (GRN) 108

1 Aether Gust (M20) 42

1 Negate (M20) 69

1 Escape to the Wilds (ELD) 189

1 Frogify (ELD) 47

2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127

1 Flame Sweep (M20) 139

1 Planewide Celebration (WAR) 172

2 Once and Future (ELD) 168

1 Fry (M20) 140

1 Fling (ELD) 126


The flash decks take 4th and 5th. Interestingly, the majority of people playing these are the MPL players. These decks involve a lot of delicate maneuvering, and are in my opinion exciting to watch, so I’m looking forward to be a spectator for once. The Izzet versions are pretty much stock, I’ll just highlight the Neheb in Cuneo’s sideboard. I honestly have no idea what that card’s about, but I guess it makes your Gadwick better? The UG versions are more interesting, especially the one from Dominguez, Manfield and Nelson. They’re no longer the Flash we used to know with Brineborn Cuthroat, but more like UG Ramp with Frilled Mystic and Nightpack Ambusher thrown in. Look, I’ve never played with this deck, but it looks quite sweet, and with 3 world class players playing it, it has to be the real deal.


2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

7 Forest (ELD) 266

7 Island (ELD) 254

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

4 Frilled Mystic (RNA) 174

2 Aether Gust (M20) 42

2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

3 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

4 Nightpack Ambusher (M20) 185

4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169

3 Quench (RNA) 48

3 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54

1 Negate (M20) 69

2 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

2 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255


2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

1 Aether Gust (M20) 42

4 Lovestruck Beast (ELD) 165

1 Negate (M20) 69

2 Sorcerous Spyglass (ELD) 233

1 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

1 Crushing Canopy (GRN) 126

2 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32

1 Kenrith's Transformation (ELD) 164


Three sad souls picked Temur Reclamation as their weapon of choice. I pity those fools. Temur Reclamations sucks, and I’m prepared to eat my words if it does well. I just really don’t get this deck, but maybe I’m wrong. Especially now, when everyone’s prepared to beat Enchantments, you just end up having a “meh” deck way too often for my liking. On the other hand three people picked up UW Control. All three heavily leaning on Planar Cleansing, which I’ve already highlighted as one of the best cards in Standard in my last article. Interestingly, Eric Froehlich and Ben Stark play a very similar list to ours. Little light on Gadwick, and little light on lands, but I really like this version of the deck, and I like their chances against Food and Jeskai Fires. A big upgrade from the Weaselback Redcap times!


2 Time Wipe (WAR) 223

3 Aether Gust (M20) 42

4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221

3 Planar Cleansing (M20) 33

2 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32

4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

3 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48

4 Opt (ELD) 59

3 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

8 Island (ELD) 254

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

4 Plains (ELD) 250

1 Finale of Revelation (WAR) 51

3 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193

4 Absorb (RNA) 151

2 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238

4 Tranquil Cove (M20) 259


1 Time Wipe (WAR) 223

1 Planar Cleansing (M20) 33

4 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

3 Devout Decree (M20) 13

1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193

3 Glass Casket (ELD) 15

2 Giant Killer (ELD) 14


Looks like Andrea Mengucci has shied away from his partner in crime Javier once again. This time bringing a cool looking Simic Ramp. He, alongside with Lucas Berthoud and Simone Rocutto, is looking to be casting turn three Nissa. I can only imagine Cavalier of Thorns being good vs Jeskai Fires, and with End-Raze Forerunners going over the Cat decks might be doable. Andrea is one of the best players in the world right now, and I expect big things from him and his deck.


10 Forest (ELD) 266

6 Island (ELD) 254

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

2 Arboreal Grazer (WAR) 149

4 Risen Reef (M20) 217

2 Finale of Devastation (WAR) 160

4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169

2 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240

1 End-Raze Forerunners (RNA) 124

4 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

4 Cavalier of Thorns (M20) 167

4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255

1 Agent of Treachery (M20) 43

2 Quasiduplicate (GRN) 51

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246


2 Return to Nature (ELD) 173

3 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

3 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

2 Lovestruck Beast (ELD) 165

4 Aether Gust (M20) 42

1 Negate (M20) 69


Onto the decks that are played by two people or less. The Japanese showed up with two different versions of Five-Color Fires. While Shota Yasooka is playing more “normal” version with Golos and Kenrith as your payoff, Ken Yukuhiro went off the rails once again. Just look at this deck.

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

1 Forest (ELD) 266

1 Plains (ELD) 250

1 Swamp (ELD) 258

1 Mountain (ELD) 262

4 Casualties of War (WAR) 187

4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160

4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

3 Escape to the Wilds (ELD) 189

3 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253

2 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221

4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255

2 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

1 Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303

1 Island (ELD) 254

3 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

3 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253

4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125

2 Temple Garden (GRN) 258

4 Niv-Mizzet Reborn (WAR) 208


1 Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303

4 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

4 Despark (WAR) 190

2 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves (WAR) 224

4 Deputy of Detention (RNA) 165


Yes, that’s four copies of Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Yes I’m hyped!


Luis Salvatto and Daniel Vega showed up with innovative take on Sultai Ramp. I played this deck briefly and I wasn’t a huge fan. It feels like your deck is mostly air, and if you don’t draw well, you die pretty rapidly. The sideboard also seems like a huge mess, but maybe I’m just not getting it. People in my chat were also sharing my opinion for the most part, but Luis is known as a mad scientist, so maybe he’ll surprise me and crush everyone. I’m sure to root for him.


8 Forest (ELD) 266

3 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

4 Casualties of War (WAR) 187

4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169

4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

2 Island (ELD) 254

4 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253

2 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48

3 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

4 Circuitous Route (GRN) 125

4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259

1 Massacre Girl (WAR) 99

2 Incubation Druid (RNA) 131

1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220

2 Dimir Guildgate (GRN) 245


1 Massacre Girl (WAR) 99

4 Lovestruck Beast (ELD) 165

2 Aether Gust (M20) 42

2 Epic Downfall (ELD) 85

1 Legion's End (M20) 106

1 Planewide Celebration (WAR) 172

3 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37

1 Finale of Eternity (WAR) 91


While Gruul Adventure from Esther Trujillo is boring, although only truly aggressive deck in the tournament, I like Alexander’s Hayne take on Esper Control. Like I already said Bolas’s Citadel is a sweet, sweet card. Hayne is also a master of control strategies, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him do well. I reached out to Alex, and he told me that he feels favored against Food and even vs Fires. He thinks the deck is good, but nothing super special or broken. Well, hopefully he brings back the glory days of Teferi + Narset, because we’ve all surely missed that.


2 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193

3 Island (ELD) 254

4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221

4 Temple of Silence (M20) 256

3 Oath of Kaya (WAR) 209

1 Plains (ELD) 250

4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259

4 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206

3 Drown in the Loch (ELD) 188

1 Disfigure (M20) 95

4 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61

1 Duress (M20) 97

2 Swamp (ELD) 258

2 Bolas's Citadel (WAR) 79

1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

2 Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303

1 Time Wipe (WAR) 223

1 Hero of Precinct One (RNA) 11

1 Despark (WAR) 190

1 Mortify (RNA) 192

3 Elite Guardmage (WAR) 195

4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251


1 Duress (M20) 97

1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193

1 Oath of Kaya (WAR) 209

1 Disfigure (M20) 95

3 Despark (WAR) 190

1 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110

2 Sorcerous Spyglass (ELD) 233

2 Thief of Sanity (GRN) 205

1 Devout Decree (M20) 13

2 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37


John Rolf chose to play the Ben Weitz deck I streamed with a bit last week. I believe this deck is quite hard to play with, but it’s super sweet. The interaction between Cavalier of Flame and Bontu is great. You can sac all the lands and Cavalier to deal tons of damage, especially in combination with Mayhem Devil. Covetous Urge is interesting card to me, it’s probably an attempt to fix the Jeskai Fires matchup, but it screws up the manabase so much. Going Urge into Cavalier is no joke even if you have 4 Steam Vents in the picture. This deck will provide some sweet games, but ultimately I think it will fail short. Which would be a shame, because JRolf is gas, and I truly hope he stays in the MPL.


7 Swamp (ELD) 258

2 Mountain (ELD) 262

4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Midnight Reaper (GRN) 77

4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245

4 Cauldron Familiar (ELD) 81

4 Witch's Oven (ELD) 237

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

4 Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125

4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125

4 Mayhem Devil (WAR) 204

2 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241

4 God-Eternal Bontu (WAR) 92

3 Bloodfell Caves (M20) 242

4 Stormfist Crusader (ELD) 203

2 Covetous Urge (ELD) 207


3 Duress (M20) 97

1 Flame Sweep (M20) 139

4 Ritual of Soot (GRN) 84

2 Scorching Dragonfire (ELD) 139

1 Redcap Melee (ELD) 135

2 Bedevil (RNA) 157

2 Covetous Urge (ELD) 207


Last, but not least is the Jund Fires deck from Elizabeth Rice. This deck also looks pretty wild, and kinda all over the place. Ultimately, I think this is a bit worse version of the Jeskai decks, because they’re better at finding the Fires. Elizabeth clearly had to play a lot, because you don’t bring a deck like this to a tournament of this size, if you’re not confident in it. I don’t really know what to expect from this deck, but I don’t love the look of it.


4 Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125

2 Forest (ELD) 266

3 Mountain (ELD) 262

2 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241

3 Casualties of War (WAR) 187

4 Questing Beast (ELD) 171

4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125

4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253

4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245

4 Temple of Malady (M20) 254

3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

2 Beanstalk Giant (ELD) 149

3 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115

2 Thrashing Brontodon (M20) 197

2 Assassin's Trophy (GRN) 152

2 Ugin, the Ineffable (WAR) 2

3 Bond of Flourishing (WAR) 155

2 Biogenic Ooze (RNA) 122

3 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70


3 Return to Nature (ELD) 173

3 Duress (M20) 97

3 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

2 Epic Downfall (ELD) 85

1 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97

1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127

2 Ritual of Soot (GRN) 84


So that’s all the decks! The metagame is pretty refreshing compared to the last couple events, although I’m shocked at the lack of Embercleave decks. In the end we have Fires + Food as almost half the field, which is slightly less than I’d expect. The decks I’m looking forward to the most are the Simic decks - Flash and Ramp. My pick for the best deck in the tournament goes to Jean-Emannuel Depraz. Who do you think chose the best deck? What did I miss? What deck would you choose? Who are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments!

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