The release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty shifted the Standard meta, making three-color decks like Naya popular once again, along with new Mono-colored and Control builds.
Ranking up the MTG ladder with the best Standard decks can get accomplished via your choice of Aggro, Midrange, or Control decks. The release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO) created a meta full of Artifacts and Enchantments, prompting builds like Naya Aggro and Naya Runes. Mono-White typically shuts down the Naya decks, but Mono-Black is great at dealing with White Weenie build. Mono-Green stompy and Izzet dragons are still in the mix and Orzhov Control has been dominating them all.
Here are the best MTG Standard decks during the NEO season, from new and emerging builds to decks that have proven their worth within the Standard meta as one of the best.
New best MTG standard decks to try
The Standard meta can often get stale following an MTG set release but that hasn’t been the case with the NEO meta. No major Magic tournaments have taken place recently, although smaller events take place weekly and have proven that there are new builds players haven’t discovered yet. And then there are the Mythic ranked content creators, like Stephen “Crokeyz” Croke, who are wired to find new and creative builds to challenge the best MTG decks in the Standard meta.
Played by Kristien Woodcock at the MMA Ma Melee Arena Standard tournament, Selesnya Humans beat out decks like Orzhov Midrange and Mono-White Aggro in a best-of-three format. The best MTG deck at the tournament ran four copies of The Wandering Emperor, along with a variety of the best White and Green cards in the Standard meta. Three copies of Weeding Announcement provides options against Control decks and Legion Angel provides an elusive advantage when needed.
Naya Kiki Jiki combo
Naya decks have a variety of forms within the NEO Standard meta, from Runes to Aggro. The Crokeyz version of Naya is built around a combo between Fable of the Mirror-Breaker//Reflection of Kiki-Jiki and Esika’s Chariot. And the build doesn’t rely upon the combo going off to win matches within the best-of-three format. Players can watch Crokeyz compete with his Naya Kiki Jiki deck here and get a full rundown of the new best MTG deck in Standard here.
Best MTG decks within NEO Standard
The launch of NEO dropped a ton of Artifact and Enchantment cards into the Standard format, creating new builds like Naya Runes and Jeskai Hinata. Mono-White continues to thrive on the ladder, along with Mono-Green. And the new control decks within the NEO Standard meta are Jeskai Hinata, Esper Superfriends, and Orzhov Control. Each best MTG deck in Standard is listed in ascending order.
Naya Runes was dominating the MTG Alchemy format prior to the NEO Championship. But the build still has potential within the Standard format. Kiel Shaffer piloted their Naya Runes deck to a top-eight finish at the Lotus Lookout’s Standard tournament, playing a similar version to the one that took off within the Alchemy format. Jukai Naturalist, Kami of Transience, and Runeforge Champion are the shell of the deck. And the Runes from IKO are the fuel.
The release of NEO added the land Boseiju, Who Endures to the Mono-Green build, along with the option to include Tamiyo’s Safekeeping. This list was played by Nonare at the MTGO Standard League event, producing a 5-0 record. It includes three copies of Invoke the Ancients in the main deck, along with one copy of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping. It also runs a total of four copies of Esika’s Chariot.
The newest versions of Mono-White are a hybrid between Aggro and Midrange. The deck can run over Naya Runes and fares well against Mono-Green. This version was played by Maxi Lopez at the MMA Ma Melee Standard tournament on March 16, finishing in the top-eight via a best-of-three format. Unlike the Alchemy versions at the NEO Championship, Lopez runs three copies of The Wandering Emperor and has four Elite Spellbinder in the main deck.
The NEO card Hinata, Dawn Crowned has spawned its own Control deck within the Standard meta, able to reduce the cost of your spells by one for each target while increasing the cost of your opponent’s spells by one for each target. The list played by TheReturned at the MTGO Standard League tournament on March 7 went undefeated at 5-0. They ran four copies of Goldspan Dragon in conjunction with Hinata, Dawn-Crowned. And there are a total of 23 Instant spells in the main deck.
Two new NEO planeswalkers, The Wandering Emperor and Kaito Shizuki, have brought superfriends back into the Standard meta as one of the best MTG decks to play. Earning a first at the MTGO Standard Challenge on March 13, Ovmlcabrera piloted this build with four copies of Kaito Shizuk and three copies of The Wandering Emporer. The deck also includes two copies of Lolth, Spider Queen, one Sorin the Mirthless, and three Reckoner Bankbusters for card draw.
The Meathook Massacre synergizes nicely with Lolth, Spider Queen and three copies of Doomskar ensure an opponent never gets to develop their board state.
Orzhov Control was already on the path to becoming one of the best MTG decks in Standard prior to the launch of NEO. The additions of Ao, the Dawn Sky, Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire, and The Wandering Emperor have helped elevate the build to top-tier status. This list was played by João Afonso at the MMA Ma Melee Arena Standard tournament on March 16, placing them in the top four. There are four copies of Wedding Announcement in this Orzhov Control deck, along with two copies of Lolth, Spider Queen. There is only one copy of The Meathook Massacre.