With 36 planeswalkers in the MTG War of the Spark expansion, players expected a change—but not like this. Esper, Mono-Red Aggro, Bant, Gruul, Dimir, Simic, Azorius, and Four-Colored Dreadhorde are ruling the WotS Standard metagame.
Since the release of Magic: The Gathering War of the Spark, the Standard metagame has gone through a variety of changes. While some archetypes like Mono-Red Aggro haven’t made any huge adjustments, others like Esper Midrange and Jeskai Superfriends have.
Many of these adjustments have come in the form of planeswalkers, creating new combos and win-condition scenarios. And it’s not just in a few archetypes since the metagame in Standard has evolved greatly since Ravnica Allegiance.
From planeswalkers like Narset, Parter of Veils to the often-despised Teferi duo, the Standard rankings in MTG Arena just got even tougher to climb.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Nissa, Who Shakes the World is a game-changer while on the battlefield. The card has gained traction in Bant Mass Manipulation decks, along with being a solid planeswalker in Bant Midrange, Simic Aggro, and Gruul Aggro.
G/W Proliferate is a sleeper deck that many players are starting to use her in, taking advantage of the plus one/plus one counters she puts on non-creature lands. Another deck where Nissa, Who Shakes the World is well utilized in is Sultai Midrange, especially when paired with Tamiyo, Collector of Tales.
The Teferi, Time Raveler duo
Esper Midrange and Esper Control were already using Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, but with the addition of Teferi, Time Raveler, Esper Midrange has seen a vast improvement. Add a splash of Liliana, Dreadhorde General or Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord and Esper Midrange becomes one of the top archetypes played on MTG Arena and in the War of the Spark Standard Construction.
At just three mana, Teferi, Time Raveler causes disruption while supplying instant speed to your sorcery cards until the end of turn. For use in a control deck, or any kind of control in a midrange deck, Teferi, Time Raveler is tough to crack. His popularity even extends beyond Standard, used in several Legacy and Modern decks.
Narset, Parter of Veils
The power of Narset, Parter of Veils is unquestionable and everyone’s been trying to find a home for her since the MTG War of the Spark launch. Thanks to Martin Mueller, he found a spot via an Esper deck after replacing Theif of Sanity with Narset, Parter of Veils.
She’s also well suited in Simic Nexus, Dimir Control, and Bant Superfriends decks. Able to stay on the battlefield (unless you minus two her right away) Narset, Parter of Veils disrupts tempo for your opponent while helping you find a card when in need.
Domri, Anarch of Bolas
Domri, Anarch of Bolas isn’t used much outside of Gruul, but he still makes this list due to the improvements he provides to that deck. Giving all creatures plus one/plus one in combination with Nissa, Who Shakes the World is brutal on an opponent.
Other decks you might see Domri, Anarch of Bolas in are G/R Aggro and even a Jund Goblins deck. Don’t sleep on Gruul Aggro, though. It’s popular on MTG Arena and often used by Magic Pro League (MPL) players in MPL Weekly.
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales is being used in a wide variety of archetypes and is likely one of the most underrated cards prior to the War of the Spark launch. Tamiyo is hot right now thanks to the card’s ability to be a great defender against control decks while providing card ramp.
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales can be found in decks like Sultai, Four-Colored Dreadhorde, Bant, U/B/G Aggro, Simic, and W/U/G Control. And much like Teferi, Time Raveler, Tamiyo Collector of Tales is finding spots in decks outside of Standard, too.
Honorable mentions: Gideon Blackblade and Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Although they aren’t being used in the top eight decks of WotS Standard as much, Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Gideon Blackblade are two powerful planeswalkers who work with the specific decks they’re in. Gideon is strong in Azarious Aggro while Liliana creeps in with Rakdos, Golgari, and Orzhov.
It’s been less than two months since MTG War of the Spark launched, but it’s safe to say the planeswalkers listed above aren’t going anywhere and will continue to find new archetypes as homes over time. The next Magic: The Gathering expansion in Standard is Core Set 2020, which is set to be released on July 12.