MTG Esper Midrange dominates Standard meta at New Capenna Championship

Sleeper decks like The Kami War might overthrow the top-tier decks.

The Streets of New Capenna set is shaking up the Standard meta, elevating Esper Midrange to top-tier status with a total of 77 Magic: The Gathering players bringing it to the New Capenna Championship this weekend. 

A total of 223 MTG players will compete in the Constructed Standard and Historic formats from May 20 to 22 at the New Capenna Championship. It is the final Championship tournament of the season, filling the remaining seats at the Magic World Championship that is slated to take place later this year. Players submitted a total of two decks for the tournament, one for Historic Constructed and one for Standard Constructed. A total of 77 players submitted Esper Midrange for Standard, encompassing 34.5 percent of the field. 

Here are the top eight most popular Standard MTG decks getting played at the New Capenna Championship, according to Frank Karsten and WotC

  • Esper Midrange: 77 players at 34.5 percent of the field
  • Naya Runes: 30 players at 13.5 percent of the field
  • Jeskai Storm: 30 players at 13.5 percent of the field
  • Jund Midrange: 20 players at nine percent of the field
  • Grixis Vampires: 12 players at 5.4 percent of the field
  • Jund Treasures: Nine players at four percent of the field
  • Temur Control: Six players at 2.2 percent of the field
  • Izzet Mill: Five players at 2.2 percent of the field

The SNC set elevated the Esper Midrange MTG decks to top-tier status since it’s focused on three-color Shards. Each Shard got a Rare land, with Esper (WUB) gaining Raffine’s Tower, along with a powerful legendary sphinx demon called Raffine, Scheming Seer. 

https://www.moxfield.com/embed/K1wbJfGB9UmtKIojk0oJ-A

Using the Connive mechanic from SNC, Raffine has become one of the most powerful individual cards (next to The Wandering Emperor) in the Standard format. Luminarch Aspirant has a major role in the deck, pumping up the stats of Midrange creatures while The Meathook Massacre and The Wandering Emperor deal with Aggro decks. 

https://www.moxfield.com/embed/Ntf-4mIq1EKRIo_NfhEWTQ

Not much has changed with the Naya Runes build but Jeskai (WUR) decks were rising in popularity after the release of the SNC set, eventually forming into Jeskai Storm. The New Capenna spell Big Score provides essential card draw and mana ramp via a Treasure token. In conjunction with Goldspan Dragon and Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, the Jeskai Storm deck has become a spells matter build to fear in the Standard format. 

Flying under the radar is the five-color ramp Standard deck called The Kami War, created by Arne Huschenbeth.

https://www.moxfield.com/embed/Smaj2TiBEEu8nK4QxBI3Cw

The build by Huschenbeth was designed to outplay Midrange decks via cards like The Kami War and the saga Battle of Frost and Fire. Green and Red are the primary colors, with White, Blue, and Black getting splashed. Choosing two primary colors keeps the deck from becoming clunky and too slow. Titan of Industry is the top-end finisher of the deck and the SNC Artifact Courier’s Briefcase in conjunction with the Rare tap lands provides mana fixing. 

Coverage of the MTG New Capenna Championship runs from May 20 to 22 starting at 11am CT via Twitch.

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