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Breaking Down the 2021 Magic World Champion Deck Lists

Tomorrow the Magic World Championship kicks off, and the players have submitted their deck lists for the competition. The Magic World Championship deck lists are available to the public, and it looks like the meta isn’t completely figured out yet. Across sixteen players there are eight different decks with different variations on familiar archetypes.

For this year’s Worlds, it looks like Alrund’s Epiphany is going to be the card to beat. More than half of the decks submitted contain at least a copy of the extra-turn spell in the main board. On the other side of the coin there are five aggro decks looking to race the control decks. There is only one mid-range deck in the bunch, and closing out the Worlds deck lists is a unique UW tempo deck. With all the different lists heading into the year’s biggest bracket, it’s time to break down the 2021 Magic World Championship decks.

Grixis Epiphany

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Matt Sperling
– Gabriel Nassif
– Jan Merkel
– Eli Kassis

Grixis Epiphany is shaping up to be the top deck at Worlds this year. In the early stages of Standard 2021, Izzet Dragons took a stranglehold on the meta thanks to its combination of disruption and powerful threats. However with the introduction of Midnight Hunt, control decks have taken a new form. The combination of Alrund’s Epiphany and Galvanic Iteration is overwhelming and most decks can’t compete with a deck that’s taking multiple turns in a row.

The power of the Grixis version comes from its hand disruption spells. Main deck Duress allows for the Grixis variation to remove opposing Epiphanies from control decks or Esika’s Chariot from aggro decks. Go Blank not only removes two cards from the opponents hand, but it also removes any Memory Deluge of Galvanic Iteration in the graveyard.

[Related: When Does the Magic World Championship Start?]

These particular lists have some interesting card choices that are surely for meta-gaming the competition. Each player is playing three copies of Lier, Disciple of the Drowned as a way to force their Epiphanies to resolve in preparation of other counterspell decks. The Celestus is another truly odd choice, but it seems as though in testing the combination of mana acceleration and card draw is helpful in most matchups to warrant three copies of the legendary artifact. It’ll be worth watching to see how much impact these card choices have in the Epiphany matchups.

Izzet Epiphany

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Ondrej Strasky
– Keisuke Sato
– Arne Huschenbeth
– Stanislav Cifka

The other flavor of Epiphany decks is the pure blue/red version. The classic Izzet build aims to play a more streamlined version of the deck that focuses on more tempo plays than counter play. The UR list packs plenty of bounce spells and boardwipes in hopes to stall out the game long enough to cast Galvanic Iteration before Alrund’s Epiphany for multiple turns in a row. On the ladder players consider this the newest version of “Taking Turns” because really that’s all this deck wants to do.

An interesting add to these decks is Smoldering Egg. Some lists have it in the mainboard with others saving it as a sideboard option. It is an impressive card to pair with Alrund’s Epiphany as it immediately flips into a 4/4 flier that deals damage every it’s controller casts a instant or sorcery spell. Egg serves as a much faster clock than a couple of 1/1 birds, and it even acts as removal for opposing bird tokens as well as other small creatures.

These decks feel like classic control decks, without really looking like one. There aren’t many counters in these lists, instead the deck favors cards like Divide by Zero to bounce spells back into their opponents hands. Burn Down the House is the de-facto wrath, however it doubles as a potential threat by creating three attackers. As the other deck with four pilots, the real question becomes – is this the version that will come out on top.

Izzet Dragons

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Yuta Takahashi

The first big deck to come out of Magic Arena’s Standard 2021 format, Izzet Dragons is the last variation of a deck looking to utilize Alrund’s Epiphany. This is the list that contains multiple counter spells and removal spells in hopes to have a 50/50 matchup against the entire field. Cards like Memory Deluge and Expressive Iteration dig deep through the deck to find answers to any situation. Izzet Dragons differs from the Grixis and Izzet Epiphany decks by featuring four main deck Goldspan Dragon. The hope is to have enough disruption to have Goldspan Dragon win the match.

Without any board clears, Izzet Dragons will rely heavily on its spot removal suite. Dragon’s Fire and Thundering Rebuke are needed to keep the board empty while the UR deck ramps up to extra turn spells. This version of the deck is a bit weak to Wrenn and Seven tokens however, as there is no reliable way to remove the token aside from a single copy of Fading Hope. Without Galvanic Iteration, this list looks to prove the original is still the premier choice for top-level play.

Mono-Green Aggro

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Sam Pardee
– Seth Manfield
– Paul Vito Dama Da Rosa

In a field filled with slow control decks, its only fair that some players will want to race with aggressive decks. Mono Green aggro is a deck that is aiming to curve out in the first three turns with powerful, low-cost creatures to close out a game rather quickly. Werewolf Pack Leader and Old-Growth Troll are the two cogs that keep this green deck rolling. Not only are they cheap beaters, they provide both card advantage and resiliency against removal spells. Old-Growth Troll in particular is a difficult card to handle as it forces opponents to deal with it with multiple cards.

[Related: Innistrad Midnight Hunt Limited Tier List]

The real draw of Mono Green Aggro is the powerful synergy between Wrenn and Seven and Esika’s Chariot. With Chariot already on the battlefield, Wrenn and Seven can create a Treefolk token that can immediately crew and be copied by the Chariot. Both copies of the Treefolk token will continue to grow with each land drop, creating an insurmountable board state for the opponent. Supported by cheap removal like Blizzard Brawl and Inscription of Abundance, Mono G has the legs to make a deep run in the World Championship.

Mono-White Aggro

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Rei Sato
– Yoshihiko Ikawa

Mono White Aggro is the only other aggressive deck entered into the tournament. Much like its green counterpart, this white deck is planning to come out swinging on turns one, two and three. Stonebinder’s Familiar is an interesting meta-call but it has a strong synergy with both Brutal Cathar and Portable Hole. User of the Fallen and Sungold Sentinel are the other two key early game plays that give this deck a chance to beat any of the slower lists.

For the late game, Intrepid Adversary works double duty as both an anthem and a solo threat. The other benefit of the white deck over the green variant is the disruptive threats in Elite Spellbinder and Reidane, God of the Worthy. Not only do they slow down the opponents game plan, but they are elusive creatures that can crash in for plenty of damage.

What really put this deck over the top are the latest cards from Midnight Hunt. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar is a must-answer threat that grows the board each time a friendly creature attacks. On the other hand, Fateful Absence is a cheap option to remove any planeswalker or troublesome creature to swing in for lethal damage. The treasure is not much of a downside in a highly aggressive deck like Mono White aggro.

Azorious Tempo

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Noriyuki Mori

Welcome to the whackiest deck list in the tournament. Noriyuki Mori clearly found different data in their testing, as they decided to register the only tempo deck among the sixteen players. The two headliners for the deck are the pair of Adversary mythics. The idea is that these cards are typically live in all phases of the game. Backed up by five copies of different counter spells and a singular copy of Fateful Absence, this deck is looking to take over the game after turns two and three.

The deck looks almost like a blue/white midrange deck that wants to take over the mid-game with Legion Angels and Elite Spellbinders. Loyal Warhound and Luminarch Aspirant are here to help the list get there and act as an aggressive threat in certain matchups. Then of course, whats a blue deck without a fun-of Alrund’s Epiphany? This Azorious Tempo will be, without a doubt, a must watch throughout Worlds.

Temur Treasures

Who’s Playing the Deck
– Jean-Emmanuel Depraz

Last but not least, there is the one true mid-range deck in the bunch. Temur Treasures is playing some good, honest, Magic: The Gathering. No extra turns, no combo kills and no funny business.

The game plan is relatively simple: ramp up in the early turns and play Goldspan Dragon. The deck looks to Prosperous Innkeeper and Magda, Brazen Outlaw to create treasures in the early stages of the game. Dragon’s Fire and Shatterskull Smashing are the deck’s only form of hard removal. Otherwise the two copies of Negate are the only main board interaction for any non-creature spell.

Moonveil Regent is another interesting addition. The list doesn’t have many multi-colored cards. In fact, there aren’t any multicolored cards in the main. A 4/4 flier is pretty good on its own though, and it does deal damage when it dies. It looks like Moonveil is a solid beater alongside Goldspan Dragon. Together, the two dragons are hoping to do enough to make Temur Treasures a dark horse choice at Worlds.

Want to know the exact deck lists? Check them out here on the Magic Esports site.

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1 comment

Top 5 Midnight Hunt Cards for Standard October 12, 2021 at 10:41 am

[…] [Related: Breaking Down the Magic World Championship Deck Lists] […]


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