Is it possible to stop Hinata?
Standard is already in the mood for the end of the party, those last songs and the rotation sun will soon rise. But in this finale we still have a lot of action, so much so that this weekend we had 3 events to observe the development of the format. Counting two Standard Challenger and the $500 Cash GGtoor M:TG Arena Duel #14 we had in the top 3, 8 copies of Jeskai Hinata, which shows incredible dominance of a deck that won the SNC Championship and then evolved to become the best archetype of the format.
In the last few weeks this deck has made several results, generating two questions, one about a possible ban and the second if it is possible to stop this deck.
The first question is easy to answer. I expect zero bans on Standard. We have this format until September and the main Magic events in this period will be in other formats, taking away part of the weight that the metagame has. As much as Hinata, Dawn-Crowned stays after the rotation, she loses support from Goldspan Dragon and Magma Opus, so the deck will no longer exist, at least as we know it. Low format impact and resolving rotation is often Wizards of the Coast’s favorite formula not to mention bans and that seems to me to be the case.
About stopping the deck, today’s article is exactly about options for you who don’t want to cast Hinata every day until September.
Starting with the most aggressive options:
Mono Green, by orantspro
Mono White, by Hélio Sampaio
Boros Aggro, by medvedev
One of the symptoms of Jeskai Hinata’s dominance is that Naya Runas has become much weaker, Hinata’s ability greatly affects Naya’s speed and made room for some aggressive decks to appear, bringing cards like Thundering Raiju back to the menu. I really liked Hélio Sampaio’s list because it’s exactly what I expect from a Mono White for this metagame, giving up G1 removals to have a super game against Jeskai and if you get something more aggressive try to compensate on the side, since the deck has great tools to change your game and win with peace of mind. The great difficulty of playing aggro in this field is that we still have a lot of midranges, so every game should appear copies of global removals, apart from punctual removals, which are a response to Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, even with a lot of people using Ray of Enfeeblement of main, which is bad for Mono White. Still, there is room for those who want to do Thalia, Guardian of Thraben on 2 and Elite Spellbinder on 3.
Speaking of midranges, there are two that I like to talk about,Grixis and Jund.
Grixis Vampires, by Andres Monsalve
Jund, by Cabezadebolo
I’ve talked about Grixis a few times here, and the deck is increasingly consolidating in the metagame, including being a great strategy for you who like to think about rotation. I really like how Grixis plays versus Jeskai because he can drown the opponent in card advantage and still has access to Disdainful Stroke, one of the best cards in the metagame right now. Jund is also good at card advantage, but his advantage is that Riveteers Charm doesn’t target the creature and can dribble several responses from Jeskai, having several copies of this card puts you a lot ahead against an opponent who always expects counters and protections will help.
Report by Andres with Grixis
Finally, a control decklist that did well in the Standard Challenge.
Hullbreaker Horror is spectacular vs Jeskai, even more so on G1 where they have few ways to deal with him, on some lists none at all. I really like this Izzet approach where you crash the entire Jeskai game and the horror does the rest. Post side the deck improves the match even more and that’s why it’s one of the strategies I like the most for the current metagame. Some lists use Goldspan Dragon and I think it’s cool to speed up mana against Jeskai and then do Hullbreaker Horror early, but this more control focused list is pretty good too.
I think it’s important to make it clear that Jeskai Hinata is the best deck in the format and that’s not even open to discussion, but it’s also nice to point out that in Standard it’s possible to adapt your strategy to answer another one and have some really fun months of tournaments.
Until the next article!