Winota and Explorer

Winota and Explorer

Winota and Explorer

Hi Everyone!

At the end of last week, the Metagame Challenge took place. This event is very important for those who are in Arena, because it’s a real chance to get resources by playing Constructed, but also because it’s the first big event for Explorer, the new format that everyone wanted to know how it would work.

The first big answer was: Winota

The deck that plays very well in Pioneer didn’t take long to become a phenomenon in Explorer, being the main deck in weekend events and the great certainty of the metagame.

I took advantage of the deck’s high winrate, reaching 72%, in the Challenge metagame. However, I think it’s important to understand why this deck wins so much and what that says about Explorer and how it will develop.

First it is very important to understand that the Metagame Challenge is a unique event, you can only lose once and this makes most people play with what they are winning, and above all, play with something unfair. Going 7-0 isn’t just about skill, it’s also about being lucky, and playing something that rewards you if you open with the correct straight is pretty good in an event like this. I know that if my deck makes the same creatures every time I have a good chance of getting a free win, and who doesn’t want a free win in an event with such a good EV? Another thing is that the field is not yet defined, making it difficult to prepare your control/midrange to beat the metagame, as what is good against one deck can be bad against another and we had little time to help with these details.

Winota is a deck that has adapted a lot since its inception. It used to be a creature-based combo that made a base of bad creatures to find something really good, but nowadays the deck has gained incredible consistency. I don’t see a problem with trying to “combo” with Angrath’s Marauders and Agent of Treachery, the cards have strong effects, but they are bad when it comes in the hand and only get worse if I can kill Winota. My problem is with Tovolar’s Huntmaster, which can easily be done quickly and has a huge impact. My problem is with Esika’s Charriot, which generates an advantage every turn. My Problem is with Fable of the Mirror-Breacker, which accelerates, cycle draws and turns a powerhouse on the board. That is, my problem is when Winota is a very good Naya aggro, because this deck is difficult to control, because if I decide to kill several threats, I open it for the combo to happen.

All this in a new field makes Naya an obvious choice for this type of event.

Winota is a Tier S?

Certainly Not.

Phoenix is ​​one of the great predators of this deck and is not present in the format with the important card of this game, Thing in the Ice. But there are still several decks that can attack Naya and bring him under control. Rakdos Midrange is a great example, as the deck easily kills Winota, Joiner of Forces and manages to grind Naya Aggro. Another great example is Jund Sacrifice, which is also very well equipped with removals and wrath effects, in addition to real Korvold, Fae-Cursed King clock.

I’ll leave you two lists that went 7-0 in the Metagame Challenge, beating several Nayas:

Jund Sacrifice (with Karn, the Great Creator)

Deck (60)
Cauldron Familiar
Gilded Goose
Trail of Crumbs
Witch’s Oven
Mayhem Devil
Stomping Ground
Karn, the Great Creator
Oni-Cult Anvil
Gala Greeters
Fatal Push
Deadly Dispute
The Meathook Massacre
Darkbore Pathway
Cragcrown Pathway
Blooming Marsh
Blightstep Pathway
Ziatora’s Proving Ground
Overgrown Tomb
Sideboard (15)
Oni-Cult Anvil
Witch’s Oven
Treasure Vault
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Pithing Needle
Tormod’s Crypt
Bolas’s Citadel
Outland Liberator
Assassin’s Trophy

Rakdos Midrange

Deck (60)
Fatal Push
Bloodchief’s Thirst
Bloodtithe Harvester
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
Graveyard Trespasser
Bonecrusher Giant
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Sorin the Mirthless
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Lolth, Spider Queen
Castle Locthwain
Hive of the Eye Tyrant
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Den of the Bugbear
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
Blightstep Pathway
Haunted Ridge
Blood Crypt
Sideboard (15)
Redcap Melee
Go Blank
Noxious Grasp
Kolaghan’s Command
Hidetsugu Consumes All

But still about Naya Winota, I used the following list:

Deck (60)
Llanowar Elves
Gilded Goose
Prosperous Innkeeper
Courier’s Briefcase
Brutal Cathar
Elite Spellbinder
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Winota, Joiner of Forces
Esika’s Chariot
Kenrith, the Returned King
Tovolar’s Huntmaster
Lair of the Hydra
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
Needleverge Pathway
Branchloft Pathway
Cragcrown Pathway
Sacred Foundry
Temple Garden
Stomping Ground
Sideboard (15)
Elite Spellbinder
Brutal Cathar
Redcap Melee
Skyclave Apparition
Rest in Peace
Ranger Class

My big dilemma was about the drop2, I tried Ranger Class and Gala Greeters, but the former was pretty good versus control and bad versus the rest, and the second was awful versus any grind deck. I ended up using Courier’s Briefcase, which allows for more explosive exits from the deck, and the event was basically about that.

Tips about sideboard:

Naya Winota

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 1 Brutal Cathar
Side out: 3 Fable of the Mirror-Breacker, 2 Elite Spellbinder

Rakdos Midrange

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 3 Skyclave Apparition 2 Elite Spellbinder 2 Ranger Class
Side out: 3 Brutal Cathar, 4 Courier’s Briefcase, 4 Prosperous Innkeeper

Jeskai Fires

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 1 Skyclave Apparition 2 Elite Spellbinder 2 Ranger Class
Side out: 1 Brutal Cathar, 4 Courier’s Briefcase, 4 Prosperous Innkeeper

Mono Red

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 1 Skyclave Apparition
Side out: 3 Fable of the Mirror-Breacker, 2 Elite Spellbinder

Azorius Control

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 2 Elite Spellbinder 2 Ranger Class
Side out: 3 Brutal Cathar, 4 Courier’s Briefcase, 1 Prosperous Innkeeper

Rakdos/Jund Sacrifice

Side in: 4 Recap Melee, 3 Skyclave Apparition, 3 Rest In peace, 2 Ranger Class
Side out: 4 Courier’s Briefcase, 4 Prosperous Innkeeper, 3 Brutal Cathar, 1 Gilded Goose

Moving Forward, I think the metagame will have more grind decks to punish Winota, making Naya use more planeswalkers on the sideboard, instead of the generic cards against control. A slower field can make Azorius Control have the same success that it had in Pioneer and so the metagame will develop until a new edition or an Anthology bringing news.

Until the next article!


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