We are now second four weeks of Strixhaven season. The May 15 and May 16 Pauper Challenges showcased a continuation of trends seen in the first four weeks.
Spellstutter Sprite decks performed extremely well this past weekend, taking down 5 Top 8 slots overall. The other top decks from the first month – Burn, Grixis Affinity, and Flicker Tron – stood strong and had a decent showing. The success of Boros Monarch on Saturday should not come as a shock. Boros Monarch has traditionally been strong against Spellstutter Sprite decks and Burn while having the tools to easily negate Affinity (between Gorilla Shaman and Prismatic Strands). It follows that it was well positioned to have a solid showing. The question is whether or not it can keep pace with the rest of the format. Last week I said I expected to see a rise in Pestilence as a way to counteract Faeries. I dun goofed but seeing Boros Monarch thrive on Saturday means that if you came to beat Faeries and Burn you were on the right track.
Looking ahead to next weekend I would want to be off of Burn. I think its time in the spotlight has passed and we are going to see more life gain in the next few Challenges. Ramp decks could be poised to succeed next weekend for a few reasons. First is that they can match up well against Spellstutter Sprite decks, especially if they can get a jump on the first few turns. Cascade and Bonder’s Ornament means that they can keep on cards with Monarch. Finally these decks also have access to the tools to fight Affinity.
These decks can struggle with hyper linear strategies, however. So if I wanted to juke the ramp players I would be exploring my friend Slippery Bogle or trying to set up a Tuktuk Rubblefort.
If you enjoy this style of analysis please consider becoming a Patron. Patrons gain access to a special Discord channel as well as other perks.