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March State of the Meta: Best of One

The first Mythic Championship has concluded and now the ladder has reset which means it's time to start the grind to Mythic! This season will be quite the laddering season as the top 1000 players will be able to compete in a special event. To help give you all some insight on what to expect on the best of one ladder I'll be talking about the decks I've been running into.

The Pillars of Best of One

This is not a surprise as Mono-Blue did just win the Mythic Championship and is quite the powerful deck but also a very difficult deck to play efficiently. Figuring out what to counter and how your hand lines up against your opponent's threats and answers can be difficult. To play the deck you've got to have patience as sometimes it's not always correct to just windmill slam Curious Obsession onto a threat. With the rise in Esper's popularity on the ladder, this deck can really give a control mage a bad time. The deck has some tough matchups against the hyper aggro and go wide gameplan but that doesn't mean it's not winnable. Just be ready to maneuver around decks like Mono-Red and Mono-White.


The infamous Mono Red is hot on Mono Blue's tail in popularity. This is probably one of the more efficient decks to play on the ladder when it comes to grinding. It also has a good Mono blue matchup as your deck is filled with cheap answers to their threats that can also double as a way to close out the game. Just be careful for when you're playing against Sultai Midrange to have mana up to Lightning Strike a Wildgrowth Walker as that card will destroy you if they get to keep it around. Cards like Goblin Chainwhirler still pull their weight as being able to kill a ton of one toughness creatures in matchups like Mono-White and Mono-Blue. Light Up the Stage has proven itself as an all-star in this deck. Giving Red Deck one mana Divination is very scary. Light Up's existence means we can swing with our threats on board first to see if they want to tap out to answer an early threat, which may give us a window to jam an Experimental Frenzy. Some lists have chosen to drop Experimental Frenzy entirely which I'm not 100% sure is correct as I think we could still afford one or two as that card is absurdly powerful. Red Deck's efficiency is scary and continues to dominate the ladder.

It's crazy to see so many mono-colored decks sitting at the top but Mono-White deserves its spot. It's quite strong in that it has so many one drop threats that are followed up with something like a Legion's Landing which can flip as early as turn three or a Benalish Marshal. The key ways to stop this deck is to prevent it from flooding the board or just going bigger. The thing about Mono-White is that it also has Unbreakable Formation to protect your board from a sweeper like Kaya's Wraith and the Addendum part of the card can also be used as an anthem effect or a combat trick. Let's not forget about the fact the deck also has Tithe Taker which will also push our opponent's interactive spells back a turn and with Afterlife 1, a board wipe will still leave you with threats. 

Surprise! I'm playing Esper Control on the ladder. The actual surprise is how many people I've battled on a control deck. Usually, the control crowd in best of one is a bit smaller as your games take a while to finish. Thankfully with Nexus of Fate being banned in best of one means we don't need to pack cards like Unmoored Ego in the main. I think the list I've been playing could use a second copy of Negate but so far it's been performing quite well. The deck has a solid matchup across the board outside of big mana decks. With how popular Esper has been, if you're looking to beat it then it may be time to bring back ......sigh...... Carnage Tyrant and Temur Reclamation decks. 

Sultai Midrange is kind of weird in this format as Midrange decks really rely on their sideboard but the fact that we get the explore package makes it so we have quite a game against mono red. The issue is how we don't have any Negate or Disdainful Stroke for control decks as that is usually in our sideboard but the power level of the explore package and Hydroid Krasis still allows this deck to compete and just grind our opponents out of cards. Find // Finality is another all-star returning our key cards back like Krasis or a fallen Carnage Tyrant. I think to better tune this deck we may look to add a few copies of Carnage Tyrant as our Explore threats will often force the opponent into board wiping and then that's when we jam our Tyrant to close out. Even if they answer one Tyrant, the Sultai & Golgari decks have enough ways to make the Tyrant reoccur that they will eventually run out of board wipes.



The ladder is insanely diverse right now. There seem to be fewer Mono-Red decks than last season and a way more diverse meta right now. Though these are the main decks I've run into, that doesn't mean it's exclusively these decks. I've run into Izzet Drakes and Phoenix. There's also been an increase in Orzhov Knights! Once again, the new season is here and I'm excited to push my way to Mythic. This should help get me in tune with Best of One again as I've been playing a ton of Best of Three. I'll be playtesting a ton of Best of One throughout the month as I need to get ready for the invitational, so I'll see you soon with more updates and maybe a trophy for the Goldfish crew!

 Yours Truly 

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