The World Championship Metagame

The 29th World Championship kicks off this morning, and we’ve been told the metagame ahead of time. With the banning of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Induce Despair, and Reckoner Bankbuster, a lot of really cool options have opened up. The pros are ready for this, and we’ve got a breakdown of what’s coming before the cameras start rolling in Vegas.

So strap in, it’s time to get predictive, and see what’s going to look good on camera, with the idea of buying whilst some things are still cheap.

Here’s the official breakdown:

Now we don’t know the *exact* lists quite yet, but the archetypes give a hint about where the decks are in general, and we know for certain that the most played card from Wilds of Eldraine is Virtue of Persistence, having 84 copies in maindecks and 13 more in sideboards. 

There are 105 competitors, meaning that the max number for any card is 420, and Virtue is at nearly a fourth of that. Given how good it is early, I’m not shocked, and I fully expect this card to be a staple of Standard and Commander for quite a while.

Let’s talk about some potential standouts.

Sheoldred’s Edict (cheapest copies are $3, most expensive is $8)

The Edict has promo versions around but the glorious thing about this card is that the control decks want this just as much as more midrange and aggressive decks do. Being good at controlling the board early is useful, but being able to nab a planeswalker in the mirror match with the same card is going to have this card popping up by a dollar or two.

There’s going to be a lot of decks that run this card this weekend, and running more than a few copies. It’s never bad, and potentially very very good. I have every certainty that on camera, being an instant, it’ll nail someone at the perfect moment. That alone will be worth fifty cents a copy.

Sunfall ($2 to $3)

It’s already in 12,000 Commander decks online, but it’s certain to be in a whole lot more as time passes. There aren’t a lot of recursive threats in Standard right now aside from Mosswood Dreadknight and Tenacious Underdog, but the big draw here is that for one more mana than the usual Wrath of God sort of card, we get an artifact creature of varying sizes. Doesn’t matter how big it is–you get the creature, the board presence, right away. 

Also, it’s helpful that this nails all the token creatures that planeswalkers produce, and gets that much bigger afterwards as a result. We’ll see a little bit of Farewell doing good work, but the star of the board wipes will be this rare and if the control decks look good this weekend, Sunfall will hit $5 or more.

Bloodthirsty Adversary ($3 to $11)

When in doubt, aggro them out, and Adversary is an exceptional card early and late. The red decks can do all sorts of aggro things, ranging from pump spells like Monstrous Rage to direct damage or card advantage plus damage in Nahiri’s Warcrafting. Sunfall being five mana is the drawback that’s just enough for a beater like this. The two-mana haste creature is fantastic with Kumano Faces Kakkazan, and this has an extra bonus if you get to five mana too.

I don’t think we’ll get anything as backbreaking as the Dauthi Voidwalker-Thoughtseize-free casting of Ulamog on camera but I imagine there will be some aggro player who topdecks this card with a Monstrous Rage in the yard and hits for six out of nowhere for the win. 

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse ($70 to $120) 

I’ve suspected that Sheoldred has needed a ban for a while, the card is everywhere and despite all the bannings around it, it’s still the most popular creature this weekend. It fits into the Esper Legends decks, the Golgari Midrange, and so on. Only the most controlling of decks declines to play this, and it’s not hard to see why.

Huge life swings, punishing the card draw engines, and a giant five toughness makes this a dream of a card and something worth the effort and the price tag. I’m surprised we haven’t gotten something to keep this price under control, even a List printing would help. A good showing this weekend and we’ll have our first $100 card in Standard since Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy.

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar ($7 to $32)

Both the Esper Legends decks and the Mono-White Aggro lists are running a bunch of Adeline, and if it wasn’t for the copies that were added in a March of the Machine Commander deck, we’d already be looking at a $20 card. The way Adeline snowballs and synergizes is truly impressive, and a lot of the fastest starts we’ll see this weekend will include a hit from Adeline for 5+ damage. 

The graph clearly shows how the extra influx dropped prices of the regular copies, and the price is likely to recover past $10 this weekend and might go as high as $15.

Leyline Binding ($8 to $13)

A super-popular spell all over the place, there are a lot of awesome synergies with this card. Two tri-lands and this is castable on turn 2. If you have Up The Beanstalk out, for one mana you get the exile and you get to draw a card! Enchantment synergies, it can trigger on the opponent’s turn if you want that bonus, the list goes on.

As an added bonus, the card is popular in Commander and Modern, and is even present in the super-neat Invasion of Alara Cascade Reanimator deck in Standard that only a couple of people brought to the World Championship.

Regular copies will break $10 this weekend, and have the potential to go a lot higher. 

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.