Despite the all capitalized title of this article, I’ll try to keep this from creeping into the rant category. Let’s call it more of a “well” researched argument about how WHITE is too good in Standard right now. White isn’t as good in Modern, where Blue is the best, with Remand, Snapcaster Mage, Mana Leak, Vendilion Clique, Ancestral Recall, Serum Visions, etc. Back to our main topic, now. The four most played decks include white, because obviously, WHITE IS TOO GOOD! It’s a bad sign when this happens. Let’s peek into modern to see how Standard is relative to it, in terms of color diversity.
There is no sign of complete color dominance. Of course, these are the most popular decks, and not the best ones. Let’s take a look at Standard event results from GP Taipei, the most recent Standard GP as of this date.
Of the Top 8 decks from GP Taipei, 7 of the decks play White. That’s unusual. Let’s take a look at a recent Modern tournament to see if there is a similar color dominance pattern. All the decks are also green, though it’s not the green component that drives them to success. I’ll talk a little more about later.
All the decks except Ad Nauseam play Green, which is a similar color dominance pattern to the Standard GP. Although, the decks that play green play it as one of three or four colors, so the amount of green isn’t nearly as high. Two of the decks in the Standard GP play it as one of two colors, so there are probably more White cards in the Standard GP than Green cards in the Modern GP.
That didn’t leave us with a definite answer of “WHITE IS TOO GOOD!”. It even almost says “GREEN IS TOO GOOD!” since there are 8 Green decks in the Top 8.
Let’s look at the most popular cards. In spot one, we have Declaration in Stone, the best removal spell in Standard, in white. In spot four, we have Gideon, the best planeswalker in Standard, in white. In eighth, we have the best finisher in Standard, Archangel Avacyn. There are 5 White cards on the list, 6 Green cards, and 1 Blue card. This still seems to say that Green is too good. However, look at the Margin of % of Decks played between Declaration in Stone and Sylvan Advocate. Almost twice as many. This is unnatural. Black and red have no representation, and blue has almost none. If you click view more, you’ll see that overall White has more representation, 15 of the top 30 cards being white.
These three cards have given white an unfair edge in Standard.
Gisela will give it even more of an edge, being a powerful four drop that closes out games quickly.
How should we resolve this question? Ban Plains. Without it, white won’t have it’s unfair advantage over the other colors. Also, legalize Lightning Bolt. Red is so under-represented in Standard.