Horizons March 2023 Meta Report by Alec Muchnok
Horizons March 2023 Meta Report
With March coming to an end, it’s time for another Horizons meta report. This month had two leagues, so I will be going over both events in this article. April is expected to have one league and a gauntlet event, so you can expect larger meta articles going forward.
Early March League
The first league of the month was dominated by combo, which took up 50% of the meta share in various forms. The strength of the most successful of these combo decks lies in their strong midrange backup plans. All of the top four decks could win through a combo or through playing fairly and outgrinding the opponent. You can see the decklists for this event here: https://gatherling.com/eventreport.php?event=MOS%20Horizons%20March%201%20League
Tied 4th Place: Devoted Druid Combo
Devoted druid combo pairs its namesake card with Vizier of Remedies to produce infinite mana and finish the game with a lethal Walking Ballista. The cards Green Sun’s Zenith and Fiend Artisan allow the deck to find its combo consistently or tutor a toolbox creature such as Outland Liberator or Scavenging Ooze. The deck performed very well in the league phase, going 2-0 in all of its matches except for one loss to Izzet Twin in a three game match. In the top four, the deck lost to Elves, which may reveal a weakness to other creature combo decks.
Tied 4th Place: Rakdos Goblins
Rakdos Goblins is an aggro tribal deck that aims to fill the board with goblins to quickly overwhelm the opponent. Unlike the other well-known goblin deck 8-Whack, the Rakdos version can also win by comboing with Conspicuous Snoop and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to make infinite snoops. The deck went 3-3 overall in the league, including its loss in the top 4. It seems fairer decks such as 4-Color Yorion and Izzet Twin can stop it in its tracks, but it fares well against noninteractive decks.
2nd Place: Elves
Elves is a creature combo deck that wins by generating a lot of mana with Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel while drawing through the deck with cards like Glimpse of Nature or Leaf-Crowned Visionary. After playing 15+ elves, the deck finishes the game by casting a lethal Craterhoof Behemoth. While the deck can consistently win on turn 3 or 4 without interaction, it can also grind out value with Elvish Visionary and Green Sun’s Zenith to win the long game. During the league, the deck lost only to Izzet Twin and Death & Taxes, both of which are known for their ability to stop combo decks.
1st Place: Izzet Twin
As expected, twin won the first league it was played in. Izzet Twin plays as a fair control deck until it can finish the game through the combo of Splinter Twin and a creature that can untap the enchanted creature, such as Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite. The deck is incredibly consistent and does a very good job of stopping other combo decks with its interaction. This rang true in the league, with the deck losing only to Death & Taxes and HollowVine.
Late March League
The second league of the month was smaller than the first, and it was much fairer. Out of the three decks that finished five games, only one was a combo deck, and it didn’t actually have a winning record.
Check out the decklists here: https://gatherling.com/eventreport.php?event=Horizon%20Clash%20Series%200.09
3rd Place: Tron
Tron is a combo ramp deck that aims to get the Urza lands (Urza’s Mine, Urza’s Power Plant, and Urza’s Tower) onto the battlefield as quickly as possible to generate seven mana as early as turn 3. From there, the deck wins by playing large threats such as Wurmcoil Engine and Karn LIberated. The deck can also play as a toolbox deck thanks to Karn, the Great Creator. Tron is typically very favored against slower, fair decks, but in this league it lost to both Jund and Death & Taxes.
2nd Place: Zoo
Zoo is a creature aggro deck that plays cheap, efficient threats such as Wild Nacatl and Akoum Hellhound to present lethal before the opponent can effectively enact their gameplan. It can consistently kill around turn 3 by combining its creatures with burn spells. The deck is fast enough that it can typically win the game before combo decks that lack interaction. In this league, it beat Hammer, Tron, and HollowVine, losing only to the fairer decks Jund and Death & Taxes.
1st Place: Orzhov Death & Taxes
Death & Taxes uses cheap taxing threats such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to slow down the opponent while developing its board. It also plays Stoneforge Mystic as an additional threat to find Batterskull or Sword of Fire and Ice, as well as Lion Sash against graveyard decks. The deck can be tuned to the metagame to maximize its potential. This version splashes black for Tidehollow Sculler in the main and Orzhov Pontiff in the side, which improves the combo and creature matchups. While the deck is great against unfair strategies, it struggles against other fair decks, as shown by its loss to Jund in this league.