Tom Haddy is a mainstay of the Australian Magic scene, and we like to cover him because of his keen insight into formats as well as being a ridiculously friendly chap. He's running an interesting concoction this weekend - expect a Deck Tech later - and I pulled him aside to chat about how Born of the Gods is evolving the format.
With only a few smaller tournaments on the books, GP Melbourne is the first real showcase of the new Standard. In his tournament prep, Haddy observed that the format seemed relatively unchanged from what it had been in previous weeks - Mono-Blue and Black, U/W control shells, and R/G topped out his metagame call, along with a handful of smaller aggro decks in various colour combinations.
Haddy sees most deckbuilders as focusing on fine-tuning matchups or staying ahead of minor variations in decklists as opposed to breaking new ground. He notes an increase in the amount of Gods seeing play, both the Theros originals and the newer ones from Born of the Gods, particularly Xenagos and Ephara. Aggressive decks can run cards like Destructive Revelry or Unravel the Æther and be more assured of a decent target, and Haddy points out that Black, which has been very strong in the format up until now, may start to struggle with non-discard methods of dealing with enchantments in the new Standard.
So is there room for some new break-out decks to emerge this weekend? Haddy certainly hopes so, his list targeted at the existing metagame with some precision. There are rumours of an ultra-aggressive U/W aggro deck floating around the hall already, and Phenax's name has been whispered a few times. The raw power level of the format is trending high, so any new brews will have to perform heroically indeed if they want to emerge victorious over the weekend.