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I personally played mainly during the Onslaught block (Judgement came out around the time I started, and I quit during Mirrodin due to ravager affinity, then came back briefly during Kamigawa).

Of course, few of the decks I saw back then made it into the lower formats, and the few that did were heavily altered due to the extra cards allowed in the lower formats. There was a lot of decks back then that I thought were rather unique. Nightmare reanimator, rift slide, mirari's wake, madness, all the tribal decks (even if most of them sucked).

Of course, nobody remembers these besides those who played during Onslaught. It seems that only the stupid op decks that broke the format get remembered. Everyone knows about Tolarian Academy, Ravager Affinity, Psychatog, you get the idea.

That got me thinking, what about the decks you saw during other versions of standard/type 2? Besides psychatog and some green-red rush deck using Fires of Yavimaya, I don't know of any decks made possible by invasion. I don't know what decks Mercadian Masques gave. What decks were popular during Invasion-Odyssey (beyond the reanimator and madness decks I mentioned). I've also heard of Sliver decks from around Tempest, but I've never seen an actual Sliver deck from the time, nor do I have any idea how they actually performed in the format as it existed back then.

Is there anyone who has ever tried to compile a list of all the versions of standard that have ever existed? I hate games that are forever evolving. If you find a deck you enjoy, chances are you'll never be able to play it again once the cards it needs rotates out. And even type 1 (or vintage I think its called now) is constantly in flux due to the ever increasing power of newer cards.

As for why I want to know this? I was thinking of using pygame to make my own card game that allows you to play with decks that work like the ones I liked (though not with the exact same cards, and not all of the decks would even be based on MTG decks). I know of the decks that were fun in my time, but are there any other interesting decks that have existed in standard either before or after I played?

  • Looking around, I did find something interesting: pre-modern. Its a fan format that only allows the sets from fourth to scourge (essentially, all the sets that modern and another format called 93-94 allow). The format is primarily meant to be a more casual format where you can play all the old type 2 decks of the past. Looking up games for the format, I've seen a few decks I've heard about, and some others I never have. Doing research into pre-modern appears to be a good way to go for this. – user27974 Aug 2 at 16:54
  • Typo: the line 'all the sets that modern and another format called 93-94 allow' should be 'disallow'. I can't edit my own comment for some reason. – user27974 Aug 2 at 19:23
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All Standard MTG decks will be hard, but I assume you're mostly interested in the most successful ones. In that case, I'd start with the Event Archive on Wizards' website. Especially for older events, the format isn't always shown in the list, but a few clicks will be enough to determine the format.

Now, for example, let's take the 2000 Pro Tour Chicago. Scrolling down the coverage article, you'll get to the Top 8 Decks page, which shows you the archetypes which were successful back then:

  • White Rebels
  • Red/Green Aggro
  • White/Blue Rebel Control
  • Blue Control (Rising Waters)

(not sure about the names, though)

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    Another helpful resource for recent events is MTGTop8, which has a Metagame Breakdown (for standard) with decks from Zendikar-Scars of Mirrodin standard onwards, as well as decklists for every Worlds, Pro Tour and Grand Prix tournaments. – J. Sallé Aug 1 at 18:14
  • I believe those 'rebel' decks were called 'mercenary decks'. I actually got to see one once (well, kinda. I was playing land destruction, and his deck only had like 8-12 lands in it, so I didn't really get to see how it worked). And I believe those 'red/green' decks were the top deck of the period. I remember reading about one in a magezine that talked about all the most op decks ever (their list went all the way back to a white/blue control deck made up of cards from the first few sets, sadly they only covered about a dozen decks). – user27974 Aug 1 at 22:52

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