Huge Value in 2022 Challenger Decks – Full Review

which is the best 2022 Standard challenger deck? Full breakdown and ratings

Huge Value in 2022 Challenger Decks – Full Review

If you’d seen last year’s Challenger Decks, you’ll know some are slightly stronger while others held superiority in the money cards.

In 2022, Wizards decided to go out of their way to up the power level and inherent value of the newest decks. Each Challenger Deck comes with at least 27 Rare cards, 1 Mythic, and many of these hold a US$3-5 value. Although your local game store might price these decks relative to its projected value, at least you know you’re getting a quality product.

But exactly how strong are these decks, especially when pitted against each other? We pull them out of the boxes and rate them so that you’ll know which one to get. Before we get started, do check out the full deck lists as well as our rating guidelines:

Playability – How likely the deck is to hold its own against both precon and non-precon decks in the format.

Value – How good is the deck in terms of financial value and inherent value of cards present.

Upgradability – How easily the deck upgraded and improved for minimal cost.

Beginner Friendliness – How easy are the mechanics of the deck for a beginner to learn).

Each category will carry 5-star rating system, with an average score at the end to round it off.

Mono-White Aggro Challenger Deck 2022

Mono white aggro is one of the 2022 challenger decks for Standard. High powered and filled with good cards.


White aggro’s game plan is simple enough, even for the raw players. Cast 1 Creature on turn 1, 2 on turn 2, build up a wide army, and swing for the kill. The point is to rush the opponent, and this particular build is an especially strong version of white aggro that is also very popular in the digital MTG Arena platform.

With 12 1-Mana-cost Creatures, there’s a good chance you’ll get to play one on turn 1. Then by using multi-spell triggers from Clarion Spirit and Monk of the Open Hand, it’s simple enough to sequence your spells and grow your army upwards and sideways.

This Challenger Deck even includes distinct and effective cards to halt your opponents from dealing with your Creatures. Two copies of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Reidane, God of the Worthy, and 3(!) copies of Elite Spellbinder should be enough to delay those annoying board wipes. Against burly defenders or disruptive Artifacts or Enchantments, there are also the excellent Skyclave Apparition and Fateful Absence (4 copies total) to take care of them.


Mono-white aggro currently sits 3rd out of the 4 Challenger Decks in terms of value, mainly because the bulk of aggressive cards are cheaper Common and Uncommon cards. The value comes in the “utility” cards that pack more value. Skyclave Apparition and Luminarch Aspirant are two Rares that essentially work as a 2-for-1, hence they still hold decent value should you decide to sell.

On a slightly lower price tier is Paladin Class and Faceless Haven, but these aren’t expected to appreciate significantly, so take that into consideration if you’re getting this deck for investment purposes. (Feb 2022 value: US$96)


This Challenger Deck is already so stacked that there’s not much to upgrade in terms of offensive power. You might want to consider some cards for a mid-game strategy just in case you can’t push through with the little critters. One or two more copies of Intrepid Adversary should help a lot, and you can also consider Cathar’s Crusader as an additional removal option.

Do note that if you upgrade or make any changes to the deck list, you also have to take out the 3 copies of Faceless Haven, as these were recently banned in January 2022 for the Standard format, though an exception has been made if you play with this Challenger deck as is.

Beginner Friendliness

Creature combat has always been the default way of playing Magic, and mono-white aggro is just right for beginners. Cast as many Creatures as you can, and pinch and prod at the opponent as much as possible. It’s not that different from mono-red aggro, but white has some better tricks and cards to last the longer game. Flying angels is one of them, and as mentioned above there are many cards that can hold off “board wipe” spells.

The concept of “double spell casting” isn’t too difficult for beginners to grasp, and this Challenger deck would be one of the highest picks if you’re not particularly fond of a specific tribe or mechanic.

Final Rating

The classic “turn sideways” and attack will always be a great option for newer players, and for experienced ones who like games quick and dirty. It’s incredibly impressive how many options the mono-white Challenger Deck has in outlasting the opponent, and that’s why it is still one of the popular meta decks in today’s Standard. (3.8 out of 5)

Dimir Control Challenger Deck 2022

Dimir Control is one of the 2022 challenger decks for Standard.


Dimir Control presents a lot of possibilities, because the classic blue-black colour combination offers both protection as well as powerful spells to either go offensive and control the board.

The Challenger Deck comes stacked with a ton of counter and Creature removal spells. There’s the Foretell favourite Saw It Coming, plus effective destruction spells in Hero’s Downfall and Power Word Kill. You will also have the luxury of 6 “board wipes” at your disposal – Crippling Fear and Blood on the Snow that can easily bring back one of your Creatures. However, with only 6 Creatures in the deck and no Planeswalkers, this might not happen as often as you think.

The Magic all comes together in the late game, as 2 copies of Lymrith, Desert Doom and 1 Hullbreaker Horror will cause big problems for your opponent, by either replenishing your hand with each attack, or countering any spell that he or she can dish out. It’s back-breaking torture to play against them, so if that’s what you like, this is definitely the deck for you.


Sitting at no. 1 in terms of value, Dimir Control is filled with 4 copies each of Memory Deluge and Shipwreck Marsh – highly playable cards not just in Standard but can see long-lasting use in Commander too. The 3 big Creature finishers Lymrith and Hullbreaker also hold value of over US$5 each and should stay in that range for a while.

As expected, the counter and removal spells don’t count for much, but the surprising inclusion of 12 Snow-covered Lands also raises the overall value of this deck. Snow-covered Basic Lands are harder to come by as they are only found in certain sets, hence they each hold a multiplying factor in terms of value. (Feb 2022 value: US$125)


The biggest notable omissions from this Challenger Deck are the Planeswalkers. Black has some powerful Planeswalkers in the current Standard and it’s wise to consider adding one or two in, depending on what your budget allows.

Lolth, Spider Queen is a great token generator and card draw engine that is also tricky for opponents to deal with. Professor Onyx fits perfectly well in this spell-heavy deck, since her Magecraft ability means you’ll be keeping yourself alive while draining the opponent. She even has the option of drawing more cards or getting rid of the biggest threat.

Both Planeswalkers are not cheap though, since they are so good that demand for them remains high. Lolth current sells for about US$15 a piece, while the Professor goes for slightly less at US$12. Even having one of them in can create a nice upgrade in terms of power, but because they’re so pricey, the rating for this component will take a hit.

Beginner Friendliness

Control mechanics are always tricky for beginners, because you’ll need to be taking advantage of the Stack (i.e. how spells are resolved), and knowing when to hold back and when to attack is also incredibly important.

Surviving the early game is the tricky part, but once you get past that, it should become easier for fresh players as there is ample Mana to cast spells while hold back some for counters.

Final Rating

While Dimir Control sits firmly at the top of the value meter, it doesn’t fare as well in other aspects. It’s tricky to play and also easily overwhelmed by the other aggro Challenger decks if not piloted well. Experienced players will love the mind games and late game abuse with Hullbreaker Horror, but we would not recommend beginners pick this up until they’ve got several other games under their belt. (3.4 out of 5)
Dimir Control is one of the stronger 2022 challenger decks for Standard.

Gruul Stompy Challenger Deck 2022

Gruul Stompy is one of the 2022 challenger decks for Standard. Not your typical beatdown build.


Although it’s labeled as “stompy,” this build more accurate reflects a Treasure and +1/+1 counter focused deck. You’ve got 4 copies of Magda, Brazen Outlaw that can quickly creates Treasures and out speed your opponent. Goldspan Dragon is an unexpected inclusion and absolute powerhouse here, but in the early game you’ll be relying on Halana and Alena, Partners to quickly grow your little Creatures to big monsters.

With Magda providing the ramp, 4 Ranger Class will provide quick offensive power once you go to level 2. Ulven Oddity has decent stats for 4 Mana and even offers an upgrade option in the late game.

This isn’t a werewolf deck, but it does come with a couple of Tovolar’s Huntmasters that will serve as good end-game finishers, especially if you combine it with Halana and Alena. Ultimately, the game plan is rather linear and if the opponent nullifies your big threats such as Halana/Alena and Goldspan Dragon, there isn’t much else to rely on.


Goldspan Dragon is the prized asset here, and likely the primary reason why many will buy this Challenger Deck. Apart from the dragon, Gruul Stompy also comes with its equivalent Dual Lands – 4 Rockfell Vale, which currently fetches a pretty penny. Depending on how the meta develops, the price could fall slightly, especially when Crimson Vow rotates out of Standard, but this won’t happen for a while yet.

Ranger Class is also one of the more sought after Class cards is also a nice inclusion here to bump up the deck’s overall value. It’s a strong Enchantment, and should hold a good price in the months to come. Unfortunately, no Snow Lands here, and the deck’s value suffers as a result. (Feb 2022 value: US$110)


If the game plan is to make use of Halana and Alena, Partners‘ ability, then having 2 additional copies would make a vast difference and improve your chances of playing them on turn 3 or 4. They’re considered as bulk Rare cards, so both are not going to cost more than a couple of bucks. Goldspan Dragon is another matter though, and while it’s a crazy powerful beast, we don’t recommend splurging on an additional copy just to up the deck’s power level.

To take advantage of all the extra Mana available, 1 or two more copies of Light Up the Night could serve you well, even as early-game spot removal. And since there are 2 copies of Tovolar, Dire Overlord in the Sideboard, you have the option of going full werewolf with cards like Kessig Naturalist to add even more Mana ramp into your game.

Beginner Friendliness

Like mono-white, Gruul Stompy’s strategy is pretty straightforward and easily picked up by beginners. The most complex interaction would be using Jaspera Sentinel and Magda, Brazen Outlaw to create a Treasure on turn 2.

Final Rating

Goldspan Dragon is this deck’s saving grave, both in value as well as playability. Without it, it’s a weaker deck than traditional stompy builds, though with Halana and Alena, Partners, you can catch opponents by surprise and it might be too late for them to recover. Definitely good value in here and worth picking up, and playing it would be fun but not as competitive. (3.4 out of 5)

Rakdos Vampires Challenger Deck 2022

Suck your opponents' life! Rakdos vampires is one of the 2022 challenger decks for Standard.


Similarly to the Gruul Stompy deck, Rakdos Vampires is also a Creature-heavy deck, but its focus is on the vampire tribe, which returned to prominence in the latest two expansion sets – Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow.

While blood sucking will always be ‘cool,’ it doesn’t fare so well against the meta or against the other Challenger Decks, mainly because it’s a one-trick pony that doesn’t have legs for the long game. In red and black, you have a lot of offensive power and destroy spells like Infernal Grasp, but it is utterly powerless to stop the opponent from sweeping the board with one big spell.

Your best bet with this deck is to drive some extra value using Florian, Voldaren Scion‘s triggered ability, and later on have Immersturm Predator on the board with some sacrificial fodder to keep it alive. While the predator will survive against spells like Doomskar, there are so many Exile or bounce spells around that it’s not always reliable as a finisher.

Henrika Domnathi is your special Mythic here, which can conjure up some added value, but it’s even weaker than Immersturm Predator. We’re surprised this deck doesn’t include some of the more powerful vampires, which we’ll get to later in the upgradability section.


Sadly even after all that nourishing blood, Rakdos Vampires sits at the bottom of the value chain among the 4 Challenger Decks. The lack of expensive Creatures means you’re relying on the Lands – 2 Blightstep Pathway and 2 Den of the Bugbear help to keep this deck afloat. Despite the moderate power level of Domnathi and Immersturm Predator, these cards have not seen price growth simply because vampires aren’t particularly competitive in the current meta. (Feb 2022 value: US$63)


Rakdos Vampire could use some affordable upgrades to help boost its power level. [b]Bloodvial Purveyor[/c] is a 5/6 Flyer for only 4 Mana, and at less than a dollar a piece, it’s a no brainer to put this in.

The Uncommon Vampire Socialite should also have a playset because it’s a buffs all present and future vampires, plus it’s a 2/2 with Menace for only 2 Mana. If money permits, Drana, the Last Bloodchief is also a good addition because it can reanimate dead vampires. At only US$3 for one, it’s reasonable to have 1 or 2 copies in your deck.

Overall, while there are several clear upgrading choices for Rakdos Vampires, there’s very little one can do to take this deck to the upper levels of competitiveness while staying on theme.

Beginner Friendliness

The flavour is strong in this one, as it does sound quite awesome to unleash a horde of fangs and bats onto the opponent. The strategy is also one-dimensional, which is great for beginners. There aren’t complex interactions to think of, just how you’re going to get your Creatures across the Battlefield to suck the opponent dry.

Even though there are two other Challenger Decks focused on Creature combat, Rakdos Vampires is likely the friendliest to new players since here you don’t even have to worry about double casting spells in a turn, or figuring out how to get the maximum number of Treasures. Just fly out and look for your next meal.

Final Rating

If you’re looking for fun factor, look no further as the vampire theme is too good to pass up. However they are also particularly weak in the meta and even against the fellow Challenger Decks. Unfortunately the value also suffers, but if you’re starting out in Magic or planning to give this to a friend as a gift, the resale price isn’t going to be your number priority. Start simple, and have fun. (3.1 out of 5)

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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