f you have read a couple of Magic strategy articles, or watched a few interviews at a Pro Tour, you have probably heard people mention this thing called a metagame. Now, technically, metagame is a made up word when used in the context that we do, but aren't all words? What it comes to mean in our little world, though, is simply "the existing decks, ideas, and strategies that make up the world of competitive Magic, and their density therein." You then can get more specific, such as Standard metagame, and things begin to take better shape. The Standard metagame then, is simply the decks, cards, and ideas that make up Standard.
Funny thing about this metagame: it is regulated by the masses. When Delver is the best deck, aside from it actually just being the best, it is seen at the density that it is because the masses choose to play it heavily. There have been good decks that have not been popular before. But as things fall in and out of favor with people, either because of new card interactions, bannings, or even just boredom, this metagame rotates. The deck that destroys all artifacts is pretty good while Affinity is big, but not so much a year later. One interesting thing about this metagame, though, is that for all of the old decks that time has passed by, there are always a few that poke their heads out again, making you question why they fell in the first place.
In this case, Magic Online user HowardStern decided to revive a lost relic of the past two years with a new take on Puresteel Paladin. Puresteel Paladin remains just as viable an engine now as it did a year ago, when its popularity was relatively high, but with the release of new sets and a different environment in Standard, the deck fell out of favor and could not compete. Now that things are new again, though, Puresteel Paladin potentially has a chance to compete. Puresteel Paladin decks simply want to get their namesake card in play and chain as many Equipment together as possible, generating card advantage while amassing a board presence. This particular list has some great Equipment targets in Invisible Stalker and Mirran Crusader that could push the deck back into winning again, so who knows? Now if only there were any other cool decks that had been forgotten about...
HowardStern's Puresteel Equipment
Standard – 4–0, Magic Online Daily, Week of August 6