We’re back for the second half of my Dragon’s Maze brewing, and this time I’ll talk about Standard, Modern, and Legacy for those of you who love all formats like I do. Once again, these lists may need to be tuned because testing 22 decks built from cards that just released is quite an undertaking. As you will notice, there are no sideboards for these decks; instead I listed some sideboard suggestions as cards to look at when building a sideboard.
Battle of Wits
This deck has finally hit a critical mass of win conditions with Maze’s End, which can also find the mana to activate Door to Nothingness. There are not enough tutors in the format to reliably search for Battle of Wits so alternate win conditions are a necessity. This version will focus on slowing down its opponent while trying to draw into an alternate win condition. Barring that, it has plenty of planeswalkers that can win as well as a bunch of value creatures.
Sideboard Suggestions: Negate, Council of the Absolute, Pithing Needle, Ghost Quarter.
The addition of Blood Scrivener has brought attention to the Zombie tribe once again. Now it can get some much-needed card advantage to make a comeback in the endgame. Getting a card like Sire of Insanity to bring in against the Spinx’s Revelation decks will solidify its position in the field, provided it can find a way to keep up with the other aggressive decks.
Sideboard Suggestions: Sire of Insanity, Vile Rebirth, Liliana of the Veil, Thundermaw Hellkite.
It seems like the floodgates have been opened on a treasure trove of cards for the Selesnya Tokens deck. With Dragon’s Maze comes Advent of the Wurm a.k.a. Ambush Wurm, Voice of Resurgence, Scion of Vitu Ghazi, and Alive // Well to completely reenvision the deck. I would expect to see a lot of Selesnya Tokens going forward, because it seems like a pretty reliable strategy against a wide array of decks.
Sideboard Suggestions: Rest in Peace, Triumph of Ferocity, Thragtusk, Rootborn Defenses.
This is an update on a deck that saw some minor play last season. This time around it gets Blood Scrivener to help it keep pace with card advantage, Varolz, the Scar-Striped to allow it to make all of its creatures a deadly threat, and Putrefy to take out opposing threats.
Sideboard Suggestions: Vampire Nighthawk, Deadly Allure, Golgari Charm, Deathrite Shaman.
A real grindy deck, American Control will just sit back and deal with its opponent’s threats until it can land one of its own. It gained quite a few new toys like Aetherling, Turn // Burn, Ral Zarek, and Warleader’s Helix. With so many ways to deal direct damage, it wouldn’t be a surprise to burn its opponent out quite often.
Sideboard Suggestions: Feeling of Dread, Detention Sphere, Blind Obedience, Terminus.
The real winner of Beck // Call is Elf Combo in Modern because it gets a new Glimpse of Nature, which is currently banned in the format. This version of Elf Combo has a few extra tricks and ways to get its pieces that most lists do not. Beck // Call draws you an insane amount of cards, allowing you to amass a lethal army in one turn. We also have Intruder Alarm, which combos with Imperious Perfect and any elf that makes mana to make as many elves as you desire. Our search spells are Summoner’s Pact and Chord of Calling so you can find specific creatures when you need to.
Sideboard Suggestions: Unified Will, Thoughtseize, Essence Warden, Viridian Zealot.
Junk has really picked up some steam since Bloodbraid Elf got banned in Modern, and now it gets some new toys with Sin Collector and Varolz, the Scar-Striped. Sin Collector allows you to have more creatures while having more discard, which can put your opponent in a very rough position. Varolz, the Scar-Striped makes Death’s Shadow a permanent +13/+13, or that dead Sin Collector a permanent Giant Growth.
Sideboard Suggestions: Lingering Souls, Thoughtseize, Golgari Charm, Kitchen Finks.
American Planeswalker Control
Dragon’s Maze introduces a lot of fun new interactions, and my favorite is probably Ral Zarek with Ajani Vengeant to lock down whatever permanent you want. This deck runs a whopping 11 planeswalkers, which means you’re going to be playing a very slow and long game. Your win condition is usually going to be burning your opponent out. You will need to be able to stop combo decks, so cards like Torpor Orb and Counterflux will be a necessity in the sideboard.
Sideboard Suggestions: Counterflux, Wear // Tear, Torpor Orb, Relic of Progenitus.
I played a list similar to this in Modern for a short time, and found that what it really wanted was some more reach. The addition of Pyrewild Shaman will give the reach this deck wants while acting as removal when your creatures get blocked. Adding black after sideboard allows this deck to cover a lot of its weaknesses to combo decks quite nicely.
Sideboard Suggestions: Molten Rain, Thoughtseize, Golgari Charm, Jund Charm.
Not many cards from Dragon’s Maze will find their way to Legacy, but the ones that do are usually pretty huge. Here comes Notion Thief, so hide your Brainstorms, hide your Ancestral Visions, and hide your Standstills, because he’s here to steal all your cards. Taking your opponent’s extra cards will make all the discard this deck runs that much more devastating. This deck will have issues against aggro decks, so some number of sideboard slots should be dedicated to beating those.
Sideboard Suggestions: Inquisition of Kozilek, Darkblast, Spell Pierce, Damnation.
This deck had been on the outs for a while, but it has recently begun making its way back into the spotlight. The only real maindeckable addition it gets is pretty strong. Voice of Resurgence will allow you to gain a bunch of early value against control decks, and a bunch of lategame value against the aggro decks. It acts as a homing beacon for removal spells while you use Mother of Runes to protect it. Ready // Willing is a great sideboard option to trump either an aggro deck or decks trying to Supreme Verdict away all of your creatures.
Sideboard Suggestions: Thoughtseize, Abrubt Decay, Krosan Grip, Ready // Willing.
Dragon’s Maze has brought a lot of cards and change with it, so I may have overlooked or misevaluated a card here and there. Feel free to chime in and let me know. I had a lot of fun doing these articles, and if you enjoyed them please make it known so I can keep doing this with future sets. I should be back for Magic 2014 in July, but until then, feel free to discuss these decks in the comments.
Thanks for reading,
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