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Brewing With Dragon’s Maze

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

I’m back from the lab with some Dragon’s Maze brews. I’m writing exclusively about Standard today — it’s the most played format, and any information I can get out there early is a benefit — but will follow up with an article that includes some Modern and Legacy lists. I offer some suggestions for sideboard cards that cover what each deck should be weak against, but as usual, these decks may need some tweaking because I don’t have full information about what the metagame will look like yet. Regardless, these decks should certainly get you to the winners bracket of your local FNM.

Selesnya Aggro

This deck aims to make combat hard for your opponent by making your creatures big and evasive. The addition of Voice of Resurgence and Unflinching Courage helps against control and aggro, respectively. The drawback of a deck like this is that one creature generally won’t get you there alone; you could be forced into overextending into a Supreme Verdict or Bonfire of the Damned, so take this into account when playing and building a sideboard.

Sideboard Suggestions: Selesnya Charm, Centaur Healer, Rootborn Defenses, Triumph of Ferocity.

Blue Jund

Getting cards like Reap Intellect, Gaze of Granite, Turn // Burn, and Putrefy make Jund far more dangerous. Adding blue allows you to cut cards like Rakdos’s Return for what is essentially Slaughter Games as an X spell in Reap Intellect; you don’t get to deal damage, but it is far more devastating. A card like Notion Thief out of the sideboard can really stick it to those Sphinx’s Revelation decks while giving you a threat at instant speed.

Sideboard Suggestions: Notion Thief, Duress, Slaughter Games, Rolling Temblor.

Rakdos Burn

The old 20/20/20 split is back, and now with card advantage from cards like Blood Scrivener and Pyrewild Shaman. This deck will simply try to kill its opponent as fast as possible, and failing that, it has a few late-game tricks. The usual failing of the burn deck is somewhat mitigated by running cards like Bump in the Night, Pyrewild Shaman, and Thunderous Wrath, which are effective in the late game when you have a lot of mana.

Sideboard Suggestions: Duress, Vampire Nighthawk, Vile Rebirth, Rolling Temblor.

Boros Battalion

Boros will try to overwhelm you with lots of fast and efficient creatures, and this version is designed to fight aggro in Game 1. After sideboarding, cards like Legion’s Initiative and Boros Charm can fight control while dealing some extra damage. This Boros deck has a little higher curve than I feel comfortable with, so I added a couple extra lands to make sure it can cast its spells.

Sideboard Suggestions: Legion’s Initiative, Boros Charm, Dryad Militant, Pillar of Flame.

Jund Midrange

Jund should be able to go back to one-for-ones with the extra wrath effect of Gaze of Granite backing up Mizzium Mortars. Zhur-Taa Druid will act as Farseeks five and six while dealing some extra damage along the way. But the real story is adding planeswalkers back into the mix for a steady supply of card advantage, because the aggro decks did not get a lot of toys this time.

Sideboard Suggestions: Tragic Slip, Ground Seal, Slaughter Games, Appetite for Brains.

Esper Control

Esper Control got one of the best finishers ever printed in Aetherling, along with Far // Away to back it up. This deck will sit behind a wall of planeswalkers and beat you to death with Aetherling or Obzedat, Ghost Council. Failing that, it will simply mill you out while keeping your board locked down.

Sideboard Suggestions: Notion Thief, Feeling of Dread, Terminus, Negate.

Naya Aggro

While lightning fast, this deck’s weakness was primarily to the aggro mirror and wrath effects. Getting Voice of Resurgence and Pyrewild Shaman will greatly help with both matchups. While adding white also brings cards like Unflinching Courage and Frontline Medic to race other aggro decks, Boros Charm will help against those pesky wrath effects.

Sideboard Suggestions: Unflinching Courage, Frontline Medic, Skullcrack, Boros Charm.

Junk Midrange

Getting Sin Collector for hand disruption, Blood Baron of Vizkopa to gain life, and Putrefy to deal with opposing threats could make Junk Midrange a major player. Gaze of Granite and Ready // Willing will help fight aggro decks and control decks at the same time. This deck will likely be weak to Jund, so Loxodon Smiter is a big boon out of the sideboard.

Sideboard Suggestions: Gaze of Granite, Ready // Willing, Centaur Healer, Loxodon Smiter.

White Jund

This is one of the decks I worked on post-Gatecrash, and I played it for almost the entire season. It was one of the more fun and interesting decks I worked on, and I simply couldn’t put it down. Hopefully that’s true again. This time it gets Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Putrefy, Warleader’s Helix, and Gaze of Granite to help cover its weaknesses. The biggest weakness of this deck is the reanimator strategies, so bringing in cards like Slaughter Games and Ground Seal will be a necessity.

Sideboard Suggestions: Centaur Healer, Gaze of Granite, Slaughter Games, Ground Seal.

Grixis Control

This deck gets quite a bit with the additions of Aetherling, Far // Away, Turn // Burn, Ral Zarek, and Reap Intellect. Opposing control decks with more counters will likely be rough for this deck, but being able to bring in a wide array of offensive and defensive options should keep this deck afloat while whittling away at your opponent.

Sideboard Suggestions: Notion Thief, Duress, Negate, Slaughter Games.

RUG Flash

With most of its creatures already having flash, this deck doesn’t require Yeva, Nature’s Herald to work (although it’s helpful). When Progenitor Mimic is given flash, that makes two creatures your opponent now has to fight. Also picking up the slack against those nasty Thragtusks is Turn // Burn, which leaves them with just the five extra life. Ral Zarek is much needed because he can make those Wolfir Avengers especially nasty.

Sideboard Suggestions: Talrand, Sky Summoner, Thragtusk, Izzet Staticaster, Simic Charm.

Next time I’ll be looking at a couple more Standard decks along with some Modern and Legacy decks. I’m very excited about many of the cards in Dragon’s Maze, and quite a few will go on to be multi-format all-stars. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions, and I will try to answer everyone.

Thanks for reading,

Josh Milliken
Twitter: @joshuamilliken

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