When a new set comes out I always have to brew a bunch of decks, and Gatecrash is no exception. The difference is now you can see all the untested goodness that I’ve come up with so far. Some of these decks may be close to as good as they can get and some may need some work, but this will give you brewers out there a good starting point.
These don’t have sideboards because I don’t know what the meta will look like just yet. They would have to be tested to know what they’re weak against, but I did give a few cards to look at when building one.
With Simic Charm and Dimir Charm hitting the format, a BUG Tempo deck is now a possibility. This deck should be built to fight aggro pre board, but should have a lot of cheap tools to fight control and midrange out of the sideboard.
BUG Delver by Josh Milliken
Another deck that benefits from Simic Charm, Bant Delver will be a very flexible deck capable of running over some less-prepared aggro decks. Fighting control and midrange out of the sideboard will be a necessity.
Bant Delver by Josh Milliken
Brain Drain Zombies
Zombies occasionally suffers from not having a way to deal the last few points of damage without attacking. Thrull Parasite paired with Blood Artist helps to solve that issue. Adding white to Zombies gives it access to cards like Lingering Souls, Orzhov Charm, and the currently unplayed Mentor of the Meek — which may or may not be amazing.
Brain Drain Zombies by Josh Milliken
Red Deck Wins
Red Deck Wins has always just tried to race their opponent. With Skullcrack preventing them from gaining life and Boros Charm taking chunks of life four at a time, it’s a very good time to be a red mage. You’ll notice that there’s nothing more than four mana in this list; Skullcrack and Boros Charm will have the same effect of those high end spells while making the deck more consistent.
Red Deck Wins by Josh Milliken
Lightning-fast Gruul aggro has been an issue to get off the ground until now, with the addition of Stomping Ground to fix the mana and Domri Rade for some card draw. Most of the creatures have haste in this deck, which makes most removal ineffective; the rest are mostly one-drops that will attack for at least two.
Gruul Aggro by Josh Milliken
Zoo traditionally runs the most cost-efficient creatures in the format, and this build is no different. You should realize when playing this deck that it’s whole goal is to overwhelm its opponent as quickly as possible with super-efficient creatures. There is no removal for that reason.
Dark Zoo by Josh MIlliken
This is likely the next evolution of Jund Midrange because the white adds endless options. With the flexibility of its spells, this deck should be able to either kill a threat or play a threat nearly every turn of the game. That puts a lot of pressure on the aggro decks that will emerge.
Four-Color Midrange by Josh Milliken
Esper Walker Control
Control has been waiting for the correct mana, and now it’s here in the form of Watery Grave and Godless Shrine. This deck will simply sit back and draw cards while killing their opponent’s creatures and abusing the card advantage from planeswalkers.
Esper Walker Control by Josh Milliken
The problem with a mill deck is that it usually can’t close the game out quickly enough, but Gatecrash may have changed that. Tacking mill onto spells that counter spells and kill creatures is huge for this deck. But the biggest thing may be that it can run almost no spells that don’t mill your opponent.
Dimir Mill by Josh Milliken
This hasn’t been a deck yet mostly because of the amount of wrath effects in Standard. Those likely will shift toward Bonfire of the Damned and Aurelia’s Fury, which should let this get some wins in for a while because of Frontline Medic. This deck will simply drop a critical mass of creatures to ramp into either Craterhoof Behemoth or Primal Surge to hopefully win that turn.
Selesnya Surge by Josh Milliken
A relatively recent deck that took first and secnd at a GP, Gatecrash gives it better mana and some new auras to toy with. The idea is to play a hexproof creature and enchant it with as many auras as you can to end the game as quickly as you can. The addition of Holy Mantle and Gift of Orzhova give the creatures you’re enchanting better evasion so you can ignore what your opponent is doing.
Bant Auras by Josh Milliken
This deck will be fairly unique to the format because it can play out as an aggro deck or a combo deck depending on your draw. You will be pumping your creatures through various means, hopefully making them too large for your opponent to deal with. Cards like Biomass Mutation and Craterhoof Behemoth will usually end the game on the spot, while Master Biomancer and Gavony Township allow you to get incremental advantages over your opponent’s creatures.
Biomancer Bant by Josh Milliken
I’m very happy to be in a position where I can share my thoughts on a new format, and hope to do this many more times in the future. Like or comment on my article if you want to see more of this, and feel free to tinker with the lists and share the results. I’m always happy to discuss Magic.
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