The prerelease is behind us and the release of Battle for Zendikar is imminent. We are approaching the critical point where we get to use our experiments out in the wild. Last week I left you with five brews to consider and test out for new Standard. Well ladies and gents I’m not done just yet. I’ve got five more brews just for little ole’ you.
First up is a deck based solely around Bring to Light. There’s many different ways you can go about building such a deck and this is my take on it.
Bring to Light
This list is going on the more aggressive route of things. I’ve always wanted to go Mantis Rider into Siege Rhino and this is my chance. The supporting characters of this list going up the curve we’ve got Jace, Hangarback Walker and Rattleclaw Mystic on turn two. Each allows you to determine the pace of a game. Keep going and we move up to the aforementioned Mantis Rider and some removal in the form of Crackling Doom and Abzan Charm. These two are some of the more premier removal spells and Mantis Rider is one of the most aggressive threats you can get on turn three. Following up Mantis Rider I went with the obvious Siege Rhino because it’s Siege Rhino. Bring to Light really is the glue holding this deck together and is a very hard card to beat if you’re curving out into it. The toolbox kit of spells allows for flexibility in most situations and each spell serves their purpose. I opted for Rising Miasma over Languish because it still protects us against the Atarka Red decks but doesn’t kill our Mantis Riders. The singleton black is also less constraining on the mana as well which is nice. Sarkhan Unbroken, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Dragonlord Ojutai and Wingmate Roc all offer different threats that we can tutor up depending on what situation you’re in. I have a feeling when this deck works it will be unstoppable and when the mana doesn’t come together it will get rolled the majority of the time. Finding the right balance will be key for this kind of deck.
Next up I have a deck similar to the Elf Rally deck of last week. This time I’m utilizing the Ally theme from Battle for Zendikar and some of the sick synergies with enter the battlefield effects. Let’s take a look.
24 Allies and four Nantuko Husk is a pretty straightforward creature suite. The big role players here are Zulaport Cutthroat and Kalastria Healer – Both of which serve as a finisher alongside Rally the Ancestors and Nantuko Husk. The rest of the deck is just aggressively focused as possible to not rely heavily on a combo kill. The spell suite allows room for Collected Company as a welcome bonus to trigger Kalastria Healer and get card advantage. The Gather the Pack and Rally the Ancestors are the auto includes when making a combo deck like this. I went with 22 lands since you need to get up to five to fully utilize the Rallies. The cool thing about this deck is how much damage you can do in one turn out of nowhere. Kalastria Healer will trigger for each Ally that enters the battlefield from a Rally the Ancestors. If you have multiple it’s doing double duty. Top that with a Zulaport Cutthroat and Nantuko Husk you can easily do 20 plus damage in a single turn thanks to Rally the Ancestors. I love having a new option for playing Rally the Ancestors and this deck will only continue to get more powerful as more Ally creatures come out.
A fairly smooth mana base and aggressive curve gives this deck a lot of play. Utilizing Shambling Vents gives the deck a similar feel to when Mutavault was the land in charge. The long forgotten Warrior tribe is surprisingly powerful and has a lot of game against control and aggressive decks alike. Bloodsoaked Champion and Mardu Shadowspear are just very powerful tools against any deck trying to grind you out and sweep the board. Drawing multiple Chief of the Scale can protect you from the majority of the sweepers in the format as well. This is also a natural shell to include the new and powerful Drana, Liberator of Malakir. Brutal Hordechief and Sorin, Solemn Visitor give you some life gain to combat the red decks and you get some of the best removal in the format with Ruinous Path and Stasis Snare. This is one of favorite decks so far as Warriors have never quite been good enough to be considered tier 1 but with a new rotation there’s no reason why they can’t be now. An aggressive curve backed by the best removal is nothing to take lightly.
I don’t really know what to call the next list. The closest thing to this in the past was Zoo so I guess we’ll call it that.
I very aggressive Naya colored deck that is trying to utilize Landfall and Prowess to maximum efficiency. The big pull for this deck to me is the playset of both Dromoka’s Command and Atarka’s Command. They both fit so effortlessly into this shell and really showcase their power here. It also makes much more sense now that Atarka’s Command allows you to put a land into play from your hand with all these Landfall creatures. It’s almost like they planned for the future! *Gasp* Touch of the Void might be a strange choice over something like Exquisite Firecraft but let me explain. Touch of the Void kills about everything Exquisite Firecraft does but Touch of the Void gets rid of problematic permanents like Hangarback Walker and Deathmist Raptor for good. The downside of not being able to kill something like Anafenza, the Foremost is made up by removing Hangarback Walker when you’re the deck that’s putting on the pressure. A whopping 12 fetchlands not only helps us with our Landfall triggers but fills up our graveyard for Become Immense. Become Immense is particularly effective on Makindi Sliderunner or Seeker of the Way and is something I look forward to seeing a lot in the future. It will be interesting to see how aggressive themed Landfall decks fit into the meta game if they even end up being just Red and Green.
The final list I have for you today is a pretty simple and straightforward one. We haven’t seen this sort of deck pop up in a while and it could be a great time to run it back.
Another aggressively costed beatdown deck. There’s a bit of a sacrifice theme here although not 100% committed. Most of the creatures you don’t mind losing as either they come back or add something to the board. Complete Disregard is similar to Touch of the Void as it gets rid of Hangarback and Deathmist Raptor. This being an instant is also a nice touch. Bone Splinters interacts favorably with the majority of our creatures and is unconditional removal. It also helps trigger our Liliana, Heretical Healer and can get us value with our Hangarback Walker or Carrier Thrall. Ruinous Path and Blighted Fen offer a mana sink late in the game. The top of the curve includes both Erebos’s Titan and Smothering Abomination. They both offer positive things depending on the matchup and both can finish off an opponent with relative ease.
Well that’s what I’ve got for you today. I know a lot of you are going to start playing in PPTQ’s starting early as this weekend and it’s going to be very interesting to see what decks perform the best. Early into seasons when formats are undefined players tend to skew towards aggressive builds and therefore be prepared for a higher density of them coming out of the gates. Whatever you choose to play make sure it can beat Abzan, Jeskai and Atarka Red. Assuming you accomplish this goal consider yourself a favorite for taking it down.
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