Standard is currently a very diverse format. The pro tour revealed to us that UB control still is a staple of the format, and that mono red will always be good if there is some form of Become Immense lurking around in the main-deck. I want to talk about what I am building for the extremely diverse format. Introducing, RG Dragonlord Combo!
Now, the goal of the deck is to cheat ridiculously huge creatures into play. We accomplish this through ramping into an early See the Unwritten. Look at the top 8 and put a creature into play, two if we have a creature with power 4 or greater. The desirable “combo” is to flip a Dragonlord Atarka while we have a Surrak, the Hunt Caller in play. Give Atarka haste and just beat our opponents to death with a hasty 8/8, flying, trampling dragonlord.
In other scenarios where we just do not have the See the Unwritten, we use cards like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Voyaging Satyr to generate the mana required to drop an early Xenagos, God of Revels or Dragonlord Atarka. This deck also does not play Sylvan Caryatid because we would rather have access to Voyaging Satyr and Rattleclaw Mystic. We can use Rattleclaw Mystic to get a burst of mana and accelerate into our huge creatures.
Our sideboard gives us access to Stormbreath Dragon, Arbor Colossus, Xenagos the Reveler, Sarkhan Dragonspeaker, and Nylea’s Disciple. Stormbreath Dragon allows us to advance our beatdown game against Abzan and tends to be a really good card against the new Ojutai control decks. Nylea’s Disciple helps us gain some early life against the blistering aggro decks of the format. Sarkhan and Xenagos the Reveler also advance our gameplan against control decks. Control tends to have a very hard time dealing with multiple planeswalkers. Arbor Colossus comes in against the Ashcloud Phoenix and Stormbreath Dragon decks that currently populate standard. All these cards have really flexible usages and tend to be fantastic in the current metagame breakdown.
Let’s talk about sequencing. Here is an ideal sequence of events for this deck.
T1 Forest, Elvish Mystic
T2 Nykthos, Courser of Kruphix
T3 Land, Polukranos, World Eater
T4 Land, Make 5 with Nykthos, tap for one additional mana, cast See the Unwritten. Reveal Surrak, the Hunt Caller, Dragonlord Atarka, Xenagos, God of Revels, etc.
T5-end of game: Beat opponent’s face until they are dead
So a turn 4 board state like this is not uncommon for the deck to accomplish. If you get to the point where you can string together See the Unwritten, you are normally in a great position to win. Xenagos, God of Revels can double the power of Atarka, letting her swing for 16 on turn 5. This tends to just kill our opponents if they have been using fetch lands and pain lands.
Ondrej Strasky’s RG Atarka deck was the inspiration for this list. I like to live dangerously when I play magic. I often overextend and get destroyed on the back end due to it. I feel like this deck allows us to live dangerously and gives us access to the great Green and Red cards that just dominate standard. Xenagos, God of Revels allows us to “overextend” with no real chance of getting slapped in the face after combat, especially if he is in his God mode.
Let’s talk match-ups. This deck is obviously going to struggle if we encounter any form of disruption in the early game. We saw from the recent invitational how good Sylvan Caryatid can be in a meta full of Lightning Strike and Wild Slash. Perhaps this is a card we need to include, replacing Rattleclaw Mystic. Rattleclaw can be very good at letting us get a little extra mana in the early game through it’s un-morphing, but it won’t be doing that with the meta like it is right now. The deck will also struggle against any type of tempo deck that is running Disdainful Stroke. That card just simply blows us out. The new counterspell out of Dragons of Tarkir, Silumgar’s Scorn, also tends to destroy us. Perhaps we just need to be careful against the creature decks. Another concern is that Dragonlord Silumgar will just take our threats and beat us to death with our own creatures. All this considered, it may be wise to include a couple of Archetype of Endurance if your meta is full of targeted removal styles of spells.
The deck is based around a green devotion style. That being said, a card to consider side-boarding into would be Hooded Hydra. Hooded Hydra is a good replacement for See the Unwritten if you are expecting Negate style of counter magic to come in from your opponents. I would suggest a healthy mix of the cards. Keep in mind that Hooded Hydra is a very good card to have with Whisperwood Elemental. Something else we will need to worry about is the Heroic decks that have access to God’s Willing. God’s Willing can just cause us to lose with a heavily populated board state because all of our creatures are green. With that in mind, we may want to diversify our sideboard in order to properly deal with the threats. Roast seems like a good card to include from the sideboard as well as fun red cards like Stormbreath Dragon. Diversifying ourselves after-board is a fantastic plan against any form of spot removal or protection strategies. If there is a lot of UW Heroic in your meta, you may want to include a lot of hate.
My sideboard is centered around Control decks. Moving our deck into planeswalkers and Stormbreath Dragon is quite good against Abzan Control, which is possibly the most popular control deck right now. UB also tends to struggle with a superfriends-style of play, especially since a lot of their removal is reactive. Taking out an assortment of mana-dorks and See the Unwritten post-board against control to put a bunch of planeswalkers in the deck is not a bad plan at all.
I hope you guys play this deck. It is super fun. I would recommend it to players that love to combo off and destroy their opponents in super fun ways! Remember, you can’t play Magic at Target and Walmart. Buy singles from your local legitmtg.com!
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