I have been playing a good amount of Temur Reclamation on ladder again lately, because they metagame seems right for it. The biggest reason I keep winning is the transformational sideboard. Against control, and even against red, I just board out most of the Reclamations and transform into a Temur Flash deck with Nightpack Ambushers and a lot of interaction/counters.
I cut one Storm’s Wrath from the main deck because it seems like there isn’t a lot of aggro right now, and I think it would be fine to move even more of them to the sideboard. Just play some Scorching Dragonfires instead so you can interact with planeswalkers.
I’ve been pretty happy playing against the slow decks like Bant because they generally don’t interact with you in game 1, and then you just beat them post-board with the Ambushers when their hand is full of Dovin’s Vetos and Mystical Disputes.
Temur Clover is one of the easier matchups as well, and Jund Sacrifice is close to a bye.
Against Red, I bring the Ambushers in as well, and become an Uro control deck.
These kinds of transformational strategies are a lot of fun, and it makes me a little sad that we are moving toward open deck lists in most tournaments. I understand the benefits of it (for coverage purposes and to not put featured players at a disadvantage), but it discourages innovation and encourages everyone to just bring the best deck rather than try to catch their opponents off-guard with something new or something they don’t have a sideboard guide for.
Temur Reclamation (Standard)
In: 2 Aether Gust
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I got to try a bunch of new Standard decks during this weekend’s Standard Metagame Challenge and the one I liked the most was Temur Reclamation. I went 7-0, having never played the deck before. You can watch the games here.
I think the deck is very strong and will be a very big player in this new Standard metagame.
4 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft 2 Gadwick, the Wizened 3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 4 Expansion/Explosion 4 Wilderness Reclamation 4 Opt 4 Thassa's Intervention 4 Growth Spiral 4 Storm's Wrath 4 Steam Vents 4 Breeding Pool 4 Stomping Ground 3 Temple of Epiphany 2 Temple of Mystery 2 Castle Vantress 2 Fabled Passage 1 Temple of Abandon 2 Island (335) 1 Mountain (343) 2 Forest (347) Sideboard 3 Aether Gust 2 Negate 3 Nightpack Ambusher 3 Mystical Dispute 4 Scorching Dragonfire
I have mentioned previously that I don’t like Uro in the Simic ramp decks, because it’s way too expensive for an Explore effect (that your deck already has a ton of) and it does nothing without Cavalier of Thorns because it’s otherwise impossible to fill your graveyard quickly. Cards like Arboreal Grazer, Paradise Druid and Leafkin Druid help you get ahead on mana, but they stay in play and your graveyard is usually empty.
This deck is much different. Between Opt, Growth Spiral, Fabled Passage and Storm’s Wrath, you actually get to fill your graveyard very quickly. In addition to that, you only have Growth Spiral as a way to ramp, so a few additional copies of a similar effect are actually quite useful with 27 lands. Lastly, Uro has been great at helping me beat Monored, which has gotten quite popular lately.
Gadwick does its usual job of acting like a big card draw spell, but with Reclamation in play, you get to untap all your lands afterwards and play all the cards that you just drew. Gadwick’s second ability helps you protect your life total in aggro matchups and sometimes it can single-handedly stop your opponent from attacking and give you enough time to assemble all your combo pieces.
Speaking of which…
How does this deck work?
The game plan is pretty simple: filter your draws with Opt, get more lands in play with Growth Spiral and play Wilderness Reclamation, which is effectively free because it untaps all your lands at the end of your turn. Use cards like Brazen Borrower and Storm’s Wrath to stall a little bit and eventually assemble enough mana to play a big Explosion and kill your opponent. Having multiple Reclamations in play means you get to tap all your lands in between resolving the triggers and float even more mana.
What are this decks good and bad matchups?
Your best matchups are slow midrange decks like Jund Sacrifice. You don’t care about them resolving a bunch of Cat and Trail triggers because they don’t have any real clock or interaction. Usually removal spells like Murderous Rider or Shatter the Sky do nothing against your deck. I believe aggro matchups are also fine at the moment, as I have been mostly beating all the red decks I faced, but those matchups are always very close, so you need to play carefully. U/W Control is an extremely close matchup that can go either way, depending on how prepared your opponent is. Teferi on the table makes things very difficult for you because it basically negates the effect of Reclamation. I found Esper decks to be a bad matchup because they have quick pressure in the form of Hero of Precinct One, combined with discard like Duress and Though Erasure and on top of that they make your life even more miserable with Teferi and countermagic like Dovin’s Veto and Mystical Dispute.
What are you looking for in an opening hand?
Growth Spiral. It’s the most important card in this deck early on because it allows you to possibly play Reclamation as early as turn three. I’d always keep a hand with 4-5 lands, Growth Spiral and any random other non-land cards. On the other hand, you don’t want to keep hands that have only 1-2 lands because you need to make a land drop every turn. Reclamation is your second most important card and the rest depends on the matchup.
I have already covered Uro and Gadwick. The next new card is Storm’s Wrath and I have been very happy with it. Previously you only had Flame Sweep for this purpose and too often you would just be unable to deal with bigger creatures. With Growth Spiral, you can play it on turn 3 and getting to kill cards like Gruul Spellbreaker and Questing Beast is very important. On top of that, if your opponent ever uses the -3 on their Teferi and gets it down to 4 or less loyalty (which usually happens when they have to bounce a Brazen Borrower that you play in response to Teferi), you now get to kill it with Storm’s Wrath.
Expansion/Explosion is also way more than just a big Fireball, allowing you to copy your opponent’s discard spells like Thought Erasure and helps you win counter wars when you get to copy their counters.
Brazen Borrower is good against Midrange decks and sometimes to help you not die against a quick Regisaur, but most importantly it’s one of your only ways of getting rid of a Teferi in play. You usually get into a situation with a lot of mana where you can start your turn by bouncing Teferi, playing Reclamation, untapping and firing off a big Explosion.
The rest of the deck is basically just lands and card selection. I would like to fit a 3rd Castle Vantress into the deck, possibly by cutting one Steam Vents for it. You would also like to play more Fabled Passages to fuel Uro, but there are only 5 basics in the deck and I’m not really sure if you can afford to run more.
I cut Arboreal Grazer from the original sideboard because it doesn’t make much sense with Storm’s Wrath in your deck. It’s just gonna turn it into a Healing Salve and that’s not good enough for me.
I’m pretty sure you don’t need Sorcerous Spyglass either, because the Jund Sacrifice deck is a pretty easy matchup and you don’t really care about them doing all the cat tricks that only drain you for 1 life a turn.
Nightpack Ambusher is a sweet way of transforming your deck into Temur Flash after sideboard in the right matchups where you don’t want to tap out on your own turn too often. That includes the control matchups like U/W and the mirror, but I also bring it in against small creature decks like Monored becuase it’s a good blocker and can sometimes win the game on its own.
Tips and Tricks
- You can use Castle Vantress multiple times a turn with each Reclamation trigger. This is especially important when your opponent has a Teferi in play, because it still allows you to do something with the extra mana even if you can’t cast any spells anymore.
- You can use Expansion to copy your opponent spells like Thought Erasure or Absorb, but also to copy your own Storm’s Wrath to deal with bigger creatures like Rotting Regisaur. Coping it also helps you deal with Anax and a large board and leave them with nothing.
- Explosion has 2 targets, whatever you are dealing damage to and then the player that draws the cards. If you are targeting Questing Beast for 4 with it and drawing 4 cards, your opponent won’t be able to stop you from drawing by killing their own creature with Murderous Rider, because you being a legal second target still makes the spell resolve. This would be different if Explosion said “Deal X damage to any target. Draw X cards”.
- Be careful to not deck yourself. As a rule of thumb, when I’m firing off a lethal Explosion, I’d just rather target my opponent with card draw to make sure I don’t accidentally end up dead as well.
- This is something that comes up very often in the chat during my streams. Contrary to popular belief, Brazen Borrower is a not a good card against aggro. Borrower is at its best when you bounce expensive cards like Fires of Invention, Cavaliers, Korvold or Teferi that’s stopping you from being able to combo off. Against aggro, you are going to have to bounce Knight of the Ebon Legion to not take too much damage too quickly, but they just be able to replay it for one mana and it won’t hurt them at all. Bouncing a Knight doesn’t sound too bad, but keep in mind that this costs you a card and that Borrower effectively can’t block against most aggro decks, so the second half of the card is often useless as well. You need your cards to do something better than to prevent a one-drop from hitting you for a turn.
I’ve seen lists with Omen of the Sea instead of Opt and Thirst for Meaning as an additional card draw spell. I haven’t had a chance to try this myself, but I like that Opt helps you fill your graveyard quickly for Uro and is cheaper than Omen, but it sounds like something worth a try.
If U/W Control decks are popular, I could see Niv-Mizzet as a replacement for Gadwick, but for now I’ve been pretty happy with it. Another card that would be good in this matchup is Blast Zone because 3 is now a magical number – it kills Teferi and Banishing Lights at the same time.
As I mentioned previously, I would like to find space for one more Castle Vantress in the manabase. Not sure if there is a way to make room for more Fabled Passages, but it would make Uro better.
Your combo is usually too slow in this matchup so I like to board into an Uro/Ambusher control. Keep in mind that Anax can completely throw off your math with Storm’s Wrath, so if you can afford to save a Scorching Dragonfire for it, it’s usually a good idea.
I like Scorching Dragonfire in this matchup as an answer for Mayhem Devil, which is pretty much their only chance of beating you quickly. If you know they have a very high number of Thrashing Brontodons, then I would keep some Storm’s Wraths in the deck instead. Use Aether Gust mostly as an answer for expensive cards like Korvold and Casualties of War.
Boarding out Gadwick seems suspect but it’s really bad against Mystical Dispute. Maybe you’re still supposed to keep it over something else and try to set up a situation where you force them to counter something at the end of their turn, then untap and resolve a big Gadwick, but so far I haven’t been too successful with it. I don’t like Uro much in this matchup because you can’t afford to tap out for it early – instead you usually need to keep a lot of open mana for Negate and Dispute to make sure their Teferi doesn’t resolve. This is a tricky matchup where patience is key and Nightpack Ambusher helps you with this strategy of not having to tap out in your own turn.
This matchup is similar to U/W Control with the exception of them not having access to Teferi.
This is the toughest matchup and I honestly haven’t yet figured out how to best approach sideboarding here. Uro is good if they are playing the non-creature version because it can be very hard to get rid of, but I don’t love it against Esper Hero. Boarding out 1 land might also be reasonable here because they have a lot of discard and you need to have as many business spells as possible.
Sideboarding here depends a lot on what version they are playing. I want more Disputes against when they have a lot of counters and Risen Reef for example.
This standard format looks sweet and we are just discovering all the new decks and possibilities. I have been super busy playing Pioneer and Limited for PT Brussels, but I’m super excited to hop back into streaming Standard as soon as I get back home!
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