Standard Slug Rites by XFile
Did you think Standard was all about Izzet, Mono-White and Mono-Green? Please have a look at “Slug Rites,” which made the top 8 of last weekend’s Magic Online Standard Challenge. It comes courtesy of Magic Online player XFile, who is @FelixSloo on Twitter.
This is a Jund-colored Reanimator deck. The name “Slug Rites” (as Felix calls it) references iconic reanimation cards from the past such as Unburial Rites, even though the reanimation card in this particular deck is Diregraf Rebirth. And of the “Slug,” of course, is Toxrill, the Corrosive, which is the premier target for Rebirth.
There are two primary ways to get big creatures in the graveyard. The first is Mulch, which can stock your graveyard with creatures and flashback cards, all while contributing to hitting land drops and finding missing colors. The second is Blood tokens, which allow you to discard Toxrill or Tovolar’s Huntmaster quickly. The cheapest and most direct ways to generate Blood tokens are Voldaren Epicure and Bloodtithe Harvester.
These creatures also contribute to a second theme of Slug Rites, which is cheap, disposable bodies which can be sacrificed for profit. You can curve Epicure, Shambling Ghast or Prosperous Innkeeper seamlessly into either Deadly Dispute or Fell Stinger as a way to smooth your draw and generate card advantage.
Diregraf Rebirth is simply a great card. The mana reduction ability isn’t likely to let you cast it prior to turn four. However, you can certainly make a big attack, force your opponent to defend themselves or kill off your Esika’s Chariot, and then cast Rebirth on the cheap after combat. Alternatively, you can use Deadly Dispute or Fell Stinger to double-spell on a midgame turn.
And of course, Diregraf Rebirth has flashback. This leads to the final backup plan of Slug Rites, which is to play a fair, grindy game. Particularly with Treasures and Mulches, it’s totally realistic to reach six or seven mana and hardcast Huntmasters and Toxrills. Since they demand an answer, you can later use both the first cast and the flashback of Diregraf Rebirth to put them onto the battlefield again and again.
Toxrill, the Corrosive is an extremely powerful creature, and this is a great home for it. It dominates creature matchups any time it survives, and is also particularly strong against the Birds from Alrund’s Epiphany. Slug Rites looks like a powerful, versatile, and fun deck. I encourage you to give it a try!