4 Standard Decks I’m Excited to Play

Ever since the first block, it seems like Ravnica set designs always create amazing Standard formats. I think we can credit the guilds for that. Each guild color combination has a playable deck, and now with Ravnica Allegiance giving us the full 10 guilds, we can mix and match for 3-color decks—and even more options.

I would not be surprised if by the end of this Standard season there were over 15 decks that had been tier 1 at one point.

With that said, I’m unbelievably behind schedule in my testing for the Mythic Championship in Cleveland. I watch streams and follow interesting deck lists that pop up, but I haven’t had much opportunity to actually play Constructed games (or maybe I should play less Drafts).

My testing starts right after I’m done writing this article, so you get to see where I’m starting, and next week I’ll update you on the decks I decided to keep working on and which ones I eliminated.

Izzet Drakes

If you followed my content in the previous Standard format, then you know that I’m a Drakes lover. The printing of Pteramander got me hyped as hell.

Having tried approximately 10 versions of the deck before, I’m not surprised that the consensus was to cut Arclight Phoenix. While it seemed really powerful because of the nut draws you could get, it was not consistent and created awkward draws more often than not. Streamlining the deck to 12 threats that are all good to protect with Spell Pierce, Dive Down, and Negate seems like the way to go.

I will be starting out with this version and I don’t see myself changing much in the main deck.


I surprise myself that I’m excited to play Mono-Red. I feel like the best version has not been discovered yet and with the addition of Light Up the Stage and Skewer the Critics, there has to be a tier 1 version somewhere.

This is what I would call the stock version so far. It looks solid, but I want to explore going full-on burn with cards like Electrostatic Field. I’m even interested in dipping into black for Sovereign’s Bite, Carnival // Carnage, and Rix Maadi Reveler. Theater of Horrors and Drill Bit are options as well.

Who knows what results it will take for me to register a burn deck at a Pro Tour. Maybe the fact that they are now called “Mythic Championships” will be it.

Wilderness Reclamation Decks

Wilderness Reclamation is undeniably a very powerful Magic card. The question remains: Does Standard have enough good instant-speed cards to build around it?

Chemister’s Insight by itself goes a long way. Then Nexus of Fate, of course.

The way the metagame is shaping up these days with Mono-Blue—specifically Spell Pierce seeing so much play— the obvious Bant and blue-green builds of Wilderness Reclamation don’t stand a chance.

Bant Nexus

This build makes really good use of Wilderness Reclamation, but it packs a lot of “air”—cards that don’t really do much besides cycle. Since you’re only casting a few relevant cards that actually impact the board, it’s very easy to keep your Spell Pierce and counter that one.

This is why I believe going forward I would try Temur versions of the deck. It gives you access to early game interaction.

Temur Reclamation

I’m thinking something along the lines of this. The deck list is incomplete—it’s just the shell I would start from. You’re essentially a Blue-Red Control deck that splashes Growth Spiral and Wilderness Reclamation to cheat on mana and do nasty stuff.

Niv-Mizzet, Parun when you can untap your lands right after playing it seems like it would be straight-up broken. One of its weakness was black-green decks because of Ravenous Chupacabra and Vivien Reid. Now we get to back it up with counterspells.

Esper Midrange

This deck just looks like so much fun. It reminds me a bit of Abzan in the Khans of Tarkir era. Basilica Bell-Haunt is no Siege Rhino, but it’s kind of close.

I believe this is solid deck choice as a whole since all the cards are extremely versatile. You have a lot of creatures that need to be answered, backed up with discard spells, card selection, and great removal.

I would start out with a full multicolor shell like this one and go from there before trying mono-colored cards like Lyra Dawnbringer. Consecrate // Consume, Dovin, Grand Arbiter, Depose // Deploy, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and Lazav, the Multifarious are all legit cards I would try.

If you told me that I had two days before I had to submit my list, I would likely register a variant of Esper Midrange. I’m very impressed by what this offers just by looking at it.


Scroll to Top