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Deck of the Day – Dark Temur

Abzan and Jeskai have been putting up fantastic results since Khans of Tarkir. Sultai and Mardu have both had their time in the spotlight as well, with Butcher of the Horde and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant providing some powerful options for deck builders. Temur, on the other hand, has Savage Knuckleblade, but it was always a solid step below the other clan mainstays, putting up a small number of results—especially when you consider just how much Standard is played.

The ability to easily access fourth colors thanks to the Battle for Zendikar lands has really cemented Jeskai as an incredible option, and it’s also doing work to help make Temur playable. Having access to more than 3 colors is already where you want to be for one of the most powerful cards to be released in Battle for Zendikar—Woodland Wanderer.

A 6/6 trampler for 4 mana is no joke. Combining that with the acceleration of Rattleclaw Mystic means you can have a threat down before your opponent is ready to handle it. Savage Knuckleblade is the all-star of Temur that never had the supporting cast, but my favorite card from previous iterations that combines so perfectly with both Knuckleblade and Woodland Wanderer is the innocuous Stubborn Denial.

TeamCFB utilized Stubborn Denials to fantastic success in the UR Thopter deck, combining Ensoul Artifact with the protection spell to force through tons of early damage before finishing an opponent off. In Temur, it provides a similar function. Forcing one extra hit through can give you just the time you need to finish the game with a hasty Knuckleblade, some Draconic Roars, or a Thunderbreak Regent. The option to play Sarkhan Unbroken, an absurdly powerful planeswalker that has barely seen the light of day, is not to be taken lightly.

Manland options are incredible additions to any deck that can support them. Mana-fixing at the cost of coming into play tapped is reasonable, but being able to turn those into threats late in the game can never be overlooked. For a deck builder to get to play more lands to mitigate mana screw while also turning those lands into threats late in the game to mitigate flood is often what takes a deck from good to great. Lumbering Falls is a great card for any deck utilizing the Simic colors.

And finally we get to the black splash. Access to a 1-mana Doom Blade in Murderous Cut is an exciting option for Temur thanks to the great mana bases. The sideboard is where things really shine. Duress is one of the most powerful sideboard—and sometimes main deck—options in Standard. Dragonlord Silumgar has been shining brightly in midrange matchups. Tokens can be a real issue when trying to force through giant creatures, and Virulent Plague is fantastic at cleaning up Knight Allies, Thopters, Vampires, Soldiers, and other tokens. More colors also means Exert Influence is going to an option for stealing Siege Rhinos.

Adding another color to Temur may give it the game it needed to truly compete.

Dark Temur

Standard Championship Qualifiers, 4th Place by URA_FRST (#8987708 ON 11/08/2015)

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