GW Tokens. Bant Humans. GW Tokens. Bant Humans. White Humans. Bant Humans. White Humans. GW Tokens.
I took a bit of a break from Standard Deck of the Days to go over some cool Legacy strategies. With the Legacy festival coming up on MTGO, hopefully you found a list that suits your needs. As for Standard, you haven’t missed too much! The metagame feels defined by 2 major decks with some Humans sprinkled in. In this column, I will continue to try to find different decks or a nice twist on popular archetypes.
GW Tokens and all Collected Company decks are great at flooding the board with creatures, so if you’re going to beat them, you need to go over the top of them. This can be accomplished by creatures with flying, or by burn spells.
Thunderbreak Regent has been on a serious decline, but most of that is due to the relatively underwhelming color formerly known as “red.” Red decks just don’t see play as the card quality has been lacking compared to the power of white and green, while the excellent removal black offers in Grasp of Darkness, Ultimate Price, and Languish to pair with Kalitas has kept it on the map. Reckless Bushwhacker is a fairly common sideboard card in white Humans, but we haven’t seen dedicated red strategies that could afford to play this powerful Dragon. It’s still as strong as ever.
Goblin Dark-Dwellers is great with removal, burn spells, and general card advantage spells as it’s a built-in 2-for-1 that will often get even more.
Where do you go from there? You light ‘em up! The presence of Thunderbreak turns Draconic Roar from a good removal spell into an incredibly efficient Searing Blaze effect. Exquisite Firecraft is still a great burn spell in decks that can support it.
Madness burn spells are a thing in Standard. Fiery Temper is the best of the bunch as it will effectively be Lightning Bolt, and is a reasonable rate even without the madness. Alms of the Vein doesn’t see much play, but it’s great at racing and finishing the opponent off.
With some additional removal in Radiant Flames, Ultimate Price, and Kolaghan’s Command, the board can stay under control. You can even play Oath of Chandra to kill the creatures GW and Bant play, and trigger some additional direct damage.
Chandra, Flamecaller and Nahiri, the Harbinger are two of the most powerful options in the format. Both help enable the madness outlets in the deck and both can win the game single-handedly. They also function as removal spells, meaning their presence in the deck is exceptional. With plenty of removal spells to keep the board clear before they come down, both Chandra and Nahiri can take total control of the game, but they tend to be great top decks later at either filtering your hand or helping to protect themselves.
Mardu Madness is a quick and powerful deck that attacks in a different way from the mainstream decks out there. With powerful creatures, planeswalkers, and tons of reach, this could be a deck to help shake up the format!