A Deck in Every Color for Zendikar Standard

It’s the start of a new Standard format, and if you’re like me, you’re light on wildcards or just don’t want to invest in a new deck this early, but you still want to play.

When rotation happens, I stick to mono-colored decks early on. You don’t have to invest in a manabase, or too many gold cards, and often mono-colored decks can do well without a lot of rares or mythics.

Emeria's Call // Emeria, Shattered SkyclaveRuin CrabAgadeem's Awakening // Agadeem, the UndercryptFireblade ChargerScute Swarm

I’ve collected some of the best mono-colored lists I’ve seen since rotation, so if you’re stuck for something to play this weekend, and don’t want to blow your wildcards too quickly, try one of these decks.

The added bonus is that simple, consistent decks tend to do well in a metagame of people testing things out. Your gameplan is straightforward and focused and you aren’t going to mess up your manabase. You have an edge. Something that if you’re playing the Pro Showdown this weekend, will help you stay competitive while everyone else durdles around with new things.



Skyclave ApparitionArchpriest of IonaMaul of the Skyclaves

Aggro decks are a budget and mono-color staple, and white weenie is always relevant. This list from streamer ilDelmo makes use of cards from the new set to go a little bigger than your average weenie deck, with Emeria’s Call a land most of the time, but sometimes a game winning spell if you flood out.

Skyclave Apparition provides removal in a body, Tazri and Archpriest of Iona look to gain value from the new Party mechanic and Maul of the Skyclaves is a fantastic way to push through damage.

If you’re being budget conscious, you can drop the Castle Ardenvale and Tazri, but they’re definitely worthy includes to give you some extra late game punch.

DelmonoBianco ZENDIKAR



Merfolk WindrobberMaddening CacophonyInscription of Insight

Mill is absolutely real in this Standard, thanks to CFB’s preview card, Maddening Cacophony.

This list, from reddit user shymenJESUS brings Teferi’s Tutelage, Vantress Gargoyle and Merfolk Secretkeeper together with new mill cards in Merfolk Windrobber and Ruin Crab.

Drawing cards with a Tutelage out is key to victory, so Neutralize, the cycling counter, Into the Story and Inscription of Insight provide a stream of cards, while there’s plenty of disruption with Stern Dismissal and Jwari Disrutpion, which doubles as a land.

Standard Mono Blue Mill - shymenJesus



Skyclave ShadeHagra Mauling // Hagra BroodpitMalakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire

In the end, aren’t all lists Crokeyz lists? The boomer-basher has built a fun and powerful mono-black list around Agadeem’s Awakening, which can return creatures such as Archfiend’s Vessel to create a 5/5 demon, Serrated Scorpion for life drain, Lurrus to keep the reanimation going, Woe Strider as a sac outlet to do it all again and even Rankle. For example, for seven mana you’re hitting Rankle, a 5/5 demon, Woe Strider and a Skyclave Shade.

With Agonizing Remorse, Hagra Mauling and Bloodchief’s Thirst to remove cards and creatures as well as a backup plan of Malakir Rebirth, this deck makes really excellent use of the new modal double-faced cards to play an incredibly low land count, just 12 lands that don’t double as spells.

This one is a purely best-of-one deck, as it’s very easy to disrupt with graveyard hate so do bear that in mind if you’re on the ladder.

Standard Mono-Black Reanimator - Crokeyz



Akoum HellhoundKargan IntimidatorRoil Eruption

Look, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel sometimes. Mono-Red Aggro was good, has lost some good cards, but gained some too. It’s maybe a little worse than before rotation, but it’s still a great week one deck, with aggression, redundancy and speed.

Sandydogmtg is a known mono-red master, so their list is a great place to start, bringing in Akoum Hellhound, Kargan Intimidator and even Shatterskull Smashing for an extra land, or removal spell.

My favorite addition is Fireblade Charger, which wears an Embercleave very nicely. Throw in Roil Eruption for direct damage and you’ve got a pretty strong aggressive deck that should go under a lot of midrange and control strategies players will be trying out over the next few weeks.

Standard Mono-Red Aggro - Sandydogmtg



Swarm ShamblerKazandu Mammoth // Kazandu ValleyInscription of Abundance

Personally, I think Mono-Green still has a ton of power. It’s also an easy build, with some new synergies thanks to Zendikar Rising.

Starting out with Questing Beast, Stonecoil Serpent and Gilded Goose to get them out early is a great way to build a deck but Zendikar has given us some interesting go-wide and go-tall options.

Swarm Shambler is the key, spitting out insects and putting counters on itself. It helps to have other creatures with counters and in addition to Stonecoil Serpent you’ve got Scavenging Ooze, Yorvo and Wildborn Preserver. The Shambler makes removing any of them a lot worse for your opponent.

Another important addition is Kazandu Mammoth, which makes the land count an actual 20, giving the deck a higher creature count, making it all the more redundant. The mammoth is a decent rate as a 3/3 for three, but the power is in the land, it makes keeps easier and gives flexibility at every stage of the game.

Standard Mono-Green Aggro - LandsLeaving


Those are my picks for week one, what are yours? The Pro Showdown this weekend should give us a better idea what to expect from standard, but right now, it’s all up in the air and I can’t wait to see what this format has to offer.


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