Paint with All the Colors of the Wind

Standard got stale for me quickly—devotion decks just weren’t that exciting. I felt like Ravnica, aside from [ccProd]Pack Rat[/ccProd], brought amazing and fun tools for new Standard decks. But Theros and the introduction of devotion just made Standard a little too boring for my taste. That’s not to say Standard isn’t healthy, Standard is very healthy when many decks can win a tournament. I just wasn’t enjoying myself. I had no sweet spells to cast, like [ccProd]Door to Nothingness[/ccProd], [ccProd]Nicol Bolas, Planswalker[/ccProd], [ccProd]Worldfire[/ccProd], or [ccProd]Omniscience[/ccProd]. I had a void in my heart that ached to be filled. The first deck I tried when Theros came out was [ccProd]Prime Speaker[/ccProd] Bant. I Top 8’d a Super IQ early on with it. This was the list:

Primer Speaker Bant

[deck]Main Deck
5 Forest
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Plains
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple Garden
4 Manaweft Sliver
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Elvish Mystic
3 Prophet of Kruphix
2 Horizon Chimera
2 Angel of Serenity
2 Archangel of Thune
2 Master Biomancer
2 Prime Speaker Zegana
3 Sphinx’s Revelation
3 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
2 Primeval Bounty
4 Loxodon Smiter
1 Jace, Memory Adept
1 Aetherling
1 Detention Sphere
4 Unflinching Courage
4 Mistcutter Hydra[/deck]

This deck was fun and good choice for the tournament, but this was before Mono-Black Devotion became a deck. I toyed with Primer Speaker Bant off and on, trying all sorts of cards like [ccProd]Polukranos[/ccProd], [ccProd]Progenitor Mimic[/ccProd], [ccProd]Medomai[/ccProd], [ccProd]Voyaging Satyr[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Witchstalker[/ccProd], [ccProd]Sylvan Primordial[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Fathom Mage[/ccProd]s, but I still wasn’t happy with the deck overall. I only give you this list because I thought the shell had potential—you could toy around with it and come up with something. I would start by shaving [ccProd]Horizon Chimera[/ccProd], [ccProd]Manaweft Silver[/ccProd] (for Satyr, or just take it out completely), [ccProd]Archangel of Thune[/ccProd], [ccProd]Master Biomancer[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Prime Speaker[/ccProd]. The deck is very adaptable and open to changes. I just couldn’t ever get it to do well against all the decks. So I stopped messing with it. I didn’t write this article for this deck though.

Junk Reanimator

If you’ve been watching my Twitch stream, you’ve probably seen me play a Junk Reanimator deck that I went 7-2 with on stream one day. This is the list!

Junk Reanimator

[deck]Main Deck
4 Elvish Mystic
3 Commune with the Gods
4 Grisly Salvage
2 Pack Rat
4 Sylvan Caryatid
2 Whip of Erebos
3 Obzedat’s Aid
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Pharika’s Mender
2 Shadowborn Demon
2 Deadbridge Chant
3 Angel of Serenity
2 Sylvan Primordal
2 Ashen Rider
6 Forest
4 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Swamp
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Silence
2 Doom Blade
2 Thoughtseize
1 Sylvan Primordial
1 Scavenging Ooze
3 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
1 Trading Post
2 Golgari Charm
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Pithing Needle[/deck]

The original list came from a friend of mine, Darryl Donaldson. I’ve tweaked it a little bit, but the core and idea is still here. I didn’t even know [ccProd]Pharika’s Mender[/ccProd] existed until someone mentioned it on stream, and is has been pretty sweet. It allows you to cast [ccProd]Grisly Salvage[/ccProd] and pick up your key enchantments like [ccProd]Whip of Erebos[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Deadbridge Chant[/ccProd].

The Angels are bad against control decks, but are necessary against pretty much everything else. [ccProd]Sylvan Primordial[/ccProd] does a good job of killing pesky permanents and blocking everything in the format, like [ccProd]Blood Baron[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Stormbreath Dragon[/ccProd].

The [ccProd]Pack Rat[/ccProd] is a nice way to dump cards in the graveyard. I found it better than [ccProd]Lotleth Troll[/ccProd] since it can literally just win the game. I’ve also seen corner-case scenarios where I’ve had to Whip it back and start making Rats because I had a [ccProd]Deadbridge Chant[/ccProd] going but nothing good in my graveyard. [ccProd]Obzedat’s Aid[/ccProd] has been miles better than [ccProd]Rescue from the Underworld[/ccProd] since I don’t need a creature to use it and I can get my enchantments.

Did you know that if [ccProd]Deadbridge Chant[/ccProd] picks a creature, that creature goes straight to the battlefield? I didn’t know that the first time I played it! So that obviously means you guys didn’t know either… Right? Right! [ccProd]Shadowborn Demon[/ccProd] really shines in this deck, not only because you will eventually have six or more creatures in your graveyard, but being able to cast it and kill a creature then fog for a turn only to do it again next turn with Whip is just awesome! Some decks just can’t beat that interaction alone. Killing two dudes and gaining some life is just enough sometimes.

The sideboard looks pretty standard except for [ccProd]Trading Post[/ccProd]. It may seem odd, but it’s an awesome way to gain some much needed life against burn or aggressive decks. It can also serve to pitch fatties or [ccProd]Forcefield[/ccProd] some creatures. And when you are done using it, you can just cycle it. I really like it in slower decks that could use help against some of the aggressive decks.

I’ve really enjoyed this deck and I’ve had the most success with it while streaming. If you want to play some [ccProd]Ashen Rider[/ccProd] or just miss reanimating creatures give this deck a whirl.


I’ve been trying for awhile to find play a five-color deck in Standard. I didn’t think it could really be done, but just when I had given up all hope, Pocahontas spoke to me. She came to me in my dreams.

“Paint with the colors of the wind.” She said.

I was inspired, I was enthralled. I could do this. I channeled my inner Pocahontas and… I became her, I was painting with blue, red, black, white, green, and… brown!

Pocahontas picture

How could there have been so much that I didn’t know? I thought I just had to play whatever deck won the most recent tournament. I thought the format was just a dead thing I couldn’t meddle with. Luckily, Pocahontas knows every Squire, Sliver, and planeswalker. They have a life, a spirit, and a name. I heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon and then asked the grinning bobcat why he grins. I then began singing with all the voices of the mountain and painted with all the colors of the wind!

Five-Color Ramp

[deck]Main Deck
3 Temple of Deceit
3 Stomping Ground
3 Temple Garden
4 Godless Shrine
2 Temple of Silence
3 Overgrown Tomb
3 Breeding Pool
3 Temple of Mystery
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Abrupt Decay
4 Sylvan Caryatid
2 Chromatic Lantern
1 Detention Sphere
4 Axebane Guardian
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Divination
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
1 Urban Evolution
1 Vraska, the Unseen
2 Angel of Serenity
2 Sylvan Primordial
1 Ashen Rider
2 Rakdos’s Return
4 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Aetherling
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Trading Post
3 Thoughtseize
1 Warleader’s Helix
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Polukranos, World Eater
1 Arbor Colossus
1 Golgari Charm
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Detention Sphere
1 Assemble the Legion[/deck]

This is where the deck currently stands and it’s been doing well for me. It can easily adapt to your needs since we are playing all five colors. If you expect a lot of [ccProd]Blood Baron[/ccProd]s you can play another Mortars. Mono-Black? Play an [ccProd]Assemble the Legion[/ccProd] in the main. U/W control? Move a couple of [ccProd]Thoughtseize[/ccProd]s to the main or you can just overload them with threats, which is what I’ve been trying to do.

The deck plays out like any other ramp deck. The only thing is that all your ramp spells add any color of mana. Making it much, much easier to cast your spells—who would’ve guessed it? You basically just want to live until you can start casting your fatties. A tip with [ccProd]Ashen Rider[/ccProd] against decks that can’t exile him, it’s usually good to just kill a land if they have 6 or less lands instead of killing the creature that he can block. Obviously you can’t always do this, especially if you’re being swarmed or they just have a must-kill threat, but if you’re facing something irrelevant like a [ccProd]Chandra’s Phoenix[/ccProd] and you are at a high life total, destroying a land can be a pretty big setback. You can win a lot of games by denying your opponent a certain color. Another thing to note about [ccProd]Ashen Rider[/ccProd] is that he exiles, so he can effectively get rid of the Gods as well.

I’ve found the deck fares well against most decks, except for hyper-aggressive decks that can kill you before you start to amass your mana. I’ve gone back and forth between the [ccProd]Warleader’s Helix[/ccProd], a second [ccProd]Mizzium Mortars[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Supreme Verdict[/ccProd] main. I’ve found that the Verdict has been more valuable as a one-of, surprisingly. Nobody really sees it coming since you’re playing ramp guys. If you want to run more Verdicts main, you probably also want to increase your [ccProd]Urban Evolution[/ccProd] count as well. Online, the Big Boros deck has been pretty popular and Helix is better against that deck, but Verdict isn’t that bad against them and better against other matchups. If you expect a lot of Mono-Black or Mono-Blue, you want another [ccProd]Detention Sphere[/ccProd] and/or [ccProd]Supreme Verdict[/ccProd]. My record against Mono-Black has been very good though. Like I said, the deck is extremely versatile and open to change. It’s also a blast to play! You no longer have to play boring decks that just make Rats. It’s nice to breathe some fresh air.

Come run the hidden Maze of Ravnica. Come taste the Sacred Nectar of the Hornet Queen.
Come roll in the mana all around you and for once never wonder what they can do.

I hope you guys enjoy these decks as much as I do. They are very exciting to play. If you want to see some of these decks in action you can follow my twitch. Thanks for reading and I hope the new year is good to all of you folks.

Channel your inner Pocahontas,

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