Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been playing a ton with the following list that you might have seen me play in a video.
The core of the deck came from my friend Aysha who designed it a few months ago. I picked it up a week and half before the WMCQ and I haven’t changed much from the core, it was close to perfect.
The sideboard changed a little, mostly just the numbers.
Why No Atarka’s Command and/or Dragon Fodder?
That’s the most common question I’m asked. The answer is fairly easy: the deck is not as all-in as you would think. In fact, it should probably be called RG Superfriends. There are no Dragon Fodders for the same reasons GW Tokens doesn’t want Oath of Gideon. You just want all your draws to be good cards, you don’t have access to good 1-drops, so trying to play aggressive/all-in is not going to work. You want to play a somewhat long game, and drawing cards that are so bad on their own such as Dragon Fodder won’t pull their weight. Atarka’s Command is similar—you just don’t have the 1-drops and you aren’t aggressive enough to justify a card that is so one-dimensional.
Isn’t This Just an Inferior GW Tokens?
This deck shares a lot of similarities to GW Tokens as it can go wide and plays planeswalkers. I don’t want to say this deck is better because that would be a crazy statement, but it does things that GW can’t. The main one is that it plays more flyers. Between Pia, Thopter Engineer, and the ease with which you can pop your own Hangarback Walker, you laugh at Gryff’s Boon. When playing against GW, you can easily pressure their planeswalkers because you have more flyers than they do. It’s also easier to activate Westvale Abbey, which can be a problem for them. You also get to play Chandra, Flamecaller with actual lands to cast her!
The downside is in your lack of good removal. As you can see, you’re forced to play Outnumber, Lightning Axe, Fiery Conclusion, and Roast while they have the single best removal in the format, Dromoka’s Command. Arlinn Kord is definitely worse than Gideon too, but she has her upsides.
I have a hard time evaluating how good a matchup is for any deck in Standard. The person on the play almost always wins since there are so many cards that are great on the play but medium on the draw like Gideon, Nissa, Dromoka’s Command, Reflector Mage, the whole White Weenie deck, Sylvan Advocate mirrors, etc. So as long as your deck has some of those cards and you know how to pilot on the play and on the draw, I don’t think there’s a bad deck choice. Still, I’ll do my best to give you an idea of how RG Tokens plays.
This has been a 50/50 matchup so far—it might have been because my opponents don’t play around the cards they should since they don’t know exactly what’s in my 75. You are winning in the air most likely as your Nissas are better than theirs, you can mitigate Dromoka’s Command since you don’t have anything super good to kill, and Avacyn is a beating if you don’t have an answer since it eats a Thopter then blocks them forever. The games are often complex and if they have an active Evolutionary Leap, don’t try to play the long game. Try to close as soon as possible because you won’t be able to beat multiple Avacyns flipping.
On the Play
On the Draw
Bant CoCo/Bant Humans
Both are favorable matchups, as you’ll basically only lose to an unchecked Eldrazi Displacer or them nut drawing you on the play. Chandra, Flamecaller steals the game in this matchup. They never see it coming because you have such a huge board presence and then BOOM, Chandra for 4, destroy the board, get Thopters, activate a planeswalker, and that’s game.
On the Play
On the Draw
This is a great matchup since, unlike against GW Tokens, they can’t count on Gryff’s Boon to break stalled boards. You have Pia and Thopter Engineer that are straight-up all stars—if they end up building creatures that are too large, Chandra will bail you out. Play defensively, and you should be in good shape.
This matchup is good for you. If they don’t draw a wrath, they basically can’t win since their spot removal spells are so useless and after sideboard they need to have Virulent Plague to stand a chance, otherwise Evolutionary Leap is a beating. On the other hand, Kalitas can often be a problem post-board, but they don’t always have it. You’ll keep some removal because Eldrazi Displacer can also come in.
Exactly the same thing as BW, except they have fewer wrath effects so it’s an even better matchup. You’ll want to always bring in 2 Display of Dominance since they have Dark Petition to get Virulent Plague, and you don’t want Evolutionary Leap if they are playing a creature-heavy version.
I decided not to have any dedicated sideboard cards in this matchup based on the unpopularity of this archetype. It is also a really bad matchup and I don’t think having 2-3 dedicated sideboard cards would turn around the matchup much. But if you are playing in a heavy ramp metagame, I would add 2 Malevolent Whispers to the sideboard and cut either 2 Leap or 2 Rending Volley.
This deck is seeing less and less play and I have never faced it in over 40 matches of Magic Online and 8 rounds at the WMCQ. I would imagine that it’s favorable because flyers are such a problem for them—so is Chandra. I would probably board in 2 Roast to deal with Eldrazi Displacer and board out 2 Elvish Visionary.