May 16, 20195928 views

Standard Decks for WAR Constructed

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Mythic Championship London’s Constructed portion was Modern, and the shiny, all-new, all-fresh War of the Spark cards were not legal to play. This caused me to be a bit less enthused about the tournament than I would otherwise have been, because I love the process of creating and tuning new decks with new cards. However, that tournament is well behind us, and I’ve gotten to experience the joy of working on a variety of different decks in the new Standard format. Today I wanted to share some of these decks with you. Some of them are off the beaten path entirely, and some are just my personal versions of decks that have made their way into the mainstream. I’ll only be talking about maindecks because sideboards are meta-specific, and haven’t really been ironed out for these fledgling decks. BG Command the Dreadhorde
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4 Stitcher’s Supplier 4 Merfolk Branchwalker 4 Wildgrowth Walker 4 Glowspore Shaman 4 Jadelight Ranger 3 Plaguecrafter 4 World Shaper 3 God-Eternal Bontu 1 Kraul Foragers 4 Command the Dreadhorde 1 Lotleth Giant 4 Memorial to Folly 4 Overgrown Tomb 4 Woodland Cemetery 2 Evolving Wilds 2 Swamp 6 Forest Command the Dreadhorde is a really powerful card, especially when you can buy the life back almost immediately by grabbing Wildgrowth Walker and a bunch of explore creatures. It’s not too difficult to go from 0 to 15 power, especially against removal-heavy decks that don’t have a counterspell at the exact right moment. I like that this deck plays so many creatures in a planeswalker-heavy meta, as you’re able to attack them fairly easily, and you can buy them back with Command. This deck also features the combo of Bontu and World Shaper, which allows you to sacrifice all your lands and the World Shaper, which then brings back all the lands you sacrificed, plus interest. Along with Memorial to Folly, looping World Shaper, this gives you impressive game against control decks that are planning to exhaust your resources. One thing on my list of possible improvements for this deck is to splash the Wanderer as another combo piece with Command the Dreadhorde. Sometimes you don’t draw Wildgrowth Walker or it takes too long to find it. Bontu’s Brunch
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4 Shock 4 Dire Fleet Daredevil 4 Treasure Map 3 Lava Coil 3 Angrath’s Rampage 2 Legion Warboss 4 Mayhem Devil 1 Bedevil 4 Rekindling Phoenix 2 Karn, Scion of Urza 3 God-Eternal Bontu 1 The Eldest Reborn 4 Dragonskull Summit 4 Blood Crypt 2 Memorial to Folly 3 Field of Ruin 8 Mountain 4 Swamp Speaking of Bontu, here’s another Bontu combo-y deck I worked on for a while. This one prominently features the Mayhem Devil + Bontu combo, which rather than being about drawing a bunch of cards, is more about sacrificing a bunch of permanents and fireballing the opponent. Mayhem Devil can also do a decent Goblin Chainwhirler impression, although obviously not as efficiently as the perfectly balanced goblin. This deck is heavily derived from the Brunch (BR Midrange) deck that I was championing last season. I didn’t want to include Rix Maadi Reveler as I felt Bontu would cause me to have nearly exactly 5 lands most games, and other draw spells want you to have lots of lands. I think this deck is pretty good, especially against other planeswalker midrange decks. I also think the matchup against monored improved, because Bontu is another threat that is hard to remove and kills very quickly. The removal is excellent and covers both creatures and planeswalkers well, and the card advantage from Bontu and Treasure Map is much harder to interact with than standard planeswalker card advantage. One problem is that the Nexus of Fate matchup is really rough, as has been true for every Brunch deck. However, Nexus seems to have been pushed out by all the Teferi/Narset midrange decks, so it might be time to bring Brunch back! Sarkhan Superfriends
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4 Mox Amber 4 Fblthp, the Lost 4 Chandra’s Triumph 4 Deafening Clarion 3 Teferi, Time Raveler 3 Narset, Parter of Veils 3 Dovin, Hand of Control 3 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor 3 Chandra, Fire Artisan 4 Sarkhan, the Masterless 1 Karn’s Temporal Sundering 4 Sulfur Falls 4 Steam Vents 4 Glacial Fortress 4 Hallowed Fountain 4 Sacred Foundry 4 Interplanar Beacon The superfriends decks have been gaining popularity recently thanks to players like John Rolf and Zac Elsik, and it’s no surprise because Sarkhan is a really powerful Magic card. He frequently arrives and immediately kills an opposing planeswalker, or attacks the opponent for upwards of twelve damage. His floor is that he makes a 4/4 and makes it impossible for X/1’s to attack you. To support Sarkhan you need to play a lot of planeswalkers, and we round that out with some sweepers and removal. I have been really impressed with the Fblthp + Mox Amber package, accelerating out the planeswalkers which are already a little slow and durdly. I like playing a single Karn’s Temporal Sundering, mostly because I love that card. I believe Chandra’s Triumph is one of the more underplayed cards right now, as kicking it is a real possibility in this deck, and five damage is enough to kill most creatures and planeswalkers. As you can tell from all these lists, I vastly prefer removal spells that can hit both creatures and low-loyalty planeswalkers. Being able to snipe a Narset has a high value. BR Zombies
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4 Dread Malkin 4 Gutterbones 2 Diregraf Ghoul 1 Spark Harvest 4 Graveyard Marshal 3 Eternal Taskmaster 4 Dreadhorde Butcher 2 Heartfire 4 Judith, the Scourge Diva 4 Death Baron 2 Midnight Reaper 3 Liliana, Untouched By Death 4 Blood Crypt 4 Dragonskull Summit 2 Mountain 13 Swamp I have an obsession with Judith, and every set I always try to find a good shell for it. Judith is a really powerful card, and if it sticks against other creature decks it is very difficult to lose. This deck is quite aggressive, and snowballs pretty fast with Dreadhorde Butcher and the various lords. Dreadhorde Butcher is a new card that I think really makes this deck tick. It gets out of hand pretty fast, and even when it gets dealth with it usually leaves behind value either killing a creature and doing some extra damage to the opponent’s face. It is quite unfortunate when they cast Moment of Craving though. Eternal Taskmaster is a very medium card, and mostly gets the nod as a creature with three toughness, which can be key to surviving Moment of Craving, Cry of the Carnarium, and Shock. Liliana, Untouched by Death was a card that I was expecting to be poor, but actually impressed me to the point of adding multiple. The reach can be hard to interact with from control decks, and the lifegain can help stabilize versus aggro decks. Midnight Reaper is also great, but there’s a limit to the number of three drops you can play, and I think the lords are more important.
The cards in War of the Spark are really powerful on average, and I have no doubt that there are a bunch of Standard decks still waiting to be found. Midrange seems to be King right now, with various colors playing various planeswalker and removal spells, but those decks are by no means unbeatable. I will always continue to look for cool, new decks to play in Standard to keep the experience fresh for myself. New decks with new cards is the absolute best thing about Magic!
(Edited)
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