Raise Your Standards – 5 New Decks for FNM

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Now that Ixalan has been released, we’ll be taking a look at some of the decks that have gone 5-0 on MTGO this week.  Let’s begin with the deck that features the most new cards from Ixalan in it.  I call it Temur Dinosaurs.

 

Temur Dinosaurs – (by ryuumei)

PlaneswalkersBurning Sun's Avatar

Creatures

Spells

LandsRipjaw Raptor

Sideboard

 

This deck looks like some serious fun to play!  Most decks that feature cards with a converted mana cost of 5 or higher will usually play more than 20 lands in order to make sure you are able to cast those cards on-curve, but not this deck.  Nope.  Instead it uses cards that pull double-duty like Attune with Aether, which helps amp up your energy production for use with Harnessed Lightning and Servant of the Conduit.  It also uses Commune with Dinosaurs, which can either find a land you need or a dinosaur if you’re set on lands.

This deck also plays a couple of copies of one of the most powerful of the Amonkhet Gods, Rhonas the Indomitable.  As long as you have another creature on the battlefield, Rhonas will likely have the ability to attack and block (since you can use Rhonas’s ability to pump up another creature to have 4 power or more with only a single activation).  And being able to have Rhonas pump up a dinosaur while giving it trample will make blocking difficult opponent.

The next deck we’re going to look at today features one of the new planeswalkers in Ixalan, Vraska, Relic Seeker.  It’s called Abzan Tokens.

 

Abzan Tokens – (by _Phoenix_)

PlaneswalkersVraska, Relic Seeker

Creatures

Spells

LandsAnointed Procession

Sideboard

 

This deck takes the shell of the former B/W Tokens deck and infuses a little green into it to splash Vraska, Relic Seeker.  Keep in mind while playing this deck that there’s only 1 land that produces green mana, so that could be an issue if someone managed to brew up a land destruction deck in the future.

This deck also got a nice boost from Ixalan in the form of Legion’s Landing.  Not only does it create a Vampire token for you when it enters the battlefield, but when it transforms into Adanto, the First Fort you’re able to create a steady stream of tokens.  That ability to make a token on each of your turns might have been the missing piece this deck had needed for it to become a tier-1 deck in Standard.

Our next deck makes good use of the returning ‘check’ lands (specifically Dragonskull Summit).  Let’s take a look at B/R Aggro/Control.

 

B/R Aggro/Control – (by PauloCabral_Br)

PlaneswalkersInventor's Apprentice

Creatures

Spells

LandsCut // Ribbons

Sideboard

 

This mainly-red deck attempts to combine the quickness of the creature base from the Ramunap Red decks with the straight-to-the-face burn spells that red is famous for.  The plan is to punch through for some early damage using your hasty creatures, while denying your opponent the ability to block.  Once you’ve whittled your opponent’s life total down some, you can close out the game with your burn spells.  Or, you can use those burn spells to deal with your opponent’s creatures, allowing you to attack for the win.

But, that’s not the only red deck that’s been doing well this week.  Our old friend Ramunap Red has also been racking up the wins.  Let’s take a look at it to see what’s changed since Ixalan came out.

 

Ramunap Red – (by Fnoop)

PlaneswalkersRigging Runner

Creatures

Spells

LandsLightning Strike

Sideboard

 

So, while this deck lost a couple of its 1-drops (Village Messenger and Falkenrath Gorger), they’ve been replaced with Rigging Runner and Lightning Strike.  In many ways, these cards are actually upgrades for the deck, and it basically runs the same way it always has.  If you were playing this deck before the rotation happened, you can basically keep playing the same great deck without having to make too many changes.  And for those of you who hate playing against red decks, all I can say is, I’m sorry.  This deck is here to stay and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

The last deck I have for you this week features the latest twist on God-Pharaoh’s Gift decks.  Let’s take a look at Esper Gifts.

 

Esper Gifts – (by JoseCabezas)

CreaturesHostage Taker

Spells

LandsVona, Butcher of Magan

Sideboard

 

While I like this deck, I’m hoping the God-Pharaoh’s Gift players move away from U/B because I missed the boat on picking up my playset of Hostage Taker before the price shot up.  Seriously though, being able to play that card up to 8 times in a game is amazing.  Not only do you get to remove an important artifact or creature from your opponent’s side of the board, but you also get to play it for yourself.  That ability is bonkers!

I also like the inclusion of Vona, Butcher of Magan in this deck.  Getting a 4/4 creature with lifelink and vigilance is nice, but for me the ability to destroy any creature with Vona’s activated ability is the real icing on the cake.  Vona is an all-star in my book.

Wrap-Up

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Standard is in a different place than it was before the rotation.  While we still have some old favorites, they’re slightly different to include some of the powerful cards from Ixalan.  And while we haven’t seen many break-out tribal decks, there is at least a dinosaur deck that’s doing well.  Is it only a matter of time before someone figures out an optimal build for the other tribes of Ixalan (Merfolk, Vampires, and Pirates)?  I think so.

This weekend is the Magic World Championship.  Hopefully some spicy decks will be played there that we can look at next week.  And, as always, I’ll try to find some innovative decks from the world of MTGO for us to look at too.

If you have any thoughts or comments about the decks above, or if you have a prediction for who will win the Magic World Championship, let me know by leaving a comment below, or by contacting me on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg) or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  I’ll see you next week!

Mike Likes

 

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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