Raise Your Standards – Four Fun Decks


Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week we’re going to take a look at a few of the most interesting decks that have done well recently on Magic Online and at Amonkhet Game Day.

A couple of weeks ago at Pro Tour Amonkhet, Temur Marvel nearly landed in first place, ultimately being defeated by Mono-Black Zombies in the finals.  Since that time, a whole bunch of Aetherworks Marvel decks have gone 5-0 on MTGO.  Most of them have been pretty similar, but this one caught my eye.


Sultai Marvel – (by MKC)

PlaneswalkersLiliana, Death's Majesty






My best guess is that this deck never went up against any of the zombie decks out there.  Or if it did, it got really lucky against them.  Liliana, Death’s Majesty isn’t the kind of card that you generally want to play if your facing down an opponent playing a zombie deck because her ultimate ability is essentially neutralized.

Her saving grace though is her -3 ability which offers a way to recur creatures you have played that have died.  This works well with both Demon of Dark Schemes, which can potentially destroy an opponent’s entire board of zombies, and Ishkanah, Grafwidow, which can net you extra Spider tokens if you have delirium.  With this kind of possible recursion, you can stay alive long enough to activate your Aetherworks Marvel, hopefully hitting an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger in the process.

I also like the extra 2 copies of Demon of Dark Schemes in the sideboard.  I can imagine facing down a horde of 3/3’s or 4/4’s with a Liliana in play, activating the Marvel and casting a Demon with it, then returning a previously played Demon to the battlefield to give all creatures -4/-4.  Or somehow getting a Demon into play after combat has happened and destroying a bunch of creatures thanks to the -2/-2 effect when it enters the battlefield.  You can wrack up a serious amount of energy doing that.

Another thing to remember is that the Demon has another ability that allows it to put a target creature from any graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.  So that Lord of the Accursed your opponent was using to pump all of their zombies with that you somehow managed to kill can suddenly spring back to life on your side and start boosting the zombies Liliana creates instead.

The more that I think about it, it does seem like this deck has the tools needed to deal with zombie decks after all.  And, while it’s still an Aetherworks Marvel deck at heart, it has a lot of tools that make it feel different than other Marvel decks.

While Temur definitely feels like the most popular color combination for Aetherworks Marvel decks, I did come across a Temur deck that went 5-0 on MTGO that doesn’t include the busted artifact.  Let’s take a look at it.


Temur Energy – (by Arianne)

PlaneswalkersChandra, Torch of Defiance


SpellsBristling Hydra




At its heart, this deck is mostly a red / green energy deck that splashes blue for Rogue Refiner and Whirler Virtuoso.  This deck mainly attempts to clear the opponents’ board of creatures and swing in hard.  It’s also used to cast your Elder Deep-Fiend, which is a nice card to use to negate any targeted removal your opponent might play.

Channeler Initiate and Servant of the Conduit help ensure that you’ll always have the mana you need to stay one step ahead of your opponent.  They’ll also help you cast the heavy hitters in your deck a turn or two earlier than usual.

Speaking of heavy hitters, this deck has a few of them.  Bristling Hydra is an amazing card which can be very difficult to get rid of.  Glorybringer has the potential to destroy an opponent’s creature every other turn (if you decide to exert it) and still hit your opponent or one of their planeswalkers for at least 4 damage with each attack.  And finally, the big guy himself, Rhonas the Indomitable, can help pump the rest of your team and is also very tough to deal with since he’s indestructible.

Rounding out the deck is Chandra, Torch of Defiance.  She’s a great way to gain card advantage, to deal direct damage each turn, or to help boost your mana if you need it.  Versatility is her middle name.

The final deck I’d like to share that went 5-0 on MTGO this week is a Metalwork Colossus deck.  Here it is.


Metalwork Colossus, 2.0 – (by bu_konn)

CreaturesMetalwork Colossus



SideboardElder Deep-Fiend


Just when you thought the Colossus was down for the count, it manages to pull itself to its feet to fight again.  I have to say, I love playing Metalwork Colossus, so I’m happy to see this deck go 5-0.  While there’s nothing new from Amonkhet in this deck with the exception of Fetid Pools, this deck still feels exciting to me.  If you’re looking for a deck to surprise people with at your next Friday Night Magic, I’d like to suggest this one.  I don’t think people will see it coming.

Speaking of decks that people won’t see coming, the last deck I want to show you today is a deck that I saw posted to Reddit.  It’s a deck that did well at Amonkhet Game Day.  Let’s take a look at Mono-Red Haste.


Mono-Red Haste – (by BinaryCortex)

CreaturesHazoret the Fervent





This deck hits fast and will have your opponent questioning just what it is that you’re playing.  If you manage a turn 1 Falkenrath Gorger, they’ll be expecting to see discarded vampires.  On turn 2 if you play Speedway Fanatic, they’ll begin to worry about seeing vehicles.  When you play the Lathnu Hellion, they’ll start looking for other energy producers and outlets.  This deck is designed to keep them off their toes.  Also, most of your creatures also have haste, so you can constantly keep the pressure on.  This deck looks to be a blast to play and I’m looking forward to sleeving this one up soon.


All good things must come to an end, and so does this week’s Raise Your Standards.  Let me know what you think of the decks this week by leaving a comment below or emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And be sure to come back next week where we’ll try to find the most innovative of decks in Standard.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes


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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