Raise Your Standards – 4 Fun Decks


Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.

This past weekend was US Nationals.  Thanks to this tournament, I have another deck that features a planeswalker that’s not seen much in Standard.  After that, I also have for you three other decks that did well this past week that show some innovation.

Let’s get started by looking at a deck that would have fit in well with my theme from last week where I showed you competitive decks featuring planeswalkers.  If you recall, I asked for decklists featuring other planeswalkers that I wasn’t able to find lists for and Adam Bialkowski delivered.  In the US Nationals, he came in 10th place with his R/W Approach deck, which happens to feature Huatli, Warrior Poet.  Let’s take a look at the deck.


Red-White Approach – (by Adam Bialkowski)

PlaneswalkersHuatli, Warrior Poet



LandSunbird's Invocation



Ok, so there’s only 1 copy of Huatli in the 75-card list, but that’s still the most play she’s seen, so I’ll take it.  And the rest of the deck looks pretty sweet too.  This deck is hoping to control the board with its burn spells, board-wipes, and exiling enchantments until you’re able to land a Sunbird’s Invocation.  It uses Vance’s Blasting Cannons as a card-drawing engine to help the defensive cards keep coming.  Eventually, the plan is to cast Approach of the Second Sun while finding a second copy in the top seven cards so that Sunbird’s invocation will allow you to cast the second copy for free, thereby winning the game.

Of course, there are plenty of other threats in the deck in the event you’re not able to win with Approach of the Second Sun.  And Huatli, Warrior Poet is no slouch in the threat department.  If you’re in a stable position and are just searching for a win-condition, Huatli can create a steady stream of Dinosaur tokens to continue to keep you protected or can go on the attack and start chipping away at your opponent’s life total.  She also gives you a repeatable way to gain life should you need it.  Huatli’s a great inclusion for this deck and the only thing limiting her to being a 1-of is the fact that she costs 5 mana.

Another thing I really like about this deck is the sideboard.  It has all of the tools needed to switch from being a slow, controlling deck to becoming a creature-based deck.  Simply switch out some of your board-wipes and Approach of the Second Sun cards with some of your side-boarded creatures.  Your opponent may have side-boarded out their creature removal after possibly not seeing a single creature in the first game, so this could be a way to gain an easy advantage.

The next deck I have for you came in 23rd in a recent MTGO PTQ.  Have you ever wanted to win by dealing lethal damage to your opponent by sacrificing your own artifacts?  If so, then this is the deck for you.


U/B Treasure Master – (by Conley)

PlaneswalkersTezzeret the Schemer



LandsMarionette Master



Simply play the control game until you have enough mana to cast Marionette Master.  By then, you’ll likely have a few artifacts in play that you can sacrifice for their abilities which will allow you to deal damage to your opponent with Marionette Master.  This deck has a lot of moving pieces in it, so I don’t recommend playing it at your local FNM until you’ve at least played a couple of games with it.  It looks like a lot of fun to play and it will be frustrating to play against.  I’m hoping to sleeve this one up soon and give it a spin.

The next deck I have for you could just mark the return to prominence of Oketra’s Monument.  Let’s take a look at U/W Monument 2.0.


U/W Monument 2.0 – (by Ringo__)

CreaturesKinjalli's Sunwing


LandsLegion's Landing



The plan is similar to the way the deck ran before; Control your opponents board with your removal, wipe away any large creatures with Dusk // Dawn and use it again to return creatures from your graveyard.  This time though, Fairgrounds Warden is part of your arsenal, as is Kinjali’s Sunwing.  Both creatures will help you mess up your opponent’s creatures enough that you can push through all of the damage you need with your fliers to finish the game out.

The final deck I have for you today is perhaps my favorite from this week’s offerings.  Let’s take a look at R/W Aggro.


R/W Aggro – (by Dannycord)

CreaturesCaptain Lannery Storm


LandsToolcraft Exemplar



While many people have decided to add black to their red decks, Dannycord opted for white instead.  And while they don’t use this white for removal spells like the black versions do, instead the white offers a means of protection against counters-based decks (both the +1/+1 and the -1/-1 varieties) as well as energy decks in the form of Solemnity.  I think it also helps make for an easier mana base as well.  That white addition also allows some synergistic creatures to be played that the black versions don’t get.  I can’t wait to put this deck together and give it a try.


Do you have a favorite deck from the ones I’ve presented today to you?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

The Pro Tour is happening in 2 weeks.  Join me next week as I go over the decks I expect to see played.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes


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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