Raise Your Standards – Back from the Brink

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  A few weeks ago when Wizards of the Coast (WotC) announced the changes they were going to be making regarding the release of decklists that have gone 5-0 on Magic Online, I’ll admit that I was somewhat skeptical.  I wasn’t sure their new method would work as well as they would like in their attempt to keep Standard from being ‘solved’.  Luckily, my fears seem to have been unjustified.  This week we’ll be taking a look at a few of the more innovative decklists I’ve found recently and maybe you’ll discover a new deck you’d like to play at your local FNM.


Temur Energy

Let’s start off this week by taking a look at a deck I call Temur Energy.

 

Temur Energy – (by Mr_Mister)Rekindling Phoenix

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

SideboardConfiscation Coup

 

I know you were all thinking that Temur Energy was dead, killed by the fatal blow of banning Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner.  But, lo and behold, a new version of Temur Energy has risen from the ashes… much like a mythical phoenix.  And speaking of phoenixes, that’s one of the main cards in this deck – Rekindling Phoenix.  It’s a resilient attacker that also plays defense rather well.

All in all, this seems to be a much fairer version of an energy deck.  While it may not have the busted cards energy decks used to rely on, it still can rack up an impressive amount of energy.  And that energy can be used to great effect by either making Thopters with Whirler Virtuoso, destroying large threats with Harnessed Lightning, or stealing an artifact or creature your opponent is relying on with Confiscation Coup.

From the sideboard, we have the much underutilized Nissa, Steward of Elements.  In games 2 and 3, she can help smooth out your draws with her +2 loyalty ability or set up a turn where you’re able to use her 0 loyalty ability to put into play a nice threat of your own while leaving all of your mana free for other shenanigans.  You also have Vizier of Many Faces in the sideboard which is a great way to copy any hexproof creature your opponent might have in play (I’m looking at you, Carnage Tyrant).


Mardu Vehicles

Another deck back from the grave is Mardu Vehicles.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

Mardu Vehicles – (by papado90)Toolcraft Exemplar

Planeswalkers

Creatures

SpellsCut // Ribbons

Lands

Sideboard

 

When Gideon, Ally of Zendikar rotated out of Standard, it seemed as if all hope were lost for this style of deck.  However, it seems that the sweet, sweet owl-phoenix that is Rekindling Phoenix helped to breathe some life back into this archetype as well.  Aren’t phoenixes amazing creatures?

In all honesty though, this deck is more Black-Red Vehicles than Mardu.  The white mana is there only for the purpose of casting Toolcraft Exemplar from the main deck.  The deck doesn’t really feel its Mardu roots until after sideboarding when you can add Cast Out, Profane Procession, and Settle the Wreckage to that list of white cards.


Black-Green Constrictor

The final deck I have for you this week is another deck that was hot for a while and then disappeared.  It’s back now, not thanks to Rekindling Phoenix but to other cards that have the explore mechanic.  Let’s look at B/G Constrictor.

 

B/G Constrictor – (by Paanika)Winding Constrictor

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Jadelight Ranger and Merfolk Branchwalker are great cards when combined with Winding Constrictor.  When explore was first introduced, it took a while to really catch on.  Thanks to Rivals of Ixalan, explore was amped up a notch and it really became a mechanic worth building around.

This deck also has a light energy theme as well which also happens to go hand-in-hand with Winding Constrictor (which is weird since snakes don’t even have hands).  Being able to draw a card with Glint-Sleeve Siphoner every turn really adds up to quite the amount of card advantage.

The deck also features Winding Constrictor‘s best buddy, Walking Ballista.  The added +1/+1 counters the constrictor provides can give you the added reach needed to deliver the final few points of damage to your opponent if the board gets clogged up.


Wrapping Up

As you can see, three archetypes that were previously on the endangered species list have been revived and are doing well again.  Do you have a favorite archetype that’s been brought back from the brink?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  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.

Be sure to join me back here next week for another installment of Raise Your Standards.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes

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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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