Raise Your Standards – Four Pre-Pro Tour Dominaria Decks


Hello, and welcome to another episode of Raise Your StandardsPro Tour Dominaria starts next week, and after that Standard is likely to become a bit more ‘solved’ than it currently is.  Until that happens, my goal is to continue to bring you some fun looking, innovative decks for your enjoyment.  I’ve got four new ones for you this week, so let’s get started.

Esper Historic Midrange

The first deck I’ve got for you this week focuses on the new game term from Dominaria, Historic.  Let’s take a look at the deck.


Esper Historic Midrange – (by KATOKEN)

PlaneswalkersRaff Capashen, Ship's Mage






This deck skirts the line between being a midrange deck and being a control deck, but I decided to label this as midrange because of the spells in the deck.  There are lots of ways to remove an opponent’s creatures, but no counterspells in the main deck.  This deck also has a lot of creatures in it compared to a typical control deck.  Keep in mind that when you sit down to play, your opponent might mistakenly think you’re playing a control deck instead of a midrange deck, so use that to your advantage.  It might be easier for you to bluff that you have a counterspell even when you don’t because of this.

Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage allows you to play all of your creatures as if they had flash.  That ability goes a long way in keeping the ruse alive that you might have a counterspell in your hand.  I like the three copies of Negate in the sideboard (although I might replace some number of these with Essence Scatter).  If you manage to play one of these after game one, your opponent might just believe that you simply didn’t draw any counterspells in the first game.

Sultai Hadana’s Constrictor

The next deck I have for you doesn’t have a lot of new cards from Dominaria, but it is a deck that’s put up consistent results for the past few months.  Let’s look at Sultai Hadana’s Constrictor.


Sultai Hadana’s Constrictor – (by MATTHEWTBK)

CreaturesHadana's Climb





Walking Constrictor has been an amazing card in Standard since it was released in Aether Revolt.  Sure, there was a time where it had fallen out of favor and wasn’t being played much, but that time is over.  It’s good to have you back, Walking Constrictor.  In this deck it provides an important boost for both energy and +1/+1 counters, in some cases (Bristling Hydra) for the same creature.  And it’s important to get those +1/+1 counters flowing in order to take advantage of the other marquee card in the deck, Hadana’s Climb.

Once you’re able to transform Hadana’s Climb into Winged Temple of Orazca, you’re in a very good spot to run away with the game.  By activating Winged Temple of Orazca‘s activated ability, you not only grow your (likely) largest creature twice as big, but you also provide it flying.  That allows you to attack with your huge flying threat which will either do a lot of damage to your opponent or likely remove one or more of their flyers.  The fact that you can activate it turn after turn gives you the inevitability to outlast your opponent’s flying defenses.

Jeskai Gift

The next deck I have for you is also a throwback, taking us back to Amonkhet.  Let’s look at Jeskai Gift.


Jeskai Gift – (by CHAR_AZNABLE)

CreaturesTrophy Mage





This is another example of a deck doing well in Standard that consists mostly of pre-Dominaria cards.  In fact, Skirk Prospector is the only main deck card from Dominaria, but it’s a very important addition to the deck as it allows you a way to get additional creatures into your graveyard as well as additional mana.  Both are needed in order to use Gate to the Afterlife to play God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

I like that this card runs a full playset of Warkite Marauder.  Being able to play multiple copies of this card and attacking with them can make combat miserable for your opponent.  I also like the two copies of Siege-Gang Commander in the sideboard which can combine with Skirk Prospector to make playing God-Pharaoh’s Gift a snap.

Black/Green Saprolings

The final deck I have for you this week wouldn’t be possible without the support provided to it in Dominaria.  Let’s look at B/G Saprolings.


B/G Saprolings – (by JONSON26)

CreaturesSlimefoot, the Stowaway





If you’re looking to play a deck that won’t break the bank but will feel like a totally new experience, then you should give this deck a shot.  There are a ton of way to create Saprolings in this deck and many ways to boost them as well.  With the bonus from Metallic Mimic, Sporecrown Thallid, and Tendershoot Dryad, you’ll have a veritable army of massive Saprolings in no time.  As long as your opponent isn’t packing any sweepers, you should be just fine.  And in the event that they do have a sweeper, you have a secret weapon in your arsenal.  Slimefoot, the Stowaway is the perfect creature to have in play to dissuade your opponent from wiping the battlefield clean.

This is by far my favorite deck this week, and I’d love to hear from any of you readers that are playing a deck like this.  Let me know what’s great about the deck, as well as the pitfalls you’ve encountered with it.

Wrapping Up

That’s all the time I have time for this week.  Which deck from today’s article is your favorite?  Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And, 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.

Also, be sure to check out my articles every Thursday on GatheringMagic.com.  If you like the innovative decks I write about here each week, you’ll want to check out my articles there as well.

Be sure to join me back here next week for another installment of Raise Your Standards.  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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