Raise Your Standards – History of Benalia Decks

raise-your-standards

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week while I was researching the decks from last weekend’s Pro Tour for my article on GatheringMagic.com, I noticed quite a few decklists titled W/X Benalia.  So, this week we’ll be taking a look at these various builds and see how the color(s) you play alongside the White needed for History of Benalia change the deck.


Black/White Benalia

By far, the most plentiful History of Benalia decks were Black/White decks.  Let’s take a look at one.

 

Black/White Benalia – (by Bryan Allen Ramirez)Lyra Dawnbringer

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

SideboardFatal Push

 

This has been the typical version of the deck since the release of Dominaria.  It combines some of the best removal both Black and White have to offer alongside powerful vehicles.  The creatures are what you would expect, being both powerful and resilient.  Lyra Dawnbringer brings a way to gain back some life lost in the early game, as well as being an evasive powerhouse.  Gideon of the Trials offers a repeatable way to deal with whatever your opponent’s best creature is.  He also can help you stay in the game for as long as it takes you to win, assuming you have ways to defend him.  Karn, Scion of Urza is also present primarily as a means of card draw, but the Constructs he makes are another route to victory for this deck.


White/Blue Benalia

The next deck I have for you is a White/Blue version that was piloted by Quentin Martin.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

White/Blue Benalia – (by Quentin Martin)Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Planeswalkers

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

While the Black/White version fought a typical midrange battle using creatures and vehicles, the White/Blue version does not.  Instead, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria turns this deck into a control deck.  Sure, you can still fight by turning your Gideon of the Trials into a creature and battle alongside the Constructs made by Karn, Scion of Urza, but that’s not the typical course of action until after you’ve countered many of the opponent’s threats or exiled them with your removal.


Esper Benalia

So what would happen if you combined the colors of the first two decks and made an Esper Benalia build?  Would it be more control, or more midrange?  Let’s find out by taking a look at the deck that Piotr Glogowski played.

 

Esper Benalia – (by Piotr Glogowski)Gideon of the Trials

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

SideboardCast Down

 

This Esper version that Piotr played is more like the Black/White version than the White/Blue version.  It opts to go the more midrange route towards victory, playing a bunch of good creatures alongside Heart of Kiran.  This version also runs The Scarab God as another way to gain a battlefield advantage.  In the sideboard you have a copy of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, if you decide you need more card advantage.


Green/White Benalia

The final version I have for you today opts to go Green.  Let’s take a look at the Green/White Benalia deck played by Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas.

 

Green/White Benalia – (Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas)Ajani Unyielding

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

SideboardThrashing Brontodon

 

The Green/White version plays a much more controlling game than I would have expected.  There are multiple sweepers in the deck which you can use to keep your opponent’s side of the battlefield clear.  That will help Gideon of the Trials to be able to deal damage without fear of being blocked.  Ajani Unyielding can be a good source of card advantage, as long as you get to the six mana needed to cast him.  He can also act as a way to buff your entire team once you can activate his ultimate ability.  This deck is probably my least favorite of the builds I’ve shown you today, but I like it a lot better after sideboarding as you have access to Lyra Dawnbringer and Fleetwheel Cruiser.


Wrapping Up

Today I’ve shown you four different builds that all feature History of Benalia.  Which one is your favorite?  Also, if you have a build that’s focused on White/Red I’d love to see it.  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.  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

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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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