Raise Your Standards – Not Your Standard Standard Decks

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week I have a few different decks that have done well on Magic Online that aren’t quite like the usual decks you see.  If you came here looking for a rundown of the most played decks in Standard, I’m sorry to disappoint you.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new deck to try out that’s off the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place.


Blue-Red Control

The first deck I have for you today is one I’ve talked about before, but it’s so good I want to talk about it again in more detail.  Let’s take a look at U/R Control.

U/R Control – (by Turnip_head)Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

If you’ve been looking to play a control deck but can’t afford the high cost of The Scarab God, then look no further.  This deck combines all of the best Blue card-drawing cards alongside the best Red direct-damage spells to make a thoroughly frustrating experience for your opponent.  Seriously, all hyperbole aside, this deck does look quite dreadful to play against.

I’ve recently had the chance to play Search for Azcanta, and I can say without hesitation that the card is no joke.  Being able to look at the top card of your library each turn before deciding whether you want to draw it or put it into your graveyard is such a powerful ability that you may never want to transform it.  It allows you to get a land when you need it and get rid of one when you don’t.  It also enables you to keep a hand full of threats and answers.

This deck also runs a couple of terrific planeswalkers.  Chandra, Torch of Defiance has really been a force to be reckoned with in Standard.  She can do it all, from helping you get a card you’re in need of, to killing off an opponent’s creature.

Next to her you have Saheeli Rai.  Her +1 loyalty ability is additional redundancy in helping you manipulate the top of your library while also providing a bit of damage to your opponent.  Her -2 loyalty ability gets really interesting whenever you have one of your creatures on the battlefield.  Creating a copy of Whirler Virtuoso gives you enough energy to immediately create a Thopter token if you want.  Creating a copy of Torrential Gearhulk allows you to cast another instant card from your graveyard.  And creating a copy of Glorybringer means you can exert it without any drawback.

I think this deck looks like a lot of fun to play, and I think it’s relatively simple enough that a new player could give it a go while also having enough depth for it to still be interesting for an advanced player to play.


White-Red Midrange

The next deck I have for you is W/R Midrange.  Let’s have a look.

R/W Midrange – (by FREEROLLIN)Glorybringer

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

This is another deck I’m hoping to sleeve up soon.  Anytime I can play both Glorybringer and Rekindling Phoenix sounds like a good time to me.  They are both great ways for you to close out the game.  However, they have a 5- and 4-mana CMC (converted mana cost) respectively, so neither of these cards will help you stay alive in the early portion of the game.  Luckily you have some answers for that problem.

This deck is packing 17 cards that allow you to interact with your opponent’s side of the battlefield, 13 of which cost less than 4 mana.  That’s a lot of answers you’ll have before you’re playing cards of your own that must be answered by your opponent.  Since you have so much removal, if you have multiple cards in your hand that can be used to deal with an opponent’s card, be sure to pay close attention to which ones are useful in multiple situations.  For example, don’t use Abrade on an opponent’s Glint-Sleeve Siphoner if you also have Magma Spray in your hand.  Save the Abrade for later on in case they cast an artifact you want to destroy.  The same rule applies to your enchantments that exile things, as some can only target creatures and artifacts while others can target any non-land permanent.

Oh yeah, this deck also features Chandra, Torch of Defiance.  For more on her, check out nearly every other article I’ve written in the past year where I’ve talked about a Red deck.  Seriously though, she’s great and can take over a game in no time.


Black/Red Ascend

the final deck I have for you this week is a B/R Ascend deck.  Let’s take a gander at it.

B/R Ascend – (by Ihavethefire)Angrath, the Flame-Chained

Planeswalkers

Creatures

Spells

Lands

SideboardTwilight Prophet

Looking at this decklist brings such a smile to my face.  We start off with 3 copies of Angrath, the Flame-Chained.  So far, Angrath hasn’t been used very often, probably because his abilities don’t fit in like a typical planeswalker’s do.  He doesn’t protect himself particularly well.  He doesn’t provide typical card advantage.  And his ultimate ability takes a lot of work to use if you’re hoping to win the game with it.  That all being said, I think he looks like a fun card to try out.

I like that Angrath’s -3 loyalty ability works so well with Makeshift Munitions, which is another card that doesn’t see any play in Standard.  Steal your opponent’s best creature, use it against them, and then sacrifice it no matter what it’s converted mana cost is.  Plus, you might be able to get rid of multiple creatures your opponent controls if you deal the damage to a creature that you’ve already dealt damage to with a burn spell.  That can really turn the game around in your favor in a hurry.

This deck also features Tilonalli’s Summoner.  This Human Shaman is the perfect way to reach the ten permanents required to Ascend.  And while it likely will be the first creature blocked when it attacks, there is enough removal in this deck that you might be able to save it if you wanted to.

If you are able to Ascend, Twilight Prophet is just the kind of card you want to get into play.  Not only does it give you an extra card each turn, but it also can potentially drain your opponent of their life force and transfer those points of life back to you.  Also, remember that Twilight Prophet has Flying, so it makes a pretty good blocker much of the time.


Wrapping Up

Whether you want to play the most popular deck or one of these under-the-radar beauties, Standard has a deck for you.  After a lengthy stretch where Standard was dominated by only a couple of archetypes, it’s great to see so much variety again.  What’s your favorite deck to play in Standard?  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

Comments

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

Comments are closed.