Raise Your Standards – Planeswalker’s Paradise (plus Drake Haven)

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week we’re going to take a look at some innovative decks from MTGO that have been doing well.  The common theme running through each of these decks (other than having a 5-0 record in daily events) is that each deck showcases at least one planeswalker.  Let’s start out by looking at the deck featuring Nissa, Voice of Zendikar.

 

B/G Energy – (by Lumi2)

PlaneswalkersNissa, Voice of Zendikar

Creatures

Spells

LandsRhonas the Indomitable

Sideboard

This deck is very reminiscent of the B/G Energy decks prior to the release of Aether Revolt.  I like the inclusion of Rhonas the Indomitable as it should be very easy to ‘turn him on’ so that he can attack and block.  Most of this deck, however, is old tech (don’t fix it if it ain’t broken), but the inclusion of Manglehorn in the sideboard is a nice defense against Aetherworks Marvel or Dynavolt Tower decks, which will likely pop up again now that the cat combo is no more.

The next deck I’d like to take a look at features what I believe is a very underrated planeswalker, Arlinn Kord.

 

R/G Stompy – (by Scappie)

PlaneswalkersArlinn Kord

Creatures

Spells

LandsGlorybringer

Sideboard

Now this is a deck that makes the most out of the new cards in AmonkhetChanneler Initiate is a great way to smooth out our mana while also providing access to a big beater.  Bristling Hydra, Tireless Tracker, and Verdurous Gearhulk all have was of getting or giving +1/+1 counters to neutralize the -1/-1 counters from Channeler Initiate if you decide not to put them on the Initiate herself.

A lot has already been written about the greatness of Glorybringer, so it should come as no surprise to see it included here.  Hazoret the Fervent is not an expected card in a midrange deck like this, but it’s a nice addition to have in the event that the board gets cluttered and you’re not able to deal the final few points of damage to your opponent via combat.  Also, if you have Hazoret the Fervent on the battlefield while Rhonas the Indomitable is also in play, Rhonas will be able to attack and block even if you have 2 or more cards in your hand since Hazoret is still a creature.

These two decks are great for showcasing a couple of planeswalkers from previous sets, but what about the planeswalkers from Amonkhet?  Fear not, for they get some love too in the next few winning decks.  First up, let’s look at the deck featuring Liliana, Death’s Majesty.

 

B/G Delirium – (by CLYDE THE GLIDE DREXLER)

PlaneswalkerLiliana, Death's Majesty

Creatures

Spells

LandsIshkanah, Grafwidow

Sideboard

So this deck follows the same plan past delirium decks have used.  Fill up your graveyard with various card types and then use ways to return those cards to the battlefield.  One of the best plays you can have is to get an Ishkanah, Grafwidow into your graveyard via Liliana’s +1 ability (or some other effect) and then on a future turn return Ishkanah to the battlefield with Liliana’s -3 ability (preferrably once you have delirium).

The next deck I’d like to review features the latest incarnation of Nissa.

 

Aetherworks Marvel – (by _Razor_)

PlaneswalkersNissa, Steward of Elements

Creatures

Spells

LandsAetherworks Marvel

Sideboard

Nissa, Steward of Elements works wonders alongside Aetherworks Marvel.  Her +2 loyalty ability to scry 2 can set up some amazing targets for Marvel to cast.  Also, her 0 loyalty ability can act as a mini-Marvel some of the time as well.  Other than Nissa, Spring // Mind is the only other Amonkhet card played in the main deck.  It can act as some early land ramping if needed, but I think it works best when played from your graveyard as a way to replenish your hand.

Our final planeswalker-centric deck features a few planeswalkers including Nahiri, but it really highlights Gideon.  It’s a deck called Mardu Vehicles.

 

Mardu Vehicles – (by WraithHunter)

PlaneswalkersGideon of the Trials

Creatures

Spells

LandsUnlicensed Disintegration

Sideboard

It’s no surprise that Mardu Vehicles is a deck that’s still doing well.  As the sole survivor of the top tier Aether Revolt decks, Mardu Vehicles certainly has a target on it’s back.  Luckily vehicles tend to move quickly, so even though there are many new answers to things in this deck, it still has the (horse)power to remain competitive.  The new Gideon, Gideon of the Trials, is just a 1-of in the deck, but with his older brother (Gideon, Ally of Zendikar) still being legal in Standard, I don’t expect to see too much of Gideon of the Trials until after our next rotation in about 6 months.

One More Sweet Deck

While we’ve looked at 5 different decks that are all viable currently, there’s still one more deck that went 5-0 on MTGO that I wanted to discuss, simply because it features a card that many people want to brew around.  That card is Drake Haven.

 

U/R Haven – (by DoctorPenick)

CreaturesDrake Haven

Spells

LandsStitchwing Skaab

Sideboard

This deck takes the old U/R Emerge shell and adds Drake Haven.  Due to the number of discard effects in the deck, it should be fairly easy to create an army of drakes that you can use to decimate your opponent.  While there’s no planeswalkers in this deck, it was so innovative that I felt I needed to share it with all of you.

Conclusion

So that wraps up this week’s installment of Raise Your Standards.  Which of these decks is your favorite?  Do you have another deck you’d like featured in an upcoming article?  Let me know by leaving a comment below, or email me at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And join me next week (and each and every Friday) when we’ll take a look at Standard for fun and innovative decks.  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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