A Different Approach to the Standard Format – Jeskai Cycling

Hello everyone and welcome back on 95mtg.com!
After a little break to focus on the Kaldheim Draft format, let’s get back to the Standard Format, analyzing one of the strangest deck in the format that we didn’t cover on our previous Kaldheim Standard Metagame Analysis (part 1, part 2, part 3).
This Archetype has emerged more and more in the past few weeks, so let’s say “Hi” to Jeskai Cycling!

 

DECKLIST

 

Let’s start seeing how the deck looks like.

 

Walter Scuderi - KHM Standard - Jeskai Cycling

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Creature (18)
4
Drannith Stinger
4
Flourishing Fox
4
Irencrag Pyromancer
2
Rielle, the Everwise
4
Valiant Rescuer
Sorcery (7)
3
Boon of the Wish-Giver
4
Go for Blood
Instant (12)
4
Frostveil Ambush
4
Startling Development
4
Zenith Flare
Enchantment (4)
4
Improbable Alliance
Land (19)
4
Hengegate Pathway/Mistgate Pathway
1
Island
1
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway/Pillarverge Pathway
4
Raugrin Triome
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
1
Savai Triome
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Disdainful Stroke
3
Glass Casket
2
Mystical Dispute
2
Negate
4
Redcap Melee
2
Soul-Guide Lantern

 

To begin with, we can notice the absence of Lurrus of the Dream-Den, which has always been the Companion for the archetype.
The reason for that is what probably made me fall in love with the deck:
Irencrag Pyromancer and Rielle, the Everwise.

 

While playing this deck, I have found these two cards to be perfectly functional for whatever gameplan we decide to develop.
Yes, because the most difficult part of this deck is being able to understand what is our position in the game and what’s the best way to persue our goal: win the game.
Is it better to put pressure? Is it better to play in a passive way?
How to decide if it’s better to cast Drannith Stinger rather than Valiant Rescuer or Improbable Alliance?
How to decide what’s the most proper time to cycle a card?
In short, this deck will put you in front of multiple choices every turn and only the experience you gain playing it will guide you on what the correct play is.

 

Ok then, let’s go deep and have a closer look on the key cards that make this deck one of the best in the current metagame!

 

 

Irencrag Pyromancer: this card is literally everything you want to play in this deck. For three mana, we can get a 0/4 creature, so it will hardly be removed by the most popular decks in the current metagame.
With this card on the board we can handle almost any board situation: deal three damage to any target, almost every turn, simply by cycling a card, is something that crushes any Aggro/Midrange deck.
I’m pretty sure that even a control deck wouldn’t be happy to have to deal with a clock like this.

 

 

Rielle, the Everwise: is the card that works perfectly with our Pyromancer and, in general, with the whole deck.
Irencrag Pyromancer’s ability will trigger in the Opponent’s turn even by cycling a single card.
Extra draws for every cycle trigger are something that we do not really need to talk about.

 

 

Zenith Flare: by far, the strongest card in our deck, the one that makes it playable and highly competitive.
A very high percentage of our games will be decided by this card while, in other games, it will buy us some time by making us gain life.
This is the card around which our opponent will have to play, while indirectly allowing us to develop our board-presence.
Definitely a versatile card, useful in so many occasions that we will never be sad to draw it at any point in the game.

 

                   

 

Valiant Rescuer and Improbable Alliance: the two token creators of the deck.
They are very important cards wether you need to be the Attacker (in matchups like Yorion Decks and Rogue) or to create a lot of chump-blockers to gain time, waiting to resolve a Zenith Flare (in matchups like Naya Adventures and White Aggro). 

 

These cards represent the core of the deck. Let’s talk about how it is positioned in the current metagame by analyzing the matchups we could find in our game sessions!

 

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARD GUIDE

 

 

                   

                   

 

                 

                 

 

This matchup is neither good nor particularly bad, we simply need to stay alive as long as possible in order to resolve Zenith Flare and create a gap that is difficult for our opponent to recover.
The package of removal-spell we bring in after sideboard are there to buy us time.
Embercleave is our worst nightmare as it makes our tokens pretty much uselessand that’s the reason why we cut four Improbable Alliance.

 

 

                 

 

                 

 

The key difference with Mono Red is the lack of Embercleave, so our 1/1 tokens are very useful blockers. This leads the matchup to be a good one. We can make a goode use of the three copies of Glass Casket instead of the three cards with cycle that cost more mana to be casted which make the choice of what to cut pretty easy.

 

 

                   

                   

 

                   

                  

 

The fact that they are not playing Embercleave makes the matchup quite easy to beat. However, we should always be careful not to die by their Goldspan Dragon combo. But thanks to Zenith Flare, Redcap Melee and the tons of blockers we create with Improbable Alliance, we should not have many problems.

 

 

                   

                  

 

                  

                   

 

This matchup is very good. Our opponent will hardly be able to keep up with all the threats we present him on the board.
They will be forced to cast, for instance, a mass removal to not die with our tokens and that will be the right time to resolve our strongest spell and win the game.
After sideboard we have access to counter-spells that will improve our situation.

 

 

                   

                   

                   

       

 

                   

                   

                    

         

 

In the mirror match, game one is a race to see who can put more threats on the board, and then cast a huge Zenith Flare.
After sideboard our priority is to kill our opponent’s Irencrag Pyromancer and Rielle, the Everwise as they both provide for a big advantage: that’s why we bring in Redcap Melee and Glass Casket.
Both, Negate and Soul-Guide Lantern are there against Zenith Flare.

 

 

                    

         

 

                  

         

 

Another good matchup. The absence, at least during game one, of mass removals allows us to build our board without having to think about the consequences. Although it is true that our opponent has a lot of removals and some counters; it is also true that his plan to mill our deck contribuites in making our Flares bigger and bigger, so all we have to do is to let one of them resolves.
Post side, we have two
Mystical Dispute that can always be useful and three Glass Casket to take care of their threats.

 

I think that this deck is very good and well positioned in the current standard metagame and if you are looking for a different way to compete with, then Jeskay Cycling is the one for you!

Ok Planeswalker, I hope this guide might help you wether you’re looking for a good deck to compete in tournaments or simply looking for some fun!
I’ll see you next week, always here on 95mtg.com!

 

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