Hunting in a New Standard

The time has finally come. The Standard rotation is just around the corner and the best moment of the year is approaching: trying out the decks of the new format!

 

Last week we saw a different way to approach Modern by trying to surprise your opponent with strange decks. For now, we’ll put this wonderful format to the side and focus on the breath of fresh air that is about to hit us.

 

Let’s start by seeing three decks that could do well in this format!

 

 

IZZET CONTROL

 

MID Standard - Izzet Control

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Creature (6)
4
Goldspan Dragon
2
Iymrith, Desert Doom
Sorcery (6)
4
Expressive Iteration
2
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (24)
2
Behold the Multiverse
2
Burning Hands
2
Dragon's Fire
4
Frost Bite
1
Jwari Disruption/Jwari Ruins
4
Memory Deluge
2
Play with Fire
3
Prismari Command
4
Saw It Coming
Land (24)
2
Field of Ruin
4
Frostboil Snarl
2
Hall of Storm Giants
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
6
Snow-Covered Island
6
Snow-Covered Mountain
Cards 60

 

This is one of the most iconic decks of the last Standard format. It loses a lot of cards, of which Bonecrusher Giant is the strongest card of the last two years, but it will continue to have its say.

 

                   

 

The base remains the same. Goldspawn Dragon is always the strongest card in the deck and has a new ally with Memory Deluge. The new card arrived from Innistrad, which is my favorite of this new set, and is one of the reasons why you can continue to play control. It’s a great card that gives the deck the draw power that it’s been missing. With Flashback you get to choose two out of seven cards in late games which makes it stronger.

 

 

Ten spot removals are played. The format is aggressive, and I’m convinced green will be a predominant color thanks to Werewolves, so playing Burning Hands in the main deck could be a necessity.

 

 

WEREWOLVES

 

MID Standard - Werewolves

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Planeswalker (3)
3
Arlinn, the Pack's Hope
Creature (22)
4
Kessig Naturalist
4
Primal Adversary
4
Reckless Stormseeker
2
Tovolar's Huntmaster
4
Tovolar, Dire Overlord
4
Werewolf Pack Leader
Sorcery (2)
2
Unnatural Moonrise
Instant (4)
4
Moonrager's Slash
Enchantment (4)
4
Ranger Class
Land (25)
4
Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway
8
Forest
4
Lair of the Hydra
5
Mountain
4
Rockfall Vale
Cards 60

 

Here is the first tribal returning from Innistrad! The first time it didn’t have much success. It never managed to establish itself in the meta, but this time there are interesting cards.

 

                   

 

You start with Arlinn, which is a good planeswalker for this format. The -2 that plays two wolves is essential because it defends itself and creates pressure on your opponent. The +1 is great. Control decks will struggle to manage the deck because they’ll be forced to play a spell on their own turn or Arlinn will flip, which becomes harder to keep under control. Fewer mana will be available on your turn for countermagics and interaction spells. Once transformed, Arlinn gives two mana through the +2 or becomes a 5/5 with haste, indestructible and trample, so it’s an important threat.

 

                   

 

Other interesting werewolves are Tovolar, Dire Overlord that, perhaps for the first time, provides a deck like this with an important needed resource for drawing cards. Tolovar’s Huntmaster, with similar proportions, is vaguely reminiscent of Grave Titan. It can be played in an advanced game and completely turn the board around. This card seems to provide a plan for late game, which is always good to have.

 

 

IZZET THERMO-ALCHEMIST

 

MID Standard - Izzet Thermo-Alchemist

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Creature (11)
3
Poppet Stitcher
4
Smoldering Egg
4
Thermo-Alchemist
Sorcery (12)
4
Expressive Iteration
4
Magic Missile
4
Roil Eruption
Instant (17)
4
Consider
1
Jwari Disruption/Jwari Ruins
4
Moonrager's Slash
2
Otherworldly Gaze
4
Play with Fire
2
Spikefield Hazard/Spikefield Cave
Land (20)
2
Den of the Bugbear
4
Frostboil Snarl
5
Island
5
Mountain
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
Cards 60

 

Thermo-Alchemist is back in Standard, and with it, the good old Izzet Spells archetype. 

 

                                       

 

Smoldering Egg is similar to Thing in the Ice, only much lower power. However, it performs well in this deck. It gives you a blocker, turns easily, and your opponent is forced to handle it quickly when it becomes a 4/4 dragon.

 

                   

 

Poppet Stitcher is another card that I like a lot of this expansion. It’s an important token creator, and it’s likely to be unmanageable if not removed, as putting a 2/2 for every spell you play is too strong.

 

The deck plays a lot of spells. All are inexpensive to activate the Thermo-Alchemist and to put tokens as quickly as possible.

 

Because it comes with the rotation of the format, there is a lot of hype for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. There seem to be many playable cards, and Standard might become a varied format where you can play everything from Control (UB and UR seem the best decks) to midrange (Naya and Bant) and the many aggro decks people are trying (WR, Werewolves). 

 

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt has only been out for a few days, but the format is already in turmoil. I can’t wait to see how the metagame will evolve!

 

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