Mtg, Standard

Guilds of Ravnica is Almost Here!

And I have no idea where to start brewing. The power level of Standard is changing, as all of the format defining powerhouses from the last year are rotating away next weekend. This means that we are basically brewing decks in a vacuum. It’s really impossible to tell which archetype will emerge as the week one ‘best deck,’ and so of course it’s impossible to brew decks to tackle it. Like I said last time, I started this brewing season by making lists without any Guilds of Ravnica in them. Today, I’m gonna update the decks from last time, build out mana bases and sideboards, and leave you with the deck I’m most excited to start testing.

The first decks I started with were the Desecrated Tomb builds. Blood Operative is the biggest addition to the archetype as another creature that can continuously leave the graveyard to trigger Desecrated Tomb. This updated RB deck gains some other removal tools, but doesn’t gain anything in the manabase this set. Losing Canyon Slough and replacing it with Cinder Barrens isn’t great, but should be serviceable. Otherwise, the deck still looks sweet, though I’m not sure how strong it is in an unknown meta.

Instead of an updated Muldrotha deck, I have a UB version of Desecrated Tomb that goes more all in on Blood Operative and surveil to continuously trigger it. This build gets to play Doom Whisperer and gets better mana, along with valuable permission spells out of the sideboard, but it loses out on the reach that the red build has. I’m excited to try out both of these decks, as they have powerful individual cards and an engine geared towards the late game.

I have an undying love of Regisaur Alpha. I will try too hard to make it work in Standard. This dinosaurs deck gains some sweet sideboard cards including Deafening Clarion, and upgrades its interaction from Seal Away to Response // Resurgence and Integrity // Intervention. These are more versatile answers that also provide the deck with some reach, which may prove important. Otherwise, the game plan remains the same. Cast a ramp spell on turn two, and then play giant dinosaurs ahead of schedule for the rest of the game.

Finally, I have a spin on a dragons deck. While at first glance, you might not think that the deck picks up that much help from Guilds of Ravnica, I actually think that we made out pretty good. Niv-Mizzet, Parun is a very effective six mana dragon. You can cast it on turn four if your turn three was a Sarkhan, Fireblood! That’s pretty sweet. I opt to dip into white instead of black as a splash color in our Izzet dragons deck for access to Deafening Clarion and Response // Resurgence, along with sweepers out of the sideboard. Pivoting to be more of a control deck seems like it could be a strength of a deck like this, so I leaned into it hard with my sideboard choices.

Now, this is deck I am most excited to take out for a spin this weekend: Flame of Keld Risk Factor. The Flame of Keld decks, while losing Bomat Courier and Earthshaker Khenra, still have access to a good amount of burn spells, and Goblin Chainwhirler is still great. I think that Risk Factor will be a great addition to any of the mono red builds of this deck. Risk Factor will basically read, “Deal 4 the first time you cast it, Draw 3 the second time,” if you’re burning them out effectively. I think this is a card that Flame of Keld decks will be glad to have access to. Runaway Steam-kin is another unassuming card that fits right in here. It grows from every red spell cast, meaning that this is often attacking for three on turn three in a deck with this many one and two mana plays. 

Of course, all of these sideboards are guesses at best, filled with generic sideboard goodies that will become more fleshed out once we have an actual metagame to glean data from. Otherwise, I’d love to know what you’ve been brewing up. We have a wide open meta, and I’m excited to see what people bring to the table for week one.

Featured Image: Risk Factor by Chris Seaman

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