I openly admit I have no idea what is going on in this Standard format. The good stuff decks don't know what is actually good. The control decks don't know what they need to control. The mono color decks just want a bit more power. But my close friend of the past year decided to pop in for a visit during testing:
For once I'm not referring to Stormbreath Dragon. There's another lover I have in mind.
Sure we lost Burning-Tree Emissary to rotation, but Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is here to cause all sorts of silly things to happen. The really fun part is you get to play it alongside the three best cards in Standard.
I hope everyone is ready to shuffle to their heart's content for the next year while searching for basics.
Here's a place to start for those interested:
- 4 Elvish Mystic
- 4 Genesis Hydra
- 4 Sylvan Caryatid
- 4 Voyaging Satyr
- 4 Boon Satyr
- 4 Courser of Kruphix
- 4 Eidolon of Blossoms
- 4 Polukranos, World Eater
- 2 Nylea, God of the Hunt
This is as consistent as it gets. All the powerful cards you could ever want, with the card selection of eight fetchlands. Yeah that's right, card selection from your lands is where the cool kids are at these days. Gone are the days of Ponder and Preordain smoothing out the blue mages and literally giving them everything they could ever ask for. Some things to note from this list:
If you think Mono-Green Devotion or aggro decks are going to be popular, don't forget these bad boys. For those who have tested the matchup without these maindeck, you come to realize that a very large Polukranos is the only way to get the board clear enough to attack for a profit if you do not have Setessan Tactics. As of right now, I won't play less than four copies in my 75.
Garruk, Caller of Beasts is gone. Drawing a fistful of cards in one turn is harder to come by so we have to find new ways to ensure we don't waste all that sweet, sweet Nykthos mana.
It slices and dices, it chops and cubes...it does it all and yet it does nothing. Chord is a sweet flexible card that has entire archetypes built around it, but those decks thrive on the fact they can toolbox out a wide range of effects to cover any weaknesses. Right now in Standard, the only toolbox effect I really want is some sweet Nylea's Disciple lifegain.
I just couldn't do it. Love this dragon to death, but right now I have to see what's up on the greener side of life. Don't worry though - it will be back and it will be very angryBefore people get ahead of themselves, I have been thinking long and hard about sideboard options. Unfortunately due to the nature of an emerging format, it would be irresponsible for me to spoon feed you a perfect fifteen because honestly I have no idea what cards I actually want or need. So let's look at it with more of a theoretical eye.
Unsure what your last few slots should be? Stay flexible! Reclamation Sage and Nissa, Worldwaker will give you cards that can be used against a wide range of decks but seem just a little weak for large numbers in your maindeck.
Unsure what else is worth adding to that list of yours? Shake It Off and sleeve up whatever looks clever. It's early in a format and frankly the only bad thing you can do is not show up to the event.
I should backtrack slightly. This deck is powerful for a wide range of reasons outside of the fetchland + Courser of Kruphix interaction. Thanks to Supreme Verdict leaving the format, we no longer fear a cheap sweeper that ruins Mono-Green Devotion's day time and time again. This means your plan of getting ahead on mana with Nykthos and pumping out massive creatures is one of the most powerful things you can be doing. Want to draw handfuls of cards from a constellation trigger? Mono-Green Devotion has what you need. Lucky for you if you just want to turn creatures sideways Mono-Green Devotion has the beatdown specialist Boon Satyr waiting in the wings to drop the hammer on those greedy planeswalkers.
I know this weekend I will be slinging forests and enchantments on Saturday, but I have a dilemma on Sunday…
Legacy or Modern?
Lucky for you I have been testing both and loving every second of it! For Legacy I have to advocate the Sultai Delver Deck I wrote about in my last article:
I think people are going to be packing Miracles and Sultai Delver in full force this weekend and the above configuration gives you reasonable matchups against both. Don't forget that Burn is a very real deck in Legacy at this point, especially due to its low cost. And it's actually the deck I am strongly considering for the Modern Premier IQ:
Why the sudden shift to Burn? Sometimes it's easier to light em up than to grind em out!
While this list is pretty rough, it has been very solid for me throughout testing. Originally I was playing a R/W version but refused to accept that Shard Volley was going to be in my 75. So after taking a look around the deck database, I realized some players were advocating three-color Burn lists. While I was not fully committed to the third color, I realized that Bump in the Night let me trim the cards that were bothering me in R/W Burn and give the deck a higher damage output.
The low creature count means you strand a lot of dead cards in your opponent's hand. This is an important factor to take into account as every dead card they have indirectly strengthens your cards as you get more turns to find those last few points of burn and close out the game.
Another advantage of playing a more redundant version of Burn is your midrange matchups. These decks have been thriving on their ability to always have a mix of discard, removal, and threats but thanks to some specific deck construction choices, we get to mitigate the impact of their massive removal suite while also making ourselves fairly strong against their discard package due to the redundant nature of our deck. This means that the midrange decks are hard pressed to effectively stunt your gameplan and really have to hope they can present a threat that closes the game quickly.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my teammates that worked with me on the Mono-Green Devotion shell I presented today. For those who don't have the support of a dedicated group of players, I implore you to seek out those players in your area that have the same drive you do and pool your knowledge and resources. This pays dividends when it comes to going to events as full cars are the best cars, and ensuring you have the newest technology. It's even better when the players you work with are just as crazy as you are!
Best of luck to everyone at their first Khans of Tarkir Constructed events this weekend and try not to be too mad that fetch is happening all around you. It might be wise to join in before everyone catches on and adds you to their Burn Book for being unoriginal.