For some reason I am finding hard to articulate, I like this deck. It's labeled as Temur Aggro, but really it's an Assault Formation deck. And upon closer inspection, it may be best characterized as a Profaner of the Dead deck, since that card is particularly well-positioned at the moment. The current Standard format is replete with decks that spew creatures onto the battlefield, from Human Aggro variants to G/W Tokens to various Collected Company decks. Having a Hill Giant that can consistently undo all your opponent's hard work in the early-game is incredibly powerful and likely forms the backbone of this deck, since it does not generate a lot of offense early.
However, its proclivity for defense is not a true weakness, since the large number of high-toughness creatures encourages your opponent to overextend into your Profaners, making them that much more devastating. When paired with an Assault Formation on turn 6, you generate instant offense, turning the corner much more swiftly than your opponent could have anticipated.
If your opponent tries to play a slow game and remove your blockers so they can get through, Mizzium Meddler and Glint are there to foil their plans, leaving your battlefield intact and their offense completely stymied. As a final comeuppance to those snooty aggro players, the high toughness of this deck's creatures and its three-color manabase allow it to seamlessly maindeck Radiant Flames, further punishing anyone who tries to go wide against your array of Walls.
With Assault Formation, the deck even becomes quite aggressive, with creatures that attack for four or more damage all costing three or less mana while topping the curve with a four-mana creature that attacks for nine. Even against aggressive decks, a post-Profaner Goldnight Castigator with an Assault Formation on the battlefield will apply so much pressure that your opponent will not be able to rebuild their battlefield in time to take advantage of its ability doubling their damage output. It will almost always be a two-turn clock with haste, thus forcing the opponent to remove it instead of fully rebuilding.
However, the reality is that, as this deck is currently built, it is ill-situated to play against a control deck. The creatures give little in the way of offense without an Assault Formation on the battlefield and several decks right now can remove an enchantment, so its continued presence is far from a guarantee. Even with the high toughnesses in the deck, its creatures are mostly vulnerable to Languish and the control decks right now are actually poised to take advantage of the one creature that survives their sweeper, Goldnight Castigator. W/B Control has Gideon, Ally of Zendikar that can now attack for ten damage per turn, and Grixis has both Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, which can swing a race in their favor.
Wisely, Daniel Sughroue realized this weakness and sideboarded appropriately. Negate, Fevered Visions, and Duskwatch Recruiter are all excellent against control strategies and give the deck a flash feel where your cheap creatures and Assault Formation allow you to get under your opponent and let your instant-speed cards buy enough time to close out the game.
If you are interested in reach, then Fall of the Titans becomes an option, although that card seems most powerful against opposing midrange decks, where your one-mana creatures serve as excellent enablers to a spell that gains both tempo and card advantage so as to fight the midrange decks on both axes.
The one card that seems suspect to me is Crumble to Dust. Seemingly for ramp decks, I doubt a weaker Stone Rain will do enough in this matchup to turn the tide. I would rather focus on the deck's aggressive elements and sideboard more reach spells to close the game after your opponent has tapped out for one of their haymakers.
Regardless, this is a cool-looking deck that attacks Standard from a fresh angle, which is something I haven't seen in quite a while, given how dynamic and diverse the recent Standard formats have been. The top decks right now are powerful and versatile enough to have withstood all challengers, but this deck may be able to mix(-a-lot) it up.
- 2 Crater Elemental
- 2 Duskwatch Recruiter
- 4 Goldnight Castigator
- 4 Jaddi Offshoot
- 4 Mizzium Meddler
- 4 Profaner of the Dead
- 4 Sidisi's Faithful