Brewing Standard with Dominaria
Dominaria is the most exciting set we’ve seen in over a decade if you ask me. We finally have a Limited format where you can cast Divination on turn three and not risk losing the game on the spot.
As for Constructed, we got a ton of new tools to explore. The questions remains, are they better than Heart of Kiran, Walking Ballista, Settle the Wreckage, Hazoret, Fatal Push, and Glint-Sleeve Siphoner? I honestly think so. I believe the cards in Dominaria are powerful enough that they will at least merge well with these and create new decks. That’s something Wizards of the Coast has been struggling with; their new expansions wouldn't merge well with previous ones and we’d feel like the cards are bad. Dominaria is a breath of fresh air as cards are not tied to synergy, they’re just good old-fashioned plain and simple great cards.
I spent about a week and a half experimenting with brews, especially trying to make Mox Amber work and while there were a lot of bad decks. There’s a few that I kept in mind because they had potential or there was at least a good lesson to learn from them, which could be used for deck building in the future.
Without further ado, I present to you the brew I worked on the most and fives others that are interesting to toy around with.
WG Legendary Monument
Thanks to MTGGoldfish.com for the awesome decklist tool.
This is the first deck that I built on my quest to break Mox Amber. I figured I’d want Legendary creatures that cost one and two. Since Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter is the only at one mana (outside of Hope of Ghirapur which doesn’t work as it has no color), it looked like I’d have to build a green deck.
I didn't want to play it in a deck that couldn’t utilize its ability properly, so we’re now looking at a tokens deck. Perfect, Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy is another card that works well with Mox Amber and with tokens, we have a shell.
I could have easily gone for a ‘’traditional’’ Green/White Legends deck, but then I thought, what’s the best thing I can cast on turn two off Oviya/Mox or Llanowar Elves. The answer seemed to be Oketra’s Monument. That happened to be our source of tokens too!
My first attempt at filling out the rest of deck included Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Oketra, the True; they were primarily there for Mox Amber, but were pretty bad on their own so I cut them. I also thought my deck was lacking interaction (in fact it had none) so I added Fairgrounds Warden. It happens to pair nicely with Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle as well.
Aviary Mechanic is the other non-conventional card here. We’ve seen it being played in old Oketra’s Monument decks, yet, I always thought it was a bit of a Magical Christmas Land kind of card. The idea is to have two, one in your hand and one on the battlefield and you loop them to make lots of tokens. I thought it would be much better in this build since I can run out the first one without being scared to lose it and then buy it back later with Teshar. It also works quite nicely with Mox Amber as it essentially will cost you only one mana, or zero if you have Monument.
The rest of the spells speaks for themselves really. Legion Conquistador is fantastic with Monument, Lyra is just an amazing card, especially when it costs one less, Shalai is just a solid card all around, plays nicely against Settle the Wreckage.
The manabase is pretty straightforward except for those Aether Hubs. If you look at the deck, I’m basically splashing for Llanowar Elves and Oviya, which are both one drops. That is not ideal when building your manabase, especially because the ally colors don’t have access to fast lands. Ideally I’d want a bunch of basic Forests, but the deck is actually fairly heavy on white cards, that is why I opted for Aether Hub and so far it's been fine.
The sideboard is extremely experimental, mostly because Standard is not as streamlined as Modern for example so you can’t just jam a bunch of Rest in Peace and Stony Silence and call it a day. Standard requires you to know your deck inside out, as well as all the matchups, learn how your opponents sideboard against you and so on. I essentially built a sideboard that’s just a bunch of cards I thought about playing maindeck and then I’m figuring out as I play more what makes sense or not.
Thrashing Brontodon is a card I wish I could play maindeck since it works perfectly with Teshar, but I can’t find room for it, sadly.
To close in on the deck. I would like to point that this is the best Mox Amber deck I’ve played and I’m not even 100% sure that it should be in the deck. It's very good when you do have the early Legendary creatures, but awful when you don’t and atrocious when you have multiple. For those reasons I’m tempted to think that the right number is two Mox. I will have to test it furthermore.
The Best Benalish Marshal Deck
I like tokens. Clearly, it was essential that I find the best home for Benalish Marshal and I believe I found it. This deck is not as much of a brew as the other decks presented in this article, but that's only because it is fairly obvious that most of these cards fit together, therefore everybody came up with something similar.
The only piece of technology I came up with here is Master Trinketeer. I came up with as a way to fight Goblin Chainwhirlers. Its been doing what it has to do and gives a bit of punch for the late game as well.
I was wondering if the manabase of eight fast lands and Spire of Industry could support Unlicensed Disintegration and turns out that with the help of Sram’s Expertise, which casts it no questions asked, yes it works quite reliably. There’s already red lands in the deck, so why not add Bomat Courier?
MTGO player named ‘’Schott’’ beat both Matthew Foulkes and myself while we were streaming with this deck. I looked really sweet so I asked for the list and played a bit.
Two matches and I was done. While the deck is very cool and can have some sick starts, it is ultimately not fast enough and has no interaction outside of Walking Ballista.
The cat is out of the bag on this one now as Gerry Thompson 5-0'd a league and wrote an article about the idea of merging Constrictors and Constructors. It didn't seem to make a big impact at GP Birmingham this last weekend though. I'm unsure how good the deck will remain in the long term.
This deck and the ones that following are decks that I haven't played a single game with yet.
Basically, I want to play with Karn’s Temporal Sundering and Jaya’s Immolating Inferno. I have no idea if I’m onto something here, I’ll have to find out. Maybe they both go in different decks, but the Time Walk effect works well with Planeswalkers and Jaya’s Immolating Inferno works well with the mana that my Planeswalkers provide.
Tatyova, Benthic Druid is honestly not that far from Tireless Tracker. You don’t have to pay two to draw a card and you get to gain a life. Sure, it costs five mana, so unlike Tireless Tracker, you can really play it in an aggressively slanted deck.
What about in a midrange/control deck like this one? The manabase is very rough, it's possible that Llanowar Elves does not belong in there, but the dream of going turn one Llanowar Elves, turn two ramp spell, turn three Hour of Promise is too cool to pass over.
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· The Art of Sideboard Construction - Sultai Energy: http://dro.ps/jon-sideboard
· A Commoner’s View on Pauper: http://dro.ps/mark-pauper
· Blue Moon Beach Control: http://dro.ps/scott-bluemoon
· Top 5 Modern Decks: http://dro.ps/pascal-modern
· Storm in Vintage Cube: http://dro.ps/ben-storm
· An Early Look at Rivals for Standard: http://dro.ps/shaun-rivals
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· Looking at The Current Lands(cape) of Legacy http://dro.ps/jarvis-land
· Deconstructing Dominaria Limited: http://dro.ps/jon-dominaria
· Diving into Dominaria Standard: http://dro.ps/mark-dominaria
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