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Bant Walkers and Lich's Mastery

Dominaria Standard is here, and hopefully you guys have already checked out my set review for this set and its implications in Standard. What I learned from doing the set review for Dominaria is that it’s one of the best sets we’ve ever gotten for Standard. This set has so many great cards and build around me cards for Standard. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a Bant Planeswalker deck as a shell to explore in new Dominaria Standard. I also talked about wanting to brew around Lich's Mastery since the card is so sweet and powerful in the right shell. So, today I’ve come to deliver! I will be talking about my updated Bant Planeswalker deck and my Lich's Mastery deck that I’ve been working on.


Haze of Pollen
Bant walkers is a control deck that aims to take over the game with planeswalkers. Instead of playing at instant speed with flash creatures and countermagic, it aims to tap out every turn and try to get control of the battlefield. Fumigate, Settle the Wreckage, and even Haze of Pollen are excellent ways to keep your planeswalkers alive while also controlling the battlefield. Each time you can untap with one, two, or even three Planeswalkers, the closer you get to taking over the game through card advantage and battlefield advantage.

The deck has a lot of ways to protect its planeswalkers. Seal Away, Settle the Wreckage, and Fumigate are all excellent ways to protect your planeswalkers. You even have some that can protect themselves like Gideon of the Trials, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Ajani Unyielding. One of the cheapest ways to protect your planeswalkers is through Haze of Pollen. It plays fantastically well with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, allowing you to tap out completely if you use Teferi’s plus ability. This way you will be able to Haze of Pollen your opponent’s attack and then untap to Fumigate or Settle the Wreckage the next time they attack.

The deck has a pretty good matchup against most decks in the format. It will struggle against decks that have a lot of countermagic that aren’t Essence Scatters, especially if the control deck is able to draw their counterspells in the right order. However, if they don’t draw the correct countermagic to line up with your planeswalkers you can sneak in a cheap planeswalker that will accrue card advantage and slowly take over the game. Control decks typically have a tough time dealing with planeswalkers that resolve and stick around.

CSMIDY has taken my list and adapted it to play Llanowar Elves. This allows for some very explosive plays like turn two Nissa, Steward of Elements or Gideon of the Trials. It also means Nissa, Steward of Elements has more hits with her zero ability. The one downside to this is that you cannot justify playing Fumigate main deck anymore. You end up trading Fumigate for more aggressive and explosive plays. Here is CSMIDY’s adaptation to the deck that he managed to go 5-0 with in a competitive league.


This is solid take on the archetype. It mixes some of the best things about uw Control and combines them with Bant Planeswalkers. Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage allows you to play almost everything at instant speed including your planeswalkers. Playing creatures isn’t all upside though. Again, you can’t justify Fumigate alongside creatures, and by playing creatures you do turn on your opponent’s creature removal spells or counterspells, like Essence Scatter. Both decks are powerful and I’m sure we’ll continue to see planeswalker come together to take down the big bad The Scarab God.

The other list I want to talk about is an update to the Sun of a Lich deck.


Lich's Mastery
I found out quickly how strong cards like Renewed Faith and Ritual of Rejuvenation can be. They are obviously great with Lich's Mastery, but they are also a fantastic way to buy yourself time until you do find a Lich's Mastery.

This deck is the one I played in the Dominaria early access event that Wizards of the Coast were gracious enough to provide to the podcast I do with Justin Parnell, Think Twice MTG. If you want to see this deck in action, you should watch the game play videos here.

I really like Phyrexian Scriptures. The delay of destroying all creatures really makes your opponent think. They can’t play out more creatures because you’ll be killing them all next turn with Phyrexian Scriptures second counter. This basically insures that you untap with a battlefield devoid of creatures, at least for your opponent. This is the perfect time to drop your Lich's Mastery and start getting to work. Phyrexian Scriptures also exiles your opponent’s graveyard which is very relevant in Standard. This shuts things off like The Scarab God or creatures with eternalize / embalm.

Curving Lich's Mastery into Approach of the Second Sun allows you to put the Approach right back into your hand. If your opponent doesn’t have a way to make you discard the Approach or a way to stop it, like a Negate, then they’ll fly too close to the sun and you’ll win! Lich's Mastery works amazingly well with all sorts of cards in this deck since so many of them gain incidental life. Things like Moment of Craving gaining you two life and transforming Azor's Gateway into Sanctum of the Suns gaining you five life quickly starts to put the game away.

I’m excited to continue playing with Lich's Mastery. I want to try an Esper build that can put cards with cycling quickly into its graveyard so that it has more things to exile when your opponent does damage to you while you control Lich's Mastery. Another cool interaction with this deck is to drop below 0 life and then just Mastermind's Acquisition for Axis of Mortality and swap your life total with your opponent to kill them.

Oath of Teferi and Lich's Mastery are just a few cards that I’ve been brewing with from Dominaria. I still can’t wait to continue playing and brewing with cards like Yawgmoth's Vile Offering and Primevals' Glorious Rebirth. This weekend I’ll be traveling to SCG Baltimore for the team event. If you are going to be there make sure to stop by and say hi!

I’ll also begin streaming a lot more MTG Arena starting next week. If you want to see me working on new decks and brews you will want to make sure that you’re following my twitch channel. Just click the twitch link down below!

Well guys and gals, that’s all I have for you today. Make sure to tune in next week for more brews and exciting decks. Dominaria has been amazing so far and I can’t wait to dive deeper into it to see what all it can do for Standard.

As always, thanks for reading.

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

Twitch Channel

Think Twice MTG Podcast


Dominaria is Now Available!