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Jump-Starting on Brews

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It’s finally time! The Guilds of Ravnica prerelease is this weekend; and, before you know it, Guilds of Ravnica will be legal for Standard play. I’m so excited that I’ve already started brewing some decks! I have a handful of options I’m tooling around with at the moment, but I am lacking a Chromatic Lantern deck. The Chromatic Lantern deck needs more time to build and it also needs the missing shocklands that we won’t get until Ravnica Allegiance. Jodah, Archmage Eternal and Chromatic Lantern are buddies, but the payoff isn’t quite there yet along with the mana.

Don’t fret! We still have some sweet brews today. We’ll be talking about those and briefly about the Sultai Veteran Explorer deck I played to a Top 64 finish last weekend in Baltimore. That deck benefits greatly from Assassin's Trophy, so I want to update it with that card as well.

Let’s start things off with a Primal Amulet / Mirari brew!


Fire, kicked fire, copied fire, and still more fire! The idea here is simple, just buy enough time with your burn spells until you can transform a Primal Amulet and kill your opponent with Fight with Fire or out value them and kill them slowly with The Mirari Conjecture.

The original list was straight ur, but I’ve added Black just for Dispersal. Discovery helps us early by fueling the graveyard with Jump-Start, fueling Search for Azcanta, and digging for cards we need. Then, later in the game, Dispersal can deal with problematic permanents like Ghalta, Primal Hunger, Vine Mare, or even Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Both sides can be targeted by The Mirari Conjecture as well.

Big creatures like Ghalta tend to be a problem for burn strategies. So, not only do we have Dispersal to help with big creatures, but Sonic Assault can help buy us time to win while also progressing the game plan.

Copying spells is fun and I do believe this archetype will be a real contender in new Standard. This is a solid starting point. After the metagame evolves and more matches are played, this deck will also adapt accordingly.

Next up let’s look at a Selesyna!


I’ve opted to go with a midrange build instead of a straight token build with something like saprolings. This is mostly due to Goblin Chainwhirler but I also wanted to play Knight of Autumn and Thorn Lieutenant to help with the aggressive strategies that are bound to be everywhere weekend one when Guilds of Ravnica is legal.

The deck has a small token theme with History of Benalia, Legion's Landing, Trostani Discordant, Memorial to Glory, and March of the Multitudes. Because of this I am playing Divine Visitation. The first copy will always be insane while the rest don’t do anything, so I’m only playing two copies. Divine Visitation is game over with March of the Multitudes but it’s also just good late game when you have Memorial to Glories laying around, even Adanto the First Fort with Divine Visitation can close games out quickly.

I really like the looks of this deck, while it may not have a ton of card draw, it still has a lot of value in its cards. Things like District Guide, Generous Stray, March of the Multitudes, Camaraderie, Trostani Discordant, and even Emmara, Soul of the Accord generate value.

In the Sideboard we have planeswalkers and Carnage Tyrant for control decks. Settle the Wreckage and Slaughter the Strong for abusing big creature midrange decks, and Shalia with her friend Lyra to combat Aggressive strategies. We should have a good aggressive match to begin with, so this deck is a solid choice early. I’d just get some games with it in and tune it up a bit.

Next up is one of the grindiest decks I’ve seen in Standard in a while.

Introducing the queen herself…


I think we’ve finally found a home for Journey to Eternity. Recurring Plaguecrafter can be gross. So is bringing back Izoni, Thousand-Eyed or Golgari Findbroker. This deck’s endgame is unmatched unless someone is going way over the top. The game plan is simple, just fuel your graveyard with things like Stitcher's Supplier, Glowspore Shaman, Doom Whisperer, and Vraska, Golgari Queen. You’ll naturally fuel your graveyard too by just playing the game out.

Late game you obviously have Journey to Eternity, but you also have access to Golgari Findbroker, Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, Molderhulk, and Doom Whisperer. Even your lands generate value with Memorial to Folly. Putting a non-creature into your graveyard is okay because you can get it back later in the game with Memorial to Folly and Golgari Findbroker. This deck best play is to late game cast Hatchery Spider and hit an Izoni, Thousand-Eyed to force your opponent to wipe the battlefield or have you kill them very soon.

I wanted to try straight Golgari first, but I can see this deck becoming Abzan, mostly to adopt Knight of Autumn which would shore up the hyper aggressive mathcups a little bit.

Okay, I had a couple people ask me for what I played at SCG Baltimore and the updates I would make to the deck when Assassin's Trophy is released. Well, this is the list I played in Baltimore to a Top 64 finish.


I really enjoy playing the deck, it’s a blast. The Mystic Confluence was supposed to be another Fact or Fiction, but I could not find another for the life of me. Instead of talking about this list too much, let’s talk about where I’d take after we get access to Trophy.


I want to try three Trophies first. They work well in conjunction with Veteran Explorer. Assassin's Trophy will be a 2-mana Vindicate that you can play at instant speed against most decks after one Veteran Explorer trigger. Trophy is just fantastic for this deck. It helps with so many problem matchups, like Lands trying to make a Marit Lage, and then it answers all the decks playing Jace, the Mind Sculptor. An opposing Jace was a problem for this deck, so I was forced to run Maelstrom Pulse to deal with him. Quite frankly, it was embarrassing. Long gone are those days, all hail Vraska and her Trophy!

I’ve switched to Liliana of the Veil to help against combo matchups. She’s also great against True-Name Nemesis. I then moved Leovold to the Sideboard because he didn’t do much outside of eating a removal spell and drawing you a card. He really shines when you can protect him with cards like Force of Will or Spell Pierce, but since we aren’t running those cards, he will die to the first removal spell pointed at him. I still want him for combo decks and Rishadan Port decks but everywhere else I’d rather just take a Tireless Tracker.

Well, that’s it for today ladies and gentlemen. Next week we will be delving into the Standard Set Review for Guilds of Ravnica. Make sure not to miss any of that!

Until then,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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