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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week

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Preview season is starting, but we're not done with Born of the Gods just yet. This week we've got a pair of Standard decks featuring Chromanticore and Triton Tactics respectively. We've got a Modern Cloudshift deck and a sweet Goblin Welder for Legacy. Last, we've got a Commander deck featuring one of the most classic Magic cards ever to be printed. Let's go:


Want to play Sphinx's Revelation, but three colors just isn't enough? This new five-color control deck brewed up by Conley Woods may be exactly what you're looking for. What happens when you can play all of the most powerful cards in the format? It looks something like this:

This deck seems awesome! You get to play all of the most powerful cards in the format, have the most flexible sideboard possible, and customize your deck to be suited to exactly what you expect to play against. Splashing a few extra colors solves a number of problems across various matchups. You get the powerful Warleader's Helix as additional lifegain against aggressive decks. Rakdos's Return against midrange and control decks. Kiora, the Crashing Wave plus Courser of Kruphix give you a ton of extra cards and mana in control mirrors.

The biggest issue with this style of deck seems to be the mana. But with scrylands and shocklands both available, and even guildgates if you want to go even deeper on a given color, this seems like the kind of format where you can make this work. It's possible that a shell with Axebane Guardian to go with Sylvan Caryatid is preferable to something like Kiora. It's also possible that Chromatic Lantern is what this deck really wants to be doing on turn three.

All told, I like what this is trying to do and really hope I get to see some five-color shenanigans in the near future.


It's kind of disappointing that we haven't really seen a heroic deck take off in Standard. Devotion and card advantage seem to be the two mechanics that dominate Standard. That's why it was so exciting to see Ken Yukuhiro putting up awesome results at Grand Prix Beijing with a unique take on UB Heroes.

This is an aggro deck that has a very powerful, proactive plan. You can pretty easily turn four your opponents by curving out with one- and two-drops backed by cheap targeting spells. You have the Pain Seer plus Springleaf Drum interaction to help you grind out cards in the midgame. You've got Hidden Strings to keep generating heroic triggers or to generate counters for Nivmagus Elemental. There are lots of ways to get aggressive.

What's different about this deck is that you can actually battle with some of the larger creatures in the format. Artisan of Forms gives you game against everything from Archangel of Thune to Blood Baron of Vizkopa, and even gives you a backup plan of copying Mutavaults against Supreme Verdict.

This is a nice, interesting aggro deck that has a lot of play to it without sacrificing a ton of power. I'm very excited to see what this deck can do in Standard moving forward, especially if we get a few more gems from


Restoration Angel has flickered a lot of different cards since it was first printed. Blade Splicer and Huntmaster of the Fells in Standard. Kiki-Jiki and Kitchen Finks in Modern. Even Trinket Mage in Vintage. Caleb Durward is dreaming a little bigger with his newest Modern brew. Forget value; let's blink an Akroma into play.

I like a lot of what this deck is trying to do. You're plan A is to just get aggressive with efficient creatures like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Restoration Angel. A lot of times the combination of value from Blade Splicer and flash threats backed by Gavony Township is enough to get there.

When it's not, you've got the backup plan of picking off creatures with Cunning Sparkmage, especially if it picks up a Basilisk Collar. This is especially powerful against decks like Birthing Pod that already play a ton of one-toughness creatures and shuts off Pestermite kills from Splinter Twin decks. If that's not good enough, then you can still just cheat an Akroma, Angel of Fury into play.

For anyone who isn't familiar, when you blink a morphed creature, it returns to play face-up. So you can play a turn one mana creature, turn two morph, turn three Restoration Angel and end up with an Akroma. This is especially important because Akroma is resilient to three of the most important removal spells in the format: Path to Exile, Abrupt Decay, and Lightning Bolt. A 6/6 with firebreathing also doesn't leave very much time to dig for answers.


How deep can we go with Artificer's Intuition? That's the question that Drew Levin sought to answer in his most recent column. It all started with the idea of setting up Second Sunrise. It turned into a combo deck that looks fast and resilient. Find out what Artificer's Intuition can really do:

I love the idea behind this deck. Painter's Servant decks have moved away from Lion's Eye Diamond and towards random Simian Spirit Guide and Ensnaring Bridge, which gives them more game going late against decks like Show and Tell or Elves, but makes the deck less explosive overall.

This deck has two plans. You can set up Auriok Salvagers plus Lion's Eye Diamond to generate infinite mana and infinite Pyrite Spellbombs. Or you can go in on the traditional Painter's Servant plus Grindstone kill. Artificer's Intuition gives you the ability to choose which plan you're playing for, and to turn unnecessary combo pieces into Mox Opal and Lion's Eye Diamond. The addition of Goblin Welder gives you the chance to go off on turn two.

Turn one Goblin Welder. Turn two Lion's Eye Diamond plus Grindstone. LED lets you activate Grindstone. Did you discard a Painter's Servant? Weld out Grindstone for Painter's Servant with the Grindstone trigger on the stack. Seems good.


What's the most classic creature in all of Magic? For some people it's something nostalgic like Serra Angel or Sengir Vampire. For others it's a limited staple like Giant Spider. That said, it's hard to argue that the good, old Grizzly Bear hasn't defined multiple Constructed and Limited formats over the last twenty years. 2/2's for two have always been solid, and have really been the benchmark by which we evaluate the efficiency of creatures. That's why I'm so excited to see people working on theme decks featuring Grizzly Bear. Let's take a look at this take on Bear Tribal:

[Cardlist title=Bear Tribal - Commander | BAMb00zl3r]

Grizzly Bear. [card]Runeclaw Bear. Ashcoat Bear. All the Bears! Now your Commander opponents can relive their favorite Limited memories of getting beaten down by 2/2's for two. Except that in this deck, those 2/2's can suddenly become much larger. These bears are backed by Coat of Arms and Door of Destinies to apply real pressure at some point in the late game.

What really makes me happy is that this deck plays tutors like Defense of the Heart and Green Sun's Zenith to tutor up - you guessed it - Striped Bears, River Bears, and Forest Bear. Or you can even tutor up utility bears like Werebear and Ulvenwald Bear, for those times when vanilla 2/2's just aren't cutting it.

It's easy to take Commander a little too seriously and try to do things that are very clever or competitive. It's times like those that I'm so glad decks like this to remind us that it's all about having a little fun.


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