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Big, Green, and Mean


Perhaps the single most impactful card to be printed in Dominaria is Llanowar Elves. This one-drop completely changes the texture of Standard. One mana removal is much more important than it was previously, as are the power of three-drops in the format. On top of that, you can also more effectively ramp into powerful haymakers such as Lyra Dawnbringer before your opponent can get you dead. Llanowar Elves has a lot of exciting implications for the format, but perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of it in the first weekend is this deck:

Llanowar Elves
I don't think I've seen a real Mono-Green beatdown deck since Dungrove Elder was in Standard. The combination of Llanowar Elves and Steel Leaf Champion is nothing to mess around with, as it can get your opponent dead really fast, even if you have no other support. Combine this cheap threat with cards like Rhonas the Indomitable to force through damage or Blossoming Defense to ensure that you win combat or stay up on tempo against removal, and you've got a very dangerous deck.

On top of these exciting new inclusions, the addition of a powerful three-drop means that older cards get a little more interesting. Ghalta, Primal Hunger is the curve-topper of choice, and there are a lot of subtle things that point in this direction. The obvious justifications is that Steel Leaf Champion makes Ghalta much easier to cast early in the game. The problem is that you still risk opening yourself up to sweepers.

Enter vehicles. Because you have to crew them, Vehicles give you an incredible rate of power versus the mana you pay for them. They also give you some resiliency to sweepers, which makes them a great theme to pair with Ghalta. Cards like Heart of Kiran or Cultivator's Caravan can team up with Steel Leaf Champion to help you cast Ghalta as early as the third turn of the game - there aren't many opponents who are going to be prepared for that.

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