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These Planes Were Made for Walkin'


There are a lot of powerful Planeswalkers in current Standard. The issue is in finding ways to protect them given the breadth of powerful creatures in the format. You have to defend against everything from Thalia's Lieutenant to Reflector Mage to Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Given that’s the case, it only makes sense to combine the colors with the best removal and Planeswalkers and see what happens. Check out this take on Mardu Walkers from Verguard:

Sweepers and Planeswalkers; is there a more perfect combination of effects? This deck is trying to curve cheap removal and sweepers like Radiant Flames and Fiery Impulse into powerful 4-mana threats like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Nahiri, the Harbinger. Then, you can defend your board position with additional spot removal or Planeswalker activations until you can start resolving 6-mana Planeswalkers or Planar Outbursts to keep yourself ahead on the board. Once you’ve assemble a board state with multiple Planeswalkers, it becomes enormously difficult for your opponent to find ways back into the game.

The most exciting cards in this deck to me are Chandra, Flamecaller and Nahiri, the Harbinger. There couldn’t be a more perfect card for this style of deck than a 6-drop that’s both a Planeswalker and a sweeper. Chandra can come down and stabilize the board, threaten opposing Planeswalkers, or begin generating card advantage immediately. What more could you want? Nahiri does the same kind of thing, except on four mana. Either she can hit a troublesome creature and soak up some damage or start filtering through your deck and threatening to tutor up a Goblin Dark-Dwellers to net card advantage. I’m a little surprised there’s not some monstrous threat like Dragonlord Atarka hiding somewhere in the deck to tutor up with Nahiri, but I think I can live with Goblin Dark-Dwellers.

Another advantage of this deck over the straight B/W builds is the inclusion of a second creature-land in Needle Spires. Needle Spires becomes particularly powerful in conjunction with Gideon emblems, since you can start eating opposing Shambling Vents and taking down opposing Planeswalkers.

All told, this deck is certainly more midrange than the straight B/W build, but it seems like you pick up a lot of extra equity in mirrors with the extra Planeswalkers and efficient removal spells. Creature-lands are still absurd, and the extra density of powerful effects is certainly a big deal. I’m excited to see what other kinds of splashes we can see in the B/W deck to try to trump various metagame shifts, but this one seems like a winner if you’re expecting a lot of midrange mirrors.

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