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Ebony and Ivory


As Standard becomes increasingly about Emrakul, the Promised End and midrange mirrors, it may be time to reconsider a more traditional aggro deck, rather than the vehicles-focused midrange builds. There’s still a powerful shell for a Humans-oriented aggro deck, and that’s what Bone55 decided to take for a spin:

There’s a huge number of efficient threats available in this format. From Toolcraft Exemplar and Expedition Envoy to Thraben Inspector and Stern Constable, you can get out on the board extremely quickly, which many of the Emrakul, the Promised End decks are going to struggle with, particularly when your quick start is backed up by Thalia's Lieutenant or Always Watching. There’s not really an abundance of sweepers available in this format to punish you for committing to the board early, particularly with Radiant Flames present in relatively small numbers in the current format.

The strength of this deck is that you get to combine the best starts from Vehicles, involving Toolcraft Exemplar and Smuggler's Copter, with the best starts from humans, involving one-drops and Anthems. Even if you you whiff on assembling the best possible starts, all of these pieces fit together into fast starts that punish your opponent for doing the kinds of nothing that have been encouraged thus far in this format. Even if your opponent starts to stabilize the board, you’ve got Declaration in Stone to clear the relevant blockers out of the way and Shambling Vent to chip in for the last couple points of damage.

Of course, there are matchups where staying low to the ground isn’t the best way to try to win games. That’s where your sideboard plan comes into play. Boarding in extra lands to help cast Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. This is a strategy that isn’t employed in aggressive decks nearly often enough; boarding in an extra couple of lands to help cast larger, high-impact threats in more attrition-based games.

If you’re looking to get aggressive and aren’t seeing a lot of Radiant Flames or Fragmentize, this is a deck that can end games before your opponents can really get their game plan off the ground. Even if your opponent can use Aetherworks Marvel to get Emrakul, the Promised End you can use Stern Constable to prevent them from killing your board on the turn they control. There’s just enough interaction and plenty of pressure, which seems like a great spot to be in the current format.

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