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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Theros will be on its way out of Standard soon, but we've still got a few weeks of Courser of Kruphix and company ahead of us. Heroic is a mechanic that has had brief flashes of success in Standard, but it's been awhile since we've seen a successful take. JettNotJeff is looking to change that with this exciting take on White-Red Heroic:

The strength of the Blue heroic builds is Ordeal of Thassa and Treasure Cruise, which allow you to refuel to fight through removal. The combination of card advantage and cheap interaction allows the Blue-White decks to overwhelm opponents with sheer efficiency and velocity. The Red versions do things a little differently. Instead of trying to grind opponents down and fight through removal spells, the Red builds just want to get you dead as efficiently as possible.

The biggest contributor to this strategy is the addition of Temur Battle Rage, which is especially powerful in conjunction with Titan's Strength to deal upwards of ten points of damage out of nowhere. The strength of this deck is in the raw aggression and efficiency of its threats. You have a full twelve heroic and pseudo-heroic one-drops, as well as sixteen pump spells. That means that you put on the pressure very quickly, and can be prepared to leave up Gods Willing as soon as your opponents are able to threaten Hero's Downfall.

As the metagame continues to shift towards Dragons and Deathmist Raptor, removal shifts more towards Hero's Downfall and Crux of Fate to break open midrange mirrors. When removal becomes expensive, a deck that is hyperaggressive and efficiency is a strong place to be. If you're ready to steal some games and smash some faces, this might be the perfect time to pick up this deck.

This Standard season has been all about Abzan and Siege Rhino. Even in Modern, many players have been building their midrange decks with White instead of Red. D00MSD4Y is looking to change all that with a fresh take on good, old-fashioned Jund in Standard:

Attrition is the name of the game in Standard. The format is becoming increasingly midrange-centric, which means that it is important to find a trump in that matchup. For some archetypes, that trump is Elspeth or Ugin. That's not enough for D00MSD4Y. Instead, he has built his deck with a small suite of powerful trumps with useful applications outside of the midrange matchup. Hornet Queen and Whip of Erebos can lock up games against both midrange and other creature-oriented strategies. Soul of Innistrad is an enormously powerful bullet against control and other "go big" decks. Sidisi, Undead Vizier ties that package together, giving you the ability to find all of these effects when you need them with the upside of an enormous deathtouching body.

We've seen that Whip of Erebos midrange decks are a trump to traditional Hero's Downfall strategies. We've even seen these strategies dominate more controlling decks. The problem for these decks has always been more aggressive decks, since you are highly dependent on hitting the right combination of accelerants, bombs, and interaction to stifle fast starts. D00MSD4Y has compensated for this weakness and shored up the midrange matchup by adding the Deathmist Raptor plus Den Protector engine to give his deck early plays capable of stalling out the ground while he gets his mana and attrition engines online.

The best part? Playing Red means you have access to Kolaghan's Command to rebuy either powerful singletons or Den Protector. This means that, even if your opponent has answers to your powerful, game-breaking singletons, you can just rebuy them over and over again with Den Protectors and then Raise Dead your Den Protectors for even more redundancy.

Modern is a format that is all about efficiency. Lightning Bolt, Thoughtseize, and Delver of Secrets all push decks to have an enormous amount of interaction low on their curves. Of course, this focus on efficiency means that the format is going to be vulnerable to high casting cost cards with enormous impacts, since decks are so focused on interacting efficiently with cheap spells. The problem, as ever, is finding a way to consistently cast these high impact cards on time. J65536D may have cracked the code with this crazy Gifts Rock brew:

The secret to this deck is the combination of Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl. These two cards are the most degenerate ramp engine in Modern if you're willing to commit to playing enough Forests to make it work. With just those two cards, you can generate four mana on turn two, which is enough for Garruk Wildspeaker, Gifts Ungiven, and all manner of other game-breaking four drops.

Fortunately, J65536D has decided to go deep with Gifts Ungiven in this deck, featuring all kinds of crazy interactions. Of course there's the simple Unburial Rites and Life from the Loam packages, allowing you to cheat in fatties, recycle Ghost Quarters, and Raven's Crime your opponent into the ground. But he also has Panglacial Wurm to give himself a mana sink and free card in conjunction with fetchlands, as well as Archangel of Thune both to combo with Spike Feeder and to generate infinite value with Glen Elendra Archmage and Kitchen Finks.

This is a crazy brew that no one is playing, but J65536D has been consistently putting up great results with this crazy mash-up of ramp and Gifts Ungiven, which leaves me excitedly wondering what else is possible using this kind of shell. So has this brew gone a step too far? Or is it just crazy enough to work? There's only one way to find out.

One of the coolest combos in Legacy is the interaction between Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage. This lets you pay two and sacrifice a land at instant-speed to make a flying, indestructible Marit Lage token. This is a compact combo, requiring only two cards which are relatively easy to tutor up. There are several decks which play just one or two copies each of these cards with no other win conditions. Negator77 has gone in the other direction with this Green-Black Turbo Depths deck:

The power of this deck is its ability to generate a 20/20 as early as turn two. turn one Urborg, turn two Dark Depths plus Vampire Hexmage, and your opponent could just be dead. The strength of this deck is that you have access to Sylvan Scrying, Expedition Map, Crop Rotation, and even Brainstorm to help ensure you assemble some combination of Thespian's Stage or Vampire Hexmage and Dark Depths.

The problem with this deck has always been that it is incredibly easy to disrupt the combo. Everything from Wasteland and Swords to Plowshares to Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil have the potential to fight through a Marit Lage token. This deck uses Sejiri Steppe to protect itself from many forms of interaction without giving up combo redundancy and speed.

You know, most of the time when games are lost, it's because you opponents did something. Whether that something was casting aggressive one drops, comboing out with Show and Tell, or forcing through Counterbalance is irrelevant - at least for Charlie-in-the-Mox. Wouldn't things be much easier if your opponents just couldn't play Magic? That's what Charlie-in-the-Mox has tried to do with this take on Chalice of the Void in Legacy.

No one is surprised by the combination of Ancient Tomb and Chalice of the Void any more. This combination can end games before they even get started, particularly on when you're on the play. Your opponents will be slightly more surprised when you follow that up with Lodestone Golem, particularly off of a Cavern of Souls.

This deck is modeled after similar builds of Mishra's Workshop decks in Vintage. The goal of this deck is to use the combination of disruptive lands like Rishadan Port and Wasteland along with Tangle Wire, Smokestack, and Sphere of Resistance to prevent your opponent from interacting with you. Crucible of Worlds is particularly effective here, allowing you to use Wasteland or Smokestack to lock your opponent out of their land drops.

The cool part of this deck is its ability to use Mutavault plus Mishra's Factory for two functions. First, you can use these lands defensively to keep the ground locked down while you set up a Smokestack lock. But you these lands also function as a compact and effective win condition once you have the game under control. The reason is twofold. Firstly, you can use these cards as mana sources to cast your prison pieces early in the game. Secondly, because your win conditions also function as lands, you can afford to play a higher density of lock pieces instead of making space for the likes of Wurmcoil Engine or some other artifact monster. One thing's for sure: if you're looking to play long, one-sided games that crush your opponents dreams and spirit, this is a pretty good place to start.

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