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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


A new week means new technology for all of your favorite formats from Standard to Vintage. This week we'll be taking a look at five decks with awesome new technology, many featuring gems from Fate Reforged. We'll start in Standard with a fresh take on Jeskai Ascendancy and Soulflayer. Then we'll head into Modern where we've got a hateful Enduring Ideal deck and a sweet brew that can Reveillark back Avalanche Riders and Fulminator Mage. Lastly, we'll head into Magic's most degenerate format to find out what Fate Reforged has to offer in Vintage. Let's get started.

It wasn't so long ago that Yuuya Watanabe took worlds by storm with his Jeskai Tokens deck featuring Jeskai Ascendancy as a super Glorious Anthem for his Raise the Alarms and Hordeling Outbursts. The Fate Reforged came into Standard, and many players were originally excited about slotting Monastery Mentor into the archetype. Unfortunately, that hasn't ever really come to fruition, and we're still waiting for another big breakout from Jeskai. Maybe it's time for that to change:

This is TheRock988's take on this archetype, and it is awesome. I'm pretty sure I would take this deck going long against almost anything in the format. You have Monastery Mentor as a powerful and resilient threat, which is particularly difficult to beat when backed by Jeskai Ascendancy. If you stick an early Ascendancy, you can get aggressive with prowess triggers and get your opponent dead pretty easily with some untap triggers plus Stoke the Flames shenanigans. But you also have an enormous card advantage and selection engine in this deck. Jesaki Ascendancy powers up your Treasure Cruises and also helps you find them, while Outpost Siege has replaced Chandra, Pyromaster as a more consistent source of card advantage.

We've already seen that this is a shell that is capable of some very powerful things. The question is whether this is the correct approach to this metagame. Goblin Rabblemaster versus Monastery Mentor is a real question depending on whether you think you need to get aggressive or grind out longer games. The split on removal spells is another place where customization can reap enormous benefits. I don't know if this is the right metagame for this deck, but I can certainly hope so.

Forget new takes on proven top tier strategies. This week Frank Karsten took a look at a new archetype that broke out at Grand Prix Selville in the hands of Hector Carceles Mendez: Soulflayer Chromanticore. This greedy take on the delve mechanic looks to do something that's completely different from any other deck in the Standard format, and I couldn't be more excited for it.

This deck plays all of the cheap mechanisms of stocking your graveyard in Commune with the Gods and Satyr Wayfinder to power up your Soulflayers. Your plan is to flip powerful creatures like Sagu Mauler and Chromanticore to delve away so that you can cheat a powerful threat with a ton of keywords into play early in the game. The graveyard engine also gives you access to powerful graveyard spells like Pharika, and having an enormous early threat means that efficient answers like Thoughtseize and Stubborn Denial can end games before they even get started.

The best part? The combination of Sylvan Caryatid and Satyr Wayfinder makes it completely reasonable for you to just find all five colors and cast or bestow a Chromaticore the old-fashioned way, which is just awesome. Commune with the Gods also gives you the ability to play single fewer copies of powerful effects like Sagu Mauler and Silumgar to dig into in situations where they are more useful. This archetype may not have what it takes to be top tier, but it's definitely an awesome new take on the format.

Are you ready to get epic? It's commonly accepted that White is one of the best colors in Modern purely because of the power of its sideboard hate cards like Stony Silence, Leyline of Sanctity, and Rest in Peace. The problem with those cards is that they only matter during games two and three. What if there was a shell that could take advantage of powerful, hateful enchantments in preboarded games? Rayolun's take on Enduring Ideal tries to do exactly that:

I love what this deck is trying to do because it is going to get a ton of free wins from cards that people are just not prepared for. Ghostly Prison and Leyline of Sanctity are just good cards in this format, with Ghostly Prison providing protecting from the Splinter Twin combo and aggro decks, particularly infect and affinity by tying up their mana, and Leyline being insane against Burn, Scapeshift, and Thoughtseize effects.

Not only that, but you've got Runed Halo to protect from Deceiver Exarch, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, and other common combo pieces. Not only that, but you get to shut down the fetchlandcs that so many decks are reliant on with Suppression Field or shut down hexproof with Porphory Nodes. Not only that, but Enduring Ideal can tutor those cards up to shut games down.

Once you've got the board stabilized, Enduring Ideal can find the Peace of Mind plus Phyrexian Unlife combo to stall out games against damage-based decks. You can find Sphere of Safety to all but lock out aggro decks. You can use Greater Auramancy to protect yourself from singleton copies of Qasali Pridemage and Maelstrom Pulse. Lastly, you can close out games with Form of the Dragon.

Enduring Ideal was a staple of old Extended, using Ancient Spring and Lotus Bloom to power out the epic spell early on. I don't know if this marks the return of this awesome archetype, but I can certainly hope so.

Let's keep up the hateful streak with another deck that tries to ensure that your opponent can't play Magic. With so many decks playing powerful utility lands or trying to get up to critical numbers of lands to play combo pieces and haymakers, why not attack their mana before they can really get off the ground? That's exactly what Atomic has done with this take on the Red-White Twin archetype we've seen crop up from time to time.

At a glance, this deck seems spectacular. You get all the most efficient removal in the format in Red-White backed by the Restoration Angel plus Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo, which is a great place to be. However, instead of backing this combo up with Blade Splicers and Village Bell-Ringer, Atomic has decided to go for Avalanche Riders and Fulminator Mage. Celestial Colonnade? Urza's Tower? Inkmoth Nexus? Get out of here.

You even get to combine your Restoration Angels with the likes of Akroma, Angel of Fury for a quick, resilient clock or with Reveillark for the double Stone Rain blowout. This deck seems a little poorly positioned against something like Affinity, but Soulfire Grandmaster gives you real game against the Burn decks of the format, particularly after sideboarding, while your land destruction gives you a solid plan against the more midrangey and controlling decks of the format.

Vintage is the biggest format in Magic where almost anything goes. Needless to say, it takes a lot for a new card to make a real splash in Vintage. Even so, Fate Reforged is pulling it off. White is not a particularly common color to see in Vintage, as it just can't really keep up with the powerful cards in the other colors. After all, Blue and Black are the default busted colors, red gets Lightning Bolt, Pyroblast, and artifact hate, and Green gets Oath of Druids and Fastbond. What does White have? Stoneforge Mystic? Swords to Plowshares? Please.

Fate Reforged has brought with it a card that may be an upgrade to the Young Pyromancer decks that have taken over Vintage in recent months. This week, Luis Scott-Vargas experiments with Monastery Mentor in Vintage.

There are a ton of small, cute interactions here that I just love. Monastery Mentor plus Moxes. Mana Drain plus Consecrated Sphinx or Fact or Fiction. All of the Blue card advantage backed by all of the best cheap disruption in the format. This deck seems like a sweet place to be, with the biggest question mark being whether Stoneforge Mystic and Monastery Mentor are reasonable things to be doing in Vintage when other players are comboing out or jamming Lodestone Golems.

The thing is that White gives you awesome sideboard cards as well as these two super-efficient threats. Monastery Mentor is more than capable of generating two or more creatures the turn it comes in with some combination of cantrips or artifact accelerators. With a few tokens in play, it's relatively easy to untap and just kill your opponent by chaining two or three cantrips together. To me, the biggest question is whether we want to be combining Skullclamp with Monastery Mentor, since that might open up Trinket Mage over Stoneforge Mystic or an awesome card advantage engine when games go long.

Either way, I'm excited to see if this deck can take off in Vintage. Maybe it's time for a fair deck that goes a little bigger than Blue-Red Delver to take over the format and open up more space for degenerate combo decks. Seems like a win-win scenario to me!

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