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Chulane Bant in Standard


It wasn't that long ago that I wrote about the applications of Chulane, Teller of Tales in Cubes, almost thinking that he was a card that was released in Commander 2019, when in fact he was released in the Throne of Eldraine Brawl decks. These are preconstructed decks that contain all the cards needed to play the Brawl format, including a Commander. But the funny thing about these Brawl decks is that, if a card is printed in a deck that accompanies a Standard set, all the cards in that deck are also Standard legal.

Enter Chulane, Teller of Tales.

If you've been keeping up with my weekly Wednesday articles, you'll likely know that I regularly showcase decks and ideas that players have sent me to test out on stream. (This is a service I offer for stream viewers as a way for them to support the channel.) One user, Phil, sent me a Saheeli Commander deck to try out. I don't actually play a ton of Commander online (or in person, for that matter), however, and as such, this past weekend he sent over a Standard deck for me to try out instead.

(As usual, be sure to check below for some sweet game play video.)

"Wait...wait...," I thought. "Chulane...in Standard!?" You see much like you may have, I had completely forgotten that Chulane was a card that was actually legal in the Standard format. I thought this was just a crazy Commander card. I didn't think we could actually sleeve it up and play in events with it. I mean, I did know that at one point. I had just completely forgotten about it!

That being the case, I couldn't actually wait to try out this deck with a card that I was already excited to add to my Cube, let alone a format like Standard. Turns out, he's just as good as he looks. We played five or six total games with the deck and actually went undefeated, and it felt pretty dang good. Ironically, and unfortunately, we actually only managed to cast Chulane in one of the matches, but getting a free Explore every time you cast a creature is fantastic and had a real God-Eternal Oketra feel (who is also in the deck).

This was one time where a user submitted a deck and the number of changes I made was extremely minimal, especially considering we went undefeated. The deck just seemed like it couldn't lose, and it was pretty crazy. The few changes I made to the deck were as follows:

Main Deck:


Spark Double is a cool card, but it's kind of too cute. You could say the same for Chulane, but at least Chulane is an engine that can help win the game if left uncontested; the same can't really be said for Spark Double. If Spark Double could hit creatures or planeswalkers your opponent controlled, that would be great, but it can't, so you're resigned to making sure you have a valuable creature or planeswalker already on the board. Another mark against it is that we have six creatures in the deck that are largely counter-based: four Hydroid Krasis and two Voracious Hydra. Both of these are terrible to copy. All of these facts left me feeling like Spark Double was a little too narrow and unimpressive to find a home here.

The other card we cut was the two copies of Brazen Borrower. I love this card a lot and I think it's really powerful, but I honestly don't think it's actually that good in Standard right now. The thing is, most of the decks in Standard are either a) amassing a ton of tokens, b) playing a ton of Adventure creatures, or c) playing flash creatures. None of these are great things to bounce. Every time I was playing the deck, or Brazen Borrower in general, I kept evaluating what I would want to bounce on the current board, and the answer was rarely anything. Even bouncing something like a Teferi, Time Raveler seemed terrible because he'd often be below his starting loyalty already. Brazen Borrower mostly just felt like a 3/1 flash creature that couldn't block and had a more difficult mana cost than most other cards in the deck.

Can we talk about a card that wasn't unimpressive? Questing Beast! As I mention in the video below, Questing Beast is a card that was immensely impressive when it was first spoiled, but then I kind of worried that it would just be a big, dumb creature that never lived up to all of its stats. I think that was a ridiculously incorrect assessment. This card has been bonkers in every deck I've cast it. There are so many decks that have so many creatures that simply can't block this.

  • Questing Beast can never be blocked by any of the Zombies from Field of the Dead.
  • There's basically one creature that can block it in the Adventure deck, Beanstalk Giant, and the Beast will always kill it.
  • There are so many decks that are playing various planeswalkers that the Questing Beast just steam rolls over, dealing damage to both the player and the planeswalker of your choice.

Every match we played this guy, he was doing things that were extremely hard to deal with, especially for a simple 4/4 creature. The haste, the vigilance, the deathtouch, the unblockability, the simultaneous planeswalker damage...all of it was relevant at one point or another. This was a card I was worried about living up to the hype, but I feel like in all my experiences so far, it has way exceeded it.

The final decklist we ended up with after these minimal changes was as follows.

We added the three Charming Prince to the sideboard for a couple of reasons. For one, they help us gain a little extra life against the more aggressive br decks. This, combined with things like food tokens, Knight of Autumn, and Hydroid Krasis, should give us a good amount of defense to survive against these decks, especially when six of the creatures in our main deck fight things. The other sweet feature of the Prince is being able to blink many of our creatures for value, such as Knight of Autumn, Trostani Discordant, Deputy of Detention, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves, Gilded Goose, and Wicked Wolf. You can also, you know, scry 2 as well if that's your thing. All in all, the Charming Prince isn't a card I'm completely sold on, but it did seem to fit quite well in the sideboard, so you're welcome to change it if you like.

If you're interested in seeing the deck in action, you can find our matches below.

This deck was way more powerful and consistent that I was expecting, and I'm really glad to have been introduced to it by Phil. If you guys want to submit your own decks, you can use the links below and check out my Twitch and YouTube pages for more info. If you simply want to pick up cards for this bad boy, be sure to use promo code FRANK5 for 5% off your purchase! As always, thanks so much for reading, everyone, and definitely leave me a comment below with your thoughts. I love you guys and I'll catch ya next week!

Frank Lepore


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