While Golos Field is definitely the current top dog in Standard, I think this archetype offers a variety of good ways to attack it profitably. Today I would like to share my current favorite deck for beating up on Golos Field - Temur Oko:
Temur Oko | Eldraine Standard | Jeff Hoogland
- Planeswalkers (13)
- 2 Domri, Anarch of Bolas
- 3 Sarkhan the Masterless
- 4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
- 4 The Royal Scions
- Instants (4)
- 4 Once Upon a Time
- Lands (25)
- 2 Island
- 2 Mountain
- 6 Forest
- 3 Temple of Epiphany
- 4 Breeding Pool
- 4 Steam Vents
- 4 Stomping Ground
In my experience this deck has a strong matchup against Golos Field because it plays a mix of powerful threats that are both evasive and resistant to sweeper effects that Golos uses to control the board. While at first glance this deck looks like a midrange deck - I assure you that this is very much an aggro deck.
The cornerstone to generating our consistently aggressive draws in this deck is our eight one-mana accelerants:
Either of these two cards on the first turn make it so our 3-4-5 curve turns into a very powerful 2-3-4 curve. It is so important we play a ramp creature on one that we also play four copies of Once Upon a Time so that way we can do this more consistently. Once Upon a Time also does a good job of helping us cast our spells consistently in our three color mana base.
The goal of this deck is to cast a powerful planeswalker on turn two as often as we can:
Oko is broko on the second turn of the game. On the play he often puts your opponent far enough behind that they cannot recover, on the draw he is generally strong enough to pull you out ahead. Oko also plays well with turn one Arboreal Grazer by letting it attack as a 3/3 on the second turn of the game.
The Royal Scions are probably the walker I get the most questions about in this deck, but I really cannot understate how powerful this planeswalker is here. When we are looking to be aggressive, they punch through extra damage with their +2 attack mode. When we are flooded or stumbling their looting effect allows us to smooth out our draw. Regardless of which mode the Scions are using we get to tie all of this together with the fact that they get to 8 loyalty to ultimate very quickly.
Domri, Anarch of Bolas is definitely the weakest of our three-mana walkers, but he is still worth his slots. He notably provides another mana source to ramp and acts as a bit of removal in our main deck with his minus two. It can be awkward at times that he is not a threat on his own, but like our other three-mana walkers he also powers up our mana creatures to let them get into combat.
As we move up the curve we find what are probably the most powerful Green 4-drops in Standard right now:
If I had to pick a card for most under-rated during spoiler season Wicked Wolf would be an easy stand out. In practice this cards ends up being extremely powerful when paired with either Oko or Gilded Goose as a constant food source. Not only does it kill something when it comes into play, but it steadily grows while being difficult to kill while it remains in play. Wolf is excellent against other aggressive decks as removal spell + board presence effect.
Questing Beast is a format staple that should probably be in every deck capable of making Green mana. This card pressures planeswalkers, attacks into clogged up board states thanks to Deathtouch and runs down Field of the Dead players thanks to not being blockable by zombies. When we pair Questing Beast with The Royal Scions's +2 attack it becomes absolutely terrifying since it becomes almost impossible to beat in combat thanks to Deathtouch + First Strike.
We round out our curve with some powerful evasive top end:
Sarkhan allows us to close games out of nowhere when we already have a couple of planeswalkers in play. He also provides a reasonable body on his own with his -3 making a dragon token. Something to keep in mind is that we can activate our planeswalkers still after they are dragons, so The Royal Scions can give themselves a boost in Dragon mode.
The split of Skarrgan Hellkite with Sarkhan is largely due to the fact that Sarkhan is legendary so drawing multiples is awkward. Hellkite also has the upside of being a creature, so we can find it with Once Upon a Time in the late game.
Both of these evasive threats give us that little bit of extra reach we tend to need to close the game out against Field of the Dead. Speaking of Field of the Dead - let's dive on into talking about some of our matchups and how I sideboard - starting with the top dog.
This matchup is all about running them down. We want to mulligan aggressively to a hand that can produce a turn two planeswalker - especially on the draw. I think we are a little bit ahead Game 1 and a strong favorite post board when we get to cut out clunky threat for Disdainful Stroke. In general I like to fire off Stroke as early as possible in this matchup, because holding up mana is often difficult to do for too many turns.
One question that often comes up often is why we are not boarding in Flame Sweep here. In my experience we are generally able to kill them before Flame Sweep can become relevant and even if they manage to make some zombies, our evasive threats can kill them through the 2/2s. Our deck is proactive and bringing in Flame Sweep would make us more reactive which is not the role we want in this matchup.
VS R/G Aggro
This matchup feels close when we are on the draw and favorable when we are on the play. Questing Beast and Domri's Ambush are their best ways to deal with our planeswalkers, so if we have walkers on high loyalty they tend to have a really bad time. Our own beasts and 3/3s from Oko tend to gum the board up which makes it tough for them to win, leaving us room to close the game out in the air with Sarkhan and friends.
VS G/B Adventures
In this matchup we are very much the beat down. Their Innkeepers generate an incredible amount of card advantage, so our goal is to end the game before they can take advantage of this. Post board we gain better interaction with Flame Sweep notably clearing out a lot of their smaller creatures nicely.
VS Jeskai Fires
This matchup feels good for a lot of the same reasons as the Golos matchup - we are resistant to their sweepers and post board we gain Disdainful Strokes to disrupt their expensive spells at a discount.
VS G/W Adventures
In my experience playing against Mono-Red so long as we can keep Torbran, Thane of Red Fell off the table we tend to do well here. The food package of Goose + Oko + Wicked Wolf also tends to be very strong in this matchup.
The thing to note about the Red-Black matchup is, because they play three-mana Chandra, Questing Beast is much better in this matchup than it tends to be against other aggro decks, so we leave all four copies in post board.
VS Oko+Nissa Ramp
This matchup is tough. Their top end of Nissa and Krasis are hard to attack through and generate more value than our cards as the game goes long. We want to end the game ASAP in this matchup because the longer it goes the less likely we are to win.
VS Simic Flash
I'm not sure if this match is actually bad or just feels bad to play. In a small sample size I've won more than I have lost against Simic Flash, but playing the matchup definitely does not feel good. Of note here this is the only matchup where I cut Arboreal Grazer in the format. The reason for this is they have so many counterspells that I want as many of my cards as possible to be individually powerful. When we can't depend on Oko or Scions resolving Grazer becomes a lot worse.
All in all I have been loving both this deck and this format. It has carried me to a Top 30~ position on the Arena ladder and I am very much looking forward to jamming and optimizing this decklist as the format matures. If you are someone who has been looking for a good aggro deck that is a bit different from some of the other things out there right now I would highly recommend giving this one a try!
If you are interested in seeing this deck in action you can find some videos of me playing it on my website here.