One of the most powerful threats in this current Standard format is Carnage Tyrant. It is one of the largest single threats you can play in a midrange matchup, while also giving the Blue control decks in the format lots of fits. I have played a lot of various Carnage Tyrant decks in the format and today I would like to go over a couple that have stuck out to me.
Both of the decks we are going to look at today, in addition to Carnage Tyrant, have another key card in common:
The only thing better than a turn six Carnage Tyrant is a turn five Carnage Tyrant obviously. A Rampant Growth style effect is something we have not seen printed in Standard in some time due to power level. Getting to play some amount of Thunderherd Migration gives us access to this effect with some consistency.
Let's take a look at the first list I'd like to share today:
Jund Dinos | Guilds Standard | Jeff Hoogland
- Creatures (21)
- 2 Territorial Allosaurus
- 3 Thrashing Brontodon
- 4 Carnage Tyrant
- 4 Llanowar Elves
- 4 Regisaur Alpha
- 4 Ripjaw Raptor
- Instants (4)
- 4 Assassin's Trophy
- Sorceries (4)
- 4 Thunderherd Migration
- Artifacts (3)
- 3 Treasure Map
- Lands (24)
- 1 Mountain
- 2 Swamp
- 5 Forest
- 4 Dragonskull Summit
- 4 Overgrown Tomb
- 4 Rootbound Crag
- 4 Woodland Cemetery
This deck often goes as far as sticking Carnage Tyrant on turn four thanks to supplementing four Thunderherd Migration with four copies of Llanowar Elves. Lots of acceleration is not the only thing this deck does to make Carnage Tyrant extra potent though:
If you think Carnage Tyrant is good with Hexproof and Trample, wait until you get Haste into the mix as well! Regisaur Alpha is a card that has really impressed me so far with this deck. Not only does it upgrade our already powerful threats to be more aggressive, but the fact that it creates 7 power spread across two bodies on its own is nothing to scoff at. Against aggressive decks, Regisaur creates multiple roadblocks. Against control, Regisaur often demands a sweeper on its own - making the board quickly lethal should the control opponent ever tap out.
My favorite thing about this shell is that it can have some extremely aggressive starts with the right draw. For example, when we are on the play not much can keep up with the following sequence:
- turn one: Llanowar Elves
- turn two: Thunderherd Migration + Attack for 1
- turn three: Regisaur Alpha + Attack for 3 with token
- turn four: Carnage Tyrant + Attack for 14
While all of our draws are not going to look like this obviously, one of the things I really like about this deck is that in addition to doing some objectively powerful things, it also has a good measure of interaction:
Assassin's Trophy is easily the most flexible answer we have in this format; providing a clean answer to almost any problem card for just 2 mana. The drawback it comes with is mitigated some in this deck by the fact that we are also accelerating our own mana - allowing us to at worst keep parity with anything scary we might be ramping the opponent into.
These two Green planeswalkers are cards that I have been consistently impressed with in this format though. Not only can they remove a lot of cards we would like to take off the board, but Vivien Reid can provide a steady stream of additional threats, while Vraska, Relic Seeker ultimates very quickly if left alone. The fact that Vraska's -3 creates a treasure token also synergizes well with our copies of Treasure Map to generate even further card advantage.
The sideboard in this deck feels like it allows us to cover ourselves from a wide range of threats. Moment of Craving is one of the best anti-aggro cards in the format. Deathgorge Scavenger buffers our health total against Mono Red, while also picking Phoenixes out of your opponent's graveyard against . Duress lets us pick at control deck's hands and learn how to best sequence our threats.
The second deck I would like to take a look at today is the evolution of the Sultai Super Friends decks that I had been working on earlier in the format. Someone had made some innovations to that shell and played it to a 6-2 finish in a recently MTGO Championship Qualifier:
Sultai Carnage | Guilds Standard | Jeff Hoogland
- Creatures (4)
- 4 Carnage Tyrant
- Artifacts (4)
- 4 Treasure Map
- Lands (26)
- 2 Forest
- 2 Island
- 2 Swamp
- 1 Memorial to Genius
- 3 Drowned Catacomb
- 4 Hinterland Harbor
- 4 Overgrown Tomb
- 4 Watery Grave
- 4 Woodland Cemetery
Control deck with a small Blue splash enabled off of dual lands and some mana fixing provided my Treasure Map and Thunderherd Migration. The biggest draw to building our control deck like this, as opposed to based, is the fact that one of the best answers in this format to opposing Carnage Tyrants is to simply play our own Tyrant. Tyrants trade cleanly with each other inside of combat and when we have a Lizard and our opponent doesn't, we get to quickly close out the game.
Past gaining access to one of the best threats in the format, having Green in our control deck also gives us access to Assassin's Trophy as a flexible answer. When you are playing and your opponent sticks Experimental Frenzy, you often just die. With this build. we can plan our answers accordingly in a lot of games and prevent them from getting set up.
Having access to a card like Thought Erasure in our main deck helps shore up some of the issues a traditional deck can often have against Blue based control decks Game 1. This discard gives us the means to play through their countermagic and stick threats that can generate unbeatable card advantage. Thought Erasure can also pokes holes in what few answers the opposing control decks have to Carnage Tyrant - often making our lizard's unbeatable.
Out of the sideboard we get to leverage our Blue splash a bit more to bring in some efficient counterspells like Negate and Disdainful Stroke. These give us even more play against Blue base control decks that occasionally make traditional feel helpless. Like most Black sideboards in the format, we have a smattering of various removal spells that hedge the manifold aggressive creatures in the format in various ways. Specifically, you will find multiple ways to clear an indestructible Adanto Vanguard off of the board.
What bigger Green decks have you been enjoying in Standard? Is there another Thunderherd Migration shell out there that I have not see yet? This coming weekend is the SCG Invitational at SCG Con and while I am locked into Elves in Modern, I am still searching for the perfect deck to play in Standard. I think both of these here could be reasonable contenders, but if you have other good ideas, I would love to hear them below!