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Gate-Shift Combo in Standard


When Scapeshift was reprinted in Core Set 2019 it felt like a purely financial reprint. While Scapeshift has proven to be a popular and on-and-off successful card in Modern, the card served little to no purpose in Standard. Well, that is until now of course.

Field of the Dead

Core Set 2020 brings with it Field of the Dead, a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle for a new day, singlehandedly bringing Scapeshift out of the rare binder and into the game as a serious player in new Standard. With seven lands in play a Scapeshift grants you seven zombies, and with eight or more lands in play things start to get really out of hand.

The "with different names" clause creates some unique deck-building tension, but fortunately we already had a ramp deck in Standard that played a bunch of different lands. Mash it all together, and you've got Gate-Shift:

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:06:05

Match 2 - 00:23:08

Match 3 - 00:51:18

Match 4 - 01:03:47

Match 5 - 01:45:09

Melding Scapeshift with the traditional Gates shell is almost a no brainer, pairing together the new combo some of the best ramp in the format backed by powerful payoffs like Gates Ablaze and Guild Summit. Some memey Gates decks actually played Scapeshift previously just for a lot of Guild Summit triggers, but now we've got a real reason to play the card and Guild Summit is just a bonus.

Gates Ablaze
Guild Summit

Gates Ablaze is one of the best sweepers in the format, and when your opponent is feeling the pressure of an impending combo and is trying to kill you quickly, a 3 mana sweeper is exactly what you want. Gates Ablaze is also great against Nissa, Who Shakes The World, and the whole deck is fairly resistant to Teferi, Time Raveler.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is also another huge addition to the deck, playing the role of Primeval Titan as well as late game mana sink. Golos is a huge, hard to kill blocker than can directly get you a Field of the Dead so you can start naturally making zombies without needing to cast Scapeshift.

This deck may look like a meme, but some form of Scapeshift combo is likely to be one of the best decks in Standard for the few months that Scapeshift and Field of the Dead are legal together. This is certainly the first step, but the grafting of an amazing combo onto an already proven deck is a great place to start!

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