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Post Ban Temur Adventures

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Hi everyone!

The last time I wrote a Standard article was not long ago. I favored Four Color Reclamation, but the recent Standard ban list update put a damper on my plan:

Teferi, Time Raveler is banned

Wilderness Reclamation is banned

Growth Spiral is banned

Caldron Familiar is banned

Ramp, Reclamation, Control, and Sacrifice strategies were all rocked by this announcement. The rest of the metagame consisted of fringe decks designed to prey on the big players in the metagame. This ban list update was designed to shake up the format in a big way and it has succeeded.

Where do we go from here?

WOTC banned some big players, but we have plenty of staples remaining. Here are the Top 8 lists from SCG's Championship Qualifier last weekend:

  • 4 Sultai Ramp
  • 2 Rakdos Sacrifice
  • 1 Mardu Winota
  • 1 Temur Adventures

This is basically week 1 Standard so we see the remaining Green cards being put together in the most efficient way available. Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath are still some of the strongest cards in Standard.

Here's the winning list piloted by Gabriel Nicholas


The lack of Growth Spiral has caused the Sultai decks to interact with the opponent on the second turn instead of ramping. Thought Erasure was a big winner from the bans. Sultai Ramp is the current deck to beat.

Rakdos Sacrifice is here to stay despite the cat not coming back. Ryuji took second place with this list:


Rather than center the deck around the Cat/Oven combo Rakdos is leaning on Village Rites to sacrifice. Lurrus is able to make a comeback because Cat/Oven was responsible for Mayhem Devil's power. Rakdos has emerged from the banned and restricted announcement more lean than before.

Fellow RIW player, Michael Jacob, Top 8ed the last Arena Player's Tour with an innovative Mardu Winota deck. Winota is one of the last powerful engines remaining in Standard; cheating humans onto the battlefield is still good. It was designed to prey on Wilderness Reclamation decks, but had a high ceiling in terms of raw power.

Here's Yosuke Iwata's fifth place list:


Mardu Winota didn't have any cards banned and wasn't interested in interacting with the opponent. For this reason Iwata's list is largely unchanged since the bans.

I was saving the best for last- Temur Adventures. Sean Goddard finished in sixth place with the following list:


Sean had a fairly stock take on Temur Adventures. It was expected to put up results post ban and did not disappoint.

I'm now going to segue from the week one metagame into my take on Temur Adventures. One note about this deck is it's not as complicated as everyone claims. While there are dozens of decisions every turn most of the games follow similar heuristics.

Here's my list after playing four SCG Challenges and the Championship Qualifier:


If you're new to Temur adventures the idea of the deck is to play the two card advantage engines, Edgewall Innkeeper and Lucky Clover, and cast spells with the adventure mechanic.

At the core Temur Adventures is a value deck. Since the adventure mechanic only existed in Throne of Eldraine that doesn't leave us with a lot of customization. Here's the core of the maindeck:

That's right. Twenty-eight spells are automatically spoken for in a deck that looks to play twenty-seven lands. Each of these spells involves the word, "adventure." Go figure.

Here are my thoughts on the core cards:

Lucky Clover: This innocuous artifact shines against most matchups; Ramp being the outlier. Doubling adventure spells is powerful against aggro because Petty Theft, Stomp, and Heart's Desire line up well against creatures. Note the original adventure spell must resolve for the creature to go to the adventure zone. This is relevant for Petty Theft and Stomp. The copies resolve ahead of the original so you must have a target on the battlefield for each clover in order to get Brazen Borrower to the adventure zone.

Tempo decks have a hard time removing Lucky Clover and the anti-aggro adventures are still strong in the matchup. Lucky Clover triggers when an adventure is cast which makes countering them a nightmare. Again, the original adventure must resolve for the creature to go to the adventure zone. This means you should have your original Petty Theft and Stomp target the least important threat when playing against countermagic.

Ramp decks are typically indifferent to an extra 1/1 from Heart's Desire. They rarely have multiple non-land permanents to bounce with Petty Theft. Bouncing Nissa is a bandaid and I would hate to give them back Hydroid Krasis. It is useful at bouncing an escaped Uro. Two Stomps can take out a land animated by Nissa, but means you have bigger problems. Doubling Fertile Footsteps and Fae of Wishes can be relevant, but I wouldn't want four of this effect. It felt like I was flooding when I left in all four against Sultai Ramp.

Lucky Clover is best in the mirror match. I mulligan my seven card hand aggressively to find engine pieces.

In Game 1 your Lucky Clover will resolve and will remain on the battlefield frequently. Watch out for Gemrazer, Fae of Wishes, and Casualties of War to interact. After sideboard opponents play Wilt and Embereth Shieldbreaker to interact. It can be right to hold Clover in hand until you intend to copy an adventure because the opponent won't have priority to remove it until you get some value.

I will board out two Clovers against Ramp. A single Clover can be cut against decks with artifact hate because I plan to cast it later in the game. This makes your trades with shatter effects favorable as you get an extra spell.

Edgewall Innkeeper: Lucky Clover encourages you to cast the adventure instants and sorceries, but the Innkeeper wants you to cast the creature side. Similar to the Clover, Edgewall Innkeeper trigger happens on cast which means the first trigger can't be stopped if you are careful.

A 1/1 is much more vulnerable than an artifact so I find myself holding Innkeeper in hand until I'm ready to cast an adventure creature more often. The upside is I can spend my first turn playing a Ketria Triome. Lands entering the battlefield tapped has a real cost because adventure spells are cheap and I have a lot of mana sinks.

In the Adventures mirror I value Stomp in my opening hand as it's the best way to kill an early Innkeeper. The opponent can get a trigger as early as turn two thanks to hard casting Fae of Wishes.

Mono-Green Aggro plays fight spells that cost one or two mana so I can also hold Innkeeper on the draw because I would ideally cast an adventure creature on turn three. They can't risk a Stomp or Petty Theft when Adventures is on the play so it's safe. Savvy Green opponents will also side in Oakhame Adversary which encourages slow rolling the Innkeeper.

Sultai Ramp no longer accelerates on turn two which makes your Innkeeper vulnerable to Eliminate and Heartless Act. If they don't cast Thought Erasure but have two mana untapped the rest of their interaction stops Innkeeper. I often hold the Innkeeper until turn four and I can guarantee a trigger; likely hardcasting Brazen Borrower. This means my turn three Lovestruck Beast might enter the battlefield and I miss the first trigger. It feels bad, but it's best to play it safe.

I currently don't cut Edgewall Innkeeper in any matchup as drawing a card is more powerful than doubling an adventure. The single mana makes it easier to play around the more abundant removal. Think of it as an Elvish Visionary that can win the game if it isn't respected.

Lovestruck Beast: A 5/5 for three mana is a powerful blocker against aggro and a great attacker versus control and ramp. Make sure you don't get brazen with your token as Heart's Desire and Edgewall Innkeeper are the only way to make 1/1s. The human token is White which is relevant against Oakhame Adversary.

Lovestruck Beast is the most efficient of the creature sides of adventure spells in the deck. Heart's Desire and Lovestruck Beast are generically powerful against every archetype and I never board them out.

Bonecrusher Giant: Here's another adventure that is great on rate for the instant and the creature. It shines against creature decks as curving Stomp into Bonecrusher Giant was so strong I would even play it in my old Reclamation decks.

The fine print of Stomp stops damage prevention which is relevant against protection. Note that indestructible creatures don't prevent damage, they just don't die when lethal damage is on them. Remember this when you Stomp a Seasoned Hallowblade; it will live when the opponent discards a card. It will importantly not fizzle so you can still cast the Bonecrusher Giant later.

A burn plan is possible with Stomp in the late game after multiple clovers are on the battlefield. Due to the power level of Bonecrusher Giant and the ability to play offense and defense I never board them out. The combination of Bonecrusher and Lovestruck Beast make Adventures tricky to sideboard against. If the opponent focuses too much on your late game they can die to an onslaught of efficient creatures.

Brazen Borrower: It wasn't long ago I was using Petty Theft to bounce giant tokens from Shark Typhoon. A 3/1 flash flyer rounds out the aggro game plan.

I board down to two Brazen Borrower against a variety of decks. Clover is valued lower in the matchup if I don't expect to have multiple targets for Petty Theft. The 3/1 flyer that can potentially cycle thanks to Edgewall Innkeeper still has value.

Against Ramp decks Petty Theft is weak, but I can draw out the first removal spell with a 3/1 flash. The flash ability is important because I plan to have plenty of counters after sideboard.

Brazen Borrower is also weaker in the mirror. Bouncing a Clover only delays the inevitable and the opponent will be able to recast the spell half of adventures. I will aggressively bounce an opposing turn two Clover because Fertile Footsteps on the following turn puts them far ahead.

Beanstalk Giant: Fertile Footsteps is a powerful spell to double with Lucky Clover because the lands enter the battlefield untapped. Every Adventure deck has a 5-drop in their flex slots which allows it to be cast a turn in advance. It's especially scary with Nissa coming down early.

The Beanstalk Giant is almost always large when it enters the battlefield. Most Adventure lists have a Fling in the sideboard to have the Giant kill out of nowhere.

The mana ramp is key against Green decks. Ramping against aggressive decks is less useful, but I prioritize Lucky Clover in those matchups. That being said, I can shave a copy against aggressive decks.

If you're playing this deck on Arena a Beanstalk Giant's power and toughness will be populated in your hand and the adventure zone. This can save you the time of counting all of your mana in the late game.

Fae of Wishes: This is the most complicated of the adventure spells as it requires the sideboard to be Constructed in a specific way. In Game 1 Granted is able to fetch many spells, but I actually do board in the bullets in every matchup making it weaker.

Fae can be boarded out in some number against aggressive decks because I don't have time to Granted for interaction. It's very reasonable to curve Edgewall Innkeeper into Fae of Wishes to draw a card.

I don't often hold onto lands to discard to return Fae of Wishes to my hand because the deck is very mana hungry. It's still right to do so in some cases so don't overlook the option.

This leaves us with a whopping five flex slots.

Here are some options:

The core of the deck features cheap spells plus Beanstalk Giant. To round out the deck we need three or four expensive spells and some interaction. Here's my reasoning for the flex slots I prefer:

3 Nissa, Who Shakes the World: Since Temur Adventures has made a resurgence I've been seeing one or two copies of Nissa. Since casting her I kept increasing the numbers.

Nissa occupies the same space on the curve as Escape to the Wilds. When Temur Adventures first made the headlines it was created as an answer to Azorius Control. It seemed nothing could stop Azorius Control, but Adventures was best at creating raw card advantage. Escape to the Wilds takes some time to set up. If you're given that time I would expect it to win the game. This is not currently the right metagame for Escape because I expect to face aggressive decks and Ramp decks that go over the top. I found Escape the Wilds to be good when I had Nissa boosting my mana. For this reason I still have a copy to search for in the sideboard.

When we transplant the original stock Temur Adventures deck it is weak against Green Ramp as well as Mono-Green Aggro. Nissa helps turn those matchups around because untapping Breeding Pool or Ketria Triome allows you to leave up Aether Gust and Petty Theft.

My original desire to try out Nissa came from wanting to maximise Petty Theft. When the game dragged out a bounce spell was weaker. Nissa on the battlefield means the opponent needs to focus all of their resources to removing her.

There were also times where Lovestruck Beast didn't have profitable attacks so the opponent would amass resources and eventually overpower it. The miscellaneous creatures on the battlefield were suddenly very relevant as I would build up a land army.

Beanstalk Giant goes from being rarely cast to entering the battlefield the turn after Nissa resolves quite often. Seven mana is a lot to invest for a creature without an immediate effect on the game. This makes the sideboard Fling more relevant. Fertile Footsteps finds Forests more often now that I play so many Nissas. There are a whopping nineteen Forests in the deck making Nissa's Mana Flare ability very relevant.

The overall sideboard theory of Adventures changes when you play Nissa over Escape to the Wilds. I can de-emphasize Lucky Clover which leaves the opponent holding up Wilt early and then eventually cycling it when I don't play an artifact.

Escape to the Wilds works unfavorably with interactive spells because it's functionally a big Light up the Stage. If I reveal a counter the opponent will just hold their spells for a turn. Nissa quickly turns the corner and plays extremely well with counters.

Nissa also combos very well with Granted. I originally played Ugin in my sideboard, but never had time to cast it. When Nissa is in play Ugin goes from a haymaker that just goes through the motions of ending a game to a threat capable of swinging a game in your favor. The colorless creature lands stay alive from the -X ability. A great way of going over the top.

Since I'm boarding in cards for each matchup Granted fetches haymakers more often in games two and three. I leave a single counter in the sideboard against Ramp because it's a key effect to find with Granted. Granted goes from a swiss army knife in Game 1 to something resembling a hammer post board.

At the end of the day Nissa is yet another angle of attack by Temur Adventures. The opponent needs to be ready for an artifact, a planeswalker, a 1/1, and a fleet of midrange creatures. Bringing in interaction to answer all of these different threats will be a losing recipe.

2 Aether Gust: I rounded out the flex slots with Aether Gust because it interacts with Ramp decks, the mirror, and Winota. It's a great combo with Nissa so I can tempo opponents out in Game 1. The worst case scenario for Aether Gust is it can be discarded to Fae of Wishes.

I could play more generic spells in the Aether Gust slot like Adventurous Impulse, but that eats into my sideboard. Aether Gust is a powerful effect in the metagame which means I get more of the niche Granted targets when they are in the maindeck.

Since some decks don't care about Aether Gust I need to be ready to use my sideboard in those matchups.

Speaking of sideboard, we have plenty to discuss:

Fling: I never sideboard in Fling, but I do search for it more often now that Nissa can cast Beanstalk Giant.

Expansion // Explosion: Thanks to Nissa I can use Explosion as a late game haymaker when Ugin won't cut it. The real reason it's in the board is because I can Granted for Fling and Expansion with Lucky Clover on the battlefield. This is a combo because you don't have to sacrifice a creature with the Expansion copy of Fling. It's a way to increase the damage range in your sideboard. Expansion can also be used as an offensive counter to copy an opposing Negate. I never board in Expansion // Explosion.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: This is my go-to Granted target with Nissa on the battlefield. Not only does Ugin miss the animated lands, but Lucky Clover also emerges unscathed. I never board in Ugin.

Aether Gust, Negate, and two Disdainful Stroke: I often Granted for Disdainful Stroke because it hits planeswalkers as well as big creatures. If I search for Negate the opponent can use that information to know the coast is clear for a creature spell.

When I transform into a tempo deck against Ramp decks I bring in Aether Gust, Negate, and a Disdainful Stroke. The Negate is better in the maindeck because it can be used to interact with early interaction. If I need a Negate effect to push through a threat then I can grab the Expansion. Aether Gust is the least permanent way to dealing with threats which makes it better served in the maindeck.

Wilt and Reckless Air Strike: Reckless Air Strike can occasionally kill a flyer such as Brazen Borrower or Spectral Sailor. The true reason it's in the board is to spend a single mana to destroy Lucky Clover. The other option is Embereth Shieldbreaker, but you can only wish for noncreature cards. I never board in Reckless Air Strike.

Wilt is a more versatile way of dealing with Lucky Clover and I board it in the mirror. Since there are only four artifacts in the mirror I prefer cycling to having the ability to exile a card in a graveyard from Return to Nature.

If I didn't have Reckless Air Strike in the sideboard I would play Return to Nature. I want to have a way to destroy an artifact in the sideboard for Granted. I would rarely wish for a Wilt to Cycle so I might as well have the versatility to interact with the graveyard.

Soul-Guide Lantern: I would like a way to interact with the graveyard in my sideboard because of Rakdos Sacrifice and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Since I prefer Wilt to Return to Nature, Soul-Guide Lantern is my graveyard hate of choice. The Lantern can exile an Uro and then draw a card.

I don't like Grafdigger's Cage. Rakdos Sacrifice boards in Embereth Shieldbreaker so I would prefer a card that actually exiles the graveyard. The Cage can prevent a crazy Winota turn, but it would require searching for it preemptively. Mardu Winota has the tools to win a regular game of Magic and will be more likely to do so when spending five mana to not affect the board.

Lantern is niche and cheap so I will leave it in the sideboard.

Redcap Melee, Lava Coil, and Soul Sear: Redcap Melee costs a single mana which means I can Granted for it Game 1 with a minimal investment. It can answer a Winota when Selfless Savior is not on the battlefield. I search for it often when I'm attacking with Nissa lands and I need something cheap to clear the way for lethal damage.

Lava Coil is a generic removal spell. It can be effective against Green monsters or simply exile a creature against Rakdos Sacrifice.

Soul Sear is more expensive, but can answer a Winota when Selfless Savior is on the battlefield. Don't overlook the Soul Sear plus Expansion combo to kill an opposing Ugin.

I'll board in these removal spells and think of Fae of Wishes as a blocker in the early game.

Fabled Passage: The ability to find a land with Fae of Wishes is immensely valuable. It can help guarantee a land to cast Nissa the following turn. Blast Zone is an option, but I prefer to fetch a Forest for Nissa. I don't board in Fabled Passage because Fae of Wishes guarantees the Passage enters the battlefield untapped.

Escape to the Wilds: If I have plenty of resources Expansion // Explosion can be an effective way to draw cards. Earlier in the game Escape to the Wilds can serve as a card advantage engine. Nine mana with Nissa on the battlefield is trivial; you can Granted and cast it on the same turn easily. Since I only have three 5-drops in the maindeck I will board in Escape to the Wilds in the mirror and other grindy matchups.

Sideboard Guide

Most of the sideboard guide is peppered throughout the article. Let's consolidate what we discussed.

Sultai Ramp

In:

Out:

Mono-Red:

In:

Out:

Mardu Winota:

In:

Out:

Mono-Green:

In:

Out:

Rakdos Sacrifice:

In:

Out:

Temur Adventures:

In:

Out:

Temur Elementals:

In:

Out:

That's all I have for today. Give this deck a spin; it's not as complicated as it is made out to be.

Thanks for reading!

-Kyle

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