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Temur Adventures Post Zendikar Rising

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Hey everyone!

Standard has been given a new lease on life with the addition of Zendikar Rising. We lost four sets to rotation so we not only got to try new cards, but also some near misses of the past while Sultai had a stranglehold on the format.

My next big tournament is the final SCG Qualifier of the season which is Standard post rotation. There are plenty of articles online about trying sweet new cards, but I want to make sure to have a deck that is capable of taking down a tournament. My current weapon of choice? Temur Adventures.

Temur Adventures is a great choice for week 1 Standard because it's composed mainly of cards from Throne of Eldraine. The major losses for Adventures to rotation are Aether Gust, Nissa, and shock lands.

Here's my current list:


As I mentioned before the core of the deck survived rotation. We get to play the same twenty adventure creatures and eight card advantage engines:

Escape to the Wilds
Twenty-eight spells are already spoken for, but what about the rest?

Nissa, Who Shakes the World was the key 5-drop pre-rotation in my opinion. Escape to the Wilds was the stock choice and is currently my default option with Nissa out of the picture.

The rest of the spells are less obvious as they don't come from Throne of Eldraine. I got the option to test out some of the cards from Zendikar Rising in these slots. The stock adventures deck played twenty-seven lands, but the new flip cards give me the option to play as little as twenty-five since the back sides make mana.

Bala Ged Recovery works very well in Adventures. The front half of the card is Recollect while the back is a Green mana that enters the battlefield tapped. It seems counterintuitive to want a regrowth effect in a deck filled with spells that immediately go to the adventure zone, but hear me out.

The best attribute of Bala Ged Recovery is the built-in engine with Escape to the Wilds. If you flip over Bala Ged Recovery with Escape to the Wilds it can be cast to rebuy the Escape. Some of the flips from Escape are spell-heavy so you also have the option of playing it as a land.

Recollect is also powerful in the mid-game to rebuy an Edgewall Innkeeper. For four mana it's a threat that forces the opponent to interact as the card advantage engines can't sit on the battlefield for long before running away with the game.

Bala Ged Recovery

The spell's efficacy changes after sideboard as the opponent will likely bring in artifact removal for Lucky Clover. Pre-rotation I would fear running out Lucky Clover on turn two because I wouldn't get any card advantage if the opponent had Wilt or Embereth Shieldbreaker. The new play pattern involves my Clover being destroyed and then I can immediately bring it back to my hand. I won't fall too far behind because the following turn I can play Clover a second time and copy and adventure. This is a big upgrade.

Speaking of sideboard, Fae of Wishes encourages you to fetch cheap spells for a variety of matchups. Casting Recollect on these spells to cast them a second time plays out well.

Green mana entering the battlefield tapped on the backside is also very important. Adventures is a very mana-hungry deck and a single Green mana can cast Heart's Desire and Edgewall Innkeeper. I found Escape to the Wilds is weakest when I didn't hit mana off of the flip so I get to effectively play twenty-nine lands now.

Bala Ged Recovery plays well all the way up the curve and I expect it to be a key player in Zendikar Rising Standard.

I tried Jace, Mirror Mage as a singleton in place of a Bala Ged Recovery and it was very unimpressive. The card itself was good, but I want to focus on playing spells that aren't color-intensive because shock lands rotated. Zach Allen and I tested before the set was completely spoiled and I watched Jace rot in my hand with a single Blue mana multiple times.

Old versions of Temur Adventures played Adventurous Impulse, but I would opt for Boon of the Wish-Giver because it cycles for colorless mana. The upside is casting a great draw spell in the mid game. I prefer Bala Ged Recovery for now, but it's reasonable to play a singleton.

The biggest change to Temur Adventures is the mana base. I used to play ten shocklands, but now I need to replace them with basics, temples, and Pathways.

Cragcrown Pathway

Temur Adventures has a big advantage in the new Standard format to be built without many color requirements. Pathways enter the battlefield untapped at the expense of adding different colors of mana.

A Simic Pathway doesn't exist, but I'm allowed to play the other eight. Since there's a Gruul and Izzet Pathway the single Red mana comes easy. I still play two Mountains to search with Fertile Footsteps.

Since Red mana is easy to find with the new mana base Temple of Mystery is the clear choice. The additional Blue mana allows me to cast Brazen Borrower more often. A temple combined with a Pathway ensures I have all of my colors in the early game.

Triomes are the most powerful land cycle in Standard so I want the full playset of Ketria. Adventures now plays more lands that enter the battlefield tapped which changes your early sequencing. It wasn't crucial to play Edgewall Innkeeper or Heart's Desire on turn one so think of it as training wheels. Innkeeper can be played on turn four more often to ensure you get a card off of it. The same can be said of Heart's Desire and Lucky Clover making a copy.

The sideboard went through some changes due to new cards being printed and staples like Nissa and Aether Gust rotating.

Shadowspear
Recap Melee is stock and extremely powerful. It can now kill Omnath which I expect to be a relevant interaction in the new Standard.

Shadowspear is the best way to gain life as Pulse of Murasa rotated. I didn't play life gain pre- rotation because Aether Gust helped against Mono-Red. Now that Gust has rotated I could use the extra insurance against aggressive decks.

Storm's Wrath is the primary sweeper as Flame Sweep rotated. I didn't play this card pre- rotation because it played poorly with Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Storm's Wrath is currently on probation, but could make the cut. Cinderclasm is another option, but it feels too weak. Stomp already makes Adventures good against very small creatures.

Thundering Rebuke is the new spin on Lava Coil which has rotated. I can deal four damage to planeswalkers in exchange for it not exiling a creature. If there are a lot of creatures that care about being in the graveyard this can easily become Scorching Dragonfire.

Soul Sear can also hit planeswalkers, but most importantly kills Winota with a Selfless Savior on the battlefield. I expect this to be a potential interaction early in the format.

Escape to the Wilds is my default card advantage spell. It's better in the later turns because I can guarantee casting all of the spells flipped. I prefer to cast my spells ahead of flipping over random cards.

Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate is my secondary card advantage spell. I prefer to cast this on turn five to start gaining traction over Escape to the Wilds. A downside of Vivien is you can't cast adventures off the top of your deck.

Vivien is a good example of a card that wasn't strong enough to see play pre-rotation thanks to Nissa being in the format, but is now exactly what I want.

The -2 ability is interesting as I can always fetch up an Edgewall Innkeeper. It won't draw a card the first time around because it must be on the battlefield as the creature is cast.

Negate is still a top-tier counterspell and I want a copy for Granted as long as it's in Standard. Before Negate was spoiled in Zendikar Rising I tried Mystical Dispute which wasn't bad, but is weaker when the opponent knows it's in hand. The upside is it can cost a single mana.

I don't like to maindeck Negate in the Aether Gust slot because it's a bad card to reveal off of Escape to the Wilds. Gust could be cast on permanents which made it more difficult to play around. Negate in the maindeck was only good when you leaned on Nissa, Who Shakes the World.

Since the other two counterspells, Disdainful Stroke and Aether Gust, have rotated I need to try something new in their place.

Neutralize is a generic counter I can find with Granted that will play well in the mid and late game.

Essence Scatter is another safe counter that is cheap. I'm set up to interact with most spells on the stack as my sideboard covers countering creatures and noncreatures.

Soul-Guide Lantern is the front-runner for graveyard interaction as it can cycle and exile an Uro. The loss of Aether Gust hurts the ability to fight opposing Uros.

Wilt gets the nod over Return to Nature so I can proactively search for it and cycle if the right interaction doesn't come up. I will board in Wilt less often because Reckless Air Strike rotated leaving me with less ways to fight Lucky Clover in the sideboard. I won't Granted for Return to Nature to fight Uro.

I can wish for Confounding Conundrum, but by the time it enters the battlefield the damage has already been done by Uro and other sources of ramping.

I also considered Thieving Skydiver as extra mirror hate, but it cannot be found by Granted as it's a creature. In addition, the opponent can simply return a Lucky Clover to their hand with Petty Theft.

Kazuul's Fury

Kazuul's Fury is a new Zendikar Rising addition to try over Fling. I'm willing to pay the additional mana in order to cut the Fabled Passage from the board as it can be used as a mana source. If the land entering the battlefield turns out to be too much of a burden there are other options such as Shatterskull Smashing.

The loss of Ravnica sets means Expansion // Explosion is no longer an option to copy Fling which means the extra mana is less relevant. Claim the Firstborn is a similar effect where a copied Granted can deal large amounts of damage in a single turn.

The final card in the sideboard is Primal Might. It's a very powerful effect I can Granted for in the mid game without a clear plan, but will play out well. Inscription of Abundance is a powerful option that is similar, but I prefer having the option to cast Primal Might for 1 mana if I already have Lovestruck Beast or Bonecrusher Giant on the battlefield.

That's all I have for today. Zendikar Rising is a cool set, but many cards aren't obviously strong. It will take some time to get used to the set, but in the meantime I hope you give Adventures a try if you want to climb the Arena ladder.

Thanks for reading!

-Kyle

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