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Championship Brews

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Lately I've been playing a ton of Magic Arena and I love it. Like a lot of people, I mainly play a Red aggro deck, and now that I figured out you have to opt in to playing ranked matches, I've been playing more than ever. However, since it can be difficult on Magic Arena to create multiple optimized decks due its restrictive economy, tabletop Magic is my main go-to for playing highly competitive Magic. This week, I have for you a few more decks featuring cards from Ravnica Allegiance that I think look interesting.

Temur Aggro

The first deck I have for you this week is right up my alley. While it's not Mono-Red, the addition of Blue and Green mana offers plenty of fun options. Let's take a look at the deck:


Hadana's Climb has always been a fun card to play. In this deck, you can transform Hadana's Climb into Winged Temple of Orazca as early as turn four. The following turn, you can be attacking with an 8/8 Growth-Chamber Guardian that will have flying. You'll certainly be able to disrupt your opponent's plans by doing thi,s as they'll have to deal with your 8/8 pretty quickly before they drop to zero life.

With Gruul Spellbreaker and Zhur-Taa Goblin both having Riot, you might be tempted to give them Haste when they enter the battlefield. However, with the +1/+1 counter synergy in this deck, I think it's a better idea to give them a +1/+1 counter when they are played. You'll be able to set up your Hadana's Climb transformation sooner as well as providing a way for these creatures to gain Trample when you have Zegana, Utopian Speaker on the battlefield.

Speaking of +1/+1 counters, even though it's possible to gain a quick advantage by transforming Hadana's Climb, you might actually find it more worthwhile to keep it as Hadana's Climb by spreading out the +1/+1 counters it provides. Since transforming it into Winged Temple of Orazca isn't optional, trying to put at most two +1/+1 counters on each of your creatures will provide maximum value for you. Plus, putting a +1/+1 counter onto either Rekindling Phoenix (who will lose them if it dies) or on Dire Fleet Daredevil (thanks to it having First Strike) will certainly make combat more difficult for your opponent.

Planeswalker Gates

The next deck I have for you is a deck that builds on the innovation that others have had with Guildgate decks by adding a selection of Planeswalkers to the mix. Let's take a look at it:


While most Guildgate decks are four colors that eschew Black, this one is also four colors but it embraces Black and ignores White instead. Because of this, you have access to what is possibly the best way in Standard to disrupt an opponent's plans, Thought Erasure. Thought Erasure also allows you to Surveil 1 which helps you set up your future plans.

Because you have access to Black mana, you have access to more ways to disrupt your opponent. With Angrath, the Flame-Chained you're able to force your opponent to discard cards while also forcing them to lose life. He also makes it very difficult for an opponent to play a large threat without fearing that the creature might mutiny against them for a turn.

Adding Black also allows you access to Vraska, and thanks to being able to play multiple versions of her you have access to a couple of abilities that can be used as great removal. Vraska, Golgari Queen has her -3 loyalty ability that allows you to destroy any nonland permanent with a converted mana cost of three or less. Vraska, Relic Seeker also has a -3 loyalty ability that can destroy any artifact, creature, or enchantment, no matter what its converted mana cost. This will also provide you a nice Treasure token for future use.

The final bonus you get in this deck by adding Black mana is the addition of Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. He starts out as a 4/4 Elder Dragon that acts as a great attacker, but has the potential to transform into an ultra-powerful Planeswalker, Nicol Bolas, the Arisen. After he has transformed, you'll have access to multiple planeswalker abilities that will have an immediate impact on the game, causing Nicol Bolas to become a threat that must be dealt with as soon as possible.

Abzan Midrange

The final deck I have for you this week is an Abzan Midrange deck that also features a strong token theme. Let's take a look at the deck:


This takes the shell of the Selesnya Token deck that was created during Guilds of Ravnica Standard and adds Black into it for Orzhov cards with Afterlife. That addition of Black allows for additional means of removal in the form of Cast Down and Mortify. The addition of creatures with Afterlife makes this deck very resilient to sweepers such as Kaya's Wrath.

March of the Multitudes has been a card I've loved since it was released. With the addition of creatures that have Afterlife to Selesnya decks, playing March of the Multitudes has never been easier. Since March of the Multitudes has Convoke, it can be tough to get maximum value from it because your opponent will often try to remove your creatures before you are able to convoke March of the Multitudes with them. But thanks to Afterlife, your opponent has to work even harder to make sure you don't have creatures to convoke with.

Wrapping Up

As we get closer to the Magic Mythic Championship starting on February 22nd, it's a great feeling to still see so much innovation in Standard. It feels like there are a lot of different decks that you can choose from to play in Standard that are all competitive. And there's no sign of this stopping any time soon.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!