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Exciting Standard Decks to Pass the Time


Hello everyone. Now that Strixhaven: School of Mages previews have ended, there's still a few more weeks to wait until we're able to actually play with these cool, new cards. During that time, I like to play decks that I find exciting and fun, which helps the time pass faster. This week, I have a few decks from Platinum or Mythic ranked players on Magic Arena for you that have recently won at least six matches in a row. These are the types of decks that I think look fun to play. Let's get started.

Boros Knights

We'll start with a deck in my favorite colors that features one of my favorite tribes. Let's take a look at the deck.

I've always been a big fan of tribal decks like this one due to the synergy within their cards. Creatures like Worthy Knight make playing tribal decks worthwhile, because there's a payoff when the deck is built correctly. Worthy Knight encourages you to build a deck with a lot of other Knights in it so you can reap the reward it provides, which is a 1/1 Human creature token. Those tokens, along with the Knights that have been played as a means of creating those tokens, can act as a defensive force, discouraging your opponent to attack. They can also be used when attacking to go wide.

Inspiring Veteran helps out your team by giving a +1/+1 boost to all of your other Knights. Having multiple copies of Inspiring Veteran can turn your Knights into massive threats. You can further increase the threat your creatures will possess by casting The Circle of Loyalty. This Legendary Artifact gives all of your creatures a +1/+1 bonus. That means the lowly 1/1 Humans made by Worthy Knight become double their size. The Circle of Loyalty can also create its own 2/2 Knight creature token each turn, provided you have enough mana to activate it.

If you find yourself in a stalemate on the battlefield, there's a few pieces of equipment that can help you out. Both Embercleave and Maul of the Skyclaves can be equipped to turn a creature of yours into a powerful attacker capable of winning games on their own. Toralf's Hammer can be thrown over and over again to deal three points of damage to any target. While it can be expensive to do this, it makes it possible to win games when attacking isn't possible. Finally, Shining Armor gives a boost to the equipped Knight's toughness and provides vigilance. This works well when equipped to a creature that has first strike, like Fervent Champion, or double strike, like a creature equipped with Embercleave.

Azorius Fliers

Next up, we have a Blue-White deck that focuses on attacking with creatures with evasion. Let's take a look at it.

Since every creature in this deck has flying, you'll likely be able to attack for a bit of damage before your opponent manages to play a blocker that can slow you down. Watcher of the Spheres provides a mana discount for any creature with flying, and having a copy of this Bird Wizard on the battlefield can help you keep the pressure on your opponent. Jubilant Skybonder provides each of your creatures with an ability that costs your opponent two additional mana to cast a spell if it targets a creature of yours with flying. That can make casting targeted removal spells very costly for your opponent.

This deck features one of my favorite creatures, Baneslayer Angel. Thanks to some recent power creep, Baneslayer Angel isn't quite the bomb she used to be, but I think she's still got what it takes to be a contender in Standard. For five mana (four if you have a copy of Watcher of the Spheres in play), you get a 5/5 flier that has first strike and lifelink. The protection abilities are mostly for flavor, but there will be times that they are actually useful.

Another creature in this deck that has the possibility of becoming a huge threat is Skycat Sovereign. While it starts as a 1/1 flier, Skycat Sovereign gains a +1/+1 bonus for each other creature you control with flying. Since all of your creatures have flying, this bonus can become quite large. Skycat Sovereign also has a way of creating its own 1/1 Cat Bird creature tokens that have flying. If you manage to enchant Skycat Sovereign with a copy of Staggering Insight, the lifelink provided can allow you to outlast nearly any opponent.

Jeskai Cycling

The final deck I have for you features the cycling mechanic. It also has the ability to win games unexpectedly. Let's check it out.

For many months, a cycling deck has been listed as a deck that has gone 5-0 in the weekly Standard leagues on Magic Online. Sometimes this deck loses its Blue mana and becomes a Boros deck, while other times it's full-on Jeskai. Both versions are very good and share the same basic game plan.

The best way to finish off your opponent is with the use of Zenith Flare. As long as you have a fair amount of cards with a cycling ability in your graveyard, you'll be able to deal an amount of damage equal to that amount of cards directly to your opponent while also gaining an equal amount of life. If your opponent isn't ready with a counterspell, you'll be able to win games unexpectedly. However, Zenith Flare can also be used as a means of creature removal, which can open the doors for other routes to victory.

One of those routes is with Flourishing Fox. You'll add a +1/+1 counter to Flourishing Fox each time you cycle another card. That can allow Flourishing Fox to become a creature that must be blocked. This Fox works very well in conjunction with Irencrag Pyromancer, who can clear the battlefield of potential blockers or deal damage directly to your opponent. If that duo doesn't get the job done, you can also flood the battlefield with creatures with the help of Valiant Rescuer and Improbable Alliance. As you can see, this deck has multiple routes to victory, making it very fun to play.

Wrapping Up

I'm interested in finding out what types of decks you play during this time between the end of preview season and the release of the new set. Let me know in the comment section.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. 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!

-Mike Likes

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