Hello everyone. Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has been released online and it has been making its presence known in tournaments everywhere. This week I have a few decks that all happen to be mono-colored decks that have done well at a recent tournament. Let's get started.
We'll get started this week by taking a look at a Mono-Green deck that attempts to win by having bigger creatures than your opponent has. Let's take a look at the deck.
Mono-Green Stompy | IKO Standard | t4keda, MagicFest Online Qualifier #5, 04/30/2020
- Creatures (31)
- 2 Lovestruck Beast
- 3 Barkhide Troll
- 3 Questing Beast
- 3 Wildborn Preserver
- 4 Gemrazer
- 4 Paradise Druid
- 4 Pelt Collector
- 4 Stonecoil Serpent
- 4 Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
- Artifacts (2)
- 2 The Great Henge
Your game plan is to start the game by playing Pelt Collector. Doing so will allow you to grow Pelt Collector more and more as you continue playing other creatures. Other creatures in this deck also have the capability to grow throughout the game as well. Wildborn Preserver can get bigger every time a new creature enters the battlefield under your control unless that creature is the 1/1 Human creature token made when you cast the Adventure portion of Lovestruck Beast. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig will also provide a ton of +1/+1 counters for Yorvo since nearly every creature in this deck is Green. Finally, Stonecoil Serpent can be as large as you'd like it to be, depending on the amount of mana you have to spend when casting it.
Gemrazer can be used to mutate practically any creature you have in play. Doing so will provide both reach and trample to that creature, as well as allow you to destroy an artifact or enchantment your opponent controls. Questing Beast is an excellent target to mutate Gemrazer onto. Thanks to it having vigilance and deathtouch, giving it both reach and trample will turn it into the ultimate offensive and defensive threat. When you attack, you can assign one point of damage to any blocker, which will destroy it, while assigning any other damage directly to your opponent. Plus, since Questing Beast can't be blocked by creatures with power two or less, your opponent will likely allow it to go unblocked in order to prevent the destruction of many of their creatures.
You also have access to two different versions of Vivien planeswalkers in this deck. Vivien, Monster's Advocate offers you the ability to create numerous 3/3 Beast creature tokens with her +1 loyalty ability, but her -2 loyalty ability will often go unused due to the limited amount of noncreature spells in the deck. Her main use, though, is the ability to allow you to see the top card of your library at any time and to cast creature spells from the top of your library. Vivien, Arkbow Ranger offers a lot of possibilities. You'll be able to give your creatures +1/+1 counters, punch your opponent's creatures or planeswalkers, or put a creature from your sideboard into your hand. Lots of versatility there.
The next deck I have for you is Mono-Blue and features lots of opportunities to play your cards on your opponent's turn. Let's take a look at the deck.
Mono-Blue Flash | IKO Standard | wiktorrr, MagicFest Online Qualifier #5, 04/30/2020
- Creatures (20)
- 4 Brazen Borrower
- 4 Brineborn Cutthroat
- 4 Sea-Dasher Octopus
- 4 Spectral Sailor
- 4 Stonecoil Serpent
Flash decks have been around for a while now. This deck features some staple cards from those previous decks. Spectral Sailor can act as an unexpected blocker, while also offering ways to draw additional cards. Brineborn Cutthroat has the potential to grow bigger and bigger as the game goes on. Brazen Borrower can be flashed in at the end of your opponent's turn so you can begin attacking with it on your next turn.
One new card from Ikoria seeing play in this deck is Sea-Dasher Octopus. This creature is great to mutate onto one of your creatures with evasion, such as Spectral Sailor or Brazen Borrower. Because these creatures have flying, it can be easier to be able to deal combat damage with them to your opponent, which will allow you to draw a card if they are mutated with Sea-Dasher Octopus. You could also mutate it onto Stonecoil Serpent, which has protection from multicolored. Against some decks, this could allow the Snake to attack without fear of being blocked, while against other decks the protection will be meaningless.
This deck also uses a variety of instant spells as well, both as a means of growing your Brineborn Cutthroat, as well as a variety of other effects. Some spells, such as Opt and Unsummon, allow you to draw additional cards or return creatures to their owner's hands. Other spells allow you to counter your opponent's spells that they cast, giving you the ability to have a say over what spells your opponent is able to resolve. If you like playing control decks, you might enjoy playing a deck like this one.
Mono-Black Obosh | IKO Standard | maimai13, MagicFest Online Qualifier #5, 04/30/2020
- Companion (1)
- 1 Obosh, the Preypiercer
- Lands (37)
- 19 Swamp
- 4 Castle Locthwain
- 2 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
- 4 Hunted Nightmare
- 4 Serrated Scorpion
- 4 Whisper Squad
Obosh, the Preypiercer acts as the companion for this deck. This Hellion Horror will allow all of your cards to deal double the amount of damage as usual. As if that double damage wasn't enough, when you have a copy of Heraldic Banner in play, your creatures will deal an additional two points of damage thanks to the bonus it provides. Since Heraldic Banner isn't legendary, you can have multiple copies of it in play, providing additional damage.
Since Obosh requires all of the cards in your starting deck to have an odd converted mana cost (CMC), this deck has a large amount of cards costing one mana. Normally, those cards can get outclassed as the game goes on, but Heraldic Banner helps make up for their shortcomings. While Knight of the Ebon Legion and Gutterbones are tried and true Standard staples, the other one-drops have to prove their worth. Whisper Squad has a great ability that can be used as a means of finding additional copies of Whisper Squad to put into your hand, while also slightly thinning your deck, making it more likely that you'll draw something other than Whisper Squad on future turns. Serrated Scorpion can act as a threatening blocker, since it will deal damage to your opponent (as well as gain you life) when it dies. With Obosh on the battlefield, the damage dealt will be doubled, but the lifegain will not.
This deck also includes a couple of copies of Lurrus of the Dream-Den. With Lurrus on the battlefield, you'll be able to cast one permanent spell from your graveyard that has a CMC of two or less. Serrated Scorpion is a terrific choice for this ability, because it's a creature your opponent won't want to destroy. You can attack with it if you want to push through some damage, or hold it back for defense if you want to slow down your opponent's momentum.
These decks I've shown today are just a few of the mono-colored decks that are playable in Standard. While I didn't write about it (since it had zero cards from Ikoria), I'm happy that there is a Mono-Red deck that has also done well recently in tournaments. I think this shows that, no matter what your favorite color is, there's a mono-colored deck for you currently in Standard.
What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at email@example.com. 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