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Companionless Standard Decks


Hello everyone. As I write this article, the latest Banned & Restricted announcement hasn't been announced. That announcement will also address Companions. As such, I wanted to make sure that the decks that I found for you this week didn't include any of the cards that are possibilities for banning or any Companions. Even with those restrictions in place, I managed to find a few innovative decks that you can use at Friday Night Magic or with your friends. Let's get started by taking a look at the first deck.

Izzet Pumped

The first deck I have for you features some threats that prosper when you have an abundance of instants and sorceries. Let's take a look at the deck.

Sprite Dragon
This deck's focus is on becoming more powerful with each instant and sorcery in your graveyard. Crackling Drake gets more power for each instant and sorcery you have in your graveyard (in addition to in exile). Rielle, the Everwise similarly gains power based on instants and sorceries in your graveyard. Sprite Dragon gets a +1/+1 counter for each instant and sorcery you cast, allowing it the possibility to become a huge threat. Finally, Spelleater Wolverine gains double strike if you have a minimum of three instants and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard.

To take advantage of these abilities, this deck includes a variety of instants and sorceries. Opt, Cathartic Reunion, and Thrill of Possibility are all cards that allow you to draw additional cards. This keeps the threats coming, as well as buffing the current threats in play. Fire Prophecy can also act as a means of drawing an additional card, plus it acts as creature removal. Infuriate is the best one mana combat trick Red has available, and it can be used to push through a few more points of damage.

If you get into a longer game, you'll be happy that this deck includes a playset of Yidaro, Wandering Monster. This legendary Dinosaur Turtle acts as another means of drawing additional threats, thanks to its cycling ability. If you manage to cycle it four times during a game, you'll put this 8/8 creature with haste and trample directly into play, allowing you attack unexpectedly for a ton of damage.

Mardu Mutate

The next deck I have for you features the Mutate mechanic and looks to be a ton of fun. Let's take a look at it.

Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt
The first thing to note with this deck is that there are zero Humans in it. You'll never have to worry about not being able to mutate any creature you have in play. With a total of fourteen creatures with mutate in the main deck, you shouldn't have any trouble mutating a few times throughout the game. Plus, by mutating the same creature multiple times, you'll be able to use these powerful abilities over and over. Be cautious, though, as there is no way to avoid targeted removal spells from your opponent. Don't put all of your eggs into one basket without having a plan in the event that the mutated creature gets destroyed.

There are a lot of different mutate abilities to utilize in this deck. Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt deals direct damage to an opposing creature or planeswalker, while also acting as a source of lifegain for you. Dirge Bat acts as targeted creature or planeswalker destruction. Everquill Phoenix offers a way to maintain a battlefield presence in the event that your team encounters some removal. Necropanther also offers a way to maintain your battlefield presence, by allowing you to return creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield. Finally, Vulpikeet places +1/+1 counters on the mutated creature, making it a bigger threat.

Marauding Raptor's ability that allows creature spells you cast to cost one less mana can really help out a lot in this deck. Since mutate is an alternate casting cost, you'll still get the mana reduction from Marauding Raptor when casting a creature for its mutate cost. Since Marauding Raptor isn't legendary, having multiple copies of it in play will stack allow you to stack this reduction of mana, allowing your creatures to mutate more easily and potentially more often.

Mono-Red Aggro

The final deck I have for you this week is a Mono-Red deck that attempts to end games as quickly as possible. Let's take a look at it.

Mono-Red Aggro | IKO Standard | Stormcast7814, aetherhub.com user

Cavalcade of Calamity
To win quickly, you'll want to try to cast your creatures as early as possible. Start the game off with either Scorch Spitter or Fervent Champion. If you have both in your hand, it will often be worth casting the Scorch Spitter first, saving Fervent Champion for the following turn. While you risk allowing your opponent the chance to cast a creature that has a toughness of two or more, you give yourself the chance to begin attacking for three points of damage on turn two.

This deck runs hot when you get a copy of Cavalcade of Calamity onto the battlefield. With this enchantment in play, you'll deal a point of damage to your opponent for each creature you have attacking that has a power of one or less. This extra damage also applies when you attack an opponent's planeswalker as well. The extra damage you do allows you to attack into overwhelming odds, as the damage Cavalcade of Calamity deals happens regardless of whether the attacking creature survives the combat or not.

The other creatures in this deck also play nicely with Cavalcade of Calamity. Legion Warboss creates a 1/1 Goblin token that has to attack the turn it is created, that will trigger Cavalcade of Calamity each turn. Chandra's Spitfire is a flying Elemental that has a base power of 1. When you attack with Chandra's Spitfire, you'll trigger Cavalcade of Calamity, dealing one point of damage to your opponent. That damage will then trigger Chandra's Spitfire's ability, giving it +3/+0 for the remainder of the turn. You'll be able to deal a minimum of five damage per turn to your opponent with this combo, allowing for some quick victories.

Wrapping Up

None of these decks use any Companions or any cards that are on most people's radar as potential bans, making them good decks to play over the next few weeks while things shake out from this week's banning announcement. They also look like they're pretty fun and have interesting interactions. Let me know in the comments below what your deck of choice is in this post-banning era.

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 mikelikesmtg@gmail.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

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