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Fresh Decks in Post-Ban Standard


Hello everyone. Now that the ban announcement has taken place, it's time to see what new decks are being played in Standard. I have a few decks in all colors for you this week that you can try out for yourself. Let's get started.

Mono-White Lifegain

The first deck I have for you this week is a Mono-White deck that features multiple methods of gaining life. Let's take a look at the deck.

Archangel Elspeth
By activating the +1 loyalty ability of Archangel Elspeth, you gain two benefits. First, you'll create a 1/1 Soldier creature token with lifelink. That helps establish your position on the battlefield and can provide you with multiple points of additional life throughout the game. Secondly, you add a point of loyalty to Archangel Elspeth, keeping her on the battlefield for a longer period of time, which allows you to activate her abilities on additional turns.

There are other additional means of gaining life within this deck. Elspeth Resplendent can activate her +1 loyalty ability to give a +1/+1 counter to a creature, as well as providing that creature with a lifelink counter. Steel Seraph can also provide lifelink to a creature during combat on your turn. Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom also provides you with additional life. There's also a pair of lands, Brokers Hideout and Obscura Storefront, that will provide you with life when they are played.

The payoff for gaining all of this life happens when you have a copy of Voice of the Blessed on the battlefield. As you gain life, it will gain +1/+1 counters. These counters will eventually also provide this Spirit Cleric with flying, vigilance, and indestructible. You'll have a powerful attacker that's capable of withstanding any removal spell that doesn't exile a creature. But, for those spells, you can always sacrifice Lightshield Array to provide your creatures with hexproof as well.

Rakdos Ob Nixilis

Next, I have a Red/Black deck that features Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin, gaining multiple +1/+1 counters each turn. Let's check it out.

Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin
Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin gets a +1/+1 counter whenever your opponent loses exactly one point of life. He also happens to have both flying and trample, making him the perfect attacker. Flying allows him to go over the top of most opposing creatures, and trample allows him to still deal damage to your opponent even when he is blocked, most of the time.

By having Oni-Cult Anvil on the battlefield, you can sacrifice an artifact to deal one point of damage to your opponent and gain one point of life yourself. That also creates a 1/1 Construct artifact creature token if you activate Oni-Cult Anvil during your turn. This provides you with the fuel to sacrifice this token on your next turn, continuing the cycle turn after turn.

Another great way of dealing one point of damage to your opponent is with the activation of the top +1 loyalty ability of Chandra, Dressed to Kill. In addition to being able to deal a point of damage to your opponent, this ability also provides you with one Red Mana that you can use. This can help you cast the spell that is exiled by Ob Nixilis, providing you with additional possibilities each turn that you'll have access to.

Bant Control

The final deck I have utilizes a pair of cards from March of the Machine: The Aftermath and can make enchantment decks fall apart. Let's take a look at the deck.

Tranquil Frillback
Tranquil Frillback is a 3/3 Dinosaur that allows you to pay a Green mana up to three when it enters the battlefield. By doing this, you have a few options of actions you can take. You can destroy an artifact or enchantment. You can exile a player's graveyard. Finally, you can gain four points of life. For each Green mana you spent, you can choose one of these options, and an option can be chosen more than once.

To get additional uses of these abilities, you can cast Cosmic Rebirth to return a copy of Tranquil Frillback from your graveyard to the battlefield. This will also gain you three points of life. You can also use the -X loyalty ability of Tamiyo, Compleated Sage while Tranquil Frillback is in your graveyard. This will exile Tranquil Frillback from your graveyard, while creating a token copy of it on your battlefield.

Finally, this deck also utilizes Shigeki, Jukai Visionary as a means of getting additional lands into play. This is a great way to ensure that you have the three Green mana needed to pay when Tranquil Frillback comes into play. You can also return Tranquil Frillback to your hand with the channel ability Shigeki, Jukai Visionary can provide.

Wrapping Up

Now that the recent ban has taken place in Standard, we're beginning to see which cards will rise to the top. Each of these decks plays some of the most powerful spells in Standard, and each plays differently than the others. No matter what color you prefer when playing, there's likely a deck in Standard that you'll enjoy.

What do you think of these decks? 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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