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Going Rogue


Hello, everyone! I'm a big fan of trying out new decks when I go to my local Friday Night Magic tournaments. There's something I really enjoy about playing some deck that's not a duplicate of every other deck there. If you enjoy trying new decks out too, I think you'll enjoy the decks I have for you this week. Let's get started.

Mono-White Lifegain

The first deck I have for you can give most decks trouble when trying to finish you off, because of all of the extra life you'll be gaining each turn. Let's take a look at the deck:

Ajani's Welcome
This deck has a ton of ways that it can gain small amounts of life, which will allow your Ajani's Pridemates to grow absolutely huge. Between Fountain of Renewal, Ajani's Welcome, Diamond Mare, and Healer's Hawk, you should have no problem maintaining a healthy life total. If you also happen to have Dawn of Hope in play, you also have the ability to keep a continuous stream of new cards flowing into your hand, allowing you to gain more life from Diamond Mare and Ajani's Welcome.

Both of the Planeswalkers in this deck have a role to fill that no other card can quite accomplish. With The Wanderer on the battlefield, you don't have to worry as much about Red decks casting direct damage spells to kill your important creatures. They potentially can still target The Wanderer with those spells, so your reprieve might not last long. Gideon Blackblade not only can attack for a ton of damage, but he also grants another creature a useful ability for your turn when you activate his +1 loyalty ability. While it's often tempting to grant that creature lifelink, it's often more useful to grant it vigilance, so you can use it for defense as well, or give it indestructible if you're worried about it dying in combat. Gideon Blackblade and The Wanderer both also have loyalty abilities that can be used to exile troublesome permanents your opponent controls.

Mono-Red Cavalcade

The next deck I have for you shows proof that it's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters; it's the size of the fight in the dog. Let's take a look at it:

Cavalcade of Calamity
Who knew that a bunch of 1/1's could allow you to win the game so easily? All you need to do is get a copy or two of Cavalcade of Calamity onto the battlefield, build up a small force of 1/1's, and attack. The ultimate goal is to make it so you will win regardless of whether any of your creatures actually deal combat damage. Cavalcade of Calamity makes this quite possible.

One thing I'd like to point out is the interaction between Cavalcade of Calamity and Tilonalli's Summoner. As I read it, the 1/1 tokens created by Tilonalli's Summoner enter the battlefield already attacking, and therefore they do not trigger Cavalcade of Calamity. If I'm wrong about this, please feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Assuming I am correct about this interaction, the best time to activate Tilonalli's Summoner' s ability is when you know you'll be able to get the City's Blessing so the tokens you create will be able to stick around to the next turn, when they can trigger Cavalcade of Calamity by attacking.

Even without being able to count the tokens that come into play attacking, you should be able to build up a fair number thanks to Goblin Instigator, Siege-Gang Commander, and Legion Warboss. As you can see, this deck also features a Goblin subtheme, which can also be a route to victory. With Siege-Gang Commander, each Goblin you have in play is potentially two damage just waiting to be dealt. The fact that you can choose any target for this damage makes it very versatile. Use that damage to get rid of an annoying Planeswalker, a troublesome defender that could easily block your tiny attackers, or send the damage directly at your opponent. Any of these choices is useful, depending on the situation, and could help you win the game.

Selesnya Wolves

The final deck I have for you this week features a tribe that got a bit of a boost from some cards in War of the Spark. Let's take a look at the deck:

Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
For this deck to truly run smoothly, you'll want to get the triumvirate of Planeswalkers into play. Begin with Vivien, Champion of the Wilds, who can help you find the Wolf creature cards in this deck easier. She also allows one of your creatures to be able to block creatures with flying, which could be difficult for this deck. The second Planeswalker you'll want to get into play is Nissa, Who Shakes the World. With her, you'll be able to produce more mana than usual, which really helps since there are quite a few creatures in this deck with converted mana costs (CMC's) of five. Finally, you'll want to bring out Arlinn, Voice of the Pack, who can create a couple of wolves as well as giving a +1/+1 counter to each new Wolf that enters the battlefield under your control.

Another new card that is a great boon for this deck is Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves. Not only does Tolsimir bring along Voja, a 3/3 Wolf creature token, but it also acts as a way to gain additional life and as creature removal. If you have Arlinn, Voice of the Pack in play when you cast Tolsimir, Voja will enter the battlefield as a 4/4 Wolf and will fight up to one creature you don't control. Take that, Goblin Chainwhirler! Plus, thanks to the three points of life you gain whenever a Wolf enters the battlefield under your control, it's quite possible to gain six to nine points in a single turn easily when everything is running smoothly.

Wrapping Up

All of the decks I provided this week are without any sideboard, so they are perfect to play on Magic Arena in best-of-one matches. With Mythic Championship III coming up in a week, I can't help but wonder if we'll see any innovative decks like these. I certainly hope so.

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. 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