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A Standard Mardu Menagerie


Hello everyone. While I can typically be seen playing a Boros themed deck, there are times that I need to add another color for more versatility. For those times, I'll typically look to add Black and play a Mardu deck. Right now, there is a variety of Mardu decks that you can play in Standard that are all different from each other. I've got a few of them to show you this week, so let's get started.

Mardu Mutate

We'll begin this week by taking a look at a deck that features the Mutate mechanic from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Let's take a look at the deck.

If possible, you'll want to start the game by playing Hushbringer. This gives you the ability to stifle any abilities that happen when your opponents' creatures enter the battlefield. Technically this ability on Hushbringer would work against your creatures as well, but since a mutating creature spell that resolves doesn't enter the battlefield, it won't have any effect on your creatures. While it's not necessary to mutate onto Hushbringer, doing so does bring its own rewards. You can potentially make Hushbringer a 5/5 flying creature with lifelink.

Every creature in this deck is a non-Human, so you'll have no problems mutating whenever you want to. Mutating offers you ways of getting spell-like effects in addition to potentially improving the stats of a creature you have in play. You'll be able to create 1/1 Cat creature tokens with lifelink, destroy an opponent's creature or planeswalker, or return creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield. If you're able to trigger these abilities a few times, you should be in a good position to win the game.

Umori Aggro

The next deck I have for you features Umori, the Collector as its companion. Let's have a look at the decklist.

With Umori, the Collector, you'll want to choose creature as the type of spell to cost one less mana. This will allow you to cast a majority of your creatures with a discount, and can often allow you to cast multiple creatures in the same turn. Since there is a fairly even split between Human and non-Human creatures in this deck, getting Winota, Joiner of Forces into play can offer you the ability to outnumber and overpower your opponent quickly. Winota is a very powerful card, as you will see in our next deck.

Mardu Winota Monsters

While the last deck used Winota in a fairer manner, the next deck I have for you really attempts to maximize her ability. Let's take a look at the deck.

This deck includes a lot more non-Human creatures than the previous deck did, offering you more chances to utilize Winota, Joiner of Forces' ability. There are considerable fewer Human creatures in the deck, though, offering you less chances to find a Human to put into play. However, each of the Humans included in the deck are Legendary and are very powerful. Tajic, Legion's End offers you a way to protect your other creatures from noncombat damage, while acting as a means of powering up your smaller creatures. Haktos the Unscarred can attack for a huge amount of damage, provided the protection he has allows him to remain unimpeded. Finally, Kenrith, the Returned King offers a means of giving your creatures trample, which is super important when attacking with Rotting Regisaur. He also offers you a way of returning creatures to the battlefield that have previously died.

Mardu Kaaliapocalypse

The next Mardu deck I have for you features a Human Cleric that has the ability to find powerful threats when she enters play. Let's take a look at the deck.

When Kaalia, Zenith Seeker enters the battlefield, you'll be able to put into your hand an Angel, a Demon, and a Dragon from the top six cards of your deck. Since there are a couple of different choices of Angels and Demons in this deck, you might find yourself in the position to choose whichever one is most beneficial for you at the time. This should set you up for the mid-game, which is where this deck can really shine. Once you hit four mana, you can begin dropping big threats, like Spawn of Mayhem and Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice. If you can manage to keep from getting seriously outnumbered by tiny threats, you should be able to finish your opponent off in a few turns by attacking from above with the numerous flying creatures this deck has.

Mardu Knights

The final deck I have for you this week has the ability to hit hard and fast. Let's take a look at it.

This deck has a number of small threats that you can get into play quickly. Those small threats work well together, giving bonuses and abilities such as deathtouch and lifelink, allowing you to chip in for damage whenever possible. The real danger of this deck lies in the legendary sword, Embercleave. By making an attack with four creatures, you can cast Embercleave for two Red mana. Since it has flash, you can cast it after blockers have been declared, allowing you to equip it to whichever creature most benefits you. Whenever possible, the correct choice will be to equip this to Rotting Regisaur, which will allow you to deal a whopping 18 points of damage with this Zombie Dinosaur. Embercleave also provides trample, so even if Rotting Regisaur is blocked, you'll still likely get in for a big chunk of damage.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are tons of options for decks built with Mardu colors. I don't think any other three-color combination has as many different decks to offer in Standard as Mardu does.

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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