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Standard Triple Threat

Dominaria brought us a cycle of creatures that all cost three mana of a single color. All of the cards in this cycle have proven themselves to be very powerful and have done well in tournaments. This week I'll be taking a look at five different decks that all feature one of the cards in this cycle.

Goblin Chainwhirler

Let's start by taking a look at the latest deck to win a Grand Prix. Here's Braham Thomas’s Mono-Red Aggro.

I'm not going to go over this deck in much detail since it has been quite a force in Standard for a while. I like this version of Mono-Red Aggro a little better than the version that Wyatt Darby used at Pro Tour Dominaria simply due to the fact that this build runs full playsets of Bomat Courier, Earthshaker Khenra, and Ahn-Crop Crasher. All of these cards allow you to get in a ton of early damage which sets you up nicely for the late game where you can deal those last points by pitching cards to Hazoret the Fervent’ s activated ability or by using Chandra, Torch of Defiance's top +1 loyalty ability.

Steel Leaf Champion

The next deck we'll take a look at is Green-based and features Steel Leaf Champion. Let's take a look at it.

This deck wants to play Llanowar Elves on turn one, Steel Leaf Champion on turn two, and Heart of Kiran and Ghalta, Primal Hunger on turn three. Typically, this won't happen, but a Ghalta on turn four is still really good. Rhonas the Indomitable is a great card to keep on the battlefield to provide trample to your non-Ghalta creatures. This is another deck that's been consistently going 5-0 on MTGO (Magic Online) since Dominaria was released.

Dread Shade

The next deck I have for you features Dread Shade. Let's take a look at Mono-Black Midrange.

While I may have named this deck Mono-Black Midrange, it can also act a lot like a control deck. Creatures such as Ravenous Chupacabra and Walking Ballista are effective ways of controlling the creatures your opponent has in play while also being threats. You also have a number of instants for removal as well. Finally, Dread Shade's ability to grow bigger with each Black mana you provide it makes it an excellent blocker of nearly any-sized creature.

This deck also has numerous ways of gaining card advantage, from drawing extra cards with Karn, Scion of Urza to returning creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield with Liliana, Death's Majesty. It also plays a copy of Arguel's Blood Feast which showed how good it can be this past weekend at GP Pittsburgh.

Tempest Djinn

Favorable Winds is a card that's been in Standard for a while now and has had some amount of success online. Let's take a look at our next deck that pairs Favorable Winds alongside Tempest Djinn.

Tempest Djinn can truly become a powerhouse in this deck simply due to the fact that all of your lands are basic Islands. That makes it good on turn three and even better the longer the game goes on. Cards that scale like this are generally good cards, but since Tempest Djinn only scales based on the number of basic Islands you have in play its potential is dampened a bit since it's so narrow.

Curious Obsession not only makes the creature it's enchanting bigger, but also provides a steady stream of cards for you. Since every creature in the deck has flying, against an opponent who is unprepared for such an aerial assault it's not difficult to be able to attack with at least one of your creatures each turn.

Benalish Marshal

The final creature in this cycle of cards from Dominaria is Benalish Marshal. The deck I have featuring him is bw Tokens. Let's take a look at it.

This deck is nearly Mono-White, splashing Black for Fatal Push and for Scrapheap Scrounger's ability to return to the battlefield. It plays many of the best token generators in Standard, including Sram's Expertise, History of Benalia, and Legion's Landing. While the tokens that are created by these cards are relatively small, Benalish Marshal gives all of your creatures a +1/+1 bonus. Plus Benalish Marshal isn't legendary, so you can have multiple copies of them on the battlefield providing a bonus for each of your other creatures. Also of note, Benalish Marshal can be played for free immediately after Sram's Expertise resolves.

Wrapping Up

This cycle of cards from Dominaria has proven to be very powerful. As you can see from the decks above, each of the cards has been successful in either Grand Prix success or by going 5-0 in a Standard League on MTGO. Have you had any success with a deck featuring one of these cards? If so, I'd love to hear about it. You can let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at 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

Magic Core Set 2019 is available for Preorder!