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Drizzt in Standard


Hello everyone. As a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms, Magic's newest release, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, really excites me. I was particularly thrilled when one card in particular was previewed, Drizzt Do'Urden. I remember reading Drizzt's first adventure, The Crystal Shard, shortly after it was published, becoming very immersed in the lore of Icewind Dale and the Forgotten Realms in general. Drizzt came from an evil society of Dark Elves, but he, himself, was good. As a teenager, it was easy for me to relate to Drizzt's struggles as an outcast, because most of us have felt like an outsider at times. I knew right away once Drizzt was previewed that I would want to try to find a deck where he could shine. This week I have three decks for you that all feature Drizzt Do'Urden. Let's get started.

Selesnya Drizzt

The first deck I have for you sticks to the colors of Drizzt himself, Green and White. Let's take a look at the deck.

Ranger Class
This deck features a fair number of new cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms alongside Drizzt Do'Urden. One of my favorites is Portable Hole. When you play Portable Hole, you'll be able to exile any nonland permanent your opponent controls that has a mana value of two or less. This is a great way of dealing with card types that are usually a bit more difficult to remove, such as enchantments. Using a Portable Hole to remove an opponent's Class might be a flavor fail, but that won't stop me from doing it. Since Portable Hole exiles its target, it can be an effective means of removal for creatures that have an effect when they die, like Fireblade Charger.

Since I just mentioned Class cards, I'd like to point out that this deck includes a pair of them that really suit the feeling of Drizzt. The first, obviously, is Ranger Class. While it's in play, you'll be able to befriend a 2/2 Wolf creature token, give +1/+1 counters to attacking creatures, and cast additional allies from the top of your library. The second Class is Paladin Class. While Drizzt technically isn't a paladin, he does live by a moral code much akin to a paladin's code. The most beneficial abilities that Paladin Class offers are at Level 2 and Level 3. These give all of your creatures a +1/+1 bonus and one of your attacking creatures can get a huge boost in addition to double strike. Both of these Classes allow you to show off your skills on the battlefield.

Drizzt Do'Urden has a mana value of five, so being able to accelerate your mana can help get your Elf Ranger into play quicker. Loyal Warhound is the only mana accelerator in this deck, but it can do a good job of ramping you up. When Loyal Warhound enters the battlefield, if your opponent has more lands in play than you do, you'll be able to search your deck for a basic Plains to put onto the battlefield tapped. It's possible to get a second use of this ability later on when you play Guardian of Faith. That extra bit of mana can help you play Drizzt early or cast multiple spells during your turn, giving you an advantage on the battlefield.

Abzan Drizzt

Next, I have a deck that adds Black mana, which offers a little more removal and lethalness. Let's check it out.

Vorpal Sword
This deck only has a splash of Black mana, but that splash can prove to be hazardous to your opponent. Binding the Old Gods offers a means of destroying any nonland permanent your opponent controls. While slightly more limited on what it can target, Necrotic Fumes can be found in the sideboard of this deck, and will exile any creature or planeswalker. These are the key pieces of removal found in this deck.

The final chapter of Binding the Old Gods also provides deathtouch to all of your creatures. This is another effect found on additional cards that require Black mana. Rune of Mortality provides deathtouch to a creature or an equipment it is enchanting. Vorpal Sword provides a +2/+0 bonus in addition to deathtouch. It also offers the potential for you to win the game on the spot, provided that you have eight mana to spare and can successfully deal combat damage to your opponent. It's not likely that this will happen, but if it does, it'll be a game you're sure to remember.

In addition to Vorpal Sword, this deck includes a variety of equipment cards to help give you an advantage. Relic Axe attaches to a creature when it enters the battlefield. Leather Armor provides both a small toughness bonus as well as ward 1, and it can be equipped for free. Elven Bow gives this deck some much needed reach against flying creatures. Additionally, Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant can act as a deterrent for flying attackers, plus it doubles as an equipment when the Dragon dies. Icingdeath, Frost Tongue gives a power boost to its wielder, plus it removes a potential blocker from the combat. If you're looking for flavor points, make sure to equip Drizzt with Icingdeath. Hopefully we'll return to the Forgotten Realms in the future so Drizzt can get his other scimitar, Twinkle.

Naya Drizzt

The final deck I have for you this week combines Drizzt Do'Urden with a horde of other legendary creatures. Let's take a look at it.

Bard Class
Over the course of 30+ novels, Drizzt Do'Urden has made plenty of friends. That's the premise of this deck. Every legendary creature in this deck could be someone Drizzt has encountered at some point in his past. It's all made possible by Bard Class. At Level 1, Bard Class gives each legendary creature a +1/+1 counter when they enter the battlefield. At Level 2, Bard Class reduces the amount of Red and Green mana needed to cast legendary spells by one each. Normally mana reduction only reduces the amount of colorless mana a card requires, so the mana reduction offered by Bard Class is special. Of course, since the mana reduction provided by Bard Class can only reduce the amount of colored mana you would pay, this enchantment isn't totally busted.

To take even more advantage of the mana reduction provided by Bard Class, there are a few cards that allow you to maximize your mana production in this deck. Yasharn, Implacable Earth allows you to find a basic Forest and a basic Plains to put into your hand when it enters the battlefield. This ensures that you'll have land drops on the following two turns. This can be helpful in conjunction with Phylath, World Sculptor, as you'll either be able to create additional 0/1 Plant creature tokens, or you'll trigger Phylath's landfall ability, adding four +1/+1 counters on a Plant you control.

This deck also features a snow sub-theme. This is highlighted with the ability of Jorn, God of Winter // Kaldring, the Rimestaff. When Jorn attacks, you'll untap all snow permanents you control. This mainly affects the lands you'll be playing (as well as Jorn himself), and will give you double the amount of mana to use on each turn. This works well when you have Bard Class at Level 3, as you'll have access to additional cards that you can cast each turn, provided that you cast a legendary spell. With 32 cards in this deck being legendary, you'll have a good chance of being able to string together casting a few different legendary creatures each turn, which should give you an advantage on the battlefield.

Wrapping Up

Drizzt Do'Urden is one of the most popular characters in the Forgotten Realms. As such, I'm hopeful that he will be an all-star in Standard. Hopefully these decks have shown you that he has what it takes, or have inspired you to come up with your own build featuring this amazing character.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 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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