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Standard Tribal Decks for Fun or Profit


Hello everyone. I'm back this week with another batch of tribal decks that you can play for fun against your friends or in tournaments at your friendly local game store. Tribal decks walk that line between being both fun to play and very competitive. Let's get started with our first deck.

Mono-Green Elves

We'll get started this week by looking at a Mono-Green deck featuring the Elven tribe. Let's take a look at the deck.

Elvish Warmaster
Every creature in this deck is an Elf. That offers a lot of synergy between your creatures. For example, Elvish Warmaster creates a 1/1 Elf Warrior creature token whenever one or more Elves enter the battlefield under your control, but only once per turn. This will allow you to bolster your forces with extra Elves throughout the game. Elvish Warmaster also has an activated ability that will give all of your Elves a +2/+2 bonus plus deathtouch until the end of the turn. While it might be expensive to activate, this ability will certainly help you win games.

Realmwalker is another creature that synergizes well with the other creatures in this deck. When Realmwalker enters the battlefield, you'll choose a creature type. The obvious choice is Elf. While Realmwalker is on the battlefield, you'll be able to look at the top card of your library and cast any Elf that is there. This effectively increases your hand size, and can help you load up the battlefield with Elves.

This deck includes a pair of Elves that help you produce extra mana. Both Canopy Tactician and Circle of Dreams Druid allow you to get additional Green mana that will help you flood the battlefield with your Elves. Canopy Tactician provides you with three Green mana when it is tapped, plus your other Elves get a +1/+1 bonus while it is on the battlefield. Circle of Dreams Druid provides a scaling amount of extra mana, dependent on the number of creatures you control when you tap this Druid. By utilizing both of these 'mana dorks', you can quickly outnumber and overpower your opponent.

Mono-Red Goblins

Next, we'll take a look at a deck featuring Goblins, one of my favorite creature types. Let's take a look at the deck.

Chandra, Dressed to Kill
We'll first begin by talking about the planeswalker in this deck, Chandra, Dressed to Kill. While including her alongside a bunch of Goblins doesn't feel particularly thematic, her presence serves a strong purpose in this deck. Both of her +1 loyalty abilities can help this deck run away with games. Her top +1 loyalty ability provides an extra Red mana for you. It also deals one point of damage to either your opponent or one of their planeswalkers. Her second +1 loyalty ability provides you with an extra card that you can cast this turn. Both mana acceleration and card advantage help you get ahead of your opponent.

Early on, the extra mana can be quite important. It helps you get your Hobgoblin Bandit Lord into play more quickly, which makes all of your other Goblins more tough and powerful. It can also allow you to deal extra damage with the activated ability of Hobgoblin Bandit Lord. That extra mana can also help you create a 5/5 Dragon Spirit creature token with Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei easier.

One card that can really bolster this deck is Kumano Faces Kakkazan // Etching of Kumano. This saga starts off by dealing a point of damage to your opponent and any planeswalker they have in play. It then boosts a newly cast creature with a +1/+1 counter. Finally, once it transforms into Etching of Kumano, it begins to exile your opponent's creatures when they would die. This can be very important against certain decks relying on reanimation.

Esper Horrors

The final deck I have for you focuses on a lesser-utilized tribe, Horrors. Let's check it out.

Toxrill, the Corrosive
If you're looking for a deck that's a little different, look no further. This deck plays some of the best, and most expensive, Horrors currently in Standard. Toxrill, the Corrosive is particularly powerful. Each turn Toxrill is in play, your opponent's creatures will begin to accumulate slime counters. These slime counters sap at a creature's strength, making it weaker and weaker for each slime counter it has. Eventually, those slime counters will overwhelm an opposing creature, giving you a 1/1 Slug creature token, which can potentially allow you to draw a card.

Other Horrors in this deck include Hullbreaker Horror, which can make keeping permanents in play very difficult for your opponent. There's also Dusk Mangler, which forces an opponent to sacrifice a creature, discard a card, and lose four points of life when it enters play. Finally, you have Overcharged Amalgam, who can exploit one of your creatures when it enters the battlefield (perhaps a Slug creature token) to counter a spell, activated ability, or triggered ability.

As I mentioned, the Horrors in this deck are expensive to cast, therefore this deck includes numerous spells to help keep you alive as you build up your mana. Doomskar, Vanishing Verse, Bloodchief's Thirst, Farewell, and March of Wretched Sorrow all help you remove threats from the battlefield. Faithful Mending provides you with a bit of extra life, while also helping you to discard some Horrors. Tainted Indulgence also helps with this discarding. Eventually, you can cast Haunting Voyage, hopefully after it was foretold, to return those discarded Horrors to the battlefield, where you can begin to dominate the game.

Wrapping Up

Whether you're a fan of more traditional tribal decks, like Elves or Goblins, or untraditional ones, like Horrors, you're likely to find a tribal deck that suits you in our current Standard. Enjoy it while it lasts, because once rotation happens this fall, tribal decks will likely take a back seat to other more powerful decks until a few additional sets are released. That's the nature of rotation, though, ending the possibility of some decks while enabling others.

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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