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Becoming the Law in Standard


Hello everyone. As the primary person in my group of friends that always read the rulebook for any game we played and pointed out any infractions, I've always found that I had a certain connection to the Azorius Senate. As such, if I'm not playing a Red-based deck, a typical fallback will be to play Azorius. This week I have a few different Azorius decks that you can play that all focus on different styles of play. Let's get started.

Azorius Flyers

We'll get started this week with an Azorius Flyers deck. This deck attempts to dominate via its powerful aerial assault. Let's take a look at the deck.

This deck is built around flying and the benefits it offers. In the early stages of the game, you have some fairly small threats to deploy, such as Healer's Hawk, Faerie Guidemother, and Spectral Sailor. It's important not to use any of these small creatures as chump blockers, since they'll be able to grow larger once you are able to cast Empyrean Eagle. Since this deck has nothing but creatures that have flying, Empyrean Eagle and Watcher of the Spheres get to work overtime by offering bonuses to every other creature you play. Skycat Sovereign is another important piece in this deck, as it basically can create an army by itself given enough time and mana.

Keeping your small flyers alive is also important because you can cast Sephara, Sky's Blade with her alternate casting cost. This requires you to pay one White mana and tap four creatures you control with flying. By doing this, you can get this legendary Angel into play far sooner than you could if you were to pay the seven mana usually needed to cast her. With Sephara in play, all of your other creatures with flying (i.e. all of your other creatures) will be indestructible. She's also a 7/7 with lifelink, so if your opponent can't destroy her right away, they may not have any chance of winning.

Azorius Enchantment Control

Our next deck attempts to control the battlefield by using various enchantments. Let's take a look at it.

The amount of enchantment-based removal in this deck is impressive. Trapped in the Tower is the narrowest, only being able to target a creature without flying. Banishing Light and Conclave Tribunal are both able to target any nonland permanent your opponent controls. Keep this difference in mind when deciding whether to exile an opponent's creature.

By controlling the battlefield, you can utilize a couple of different routes to help you win the game. First, Riddleform can become a 3/3 Sphinx that has flying whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Clear the way of blockers that have flying or reach and you can attack with evasion. The second method is with Ominous Seas. There's a fair amount of card drawing in this deck, which helps put foreshadow counters on Ominous Seas. Use those counters as a means of creating an 8/8 Kraken creature token, which you can use to pound your opponent. By using both of these means, you'll be able to lower your opponent's life total quickly.

Azorius Bounce (Rotation Proof)

The final deck I have for you this week features an alternate win-condition. Let's take a look at the deck.

This deck has a number of ways that it can win the game. First and foremost, it has a ton of creatures that you can use to attack with. Many of these creatures, like Brazen Borrower, Hypnotic Sprite, and Fae of Wishes, have flying, so they can attack with evasion. If you have a copy of Gadwick, the Wizened on the battlefield, you'll be able to open up a hole in your opponent's defenses by casting Blue spells and tapping their potential blockers. By using the 'bounce' effect of Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, you're able to attack with a creature, 'bounce' it, and return it to the battlefield to act as a blocker.

You can also win the game with the 'ETB' (enter the battlefield) ability of Thassa's Oracle. By 'bouncing' it with Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, or returning it to your hand with Niambi, Esteemed Speaker or Barrin, Tolarian Archmage and casting it again, you'll be able to dig through your deck for the cards you need while also setting yourself up to win the game with Thassa's Oracle's alternate way to win the game. Gadwick, the Wizened helps a lot with this plan and is an excellent choice to return to your hand with Niambi or Barrin.

And now, a word about the recent bans...

I had originally intended to provide you with an additional Azorius deck this week that was a mill deck, but it featured a couple of copies of Teferi, Time Raveler in it, so I had to scrap it. As I was writing this article, the news broke regarding the recent banned and restricted announcement. While the banning of Teferi, Time Raveler was sudden, I, for one, feel that it was long overdue. This version of Teferi hampered the ability for opposing decks to mount any sort of comeback much of the time, as it both dealt with opposing threats as well as limiting the potential to destroy Teferi with a spell.

While I'm not particularly upset about the banning of Teferi, Time Raveler (or any of the other bans, for that matter), I do feel that the timing of these bans is very frustrating. Both Teferi, Time Raveler and Wilderness Reclamation were set to rotate with the release of our next expansion. Both of these cards have felt overpowered for a while, yet nothing had been done to lessen their dominance in Standard. While there's no concrete evidence supporting it, it does sometimes feel like problem cards are allowed to remain in Standard longer than they should, simply as a way of continuing to sell packs. While I'm not saying this feeling is true, perception does become some people's reality.

Wrapping Up

And with that, my time with you this week is done. What are your thoughts on this week's bans? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Also, let me know what you think of these decks in the comments section below. I'll see you next week when I switch back to looking at Standard decks.

- Mike Likes

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