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Standard Decks to Play While Rotation is Near


Hello everyone. As the Dominaria United previews keep rolling, so does the need for new decks to play at your local Friday Night Magic tournaments. This week I have a few that you can try out before Standard rotation happens next month. Let's get started with our first deck.

Mono-Black Vehicles

We get started this week with a Mono-Black deck featuring a variety of different vehicles. Let's take a look at the deck.

Reckoner Bankbuster
Mechtitan Core
Surgehacker Mech

This deck features a quartet of cool vehicles from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. Reckoner Bankbuster has seen quite a bit of play in Standard, mainly due to the fact that it allows you to draw additional cards. High-Speed Hoverbike can enter play on your opponent's turn due to having flash, and you'll be able to tap one creature your opponent controls when it enters the battlefield. Mechtitan Core can be used to create a massive 10/10 Construct creature token with a ton of keywords. Finally, Surgehacker Mech will deal damage equal to twice the number of vehicles you control to one of your opponent's creatures or planeswalkers when it enters play. It can be a powerful piece of removal in a deck like this.

While this deck includes a whopping sixteen vehicles, it has only half as many creature spells. Both Shambling Ghast and Eyetwitch only have a power of one each, so crewing either Reckoner Bankbuster or Surgehacker Mech. Luckily, there are a couple of other ways to get these vehicles up and running. First is by activating Hive of the Eye Tyrant to turn it into a 3/3 Beholder creature. You also have Mech Hangar which can be activated by paying three mana and tapping it to turn a vehicle into an artifact creature for the turn. You'll definitely want to use this in conjunction with those vehicles with a large crew cost.

I mentioned earlier that Surgehacker Mech is a great piece of removal, but this deck has even more. With Infernal Grasp, you'll be able to destroy any creature at the cost of only two points of your life. Dread Fugue can also be considered as a removal spell, because you are able to choose a creature spell for your opponent to discard. You are also able to choose any other nonland card type to discard instead, making it even more useful than regular creature removal. Finally, The Meathook Massacre offers you the means of removing multiple creatures at once, including your own. It can also offer you the means of finishing off the last few points of your opponent's life total simply by attacking into blockers that are much larger than you, as it can deal direct damage to your opponent.

Orzhov Equipment Aggro

Next, I have a deck that utilizes a pair of powerful pieces of equipment to dominate games. Let's take a look at the deck.

Eater of Virtue
Eater of Virtue is an equipment that hasn't gotten enough love in Standard. It only costs one mana to cast and one to equip, but the possibilities it provides are worth so much more. The creature that Eater of Virtue is equipped to gets a +2/+0 bonus, plus the possibility of a number of keywords depending on what creatures previously carried Eater of Virtue. These keywords include flying, first strike, and lifelink, just to name a few.

In order to maximize the keywords that Eater of Virtue will provide, this deck utilizes a number of creatures with multiple keywords. Battlefield Raptor has both flying and first strike. Nighthawk Scavenger has flying, deathtouch, and lifelink. Killian, Ink Duelist has lifelink and menace. By having multiple keywords, these creatures are more able to easily share those keywords if they die while having Eater of Virtue equipped.

I mentioned earlier that this deck includes a pair of equipment cards. While Eater of Virtue has the potential to provide a lot of value over the course of the game, Maul of the Skyclaves delivers its value immediately. While it costs more to cast and to equip, the benefits of having Maul of the Skyclaves are immediately noticeable. The equipped creature will get a +2/+2 bonus, plus flying and first strike. Those bonuses alone can make winning games easier.

Selesnya Blink

The final deck I have for you this week maximizes effects that happen when your creatures enter the battlefield. Let's check it out.

Teleportation Circle
Teleportation Circle brings a lot of value to the table for this deck. With a copy of it in play, you'll be able to exile one of your creatures at the beginning of your end step, and then immediately return that creature to the battlefield. Doing this enables the creature to enter the battlefield again, bringing a ton of value your way. Teleportation Circle can also target an artifact, instead of a creature, which can also be valuable.

In order to take advantage of Teleportation Circle, you'll need to have a number of creatures and artifacts that have worthwhile abilities that happen when they enter the battlefield. This deck has quite a few. Workshop Warchief can gain you three points of life. Yasharn, Implacable Earth will find additional lands to put into your hand. Professor of Symbology allows you to learn. Nadaar, Selfless Paladin helps you venture into the dungeon. Finally, Prosperous Innkeeper creates a Treasure token. All of these creatures have nice, simple abilities that you can retrigger.

There are a couple of creatures that you can target with Teleportation Circle that have slightly more complicated abilities. First is Skyclave Apparition. By blinking Skyclave Apparition, you'll give your opponent an Illusion creature token. For that reason, you might not want to target Skyclave Apparition with Teleportation Circle. Alternatively, you'll likely always want to target Titan of Industry with Teleportation Circle. Doing so will provide you with two choices of its modular effects. All of these effects can be very useful, with only one being situational (destroying an artifact or enchantment).

Wrapping Up

Enjoy these decks while you can, because in a few weeks, they'll be gone. However, even after Standard rotation happens, each of these decks will be playable in Pioneer, Explorer, or Modern, so you can still get some value from them. You might even be able to upgrade them with cards from older sets to make them even more powerful.

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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