MTG March of the Machine available now!
   Sign In
Create Account

A Trio of DMU Standard Tribal Decks


Hello everyone. This week I had planned on taking a look at four different tribal decks, but then Monday's banning of The Meathook Massacre happened, making the Zombie deck I had for you no longer Standard legal. However, I still have a trio of other tribal decks for us to look at this week, so let's get started.

Mardu Angels

Our first deck is based on the Angel tribe. Angels have been pretty good since Streets of New Capenna was released, and Dominaria United has added some terrific new additions. Let's take a look at the deck.

Serra Paragon
Serra Paragon is the first of two Angels from Dominaria United, adding a lot to the Angel tribe. For four mana, you get a 3/4 creature with flying that is able to return permanents from your graveyard to the battlefield. There are no hoops to jump through, like needing to attack, in order for this effect to happen. The only restriction is that the permanent must have a mana value of three or less, which happens to include a lot of great creatures and enchantments from this deck.

Also from Dominaria United is Archangel of Wrath. This is another 3/4 Angel creature with flying, but Archangel of Wrath also has lifelink. Gaining extra life throughout the course of the game can make it nearly impossible to be beaten by some decks. Archangel of Wrath can also be kicked when played with Red and Black mana. Kicking it enables you to deal direct damage to any target, which can help clear out your opponent's side of the battlefield, or can directly damage your opponent.

In addition to the damage from kicking Archangel of Wrath, this deck boasts some of the best removal spells currently in Standard. Destroy Evil can destroy a beefy blocker, if that creature has a toughness of four or more. Alternatively, it can also destroy an enchantment. Fateful Absence and Infernal Grasp are also removal spells that cost two mana, and each of them destroys any target creature. Both of these spells have a minor drawback, but the removal they provide is worth the small price to pay.

Grixis Vampires

The next deck I have for you features the Vampire tribe. While Dominaria United didn't provide any Vampire creatures to this deck, it did bring a couple of terrific cards that allow this deck to run smoothly. Let's take a look at the deck.

Evelyn, the Covetous
Liliana of the Veil is a very important card in this deck. She can act as a source of creature removal by activating her -2 loyalty ability. This can be a great way to remove an opponent's creature with ward from the battlefield. By using her +1 loyalty ability, you can often shut down your opponent's offensive capabilities. This ability is especially useful when you're in control of the battlefield and your opponent has only a card or two in their hand. Finally, if you ever manage to activate her ultimate -6 loyalty ability, you've likely won the game by forcing your opponent to sacrifice a massive chunk of their permanents.

The Cruelty of Gix is the only other card from Dominaria United in this deck. This saga allows you to discard a creature or planeswalker from your opponent's hand. The following turn, you'll be able to search your own library for any card to put into your hand. Doing this also costs you three points of life, but it will be worth it. Finally, on the following turn, you'll be able to put any creature from any graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. This can work especially well if you managed to discard an amazing creature from your opponent's hand during chapter one of this saga.

Let's not forget that this deck is a Vampire tribal deck. Every creature in this deck is a Vampire. Even Sorin the Mirthless, your other planeswalker, has an ability to create additional Vampire creature tokens. All of these Vampires entering the battlefield will allow Evelyn, the Covetous to exile numerous cards that you'll be able to play on subsequent turns. There really is no better feeling than beating your opponent with one of their own creatures.

Naya Elves

The final deck I have for you focuses on the Elven tribe. While it doesn't include the Elf 'lord', Leaf-Crowned Visionary, it does include a pair of other Elves from Dominaria United. Let's take a look at the deck.

Llanowar Loamspeaker
Llanowar Loamspeaker gets things started in this deck. This Elf Druid acts as both a means of accelerating your mana production and turning a land of yours into a 3/3 Elemental creature that you can use to attack with. Keep in mind that this ability can only be activated as a sorcery, so you'll never be able to create a blocker if you need one.

Yavimaya Iconoclast is the other Elf from Dominaria United. It does have a kicker ability which you'll want to use if at all possible. Doing so will provide Yavimaya Iconoclast with a +1/+1 counter and haste. That +1/+1 counter is especially useful since Yavimaya Iconoclast has trample. You can get additional +1/+1 counters by activating Ajani, Sleeper Agent's -3 loyalty ability and The Wandering Emperor's +1 loyalty ability.

A great way to finish off your opponent is by attacking with a creature that you've just cast Angelfire Ignition on. Angelfire Ignition provides two +1/+1 counters for a creature. That creature also gains the following keywords: vigilance, trample, lifelink, indestructible, and haste. This three-mana spell can wreck an opponent and there is a full playset of it within this deck. It also has flashback, allowing it to be cast from your graveyard, so your opponent could potentially see this card played a total of eight times. While it's doubtful you'll need this spell eight times in order to be victorious, having the potential to cast it that many times is very reassuring.

Wrapping Up

Barring any more unforseen bannings, these three tribal decks should be safe to play for the next couple of months. Once The Brothers' War releases, we'll see if these decks remain viable or if new tribal decks rise up.

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

Limited time 30% buy trade in bonus buylist