Hello everyone. Often, the best decks in a format will be two-colored decks. When built correctly, two-colored decks offer you the stability that mono-colored decks have, allowing you to usually have the mana needed to play the cards in your hand. They also provide you with the means of shoring up any weakness a single color has. This week I have a few two-colored decks that have proven themselves by winning six or more matches in a row during Ranked play by Magic Arena players that are at Platinum or Mythic ranking. Let's get started.
We'll start this week with an Orzhov deck that doesn't mind having its own creatures die. Let's take a look at the deck.
Orzhov Massacre | MID Standard | Random Platinum/Mythic Ranked Player
- Creatures (25)
- 1 Liesa, Forgotten Archangel
- 2 Intrepid Adversary
- 3 Ambitious Farmhand
- 3 Sungold Sentinel
- 4 Acquisitions Expert
- 4 Elderfang Disciple
- 4 Sigardian Savior
- 4 Tainted Adversary
- Planeswalkers (2)
- 2 Lolth, Spider Queen
- Sorceries (4)
- 4 Rite of Oblivion
- Enchantments (4)
- 4 The Meathook Massacre
- Lands (25)
- 3 Swamp
- 4 Plains
- 2 Cave of the Frost Dragon
- 4 Brightclimb Pathway // Grimclimb Pathway
- 4 Field of Ruin
- 4 Hive of the Eye Tyrant
- 4 Silverquill Campus
The Meathook Massacre is a great enchantment that helps level out the battlefield. When you cast it, you get to choose the value for X, which allows you to potentially destroy all of your opponent's creatures while leaving some of your intact. Even if you are forced to destroy all of your creatures, the life gain that you'll get combined with the life loss your opponent receives can be enough to give you a chance to catch up and overtake your opponent. It's really nice that that life loss/gain remains in effect for as long as The Meathook Massacre remains in play, as it helps punish your opponent every time you chump block an opponent's creature.
With the amount of creatures dying, you can really ramp up the amount of loyalty counters on Lolth, Spider Queen. I've played decks with Lolth and The Meathook Massacre, and it can be super easy to activate Lolth's -8 loyalty ability after you've played The Meathook Massacre. Once that happens, it can be very difficult for your opponent to recover, as you are guaranteed to deal a minimum of 8 points of damage every time you attack, as long as any of your creatures deals combat damage to your opponent. That kind of damage will end games in a hurry.
Playing Tainted Adversary is a great way to build up creatures that will either die when you play The Meathook Massacre, or will be able to attack after you have created Lolth's emblem. In the late game, it can be trivial for you to create four or six 2/2 Zombie creature tokens with decayed when you cast Tainted Adversary. By attacking with these tokens, your opponent may not want to block them, since their decayed status means they will be sacrificed at the end of combat. You can add more difficulty to your opponent's decision whether to block these decayed Zombies by casting Intrepid Adversary, who can pump your whole team based on the amount of valor counters on this Human Scout.
Next, I have a deck that relies on an overwhelming wave of Zombies to win the game. Let's check it out.
Dimir Zombies | MID Standard | Random Platinum/Mythic Ranked Player
- Creatures (16)
- 2 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
- 2 Morbid Opportunist
- 4 Champion of the Perished
- 4 Poppet Stitcher
- 4 Tainted Adversary
Poppet Stitcher // Poppet Factory is the star of this deck. It's ability to create a 2/2 Zombie creature token with decayed helps fill your side of the battlefield with a horde of creatures for you to attack with. Helping create additional Zombie creature tokens are a variety of cards in this deck. No Way Out, Startle, Rotten Reunion, and Flip the Switch all create 2/2 Zombie tokens with decayed, plus they provide other helpful effects that you can use to harass your opponent.
Once you have at least three creature tokens in play, Poppet Stitcher can transform into Poppet Factory. While transformed, this Artifact will cause all creature tokens you control to lose all of their abilities, including decayed. It also modifies their base power and toughness to be 3/3. The loss of decayed enables your newly buffed Zombies to block, bolstering your defenses immensely. If Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia is in play, you'll create a 2/2 Zombie token with decayed at the beginning of your end step, which is then modified by Poppet Factory. Since transforming between Poppet Stitcher and Poppet Factory is a 'may' choice, you'll be able to have a Poppet Factory in play alongside multiple copies of Poppet Stitcher for maximum effectiveness.
With all of these Zombie creature tokens you'll be creating, you'll hopefully be able to play a copy of Champion of the Perished early on. Doing this will allow you to create a huge threat, since Champion of the Perished gets a +1/+1 counter whenever another Zombie enters the battlefield under your control. Even if you play Champion of the Perished later in the game, the engine you've created to create Zombie tokens can still allow Champion of the Perished to grow quite large.
The final deck I have for you this week is a control deck I want to try out. It features an alternative way to win the game, which I'm a huge fan of. Let's take a look at the deck.
Azorius Control | MID Standard | Random Platinum/Mythic Ranked Player
- Planeswalkers (4)
- 4 Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset
- Instants (21)
- 1 Disdainful Stroke
- 2 Negate
- 2 Teach by Example
- 4 Divide by Zero
- 4 Fateful Absence
- 4 Jwari Disruption
- 4 Memory Deluge
- Artifacts (3)
- 3 Strixhaven Stadium
- Lands (24)
- 5 Plains
- 6 Island
- 2 Field of Ruin
- 3 Cave of the Frost Dragon
- 4 Deserted Beach
- 4 Hengegate Pathway // Mistgate Pathway
This deck is a typical control deck in many ways. It features a bunch of spells that will counter your opponent's spells, including Disdainful Stroke, Jwari Disruption // Jwari Ruins, and Negate. Divide by Zero can be used to temporarily counter an opponent's spell, but they will be able to cast it again later that turn or sometime in the future. You also have removal spells like Fateful Absence and Doomskar that will allow you to keep the battlefield free of threats and keep your life total in the positive.
Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset is a great planeswalker for this deck. His +1 loyalty ability allows you to tap or untap an artifact, a creature, and a land. Tapping or untapping depends on whether the permanent is yours or your opponent's. While tapping an opponent's creatures usually won't have much of an effect, it could be helpful if you've previously cast Alrund's Epiphany and have some 1/1 Bird creature tokens. Using this ability also gains you two points of life and helps get you closer to activating Teferi's -7 loyalty ability. Having all of your permanents untap during your opponent's untap step and drawing a card during your opponent's draw step will be very helpful. They will never be sure that the spell they are playing will not be countered.
I mentioned an alternate way to win in this deck earlier, which is Strixhaven Stadium. This non-legendary Artifact can be tapped to provide you with one colorless mana. Doing this also adds a point counter onto Strixhaven Stadium. If you manage to get ten or more point counters onto Strixhaven Stadium and can deal combat damage to your opponent with a creature's attack, your opponent will lose the game. This might prove difficult to do, since the only creatures in the main deck are the 1/1 Bird tokens that are created when you resolve Alrund's Epiphany, but if you manage to pull it off, it will certainly be a win that people will remember.
Two-colored decks are very common in Magic. They provide more options than are available with a mono-colored deck, and they don't have the mana problems that a deck can have when it has three or more colors.
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!