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Unique MID Standard Brews


Hello everyone. Last week, I took a look at some decks that were played in best-of-three matches. I had a reader ask for guidance on turning them into best-of-one decks. What I do is take the deck and build it without the sideboard, or I build the sideboard with the Lessons that are in it if I have ways to learn. I figure that a best-of-three deck still wants to win the first game, so the original build should still be good. Now, that doesn't mean that every best-of-three deck that's built is going to be good in best-of-one, but it's a starting point. Control decks, especially, work better in best-of-three, but sometimes you'll get lucky in best-of-one with them. For me, my play style is more aggressive, so most of the decks I offer for you will skew in that direction.

Moving onto this week's decks... This week, I'm back to looking at some more best-of-one decks for you to use on Magic Arena. I've got three pretty interesting builds. One is a typical aggressive tribal deck. One is a deck built around deathtouch. And the final deck is a mill deck. Let's go ahead and get started.

Warrior Tribal Deck

My first deck this week focuses on the Warrior tribe and it includes a few different ways to enhance your Warriors. Let's take a look at it.

Usher of the Fallen
As you may have noticed, every creature in this deck is a Warrior. Even the tokens created with Usher of the Fallen's boast ability are Human Warrior creature tokens. That means that Kargan Warleader will provide a +1/+1 bonus to each creature you have in play, with the exception of herself. Rally the Ranks also provides a +1/+1 bonus to each creature you have in play, provided that you choose Warrior as your creature type when Rally the Ranks enters the battlefield. Finally, Paladin Class also offers a buff of +1/+1 to all of your creatures once you've reached Level 2 with it. It also provides a bigger bonus once Level 3 is reached, by giving one of your attacking creatures a +1/+ bonus for each other attacking creature. That creature also gains double strike, making it very difficult for your opponent to block effectively.

Speaking of double strike, Kor Blademaster is a Kor Warrior that had double strike and could provide double strike to any equipped Warriors you have in play. However, you won't be able to take advantage of giving anyone else double strike since there is no equipment in this deck. While that could be seen as an oversight by the deck's creator, I believe it to be intentional. If equipment were added, the volume of Warriors would likely go down some, resulting in fewer threats in play at any given time. Since a creature with double strike can be chump blocked, that could result in less damage being done when attacking, leaving you vulnerable to an attack back. This deck relies on its speed to power up its Warriors quickly, so you can attack with enough creatures to make it difficult for your opponent to block. Equipment would be better suited for a midrange deck, while this deck wants to be very aggressive.

This deck also has more ways of gaining bonuses in the form of +1/+1 counters. Showdown of the Skalds is a great way to have access to additional cards later in the game when you've played the majority of your hand out. While it has two or three lore counters on it, you'll be able to put a +1/+ counter on a creature you control whenever you cast a spell, regardless of whether that spell actually resolves. You can also give each of your creatures in play a +1/+1 counter with the ability of Resplendent Marshal, as long as you have some of your Warriors in your graveyard. What better way of honoring a fallen Warrior is there than allowing that Warrior to boost the rest of your team with +1/+1 counters.

Golgari Deathtouch

Next up, I have a deck that has the potential to make blocking very costly for your opponent. Let's check it out.

Fynn, the Fangbearer
Fynn, the Fangbearer is back, baby! With Fynn in play, every time a creature you control with deathtouch deals combat damage to your opponent, they will also receive two poison counters. Once they reach ten poison counters, they will lose the game. As a big fan of alternate ways to win, I love poison counters! While you won't win every game via poison, the games you do win that way feel terrific. One thing to note, though, is that Fynn is the only creature in this deck that always has deathtouch. For more of your creatures to have deathtouch, you'll need to get Saryth, the Viper's Fang into play.

Saryth, the Viper's Fang provides a couple of abilities you'll find helpful. With her on the battlefield, other tapped creatures will have deathtouch. This helps Fynn fulfill his destiny of poisoning your opponent. Since the other creatures in this deck are generally all 1/1 creatures, your opponent might be forced to trade down and block some of them with much larger creatures. Saryth also provides all other untapped creatures you control with hexproof, making them difficult for your opponent to remove from the battlefield with typical targeted removal spells. Saryth also has an activated ability that you can use to help save a creature of yours that is tapped and targeted by an opponent's spell.

Scute Swarm is an all-star in this deck for a couple of reasons. With Saryth in play, attacking with a bunch of tokens created with Scute Swarm will create an army of 1/1 creatures with deathtouch. If you have Fynn in play, your opponent will need to find a way to block the majority of these tokens, or lose the game. Those tokens can also help you win the game when you play The Meathook Massacre. With enough tokens in play, you can force your opponent to lose their remaining life points by killing off your own tokens.

Azorius Lier Mill

The final deck I have for you this week features Lier, Disciple of the Drowned. His ability to give your spells flashback is busted when paired with spells that mill your opponent. Let's take a look at the deck.

Ruin Crab
Since this is a mill deck, you'll want to get a copy of Ruin Crab onto the battlefield as quickly as possible. This will allow you to begin milling your opponent's deck as you add lands that you'll need later to cast your more powerful spells with. Maddening Cacophony can be cast for two mana to mill your opponent for eight cards. It also has a kicker you can pay if you cast it later in the game to mill your opponent for half of their library, but you'll usually not need to do this. You also have one of the best mill spells ever printed, Tasha's Hideous Laughter. This sorcery will have your opponent exile cards from the top of their library until they exile cards with a total mana value of 20 or more. Since those cards are exiled, your opponent won't be able to use them against you like they could if they were simply discarded.

Once you're able to, you can then cast Lier, Disciple of the Drowned. With Lier on the battlefield, no spell can be countered. This includes both your spells and your opponent's, which is why there's no true counter magic in this deck. Lier also grants flashback to each instant and sorcery in your graveyard. Use this ability to recast those milling spells such as Maddening Cacophony and Tasha's Hideous Laughter. You can also cast other spells that have flashback on them, including spells like Memory Deluge, often for a reduction in their mana cost. For example, Memory Deluge will only cost you four mana to cast from your graveyard with Lier on the battlefield, instead of seven mana if it were cast using its natural flashback ability.

One card that you might question that's in this deck is Dennick, Pious Apprentice // Dennick, Pious Apparition. With Dennick on the battlefield, cards in graveyards can't be the target of spells or abilities. This includes your spells that are being given flashback by Lier. While this can effectively hinder your deck some, it can also provide you with a small level of protection if your opponent has any spells or abilities they can use that would remove specific cards from your graveyard.

Wrapping Up

Each of these decks this week scratch a specific itch I have when playing Magic. Tribal beatdown decks, decks that make things difficult for your opponent, or decks with alternate means of winning are all things I enjoy, so I'm looking forward to trying out each of these on Magic Arena.

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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