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On the Standard Range


Hello everyone. After our latest round of bans, Standard has settled down a bit and brewing new decks is possible. This week I have a few decks from you from Magic Online, Magic Arena, and the October CFB Pro Showdown. Let's get started.

Gruul Midrange

We'll start this week by taking a look at a deck from Magic Arena. It's a Gruul Midrange deck that goes big and hits hard. Let's take a look at it.

Rampart Smasher is a creature you'll most often see in a draft deck, but it fits in nicely in this deck. Getting a 5/5 creature for just four mana is a great deal, plus Rampart Smasher has an ability that is very beneficial. Against certain decks, you'll be able to attack with Rampart Smasher knowing that your opponent will have no means of blocking you. That can allow you to defeat your opponent in just a few turns.

Rampart Smasher also allows Warden of the Chained to attack. Warden of the Chained is another creature in this deck that gives a lot of value for its mana cost. As a 4/4 with trample, you'll often be able to attack even if your opponent has creatures that can block. You'll be able to either trample over a smaller blocker or destroy multiple blockers. With cards like Return of the Wildspeaker or Inscription of Abundance that can increase the power of Warden of the Chained, things get even worse for your opponent.

Nessian Boar is a great finisher for this deck. Due to its ability that requires all creatures able to block Nessian Boar to do so, you'll often be able to swing with your entire team as a means of finishing the game. The damage from the other unblocked creatures can often finish off an unprepared opponent. Nessian Boar is also a great choice for you to use when deciding which of your creatures should fight your opponent's creatures with cards like Khalni Ambush and Ram Through.

Boros Winota

Next up, we have a Boros Winota deck. If you're looking for an aggressive deck to play, you should try this one out. Let's take a look at the deck.

Winota, Joiner of Forces is no stranger to Standard. With her ability to add Humans to the battlefield when you attack, you can often overwhelm your opponent in a couple of turns. The fact that the Human creatures she finds also gain indestructible for the remainder of the turn is what makes this ability completely busted. Since there are two Humans you can find, and they both have a power of 3, it can be really difficult for your opponent to block. Much of the time, they'll know that they'll either be chump blocking or will be forced to take the damage. Either choice puts them further behind in the game state.

This deck has a few non-Human that finally get to see some play in Standard. Skyclave Apparition has a terrific ability when it enters the battlefield. This ETB (enters the battlefield) effect allows you to exile a nonland, nontoken permanent that your opponent controls that has a converted mana cost (CMC) of four or less. This is a great way to get rid of a powerful creature, artifact, or enchantment your opponent has in play. You also have Archon of Emeria, which can make casting spells for your opponent difficult. With Archon of Emeria in play, each player is Limited to casting one spell each turn. Also, you opponent's nonbasic lands will enter the battlefield tapped. This is more important than ever since the new lands from Zendikar Rising are nonbasic and are played abundantly.

Even though you might be able to outnumber your opponent with your forces, there will be times that your opponent has larger creatures in play. For those times, you'll be happy that this deck includes Embercleave as a finisher. Embercleave has been a power player in Standard since its release in Throne of Eldraine, and it continues with decks like this one. If you're playing against this deck, be aware whenever your opponent attacks you with multiple creatures and untapped Red mana sources, because you're likely to get 'cleaved.

Selesnya Midrange

The final deck I have for you this week recently won the October CFB Pro Showdown. Let's take a look at it.

Let's begin by talking about mana. This deck features a ton of ways to get additional mana. turn one, you can play Gilded Goose, which brings with it a Food token that Gilded Goose can use on later turns to create mana of any color. Tangled Florahedron and Llanowar Visionary can both tap for a Green mana. Finally, The Great Henge taps for two Green mana in addition to gaining you two life. It also provides additional +1/+1 counters for any nontoken creature that enters the battlefield under your control. Oh, and don't forget, you'll also draw a card whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control.

With all of that extra mana, you'll be able to bring out your forces. A couple of your creatures have an ability that allows them to act as creature removal when they enter the battlefield. Wicked Wolf hasn't seen a lot of play since the early days of Throne of Eldraine. It fights an opponent's creature when it comes into play, and has an ability that allows it to gain a +1/+1 counter (or possibly more) and become indestructible for the turn. Kogla, the Titan Ape also fights an opponent's creature when it enters the battlefield, and since it has a power of seven, you'll often be able to destroy a key piece of your opponent's team.

If big creatures like Wicked Wolf and Kogla aren't enough to finish off your opponent, this deck has a couple of flyers that can help out. Yorion, Sky Nomad provides you with a big flying creature, as well as a way to get an additional use out of those ETB effects some of your creatures have. You can also cast Emeria's Call to create two 4/4 Angel creature tokens that have flying. You'll also make all of your other non-Angel creatures indestructible until your next turn, allowing you to attack with impunity.

Wrapping Up

Even though mill decks have been the source of ire for some people, I'm pretty happy with the state of Standard currently. We're seeing a lot of innovation, and cards that were previously unused are seeing some play.

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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