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Building Around Ixalan's Creature Types in Standard


Hello everyone. Whenever a new set releases, I like to look for typal decks, because they are very thematic to play. Ixalan has a history of having four strong creature types (Merfolk, Dinosaurs, Pirates, and Vampires), so this week I'll be taking a look at decks featuring those creature types. Let's get started with the first deck.

Simic Merfolk

We'll get started by taking a look at a Merfolk deck that does a lot of exploring. Let's take a look at the deck.

Whenever you explore while Nicanzil, Current Conductor is on the battlefield, no matter what card is on top of your library, you'll get an extra bonus. By exploring and finding a land, you get to put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield tapped. If you happen to explore and find a nonland card, Nicanzil, Current Conductor will get a +1/+1 counter. Both options are very beneficial.

In order to get these benefits from Nicanzil, Current Conductor often, this deck includes a variety of ways for you to explore. River Herald Scout, Jadelight Spelunker, and Cenote Scout will all explore when they enter the battlefield. When Twists and Turns enters the battlefield, a target creature you control will explore. Finally, when Schooner attacks, a creature that crewed it will also explore. This variety of ways to explore should result in a lot of +1/+1 counters and extra lands entering the battlefield.

Gruul Dinosaurs

Next, we'll look at a deck featuring Dinosaurs that are capable of stomping the life out of your opponent. Let's take a look at the deck.

This deck features a lot of massive Dinosaurs that are capable of quickly defeating your opponent. Pugnacious Hammerskull is a 6/6, Etali is a 7/7, and Trumpeting Carnosaur is a 7/6. Having any of these on the battlefield will make it very difficult for your opponent to attack, plus it will give you the potential to attack for a ton of damage. If you manage to get a copy of Palani's Hatcher in play, all of your Dinosaurs will have haste, allowing you to attack very quickly.

Since most of your big Dinosaurs have a high mana value, there are numerous ways that this deck can create extra mana or play extra lands. Lorekeeper, Bramble Familiar, and Intrepid Paleontologist can all tap for extra mana. Hulking Raptor provides you extra mana at the beginning of your precombat mainphase. Huatli, Poet of Unity, Topiary Stomper, and Glimpse the Core all allow you to put extra lands onto the battlefield. With all of these, you should be able to ramp out your Dinosaurs with ease.

Izzet Pirates

The next deck I have for you focuses on Pirates. This deck includes a pair of legendary creatures that can allow you to dominate on the battlefield. Let's take a look at the deck.

Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider allows you to place a +1/+1 counter on a Pirate you control whenever an artifact enters the battlefield under your control. Since this deck has numerous ways of putting artifacts into play, you can produce a lot of +1/+1 counters. Siren creates a Map token when it enters play, and Breeches, Eager Pillager and Sticky Fingers are both able to create Treasure tokens. You also have Subterranean Schooner and Roaming Throne which will trigger Captain Storm when they resolve.

A great target for those +1/+1 counters is Malcolm, Alluring Scoundrel. Malcolm has flying, making him a bit more difficult to block. If he connects with your opponent when attacking, he will gain a chorus counter. The goal will be to get four of these chorus counters on him, which will allow you to begin casting spells for free. And as you know, getting a spell for free is always worthwhile, giving you an advantage over your opponent.

Rakdos Vampires

The final deck I have for you features Vampires. It's capable of pulling off some quick victories. Let's check it out.

Rakdos Vampires - LCI Standard | TayMalice, aetherhub.com user

Bloodletter of Aclazotz plays a key role in this deck. While it is in play, if your opponent would lose life during your turn, they will lose twice that much life instead. Since damage from attacks is counted as losing life, when you attack, you might be able to deal double damage if you're unblocked.

Since Bloodletter is the only Vampire in this deck with flying, you can't rely on attacking in the air for double damage. Your opponent might have difficulty blocking Vampire Socialite due to it having menace, but you'll probably need to rely on some of the numerous ways this deck has to destroy your opponent's creatures to be able to push through damage. Both Go for the Throat and Molten Collapse are able to destroy your opponent's creatures. You also have Bloodtithe Harvester and Voldaren Thrillseeker which have the ability to act as creature removal, opening the door for you to attack unimpeded.

Wrapping Up

Decks that focus on a particular creature type can be a lot of fun to play. They often have a lot of synergy, which can also make them pretty powerful.

What do you think of these decks? 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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