Hello everyone. The latest announcement of bannings has come and gone leaving Standard unscathed, which I'm not surprised about. Right now, Standard seems to be in a very good place, with lots of viable decks to play. This week, I've got a few decks that you can use either against your friends or at your local tournament scene. Let's get started.
Abzan Amalia Life Gain
We get started this week by taking a look at a deck that focuses on the benefits from gaining life. Here's the deck list.
Abzan Amalia Life Gain | LCI Standard | MTG_Nimi, aetherhub.com user
- Creatures (40)
- 1 Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
- 1 Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim
- 1 Giada, Font of Hope
- 1 Skrelv, Defector Mite
- 2 Gala Greeters
- 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 4 Amalia Benavides Aguirre
- 4 Knight-Errant of Eos
- 4 Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom
- 4 Resolute Reinforcements
- 4 Steel Seraph
- 4 Teething Wurmlet
- 4 Voice of the Blessed
- 4 Yotian Frontliner
Amalia Benavides Aguirre is the star of this deck. Not only is she difficult to remove from the battlefield, thanks to having a ward ability that requires your opponent to pay three points of life to target her, but the longer she stays on the battlefield, the bigger she can become. Whenever you gain life, Amalia will explore. Since two-thirds of this deck are creature spells, you'll often be able to give Amalia a +1/+1 counter. Even if you don't get her power up to 20, she will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
Many of the creatures in this deck provide you the ability to gain additional life. Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom provides you with one point of life whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, and its transformed side gives you life whenever you have a creature leave the battlefield. Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim is similar, but can cause your opponent to lose life whenever your creatures die. Gala Greeters can gain you two points of life, but only once per turn. There's also Steel Seraph, who can provide lifelink to any of your creatures.
Sultai Infinite Calendar Combo
Sultai Infinite Calendar Combo | LCI Standard | Hexamyn, aetherhub.com user
The Millennium Calendar is a build-around artifact that can allow you to win the game unexpectedly. To do this, though, you'll need to find a way to get 1,000 time counters on The Millennium Calendar. This can be tough, but since The Millennium Calendar is able to double the number of counters on it, it is possible thanks to a common card from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. To make the combo work, though, you'll need to find a way to make infinite mana.
This is possible with Agatha's Soul Cauldron. If you're able to get both Kami of Whispered Hopes and Sleep-Cursed Faerie into your graveyard, any creature with a +1/+1 counter on it can be tapped for an amount of mana equal to that creature's power. As long as the power is three or more, you can go infinite, since you can pay two mana to untap the creature. Thanks to Relic's Roar, you can turn The Millennium Calendar into a Dinosaur, allowing you to target it with Agatha's Soul Cauldron to gain a +1/+1 counter and win the game on the spot.
Naya +1/+1 Counters
The next deck I have for you has the ability to deal a lot of damage thanks to the +1/+1 counters you'll be placing on your creatures. Let's take a look at the deck.
Naya +1 Counters | LCI Standard | HelloGoodGame, aetherhub.com user
- Creatures (29)
- 2 Halana and Alena, Partners
- 2 Siege Veteran
- 3 Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon
- 3 Inti, Seneschal of the Sun
- 3 Sovereign Okinec Ahau
- 4 Evolving Adaptive
- 4 Hopeful Initiate
- 4 Quirion Beastcaller
- 4 Reckless Stormseeker // Storm-Charged Slasher
- Enchantments (4)
- 4 Kumano Faces Kakkazan
- Lands (24)
- 1 Forest
- 1 Mountain
- 1 Plains
- 1 Boseiju, Who Endures
- 1 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
- 1 Restless Bivouac
- 1 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
- 2 Brushland
- 2 Karplusan Forest
- 2 Overgrown Farmland
- 2 Sundown Pass
- 3 Battlefield Forge
- 3 Copperline Gorge
- 3 Razorverge Thicket
Thanks to the ability of Sovereign Okinec Ahau, whenever it attacks, you'll be able to place +1/+1 counters on any creature you control that has a current power greater than its base power. Since the number of +1/+1 counters you'll place on your creatures is equal to the difference between their current power and their base power, you can see how this will have a snowball effect very quickly.
This deck is chock-full of creatures that gain their own +1/+1 counters or provide +1/+1 counters to other creatures. Evolving Adaptive, Hopeful Initiate, Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon, and Quirion Beastcaller all have ways of gaining +1/+1 counters as the game progresses. Halana and Alena, Partners, Siege Veteran, and Inti, Seneschal of the Sun are all able to boost your other creatures, offering you multiple ways of getting +1/+1 counters throughout the game.
The final deck I have for you likes to play cards during its opponent's turn. Let's take a look at the deck.
Esper Flash - LCI Standard | MTG_Joe, aetherhub.com user
- Creatures (24)
- 2 Cathar Commando
- 2 Ertai Resurrected
- 2 Raffine, Scheming Seer
- 3 Faerie Mastermind
- 3 Werefox Bodyguard
- 4 Errant and Giada
- 4 Obscura Interceptor
- 4 Spectral Adversary
- Planeswalkers (3)
- 3 The Wandering Emperor
Every non-land card in this deck is either an instant spell or has flash, allowing it to be played on your opponent's turn. So, if you're looking for a deck to play where you typically play a land on your turn and then say 'Go', this is the deck for you. By casting creatures with flash on your opponent's turn, you can prevent those creatures from being unable to attack right away as well as make it more difficult for your opponent to counter them.
The only creature without flash is Raffine, Scheming Seer, which is typically seen in most Esper decks. Since Raffine allows a creature you are attacking with to connive a number of times equal to the number of attacking creatures, you'll potentially be able to place a lot of +1/+1 counters on one of your creatures. Placing them on creatures with some sort of evasion, like Spectral Adversary, or with lifelink, like Obscura Interceptor, can make winning games even easier for you.
As you can see, there are a variety of different types of decks that are viable in today's Standard. Whether you like aggressive decks, control decks, or something in-between, Standard has something to offer you.
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