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A Trip Down Ravnica Lane


With my move to Manager for Team Nova, I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like trudging through all the formats and playing different decks. This led me to think about all the decks and cards I've loved in the past Return to Ravnica Standards and I wish I could play again. I think there's a reasonable amount of cards that could be reprinted into the current Standard and give slight boosts to decks or help create new archetypes.

The deck I'm going to start with is one of my favorites despite the fact I spent most of my time playing Domri Naya.

This deck was built around playing a mostly control game with a lot of midrange features built in. The card I'd like to see from this the MOST is actually Augur of Bolas. Augur was a incredible card for these spell based decks which generally acted as a replacement and a way to find answers. Against the White and Red based aggro decks Augur would act as a speed bump and as way to find removal or draw and keep the gas flowing in the mid game. I'm also a big fan of the amount Augur is going to miss. If this card always hit the power level would drive it to Modern or Legacy. Fortunately, I think this card is an easy Standard card and with all the great spells we have currently we might be able to open up decka similar to the Jeskai Flash deck. The one worry I have involves Nexus of Fate, but I'm not sure what it's replacing in the current builds or if it's even good enough considering how important finding Wilderness Reclamation is to the success of the Nexus decks. That being said, I think Augur would be an awesome addition in the next set and especially for the current Esper Control decks.

Similarly I think I'd like to see something like Detention Sphere return to Standard. There are quite a few decks playing a number of the same permanents and Detention Sphere is both awesome for Control and Midrange decks to keep pace with the aggro decks of the format. There's also plenty of enchantment hate which is quite playable in the format so Detention Sphere won't be unanswerable. While Deputy of Detention is in the format it's not something every deck can play, so having other variants open up different decks.

Going back to the Domri Naya deck I played, there's certainly a couple cards from that deck I could see making their way back into Standard.

The first card I'd love to see from this deck is Loxodon Smiter. Uncounterable creatures tend to not be overly powerful and Smiter lines up well against both Mono Blue and Esper Control while being quite easy to manage. For creature decks, the 4/4 is a fantastic body which can attack or block effectively. There is also such little discard the other half of the text will be mostly irrelevant in the current format. Overall I think of Loxodon Smiter as a perfect card for most Standard formats. This also can create some new aggressive decks where Elvish Mystic into Smiter or Gruul Spellbreaker gives a wealth of options for decks to be able to utilize hard hitting cards.

In that same vein I'd also like to see a return of Avacyn's Pilgrim. Not only is there already a wealth of removal to be able to manage the smaller creatures Goblin Chainwhirler can be downright abusive to these strategies. That being said I don't think a Green stompy deck existing (which Pilgrim can't cast Steel-Leaf Champion so whatever) is an issue for Magic nor is having a card for Selesnya decks or opening up a new Naya deck that desperately needs the mana fixing on their 1-drop.

One of the best decks from the format was the Aristocrats deck that was immensely popular and even won a Pro Tour (when they were still called that) as well. Despite having different variants the deck had a very similar base and game plan. Unfortunately the pieces available are much clunkier and more mana intensive to really recreate the deck but I'd love to see some pieces added into Standard.

The cards that I'm really looking out of these decks are Sign in Blood, Sin Collector, and Doomed Traveler. I want to try and power up some of these smaller creature decks without making them absurd. The Mardu deck is easily the deck that could use the most amount of help. Doomed Traveler is an incredible speed bump and the flying would be awesome for the deck to have another way to push forward damage. Sin Collector has been a long standing fantastic card against control decks which would be a great card to beat the Nexus decks as well and help potentially create some new mid range strategies. Sign in Blood is a card that while seems powerful has such a steep cost that it's easier for the aggressive decks to run over someone or for aggressive decks to utilize the powerful effect to keep pace and bury midrange and control decks.

This thought process has made me want to create a Battle Box type thing where you'd roll to pick a deck from past Standards and get to battle them. Could be a fun thing for me to have at events and play in between rounds. I think I'm more likely to use proxies at first and build from there. Likely going to make it with either 12 or 20 decks so rolling a dice to choose would be easy. If you would build it let me know what decks you'd like to include below! Try for no more than two decks from an Standard format.

Right now the ones I'm looking at are:

  • Mono-Red
  • Cawblade (post banning)
  • uw Delver
  • Temur Pod
  • Jeskai Flash
  • Abzan Reanimator
  • Bant Company
  • Temur Eldrazi
  • uw Control
  • rb Aggro

Of course this isn't a full list and I'd be open to ideas! Hopefully some folks will be able to help me put it all together.