Preorder Theros Beyond Death today
   Sign In
Create Account

Team RPTQ Tech and Decks


Some people have a team RPTQ right around the corner. This format is unique because it's Team Unified Standard. This means, outside of basic lands, no two decks can contain the same card. For example, if one player is using two History of Benalia in a Team Constructed tournament, no other player on that team may use History of Benalia in his or her deck. This is a deck-building restriction rule and it's a fantastic way to get players to actually brew or try out cards that see fringe play.

Today I want to talk about cards that are similar but aren't played because a better / safer card exists already. For example, Negate. Negate is the go to card to counter non-creature spells, but in Team Unified Constructed, you'll want to consider other similar cards like Unwind. I will also talk about decks that are easy to put one of your players on, these are mostly mono-colored decks that don't use cards from other players. This way they will be using less cards / tools and you won't be fighting for cards. These cards are mostly Black/Blue/White cards since Green and Red can both be mono colored.

Pay attention, instruction begins!

Cards Similar to Tier One cards


The holy grail of ways to stop non-creature spells, played all the way from Standard to Legacy. Negate is an excellent catch all card and for good reason. We have a few cards that do similar things like Negate in Standard.

Spell Pierce

Spell Pierce: Not as reliable as Negate but it is cheaper. It might even be better for you if you're an aggressive or a tempo deck.

Unwind: Negate that costs one more. One more is a lot but being able to untap your lands is huge. You'll want to consider this in your deck if you can abuse the untap ability with spells like Glimmer of Genius, Pull from Tomorrow, or even Torrential Gearhulk. Unwind also plays well with Search for Azcanta.

Jace's Defeat
Supreme Will

Jace's Defeat: Very similar to Negate, especially when you play it in your sideboard. It can even hit cards like Torrential Gearhulk but it will miss on cards like Settle the Wreckage. If you're looking for a card to stop settle, you should consider Admiral's Order.

Supreme Will: Okay it's not Negate, but it's versatile and can be cast in a pinch to dig deeper into your deck to find an answer or a threat. A solid alternative.

Cast Out

Cast Out is the go to card to deal with any non-land permanent at instant speed. It's the best one in its class but we have others we can consider.

Ixalan's Binding
Angel of Sanctions
Thopter Arrest

Ixalan's Binding: A more powerful Cast Out but you cannot play it at instant speed nor can you cycle it. It's still a very powerful card that can swing the tide of the game if you manage to bind Hazoret, Teferi, or even Cast Out to Ixalan. Hitting cards that most people have playsets of in their deck is a game changer. In Team Unified Standard, people are more likely to have multiple copies of the same card instead of singletons. The person playing History of Benalia or Karn, Scion of Urza is unlikely to only be playing two or three copies, it's most likely four.

Angel of Sanctions: An Oblivion Ring affect on a creature. This card already sees some play in Sideboards. You should consider playing it main deck if someone else is playing Cast Out and you also want to play White.

Thopter Arrest: Cheaper but not as versatile as the others. It's still a solid option.

Forsake the Worldly

An excellent tool to deal with pesky artifacts or enchantments. They seem to be everywhere these days too. Thankfully we have a lot of options like Forsake the Worldly.

Invoke the Divine

Invoke the Divine: I feel like this spell is better than Forsake overall. It's only worse against Scrapheap Scrounger (sometimes, four life is a lot) and God-Pharaoh's Gift.

Fragmentize: Cheap and efficient way to deal with Heart of Kiran, History of Benalia, Treasure Map, Seal Away, Cast Out, Search for Azcanta, and other similar cards.

Decommission: Worse than Invoke the Divine but if you really want that life gain and someone else has Invoke the Divine, consider Decommission as an option.

Seal Away

Seal Away is one of the best removal spells in Standard and it's difficult to replace but not impossible.

Gideon's Reproach
Aether Meltdown

Gideon's Reproach: Four damage deals with most of the things that Seal Away does except for indestructible creatures. However, Gideon's Reproach deals with Heart of Kiran when Seal Away can't,

Aether Meltdown: A different color but most White decks tend to play a little bit of Blue and I also just wanted to mention this card for Team Unified Standard.Aether Meltdown hits Heart of Kiran and while it may not exile tapped Gods it does stop them from attacking to deal damage.

Settle the Wreckage

The two best battlefield wipes in Standard. We only have a few options here.

Slaughter the Strong
Hour of Revelation
Urza's Ruinous Blast

Slaughter the Strong: Sacrifice is a wonderful way to deal with indestructible creatures like Gods and also gets around Hexproof creatures like Carnage Tyrant. It's worse than Fumigate and Settle the Wreckage but is still a great option if the others are being used.

Hour of Revelation: GET IT ALL OUT OF HERE! Kill everything except lands! No more Heart of Kiran, no more planeswalkers, no Cast Outs. You'll obviously not want to play Hour of Revelation alongside your own enchantments, so make sure to give Cast Out / Seal Away to another player.

Urza's Ruinous Blast: Like Hour of Revelation but you're going to need Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage or some other planeswalker / legendary creature to fire off this bad boy. Again, you won't want to play Seal Away or Cast Out alongside this legendary sorcery.

Fatal Push

Black decks have been relying on Fatal Push for removal since it was first printed. Nothing is quite as efficient as Fatal Push right? Well not quite, but we do have a card that is darn close.

Fungal Infection

Fungal Infection: This card is a sleeper, it's better than Fatal Push against almost every cheap creature except, Heart of Kiran. You can kill an Earthshaker Khenra and then block and kill Bomat Courier. You better believe Red is going to be very popular in this Team Unified Constructed tournament. It also kills Llanowar Elves and leaves behind a cute Saproling token to beat your opponent with or chump block something in the future.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Fungal Infection even kills X/2 creatures. Your opponent attacks with Ahn-Crop Crasher? After it attacks, shrink it down to a 2/1 and then block it with your 1/1 Saproling. So, now Fungal Infection not only kills X/1 creatures and leaves behind a body, but it can also kill X/2 creatures in combat. Not too shabby!

Search for Azcanta

This one is a bit ambitious to try and replace but it's not impossible . . . 

Precognition Field
Metallurgic Summonings
Arguel's Blood Fast

Precognition Field: If your deck is mostly instants and sorceries, Precognition Field can provide similar card advantage to Search for Azcanta. If it sticks around for just a couple of turns, it can provide even more card advantage than Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin.

Metallurgic Summonings: Just kill your opponents with your instant and sorceries. You can even re-buy all your spells later in the game when you have six or more constructs / artifacts.

Arguel's Blood Fast: I'm cheating here since this is a different color but it's a great one to play if you happen to be playing Black in your Blue deck.

Vraska's Contempt

The best planewalker removal spell since Hero's Downfall. How to we even try to replace this? I gotchu fam.

Never // Return
The Eldest Reborn
Sorcerous Spyglass

Never // Return: This is the easiest conversion. It's not Instant like Contempt but it's cheaper and even has a second mode for later in the game.

The Eldest Reborn: A well timed The Eldest Reborn can be backbreaking, especially against uw Control. You'll not only kill their Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and eat a card from their hand, but you'll also get to reanimate their Teferi. Sign me up!

Sorcerous Spyglass: Spyglass can get exiled by Cast Out; but, if your plan is to just Teferi, then Spyglass is a cheap way to do that and stop ALL Teferis. It even has uses outside of planeswalkers, you can stop activated abilities of lands (Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin), artifacts (Heart of Kiran, Treasure Map, Scrapheap Scrounger), Thrashing Brontodon, Earthshaker Khenra, Gods activated abilities, Walking Ballista, Winged Temple of Orazca, and more.

These are just some of the cards that easily convert to other cards. I could make a longer list, but I also want to recommend some decks that are easy to slip into Team Unified Standard. These are solid third options since you should have one U/W Player.

These are some unique deck choice options for the Team Unified Standard that you can choose from. Make sure to refer to my list when you are trying to replace cards that overlap like Fatal Push, Search for Azcanta, Cast Out, etc. I hope this has helped you out a little bit or at least gave you an idea for cards to look out for.

As always guys and gals, thank you very much for reading!

See you next Friday,

Ali Aintrazi

@AliEldrazi on Twitter

Dominaria is Now Available!