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Building a New Standard

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

Tomorrow, a brave new world will open up for Magic: the Gathering players at their local gaming stores.  Like thousands of other gamers, we'll be dropping by our local store, OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario to have a fun-filled Friday Night Magic evening.  With the rotation of 2 blocks (four sets), the standard card pool just became a little bit smaller, but in our opinion, a whole lot more exciting.  

The newest set Ixalan, provides some incentives to build a list based upon the four tribes of Ixalan -
• Dinosaurs (Sun Empire)
• Pirates (Brazen Coalition)
• Vampires (Legion of Dusk)
• Merfolk (River Heralds)

We have ordered the above list in line of which tribes are expected to be the most powerful in the new standard environment.  Synergies and other tribal-based bonuses are great but may not be fully realised until the next set, Rivals of Ixalan produces additional support.  

For now however, the smart player (by way of example), may not be playing a tribal go-wide strategy with Orzhov (black / white) vampires but may be better served with a token-based strategy instead, utilising some of the new vampire spells which create tokens, such as Queen's Commission or Call to the Feast.  

There are some potential pitfalls of course.  For example, playing a Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle to create vampire tokens does force one to go 'all in' with vampire tribal, whereas it may be more prudent to look to previous black / white tokens lists prior to the rotation (some of which were not that bad), and simply update that with the goodies from Ixalan.  Examples again may be Servo Exhibition and Sram's Expertise coupled with Hidden Stockpile and Anointed Procession to double-down on token producing.

Whichever way you may be charting your course, it is typically rather important to set yourself up a strong board presence upon which to build as early on in the game as possible.  Another example used here is what one would love to see in an opening hand (or early card draws) should you be playing a Naya (white / green / red) Dinosaur decklist.

Playing Imperial Lancer turn one immediately followed by Nest Robber just seems sublime as you look to land four damage on the second turn.  As these two creatures become less relevant later game then you always have fodder for chump blockers.

Likewise, as Dinosaurs are relatively a tich more mana intensive, consideration should be given to mana acceleration early game.  Whether it is a 'man-dork' or a 'Banneret' (Morningtide reference) to reduce your mana cost.  The example here may be having Drover of the Mighty come down turn turn (which is a lovely 3/3 should you already have a dinosaur out) to tap for any colour - and / or - have an Otepec Huntmaster reduce your dino overhead by one.  The Huntmaster, also provides the benefit of sending a toothy hasty surprise over the fence.  Again, building your list for synergy (whether tribal or no), should be provided equal weight in most cases with designing with your opening hand in mind.

Happy Brewing Ixalan fans !


1 comment:

Marvel Sutantio said...

Nice write up as always :D. The new standard is sure is exciting. I havent been this giddy with tribal decks since Lorwyn lol.

As goods as vampires are they lack support, no tutors, no lords, etc. But a selesnya / abzan go wide deck might work, with servo exhibition, sram's expertise, and the one mechanic that might just make the deck tick, +1/+1 counters. With Rishkar as the key card, supported by oath of ajani & verdurous gearhulk, we can turn the +1/+1 countered tokens into mana dorks.

Then with armorcraft judge, we can draw cards with all those tokens who are still alive... thanks to heroic intervention.

As for Dinos i got an idea to just use the 2 cc lot, both humans and dinos. Combined with dusk//dawn we can make a dino weenie deck that can probably survive fighting against a carnage tyrant, which could be the new thragtusk / rhino of this standard...