A Lot Of Guilds Of Ravnica Standard Decks

Gerry’s famous deck idea notebook is filling up fast! He’s letting it spill onto the page here so that you can get a jump-start on Guilds of Ravnica’s Standard season!

It’s time.

With Guilds of Ravnica on the horizon, we’re about to usher in
which will hopefully be a renaissance of Magic. Kaladesh is
finally behind us (well, after the World Championship at least), and
Ravnica is the perfect place to commemorate it.

We still have some Goblin Chainwhirler problems, but hey, not everything
can be perfect.

Thankfully, most of the supporting cast is rotating along with Kaladesh, leaving behind a motley crew of red creatures and burn
spells. I’d expect some help from Boros, but not much from the typically
blue-focused Izzet guild. Even if we completely brick off for the rest of
preview season, there’s still enough for a playable (and honestly pretty
good) red aggro deck.

As always, Mono-Red Aggro seems like the litmus test for the format.

Shock, Lightning Strike, and Wizard’s Lightning is quite the array of burn
spells. Together, that package doesn’t ask much for the rest of your deck.
Really, any reasonable creatures on curve will likely be good enough. The
red creatures are worse than the previous couple of years, but they’re
still serviceable. Additionally, this is one of the few decks that still
gets to play Goblin Chainwhirler.

There’s always Daring Buccaneer to build around or even Goblin Motivator if
you want more one-drops. Maxing on Rigging Runners is also an option.
Opposing Goblin Chainwhirlers are an annoyance, but as long as your
gameplan is to burn your opponent out, it might not matter. You can expose
as few creatures to it as possible, lose a creature or two, and still
easily win.

As for everyone else? Well, red decks typically like it when a format
contains a bunch of lands that deal their controllers damage.

If you want some old-school flavor, maybe you should check out Goblin
tribal, which may or may not be a real archetype.

Goblins has a solid curve, enough tribal rewards, interaction, and reach.
The only thing really missing is some stronger options in the early drops.
Given that the rewards are worth it, that’s probably not a big deal. Cards
that are enablers don’t necessarily have to be strong on rate.

One of the other things I’ll be trying is a splash for Radiant Destiny and
Conclave Tribunal.

Radiant Destiny may not be worth the splash, mostly because of the already
solid competition in the three-drop slot, but Conclave Tribunal may very
well be. You’re going to hear it from me a lot, but creature decks plus
Conclave Tribunal is a combo.

Here’s another go-wide strategy that I’m sure will end up being rather

Boros Challenger doesn’t strike me as strong enough to make the cut, but
maybe the synergy with Legion’s Landing and Snubhorn Sentry is enough.
Mentoring early will likely snowball, which could be enough to win games in
which you aren’t fully doing your thing. It’s also worth noting that Boros
Challenger can get under Goblin Chainwhirler to some degree, which could
prove useful. You could also play Charge to “counter” a Goblin
Chainwhirler, which isn’t the worst idea.

While this deck could use some stronger plays at one and two mana, the
power level overall is certainly there.

Maybe Dire Fleet Daredevil is great? It would be sweet if we had a better
body to use with Path of Mettle, but it suffices. Being a potential find
for Militia Bugler could end up being sick against control decks too.

This sort of deck likely needs interaction since it’s slower than the other
token deck. Is Lightning Strike the right choice? Hopefully there’s a good
Boros removal spell.

Sarkhan’s Unsealing is one of the most powerful cards that has seen little
Standard play thus far. In a format where some of the best things to be
doing involves creatures and none of those creatures are particularly
sticky, Sarkhan’s Unsealing is a potent tool in creature mirrors.

With this sort of deck, you basically have to mulligan every hand that
doesn’t have Thunderherd Migration or Llanowar Elves, which probably means
there needs to be some Druid of the Cowls included too. Realistically,
we’ll probably have to wait until Stomping Grounds and friends to get some
upgrades to this sort of deck. Sadly, Ravnica doesn’t contain any

Mono-Black has some strong options, particularly Graveyard Marshal and
Dread Shade. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new here, but it might not need

This deck is already close to being able to utilize an engine with
Stitcher’s Supplier, Narcomoeba, Reassembling Skeleton, and Necrotic Wound.
Once there, there are enough random bodies to include Torgarr, Famine
Incarnate. Maybe Bone Dragon is good enough?

A blue or green splash is possible with shocklands and checklands, but
Hostage Taker or Status//Statue don’t offer anything that Ravenous
Chupacabra or Vraska’s Contempt can’t. Maybe there will be a sweet Dimir
payoff, but Underrealm Lich isn’t what we want.

Conclave Tribunal is an incredible card. Assuming it’s one of the few
non-creatures in your deck, it won’t be uncommon to cast it for one or two
mana, allowing you to double-spell before your opponent. Even when the set
is fully previewed, I assume Conclave Tribunal will still be one of my
favorite cards in the set.

A pile of G/W creatures isn’t too exciting, but Emmara, Soul of the Accord
is one of the best Conclave Tribunal enablers I’ve seen. The white base is
powerful, so experimenting with secondary colors is a necessity, even if
that means effectively splashing for Llanowar Elves. With Temple Garden,
turn 2 History of Benalia is very possible and potentially one of the main
things you’ll need to beat in this format.

Ancient Animus seems kind of sweet, even if it does ultimately fall short.
There are enough legendary creatures, especially in G/W, to support it.
Even if the metagame is such that a two-mana fight spell is worthy of a
slot, it might not be better than maindecking Settle the Wreckage.

With cards like Conclave Tribunal and Search for Azcanta being prevalent in
the format, I’m more than happy to maindeck one copy of Reclamation Sage.
I’d be happier if we had some better cards three mana slot though. Militia
Bugler is very close to being good enough. You might have to be black to
utilize it, even if the mana is considerably worse than some of the other
color combinations.

Playing Forsaken Sanctuary when everyone else has shocklands is sad, almost
to the point of refusing to do it at all. However, just because your mana
is slightly worse doesn’t necessarily mean your deck is worse. We’ll see
how I feel once I see the gold cards in the set though. At that point,
maybe W/B will lack the power level that some of the other color
combinations don’t.

For now, W/B looks perfectly reasonable. The Knights package is solid, and
Militia Bugler digging for Ravenous Chupacabra is some solid value. Getting
to pick up Conclave Tribunal is huge for any white-based deck, and it’s
basically what makes me believe something like this is viable. Getting to
combo Kitesail Freebooter with Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants doesn’t hurt

Overall, it’s the white cards propping up this archetype, and even though
the black cards add some value, it’s possible that something like this ends
up being worse than Boros or Selesnya.

Unlike Goblins, which is a highly focused go-wide tribe, Elves is
scattered. Yes, I can add these multi-colored Elves to the same deck with
Unclaimed Territory, but what good does it do me? Aside from Unclaimed
Territory enabling Steel Leaf Champion, what does sticking to Elf tribal
get us? Marwyn, the Nurturer? Is that even a reward? I’m pretty sure it’s
“Null Rod: the deck.”

Finally, let’s talk Goblin Chainwhirler.

As you are probably aware, Status//Statue combines with Goblin Chainwhirler
to form a Plague Wind. As if we weren’t already sick of Goblin Chainwhirler
to begin with…

Last season, a Plague Wind wouldn’t have been that incredible. Cards like
Heart of Kiran, Scrapheap Scrounger, and planeswalkers would have been able
to shrug it off. I wouldn’t have minded having access to that sort of thing
against the Mono-Green Aggro decks in the format, but that’s about it.

There will still be near-creatureless control decks that won’t care, but
most of the other decks likely will. The lack of Blood Crypt and Stomping
Ground might lead you to believe you’re safe, but that’s not entirely true.

This deck is missing a Sweltering Suns, Read the Bones, and a better
two-drop than Treasure Map, but it’s close. More than that, the mana
actually seems passable, even though it’s probably a little clunky.

Let’s go deeper.

Alright, I’ll be honest, this is probably a tad too deep.

Overgrown Tomb and Goblin Chainwhirler isn’t a combo, nor is Rootbound Crag
and Thought Erasure. Maybe Dragon Hoard can solve all our problems. If
necessary, a Turn 3 Dragon Hoard can enable the Goblin Chainwhirler /
Status combo. Even though it’s a thing that is well-known at this point, I
can’t imagine it’s something people will be willing to play around. People
don’t seem to think it’s possible, and I can’t really blame them. Still,
it’s a reality.

Let’s get ’em while we still can!

Even with so few cards from Guilds of Ravnica known to us, there’s
no shortage of brewing to be done, which bodes well for the rest of preview
season. Here’s hoping for more cards that work well with Narcomoeba – then
the real brewing will begin.