The release of Born of the Gods is still a few days away, but it’s pretty clear that several of its offerings are going to have an immediate impact. While there aren’t any cards that stand out as creating an entirely new deck, many are going to add to existing strategies and make some fringe ones more playable.
A lot of chatter has been about what the heavy hitters are going to get from Born of the Gods. Cards like Drown in Sorrow and Bile Blight clearly enhance Mono-Black Devotion, while something as innocuous as Temple of Enlightenment is a huge boon to U/W Control.
Instead of spending a bunch of time talking about what cards are going to make an impact, let’s just get our hands dirty and start churning out lists.
Time to get this one out of the way.
With upgrades, this deck looks even scarier than it did before. Bile Blight should theoretically cut down on the amount of times you get mauled by Pack Rat in the mirror match since it hits multiples and shrinks all of them down. Aside from keeping Mr. Packratigan in check, it also acts as an excellent anti-aggro deterrent; no more will Mono-Black have to take tons of damage from those double Ash Zealot draws, and it will generate a fair share of two-for-ones.
Drown in Sorrow is another card that is going to change the complexion of the aggro deck against Mono-Black Devotion. Red Sligh type decks have a fairly good record against Mono-Black since they can lower the life total before the Mono-Black deck can stabilize in the midgame. Now turn 3 will be spent wiping the aggro deck’s board and on top of that scrying into something devastating.
I like the idea of mixing up the land base for the sake of Nightveil Specter. Instead of just four of a certain Temple, playing the three that produce multiple colors of mana can lead to being able to cast more things off of the Specter. It’s entirely possible the numbers are wrong since some cards that you’d ideally like to hit and cast are things like Jace, Architect of Thought and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.
The last card I’m trying out is Dark Prophecy. As a one-of, I think it’s quite powerful, and in a world of Bile Blight possibly killing several of my creatures at once, I’d like to recoup that card advantage as quickly as I can. The fact that it adds quite handily to devotion is great as well since it makes your Gray Merchant of Asphodels hit much harder.
Next up we have a classic standby in a new format.
This deck is about as basic as it gets: melt their stupid faces off.
I feel like in the early stages of the format people are going to be jamming a lot of Bile Blights and Drown in Sorrows; a deck like this minimizes the effect they have against you and makes a lot of their removal obsolete (except in the case of Ash Zealot).
23 lands might seem like it’s pushing it, but with spells like Warleader’s Helix and Chandra, Pyromaster out of the sideboard, we want to be able to cast all of our spells. The scry from Temple of Triumph and Magma Jet should ensure that we avoid flooding out.
The board is where things get a little spicy. Boros Reckoner does a lot of work in creature matchups, so he feels like a great inclusion since Bile Blight should be out in force in everyone’s maindeck. Burning Earth is a forgotten favorite that punishes greedy mana bases, and with even more scry lands entering the format, the worth of it should go up.
Assemble the Legion might seem ambitious, but there are plenty of decks like Mono-Black Devotion that it shines against, not to mention decks like U/W and Esper Control might cut most of their Detention Spheres if they only see your burn spells in game 1. The same logic applies for Chandra, Pyromaster. Counterspells are usually bad against these fast burn decks, and Chandra can start pumping out card advantage or deal incremental damage to return your Phoenix.
Next we have a deck with a card that I believe has great potential in Standard: Courser of Kruphix.
- 4 Burning-Tree Emissary
- 3 Sylvan Primordial
- 4 Elvish Mystic
- 4 Polukranos, World Eater
- 4 Sylvan Caryatid
- 2 Arbor Colossus
- 4 Mistcutter Hydra
- 4 Voyaging Satyr
- 4 Courser of Kruphix
Sometimes you just want to play a bunch of guys and turn them sideways, and if you like doing that, this is the deck for you. Aspect of Hydra might be too cute, but it’s certainly a "GOTCHA!" card in this deck, letting you pump your unblocked creature for a ludicrous amount and hopefully get the kill. It’s a card I want to test more to see if upping the amount of it is a good idea.
Garruk, Caller of Beasts truly shines in this deck since 33 creatures means he’s going to hit and hit often. His -3 loyalty is particularly powerful in this deck since dropping a Sylvan Primordial into play can just outright end the game.
Courser is exceptional in this deck because any lands that she hits are going to accelerate you into a giant creature, but with 22 lands it’s possible that something needs to be cut for an additional land to further her effectiveness.
The sideboard is where I fall in love with this deck. Mending Touch is the second "GOTCHA!" card in that blanking a removal spell or a Supreme Verdict on your biggest creature is going to cause some headaches for your opponent. Nylea’s Disciple is a four-of since we like gaining gratuitous amounts of life against decks like W/R, W/B, and Mono-Red Aggro. Plummet shuts down problematic creatures Stormbreath Dragon and Desecration Demon.
Last is a card that I feel is vastly underrated right now in that no one is talking about it. Unravel the Aether is a very strong card. I remember Grand Prix Atlanta years ago when the trade floor was scrambling for copies of Deglamer since it was an answer to cards like Bitterblossom and Wurmcoil Engine.
This format has tons of ridiculous enchantments and artifacts that this card is going to take care of. Detention Sphere, Underworld Connections, all of the Gods, Ratchet Bomb, and Assemble the Legion just to name a few.
I wouldn’t sleep on this card, and I would expect to get blown out by it more than once this season.
Another deck I like a lot this season is U/W Master of Waves. Remember this little number from when Theros first came out?
While it was extremely rough in design, this was to my knowledge the first deck posted about Master of Waves and the power that he presented when coupled with Thassa and other devotion goodies. This deck got a lot wrong, but it also got a lot right. The only reason there weren’t four Thassas in this deck was because a very well-known professional player that shall go unnamed told us that four was too many and that Thassa probably wasn’t even good.
At any rate, one question I get a lot is "is the U/W Master deck still viable?"
The last few months I’ve said no.
Now I’m saying yes.
- 4 Judge's Familiar
- 4 Frostburn Weird
- 4 Cloudfin Raptor
- 4 Nightveil Specter
- 4 Deputy of Acquittals
- 4 Thassa, God of the Sea
- 4 Master of Waves
- 2 Ephara, God of the Polis
Bear in mind this is a rough draft.
Replacing Tidebinder Mage is Deputy of Acquittals, a card which plays extremely well with Ephara, God of the Polis. Aside from adding the same level of devotion that a Tidebinder Mage typically would, Deputy saves your creatures from removal spells and puts a 2/2 on the board. In conjunction with Ephara, the Deputy will allow you to draw extra cards in a more consistent manor than Jace, Architect of Thought. Too often Jace was just a Divination that cost four or fodder for a Hero’s Downfall. Since Ephara is indestructible, she should be a more constant stream of card advantage past the first turn she is in play. All of a sudden a turn 5 Cloudfin Raptor puts a creature on the board and draws you a card.
Also, chaining Deputy of Acquittals will basically give you "infinite" blockers that draw you tons of cards. It might be stretching it, but I think this card has a lot of untapped potential.
Detention Sphere is a card we finally get to play, and since it is one of the most powerful cards in Standard, I am pleased to include it. Removing the best threat your opponent has is awesome, but don’t forget that it adds two devotion to Ephara along with one to Thassa. Removal with added upside—hooray!
The sideboard is what you’d typically expect from a Mono-Blue Devotion deck with the added power of Revoke Existence. Revoke is a card with so much utility in this format that if you’re playing white you should assuredly have it in your 75. For the same reasons I like Unravel the Aether, I love Revoke Existence even more. The sheer power of exiling your opponent’s God, enchantment, or artifact is way too good not to utilize.
Last is a nifty little number for your upcoming FNM.
I have no idea if it’s competitive or not on a grander scale, but dare I dream this tribe is playable?
I should also add that I’m on three different kinds of medication and painkillers for a severe kidney issue I’m having so this deck was probably influenced by that.
But . . .
. . .
. . .
- 4 Boros Reckoner
- 4 Rageblood Shaman
- 3 Kragma Warcaller
- 4 Fanatic of Mogis
- 4 Deathbellow Raider
- 4 Minotaur Skullcleaver
- 3 Mogis, God of Slaughter
- 4 Ragemonger
Do you want to attack people?
Do you want to beat them with a sweet Draft deck?
All your creatures have awesome names!
Ragemonger? Have you seen that art?
He’s beating someone to death with a skeleton-staff thingy. Yay!
Joking aside, this deck has a lot of surprising tools. Ragemonger is strong, and he lets you play out your hand with furious speed. Together with Kragma Warcaller, you can unleash a ton of damage out of nowhere. The best part about this deck is that almost every single one of your creatures dodges Pharika’s Cure, Doom Blade, and Drown in Sorrow.
Mogis, God of Slaughter isn’t hard at all to turn on with this deck, and despite making all of your creatures cost less, Ragemonger doesn’t take away from the huge amounts of devotion this deck can churn out, making Mogis a creature with ease. Not to mention you can just "oops" them with Fanatic of Mogis.
The sideboard is mostly meant to keep your side of the board greater than your opponent’s, and when they play something difficult to deal with, Act of Treason lets you kill them with it!
Is this deck good? I have no idea!
But I do know that it’s cheap to build and can lead to some pretty degenerate wins.
. . .
. . .
. . .
Well that does it for today.
There are a ton more decks I’m working on, like U/W Control, B/R/W Midrange, Esper Control, and others, but I figured these are good places to start since they allow us to use a healthy amount of new cards to get our brains working.
Since most of the builds are rough, I’m sure there’s a lot of room for improvement. If you have some suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Also, make sure to talk about your Born of the Gods Standard decks. Share the wealth and information! You know I love hearing about it, and I always do my best to respond.
Time to let the rest of this medication do its thang.
See you all in la la land.
Catch ya on the flip-
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