As we enter into spoiler season for Shadows over Innistrad, it will be important to keep in mind what the rotation of Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged will do to Standard. Notably, the removal of fetchlands will be huge, instantly making many decks that have been staples of the format unviable. The remaining lands in Standard do not provide mana nearly as smooth and that will constrict what is possible moving forward.
To me, the Eldrazi come out as winners in all of this because they allow you to use painlands for three different types of mana, which makes them much more powerful than any other option. These enemy pairs also contain a creature-land each, the next most-powerful set of lands available. While we have seen Mono-Blue Eldrazi become a relevant archetype in Standard, this is among the first attempts at an ambitious two-color Eldrazi list, which makes it all the more exciting.
The maindeck contains the usual Eldrazi fare with Reality Smasher, Thought-Knot Seer, and Matter Reshaper, but supplements them with Bearer of Silence and Catacomb Sifter. Sifter has already left a mark on the format alongside Rally the Ancestors, but beyond being a combo piece, this is just a solid card at a good rate. For three mana, you are given three power spread across two bodies, some optional mana acceleration, and a little card selection. It is an unassuming but potent package that finds a nice home in this deck.
Bearer of Silence is similar in role to Dimensional Infiltrator from the blue Eldrazi lists. Having a cheap flier to equip with Ghostfire Blade is excellent, and this one becomes even better as the game progresses, a rare characteristic for two-mana creatures to have.
Nartian323, who went 5-0 in a Standard League with this build, supplements the Eldrazi with Standard staples in Sylvan Advocate and two copies of Nissa, Vastwood Seer, the latter a powerful card that seems a bit out-of-place. However, the Mono-Blue Eldrazi deck was always mana-hungry in practice, so I would not be surprised if this deck functioned similarly, making Nissa much more appropriate. Between all the utility lands and Ghostfire Blade, there are plenty of ways to use excess mana, and being able to develop your board quickly is important, so hitting every land drop in the early game is critical.
The one surprise in the manabase is the decision to forgo any copies of Foundry of the Consuls. I have been most impressed by it in the other Eldrazi lists, and despite the decreased emphasis on flying creatures, I think it is more powerful than Sea Gate Wreckage and Tomb of the Spirit Dragon.
The sideboard is quite typical for this format, with the one surprise being From Beyond. This forgotten enchantment can take over any long game, especially in conjunction with Ghostfire Blade. I look at it as something like Evolutionary Leap with more of the cost paid upfront rather than over the course of the game.
With this deck retaining its entire core outside of Ghostfire Blade after rotation, I can see great value in picking it up, learning about it in the waning days of this metagame, and then adapting it for the post-Shadows metagame as a powerful and already well-tuned option. I for one welcome our new Eldrazi overlords.
- 2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
- 4 Catacomb Sifter
- 4 Reality Smasher
- 4 Sylvan Advocate
- 3 Thought-Knot Seer
- 4 Bearer of Silence
- 3 Hedron Crawler
- 3 Matter Reshaper