GerryT’s 10 Things: La Vie En Rogue

Gerry Thompson hoped to get Pro Tour Dominaria inspiration among the decks of Magic Online. Here’s what he found instead.

With Pro Tour Dominaria on the horizon, Standard players are searching the deep, dark corners of the Internet looking for technology, myself included.

Instead of finding a great deck for the Pro Tour, I found these decks.

10: Schott’s Hired

I honestly have no idea if this deck is great or not. Given the cards in the deck and how vulnerable some of them are to Goblin Chainwhirler, I’m guessing that it’s not incredible, but it could still be very good. Metallic Rebuke insulates you a tiny bit, plus cards like Heart of Kiran, Tempest Djinn, and Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp might just beat them anyway.

Zahid is interesting because it blocks red’s biggest threats and doesn’t die to Fight with Fire, plus it hits incredibly hard. Unfortunately, some of the artifacts you use to enable it aren’t ideal cards to put into your deck, but you have to make some sacrifices for synergy.

Schott has been doing good work innovating in Standard ever since Dominaria’s release, mostly with The Antiquities War, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

9: Knighty Knight

Glorybringer, Chandra, and Goblin Chainwhirler have been doing a number on the various white aggro decks in the format, so it’s probably time to move away from Toolcraft Exemplar. Benalish Marshal, while clearly not as strong against control, does a solid job of crewing Heart of Kiran and even pumps your Knights while being a Knight itself! Maybe the coolest thing Benalish Marshal does is protect Lyra Dawnbringer from Fight with Fire.

White has ample removal to deal with most of the threats in the format, and while Heart of Kiran lines up well against your Seal Aways, that card’s stock has declined by quite a bit. It’s very possible that an almost mono-white deck is completely serviceable for this PT. You still get to splash some counterspells, so the U/W Control matchup won’t be a complete nightmare.

8: Throwing Shade (Into Your Three-Color Deck)

I don’t want Dread Shade in my three-color deck. I don’t want Dread Shade in my Aether Hub deck. I would barely want Dread Shade in my mono-black deck. So, what are we doing here?

Also, stop playing Nezahal, Primal Tide. They can just kill it and Disallow the return trigger.

7: Keeping It Simple

“Big green creatures, Vehicles, and Blossoming Defense” has been a winning recipe in Standard thus far. This deck takes it to a whole other level, all while keeping the core of the deck intact.

Four. Cultivator’s. Caravans.

I haven’t seen anyone play this many copies of that card since Michael Majors. It hits hard, does a reasonable job accelerating you, and basically makes Ghalta, Primal Hunger cost GG every single time. Regisaur Alphas will have Ghalta one-shotting your opponent on the turn it enters the battlefield, so that’s pretty nice too. There are even three copies of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship! Vehicles are great against Fumigate, and this (almost) Mono-Green Aggro deck is barely going to be affected by it.

Mono-Green typically splashed Scrapheap Scrounger because they want a two-drop that hits hard, but folks seem to have forgotten that Voltaic Brawler still exists. I don’t like the green aggro decks very much (and I especially don’t like the Samut, Voice of Dissent in the sideboard), but this is a well-built version of that strategy.

6: Affinity for Ban-Worthy Cards

Mox Opal is one of the few truly busted cards still legal in Modern. It hasn’t been banned yet because there are more than enough appropriate counter-measures in place for artifacts. One of the next most ban-worthy cards that’s still legal is Simian Spirit Guide. Neither card has come close to ruining Modern, so why ban them? Let folks have their fun until it becomes too much.

I don’t necessarily like that rationale, but the cards haven’t really been tried together either. It’s just a matter of time. Maybe Affinity isn’t the best deck to abuse both of them together, but I’d be curious what having a bunch of ramp into Karn, Scion of Urza would lead to.

5: Immortal Prison

There isn’t a ton of craziness present here. Skred Red slowly morphed into a Mono-Red Prison strategy, similar to the ones we’ve already seen do well in Legacy. However, using Squee, the Immortal as an enabler for Gemstone Caverns is entirely new.

There’s not much worse than being locked under a Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void. Your opponent might not think much about that Squee sitting in exile since the beginning of the game, but it will eventually start marching toward them, tonberry-style. At that point, the dread starts kicking in as you know your demise is inevitable. At that point, they will know true despair.

4: Sometimes You Come Up Short

Have you ever seen a decklist and just immediately known that it was the one for you? Well, this ain’t it.

Maxing out on Saheeli Rai, Champion of Wits, and Goblin Chainwhirler might make it seem like this deck has focus, but it quickly fades after that. It seems like the designer had an idea but couldn’t flesh it out with cards they wanted, so they ended up selecting fifteen random cards to add to their deck, with Entrancing Melody being the bigger offender.

I get it. You want to build a sweet Saheeli Rai deck, but the pieces just aren’t there. Maybe it’s time to give up instead of adding cards to your deck at random.

3: Gotta Collect ‘Em All

I suppose it was only a matter of time. After all, people were terrified of Goblin Ringleader at one point.

Goblin Warchief and Goblin Chieftain make excellent Collected Company hits, but it’s even better when a Goblin Piledriver or two comes along with them. Legion Loyalist provides the trample necessary to break through blockers.

To top it off, you have Wily Goblin and Skirk Prospector to accelerate those Collected Companies if you want (or your Blood Moons after sideboarding).

Shapers’ Sanctuary out of the sideboard is great against Jeskai and Jund, assuming you can keep Tarmogoyf in check. Tin Street Hooligan looks appealing until you realize it doesn’t work with Collected Company or Goblin Warchief, but it’s still probably worth playing.

2: Just Annoying Enough

What an absolute beating this deck is.

Combo deck? Force of Will.

Creature deck? Snapcaster Mage targeting Swords to Plowshares.

Nonbasic lands? Back to Basics.

Expensive spells? Erayo, Soratami Ascendant.

There’s even Ethersworn Canonist in the sideboard for the full lock with Erayo!

If your idea of happiness is ruining other people’s days, give this a shot. As far as Legacy decks go, this one isn’t egregious in the slightest, but it’s just annoying enough.

1: Counter-Elves

Each week seems to bring about a new decklist that I claim is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. That trend continues today and it makes me incredibly happy.

Have you ever been frustrated by how easy it was for your opponent to grind you out with their mopey Elvish Visionaries and Wirewood Symbiotes when playing a blue deck in Legacy? I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s happened to me more than once. Elves’s draw engine was far better than the Glimpse of Nature or Natural Order part of the deck, so I’m all about it. Maybe now you can outdraw opposing blue decks while still putting up a fight against combo decks and Terminus.

I don’t recommend putting Windswept Heath in your Underground Sea deck, but hey, live your life. Don’t let me stop ya.