GerryT’s 10 Things: Return Of The Rebels

The Standard tech keeps coming as we march toward SCG CON! Gerry has all of it here, plus some Modern and Legacy hilarity to match!

New Standard decklists with Dominaria, Karn, Scion of Urza in
Legacy, some excellent decklists, and nostalgia. What more could you
possibly want out of an article?

10: Fighting Angels with Fire

Could Mono-Red use some extra staying power? Likely, given how strong the
various decks in Standard are now. There’s also the Lyra Dawnbringer
problem, but thankfully there aren’t many problems that can’t be solved
with red cards.

I fully expect Fight with Fire to have a surge in popularity, especially
with a backdoor way to kick it against slower opponents. If they Settle the
Wreckage you, that’s one way, but even stuff like Chandra, Treasure Map,
and Captain Lannery Storm can do a lot of work to get you there.

Having that sort of end game can be huge in Standard and red could use the
help. With Glorybringer looking pretty good again, red decks should be
looking to go a lot bigger.

9: Weird “Mardu” Deck v1.0 AKA “How to Chainwhirl”

Four Goblin Chainwhirlers and basically every land in the deck casts it?
Check. Wisely cutting Toolcraft Exemplar because trying to cast it on Turn
1 would be a nightmare? Check. Fight with Fire to light up Lyras? Check.

Scrapheap Scrounger is a bit difficult to return and you lose out on
Unlicensed Disintegration, but that’s an acceptable loss. Red and white are
strong enough where you don’t need to play high variance cards like
Toolcraft Exemplar and/or play an overly complicated manabase.

I’m also a big fan of Angel of Sanctions right now. Kudos to Raul Porojan
for the innovation.

8: Absolutely Vile

W/B Aggro has been making a strong showing as of late, but this list takes
conventional wisdom and chucks it out the window. There are no vehicles and
no early aggressive creatures, but the same package of planeswalkers and
removal is present, including Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering at the top end.

To enable it, EvanW has included Danitha Capashen, Paragon and Aryel,
Knight of Windgrace. Aryel has some nice synergies with History of Benalia
and Knight of Malice, but it’s rather light. Conversely, Danitha has zero
synergies altogether, and aside from being a reasonable body isn’t
accomplishing a whole lot for the deck. Is Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering worth
that investment? Given the record, I’m guessing so, which also means the
legendary sorceries are very underplayed relative to how successful they
can be.

7: Mono-Black Gets Tuned!

The Josu Vess, Lich Knights are gone, and in their place are real cards
like Liliana, Death’s Majesty and Ravenous Chupacabra. Overall, I’m really
digging it.

Some versions of this deck have been playing Field of Ruin in the utility
slot, which I don’t mind because it will eventually become a Swamp and not
hurt your Cabal Strongholds. Memorial of Folly strikes me as awkward,
despite there being several cards that you might want to Raise Dead. For
each non-Swamp you play, your Cabal Strongholds get set back but a
non-trivial amount, so I can’t fathom taking that approach.

Regardless, Karn into Liliana is an incredible curve, and I’m making a
mental note to explore that more. This deck is incredibly simple, but I
love it.

6: Weird “Mardu” Deck v2.0

Yuuka took the opposite approach to Ra_Po and went nearly Mono-White with
their Mardu shell, hoping to capitalize on the power of Benalish Marshal.

Using Kari Zev, Skyship Raider as your two-drop of choice might seem
strange (outside of the go-wide synergy with Benalish Marshall), but it
makes sense when you see the sideboard Urza’s Ruinous Blasts. Veteran
Motorist and Scrapheap Scrounger are both absent, but similarly to the
Yawgmoth’s Vile Offerings above, Urza’s Ruinous Blast has a very high
ceiling. Against many decks, it’s a one-sided Plague Wind and then some.

It’s worth noting that most of these white-based decks that used to
transform into midrange are slowly moving their maindeck in that direction.
Lyra Dawnbringer and the like are going to be showing up in more maindecks
as a result, so you need to be prepared.

5: That’s Just Good Deckbuilding AKA “How Not to

Playing four Fetid Pools and four Goblin Chainwhirlers is maybe the most
offensive thing I’ve seen since Dominaria was released. I suppose
it was inevitable.

In reality, there are seventeen red sources for Goblin Chainwhirler (not
counting the four Aether Hub), so that’s should be plenty. It’s just
awkward that four of your lands that don’t cast it are also the Fetid Pools
that you’d prefer to play on turn one.

Overall, Grixis Energy could probably use the help from Goblin
Chainwhirler, but realistically this deck is R/B splashing Whirler
Virtuoso, which doesn’t seem necessary. At that point, what are we doing

4: The Finest Piece of Deckbuilding in This Decade

There’s nothing quite like playing twelve threats, a bunch of nonsense, and
hoping for the best.

This deck utilizes the synergy between Monastery Mentor and Auriok
Salvagers, as they both benefit from playing a pile of cheap artifacts.
Karn, Scion of Urza gets in on the mix as well.

I’m surprised there isn’t a good way to utilize Lion’s Eye Diamond. Can you
throw in four copies of Faithless Looting and two Unburial Rites, or would
that be nonsense? There’s some obvious awkwardness bound to happen when
you’re mostly planning to play Chalice of the Void on one, but that
probably means things are going alright.

Overall, this deck probably has a few different avenues to go down, and I
look forward to seeing how it evolves.

3: Speed it Up or Slow it Down?

Sometimes it takes a while for Legacy to move because of how infrequently
the tournaments happen. First, Lands rose to prominence and was secretly
the best deck despite crushing every tournament. Finally, enough people
picked up the deck that everyone else had to adapt. Diabolic Edicts started
appearing in every decklist and here we are.

Jody has been on top of Legacy for quite a while and swapping from his
beloved Lands to “Turbo” Depths is a great choice for him. Lands quickly
became about making a 20/20 as quickly as possible, so why were they
messing around with Punishing Fires and other nonsense?

Even Jody’s move away from the “turbo” aspect of Dark Depths is heads-up.
Slowing things down a bit and including cards like Deathrite Shaman and
Dark Confidant both protect your Avatar token, but also give you a powerful
backup plan.

While I’m currently favoring the Man of Steel deck (or whatever they’re
calling it now), Jody’s deck would be my second or third choice.

2: New Ways to Show Your Devotion

I both have no idea if this decklist is remotely playable, not do I know
what the next evolution will be, but I’m excited to find out!

For some reason, utilizing Collected Company to enable devotion hasn’t been
something I’ve seen many people try. You always needed a payoff for all
that Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx mana, so I guess we thought we couldn’t play
big payoffs, Collected Company, and still have enough small creatures?
Well, this deck makes all that skepticism obsolete.

Go forth world and Collected Company into Wistful Selkies!

1: Throwback to 2001

Nostalgia is a real thing and this deck makes me incredibly happy.

Ramosian Sergeant was the original Deathrite Shaman, in that it was an
incredibly powerful, annoying one-drop to play against. “Kill this or lose”
shouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation for a Magic card to have, but it
ends up being obnoxious on a one-drop. This deck even moves Ramosian
Sergeant into modern-day playability with Training Grounds!

Rebels provided some of the first busted synergy with Brainstorm,
especially since you could put Rebels back into your deck and search for
them later, making the whole transaction feel a lot like Squadron Hawk.

Honestly, if the Legacy field is all grindy blue decks, I wouldn’t mind
sleeving up Ramosian Sergeant. I can’t imagine this deck has great matchups
across the board though. If all you want is a trip down memory lane, I
highly recommend it.