The Hottest Dominaria Technology

GerryT gives his views on all the insane lists that have come out of Dominaria! This is your last shot to go rogue at the SCG Baltimore team showdown!

Lyra Dawnbringer. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. History of Benalia. These are
the cards you should expect to see in winning decklists.


Standard might be deeper than we thought.

10. Don’t Even Bother Sleeving It

Seriously, this deck is like fifty cents.

Everyone should probably have a copy of this on hand in case you run into
someone who wants to learn how to play Magic and then immediately win their
first FNM.

I’m only half kidding.

9. Adding Some Mythic Rares to Your 23 Islands

I’m sure the mono-red, mono-black, and mono-white mages of the multiverse
get to feel this all the time, but do you know how nice it is to register a
deck with 23 of the same basic land? Mana screwed? Too many lands entering
the battlefield tapped?

Not today!

When was the last time a mono-blue deck was actually good in Standard?
Decks like Illusions (or Favorable Winds) don’t count. The first decklist
kind of falls under that category, but it’s got a big blue midrange feel to
it, so I’ll let it slide. I’m super excited about the second decklist

Mono-Blue Control isn’t a thing that typically happens. You will often find
yourself needing to dip into a second color in order to have sufficient
removal. However, this deck gets around that by playing huge threats and
cards like Blink of an Eye and Commit, which can answer any type of
permanent, at least temporarily.

You don’t have the best sideboard options with mono-colored decks, but this
deck experiments with some nice options like In Bolas’s Clutches, River’s
Rebuke, and Ceremonious Rejection. With all the Karns and Heart of Kirans
around, it’s no wonder that Spell Pierce is showing up in main decks.

Very exciting times.

8.The Torment is Real. Kind of.

Mono-Black Control during the Torment era created one of the first
Magic memes. Whenever a new card would be previewed (or even when Nantuko
Shade was reprinted), people would automatically assume the return of
Mono-Black Control was happening.

It never happened. [Uh …-Agent DWest]

was a long time ago, and not only was Torment juiced with crazy
black cards, everyone else’s cards were way worse. Cabal Stronghold, Dread
Shade, and impossibly expensive cards like Josu Vess, Lich Knight
revitalized the meme.

Yet, here we are. Fatal Push, Vraska’s Contempt, and Gifted Aetherborn
provide a solid foundation for a mono-black strategy while colorless cards
like Walking Ballista and Karn cover some of your bases. Is it time? Is
Mono-Black Control actually back?

I’ve been conditioned to be skeptical, but honestly, this decklist doesn’t
look bad.

7. One Key Interaction

I included this decklist simply to highlight how absurd Grand Warlord Radha
is alongside Fight with Fire.

Move along.

6. The Age-Old Question

Ah, yes, a classic dilemma – Do you play counterspells and removal or mana

U/W Control has been crushing it with Teferis as of late, but maybe the
whole “counterspells and removal” thing isn’t very good. Or rather,
accelerating out your threats is a better plan than trying to control what
your opponent is doing. The mana isn’t perfect, so you’re losing out on
some percentage points that way, but it probably balances out to some
degree with the acceleration.

Twelve planeswalkers is a number that strikes me as too many, but I’m
definitely not the

Expensive Sorcery Master of StarCityGames

, so take that with a grain of salt. Either way, if people quickly adapt to
U/W Control and its lack of battlefield presence, this could be a great way
to still do U/W things while continuing to be successful.

5. White is the Best Color in Standard: An Example

White is so disgustingly good that you can add cards to your deck at random
and still be successful. We are reaching the territory where you could have
two Mono-White decks in Unified Standard and probably win the tournament.

Cards like Karn, Lyra, and Teferi aren’t even present in this decklist and
it still beat everyone, but that’s because Benalish Marshal and History of
Benalia are also incredible. They just haven’t been getting as much airtime
as the flashy mythics.

There is no consensus best way to build a token strategy, but I don’t think
it really matters. Play Kinjali Sunwing and Sacred Cat if you want since
you’re going to win anyway.

4. Standard: The Place Where Midrange Piles of Cards

Tall413’s decklist looks like a solid place to start if you want to
midrange. Point and click your removal spells, draw cards with Karn and
Treasure Map, and eventually finish the game with a neo-Baneslayer Angel.

You really can’t go wrong with Karn, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, and Treasure
Map, especially if you have enough removal to interact with your opponent’s
key threats. You’ll lose equity against harder control decks, but Arguel’s
Blood Fast and Duress typically give you a huge edge in the sideboard

Tohae’s deck is a riff on the B/U Midrange decks that were popular last
season, but I can’t say I’m a fan of this update. The mana is wonky, adding
History of Benalia into the mix doesn’t seem like it will solve many of
your problems, and The Scarab God is worse than it’s ever been.

Proceed with caution.

3. This Decklist Starts Normal Enough…

There are enough legendary creatures to warrant playing Ancient Animus, but
not even a single copy of Mox Amber? For shame. Only having Mox Amber
online after you cast a three-drop isn’t a great reward, so I get it, but
I’d still be tempted to play with Oviya, Shanna, and Mox Amber regardless.

Still, there’s a lesson here — Shalai, Voice of Plenty plus Winding
Constrictor is game over. Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Walking Ballista add
even more craziness to the synergy. This is a midrange deck that is going
to win any long game against a fair deck, so it has more removal on average
to ensure it gets to that point. I imagine control is difficult, but that’s
what the sideboard is for.

Winding Constrictor also has a couple of under-explored synergies in this
deck, like Yahenni, Undying Partisan and Ancient Animus. While both fine
cards in their own rights, Winding Constrictor makes them outrageous. It’s
not a surprise there are copies of Adventurous Impulse in the deck to help
everything come together.

This deck shows that three-color manabases are entirely possible in this
new world. Hurray!

2. One of the Most Important Dominaria Cards

I met FastFake at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad and have been a
huge fan ever since. He’s an incredibly nice dude and always has
interesting takes on beatdown decks, and this is no different.

It’s incredible what a difference a single dual land can make. The enemy
checklands have revitalized enemy-colored archetypes entirely. W/B is the
best deck in the format, B/G Constrictor has seen an uptick, and Sulfur
Falls makes decks like this actually playable. Goblin Chainwhirler in a
three-color deck? No problem!

Adding Whirler Virtuoso and some counterspells to Vehicles could certainly
be upgrades in numerous matchups. We need the occasional reminder that
Whirler Virtuoso is still a card. Eleven ways to enable Jaya’s Immolating
Inferno seems low to me, so I’m curious how well those performed for him.
Heart of Kiran and Karn, Scion of Urza go great together and provide a
solid foundation for the legendary sorceries, so I wouldn’t be surprised if
those start popping up more and more.

Whether this is actually better than R/B is dubious, but I appreciate the
effort either way. Plus, talking about how there are many ways you can
innovate on the typical Vehicles shell segues quite nicely into the next

1. The Most Appropriate Screen Name

UNIQ wins the “make Teshar happen” award. And with Merchant’s Dockhand? You
get extra points!

This nearly Mono-Blue take on the mostly familiar Vehicles shell (plus the
version above) make me wonder if we haven’t been doing it wrong the entire
time. Cards like Glint-Nest Crane and Scrap Trawler have been around, but
there was never a particularly good artifact payoff until Karn, Scion of

Now there’s a reason to have as many artifacts as possible rather than the
bare minimum to make Toolcraft Exemplar or Inventor’s Apprentice good.
Because the majority of the deck is colorless, you also get to play
Zhalfirin Void, which is pretty sweet. Schott’s list has Chief of the
Foundry, Foundry Inspector, and Bomat Courier, which is another interesting
direction to take.

The sideboard is a little wonky, but it’s week two at this point. I fully
expect folks to be trying out nonsense and you can see how UNIQ has evolved
their sideboard already. This deck wins the UNIQ-ness award, hands down.

I love it.