Standard is an aggro player’s paradise right now with Ramunap Red, Zombies, and some bigger aggro decks like B/G Constrictor at the top of the metagame. Typically, linear aggro decks are easy targets for midrange and control players who can simply pair the best spot removal, sweepers, and card advantage with appropriate creatures, taking care to build a curve that won’t fall too far behind to a hyper-aggressive start.
One of the critical mistakes a lot of people make when trying to beat aggressive decks is shunning their top-end entirely, too afraid of having any card rot in their hand as the game slips away. The key is having enough early interaction to get to the mid-game and then take over with a bevy of more powerful cards while your opponents are left topdecking Bomat Courier and Dread Wanderer.
Today’s deck is well-equipped for taking over on turn 5 or 6 by reanimating giant creatures, headlined by Razaketh, the Foulblooded. And of course, what’s better than reanimating one creature?
Reanimating two creatures! Ever After creates a huge swing on the battlefield, often stabilizing you on the spot or even letting you immediately turn the corner and get aggressive, a key against red aggro in particular, given how much reach it has between burn spells and Deserts.
Unsurprisingly, Champion of Wits is the card that pulls the deck together, giving you a graveyard enabler that affects the battlefield. Strategic Planning and Oath of Jace round out that package, but curving them together will likely end poorly against a good aggressive draw, which is why Yahenni’s Expertise makes a maindeck appearance, essentially letting you cast an enabler while keeping those pesky creatures off your back.
With a deck like this, getting the ratios right is imperative, and with Traverse the Ulvenwald in the deck, your choices of reanimation targets is nearly endless. Given how aggro-filled the metagame is, I can see moving even further toward early interaction, although you have some extra removal in the sideboard for that purpose. It also has tons of lifegain between Pulse of Murasa, Noxious Gearhulk, and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, so you don’t need as much in the early-game as a deck like U/R Control.
This aggro-dominated metagame can’t possibly continue long-term. It’s too easy to exploit at a fundamental level, and a deck like this is looking to move in that direction.
- 1 Greenwarden of Murasa
- 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
- 1 Angel of Deliverance
- 1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- 1 Demon of Dark Schemes
- 3 Noxious Gearhulk
- 1 The Scarab God
- 2 Razaketh, the Foulblooded
- 4 Champion of Wits