Welcome to What We’d Play! With Zendikar Rising Standard shifting so quickly, many are unsure what they’d play in the format. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this advice aids in your decision making for your next Zendikar Rising Standard event!
Autumn Burchett – Mono-Green Food
- 2 Scavenging Ooze
- 2 Thrashing Brontodon
- 4 Gilded Goose
- 4 Lovestruck Beast
- 4 Wicked Wolf
- 4 Feasting Troll King
- 4 Tangled Florahedron
- 4 Kazandu Mammoth
Standard seems to be in a great place at the moment with a lot of viable decks and a metagame that naturally ebbs and flows based on whatever the most recent results are. Gruul Adventures is a fantastic deck, but decks like Esper Doom Foretold line up very well against it. Esper in turn struggles against Mono-Green Food, which folds hard to Temur Ramp, which is weak to Dimir Rogues and Gruul Adventures, and so on. If there’s a deck you want to beat you can do so, and it’s more a question of which decks you should be trying to beat.
Mono-Green Food has been the most appealing deck for a week or two now, putting up a good fight against Gruul Adventures whilst beating up on the Doom Foretold decks that rose to keep Gruul in check. It’s likely that at some point Food stops being the thing to do – as fewer people play Gruul there may be an opportunity for my beloved Temur Ramp or other Ugin, the Spirit Dragon strategies to return, for example – but I’m not convinced we’re at that point yet, so for now I want to be playing the deck to beat rather than the decks that beat it.
I’ve not played a huge amount with the archetype myself, focusing on Historic testing instead, but I like the look of the list that Todd Anderson wrote about. Notably Witch’s Oven has looked quite impressive from the other side of the table, making Feasting Troll King a nightmare to answer when I’m playing Doom Foretold control decks, so I appreciate the presence of that card in reasonable numbers.
Corey Baumeister – Bant Blink (Yorion)
- 4 Gilded Goose
- 4 Wicked Wolf
- 1 Giant Killer
- 1 Charming Prince
- 2 Dream Trawler
- 3 Yorion, Sky Nomad
- 4 Skyclave Apparition
- 3 Glasspool Mimic
It is no secret that I prefer to play Yorion decks over anything else. But with Azorius Yorion decks being hot garbage and Esper Doom Foretold being pretty hated out at the moment, I had no choice but to create something new. Selesnya Blink dominates Gruul-based strategies but struggles with other blue decks due to lack of counterspells. That is the reason I just jammed the best of all three Yorion-based decks into one Gruul-smashing, counterspell-wielding masterpiece.
The one massive negative about this version is the vulnerability to the new Zareth San, the Trickster versions of Dimir Rogues. We just don’t have enough ways to deal with that incredible creature and the instant speed of Shark Typhoon. But if you expect a ton of Gruul, get ready for Wicked Wolf to huff and puff them all to the ground.
Shaheen Soorani – Dimir Control
Dimir Control is the real deal in Standard. A strong contender prior to bannings, Dimir Control gained power with the overall reduction of power in the format. The fast decks, Gruul Adventures being the most prevalent, find it difficult to maneuver through the sheer amount of targeted removal that we have. The one-for-ones keep on coming, while Frantic Inventory, Cling to Dust, Sea Gate Restoration, and the power of the planeswalkers produce enough card advantage to add fuel to the fire.
Fast decks dominate Standard’s top tables, with the occasional ramp deck that has tried to stay relevant after recent losses of Omnath, Locus of Creation; Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath; and Escape to the Wilds. The fast decks still take skillful play to defeat, but the slower decks are at a severe disadvantage against Dimir Control. For the reason, it remains my top contender to attack the format.
I continue to remove cards that disrupt late-game spells in order to add additional black removal to handle the early onslaught of creatures. These changes have not affected my win percentage against the decks that wield expensive spells, and further increase the overall success of Dimir Control. I highly recommend this deck to any control fan, as it continues to impress me each day.
Dom Harvey – Temur Adventures (Obosh)
- 4 Lovestruck Beast
- 4 Beanstalk Giant
- 4 Edgewall Innkeeper
- 4 Bonecrusher Giant
- 4 Brazen Borrower
- 4 Terror of the Peaks
- 1 Kazandu Mammoth
Temur Adventures and Temur Ramp are two proven strategies in this remarkably healthy Standard ecosystem, offshoots of the best deck before the most recent bans. This list with inspiration from Kyle Boggemes is indicative of the new direction this flexible shell is taking to attack the biggest threats right now.
The dedicated Temur Ramp decks were often too slow to handle Gruul’s fast starts and their expensive spells were easily outmanoeuvred by Dimir Rogues. The Adventures package brings the anti-aggro duo of Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck Beast as well as Edgewall Innkeeper, a classic foil to reactive decks or draws. If given time, Temur Adventures (Obosh) still has an incredible end-game thanks to Genesis Ultimatum leading to sudden kills with Terror of the Peaks or an insurmountable advantage thanks to The Great Henge.
Temur Adventures (Obosh) even gets to play a companion at minimal cost. The only real loss is sideboard cards like Scorching Dragonfire or The Akroan War, which you can still ensure access to in games where you’re willing to make that sacrifice. Obosh, the Preypiercer isn’t as scary as Lurrus of the Dream-Den or Yorion, Sky Nomad but it gives you a finisher that’s good flood insurance and makes your large creatures hit even harder.
I’m trying Barrier Breach as a sideboard card for Esper Doom Foretold (Yorion or otherwise). It’s possible that Broken Wings is a better hedge against common sideboard pivots like Archon of Sun’s Grace, Baneslayer Angel, and Mazemind Tome, or that you’re meant to ignore those and just present a stream of high-impact threats like Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate.