Temur Adventures Is The Perfect Counter To The Current Kaldheim Standard Metagame

Looking for the perfect deck to take Kaldheim Standard by surprise? Gerry T has you covered and then some with Temur Adventures!

Lovestruck Beast, illustrated by Kev Walker

Kaldheim Standard is moving rapidly but I’ve been able to keep up. My plan has always involved learning the major archetypes, the options for building them, and how they could adapt. From there, you can select the best type of deck to play each weekend. Of course, to do that successfully, you also have to be relatively good at predicting the metagame. 

It’s a long process with numerous steps that involves plenty of failure. You have to get everything right and sometimes it feels like there are too many steps to not fail in some aspect. Getting better at this process has been my focus for a while. 

In this instance, the process is simple enough that my confidence level is high. When Kaldheim was released, it mostly added new cards to already existing archetypes. White-based aggro was present throughout, especially on Magic Online, but didn’t seem to be a huge threat. Suddenly, Sultai Ramp (Yorion) exploded in popularity and most of our energy has been spent on ways to beat that deck. 

Apparently, the answer was in front of us all along. 

I’ve sung the praises of white-based aggressive decks in Kaldheim Standard already, but the direction I took it isn’t the best way to go about things anymore. Attempting to win a war of attrition with Showdown of the Skalds means very little against an opponent with Emergent Ultimatums. Your win percentage against those decks improves dramatically when the focus is on dealing twenty damage as quickly as possible.

Mono-White Aggro❄ has difficult-to-remove threats, reach from Maul of the Skyclaves, and disruption in Reidane, God of the Worthy. Much to Cedric Phillips’ delight, Savannah Lions are back on the menu (CEDitor’s Note: Hell yeah it is!)

Sadly for him, I’m about to introduce another under the radar deck that has all the tools to be the new best deck (CEDitor’s Note: Dude cmon…). 

I’m not going to claim to have reinvented the wheel because decks with similar compositions have been showing up on the SCG Tour Online and doing quite well.

Gruul Adventures splashing Miscast in order to fight Emergent Ultimatum sounds kind of silly, no? Roiling Vortex already exists! Sadly, it’s too easy to get around Roiling Vortex. If decklists are open or you’re heading into Game 3, they can sideboard out their Ultimatums and use any other big card to beat you, such as Koma, Cosmos Serpent. The counterspells have utility against sweepers, which makes them actually worth it.

Miscast Roiling Vortex

You can build your deck to be resilient to spot removal but that typically involves slowing down your clock. That, in turn, makes you more vulnerable to Emergent Ultimatum. Establishing a clock and protecting it from a sweeper or a game-winning Ultimatum is easier. 

Mono-White Aggro❄ probably won’t last long as the best deck but it will become a metagame fixture. The same can be said for Sultai Ramp (Yorion). As those metagame numbers shift, the utility of sideboard counterspells in Gruul Adventures will naturally wane as well. This is a decklist meant for this weekend, with the goal to reevaluate next week. 

One of the big shifts in Gruul Adventures technology has been the move away from The Great Henge and back toward Embercleave. With the decks in Kaldheim Standard closing the door incredibly quickly, messing around with The Great Henge isn’t exactly viable. I prefer the gameplay of The Great Henge to Embercleave but even I can’t pretend that Embercleave isn’t the strongest end-game at the moment. With the popularity of Sultai Ramp (Yorion), Embercleave is a stronger choice of payoff than The Great Henge. Binding the Old Gods is also a solid answer to The Great Henge that didn’t exist beforehand.

Gruul Adventures has always had a niche at fighting specific Standard trends. Shredded Sails and Embereth Shieldbreaker are cards that don’t line up particularly well against most decks but truly shine when the format has artifacts. 

Run Afoul is another sideways answer to Maul of the Skyclaves that has some other applications. It’s excellent against the Izzet decks that try to protect Goldspan Dragon with a counterspell. In mirror matches, you’re more concerned with Embercleave, so Shredded Sails is typically better.

Shredded Sails Embereth Shieldbreaker Run Afoul

Run Afoul has the potential to be incredible. If you want sneaky percentage points against Mono-White Aggro❄, you could try playing it instead of Shredded Sails. With the popularity of mirror matches, I prefer Shredded Sails being able to handle Embercleave but Run Afoul solves most of the same problems. It has the added upside of being difficult to play around. 

Embereth Shieldbreaker isn’t great against Sultai Ramp (Yorion), although it can punish them if they don’t remove Edgewall Innkeeper as soon as possible. It can occasionally snipe a Mazemind Tome but it’s one of the first cards to get sideboarded out, even if it can provide some early pressure. 

The slightly higher curve appreciates a couple copies of Tangled Florahedron. I continue to be perplexed by players who don’t account for the addition of Goldspan Dragon into their decklists. An additional red source is most welcome, as are more mana sources in general, and I’ve been very happy with Florahedron in low numbers.

Be careful with your manabase. I wanted to fit in as many blue sources as possible. Drawing one of your key sideboard cards and being unable to cast it isn’t acceptable, so I’m making a sacrifice in another area — I only have one Mountain to fetch for. If the only red sources you draw are Fabled Passage, you could be unable to cast Goldspan Dragon or Shatterskull Smashing if you need to. 

Our Island could very easily be in the maindeck if we wanted to save a sideboard slot. I’m not willing to play Ketria Triome because of how light the blue splash is. Technically, there aren’t any lands that enter the battlefield tapped but the DFCs and Fabled Passage can make curving out difficult at times. I don’t want to further exacerbate that problem if I can help it. That said, it would help with our occasional color requirements.

VS Sultai Ramp (Yorion)


Embereth Shieldbreaker Embereth Shieldbreaker Fire Prophecy Fire Prophecy Embercleave Embercleave


Miscast Miscast Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Island

You usually won’t be able to beat an Emergent Ultimatum for a sweeper, Alrund’s Epiphany, and Valki, God of Lies. Countering it is key, but winning before they get to seven mana is also an option. 

As much as I love the card, Toski, Bearer of Secrets doesn’t fit into the overall gameplan of ending the game as soon as possible. However, it is another way to get around sweepers and having an engine is very powerful alongside counterspells. Something like Esika’s Chariot could be just as good though.

Tangled Florahedron will mostly get caught up in sweepers, so it might be better off as a land most of the time. For a while, I had more cards to bring in, so Florahedron was getting sided out. You might want to side out a mana source because of the Island coming in but we’re so starved for red and green mana that I don’t think you can afford to without taking some serious risks. 

VS Mono-White Aggro❄


Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Embercleave


Fire Prophecy Shredded Sails Shredded Sails Elder Gargaroth Elder Gargaroth

The plan against Mono-White Aggro❄ is similar to the plan against Dimir Rogues. You want to load up on spot removal, kill their important cards, and win with your higher card quality. Racing with Embercleave can be an appealing notion but their light removal makes that difficult if you’re not also interacting with them.

One reason not to play Run Afoul, at least before artifact removal, is Glass Casket. Disenchants are incredible against their Equipment and Glass Caskets, so we want to overload on them.

It’s time for the return of Elder Gargaroth. It doesn’t really look like they can beat it and it’s also very good against mirrors barring any copies of The Akroan War. Sultai players should be doing the same.

VS Gruul Adventures


Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Brushfire Elemental Embereth Shieldbreaker Embereth Shieldbreaker


Shredded Sails Shredded Sails The Akroan War The Akroan War Elder Gargaroth Elder Gargaroth

Embereth Shieldbreaker is a much stronger answer to The Great Henge than against Embercleave and I’m assuming Embercleave is where everyone is going to be. Disdainful Stroke is very solid here. I would only want two copies and I wouldn’t want to bring in the Island, so do so at your own risk. 

VS Dimir Rogues


Embercleave Embercleave Embercleave Embereth Shieldbreaker Embereth Shieldbreaker


Shredded Sails Shredded Sails Fire Prophecy Ox of Agonas Ox of Agonas

I’m certainly slacking on the Dimir Rogues matchup. It’s fallen out of favor and there are too many different types of decks to account for, so something has to give. In this case, I’m not playing Phoenix of Ash anymore. It’s not a deal breaker in the matchup but certainly makes things more difficult.

VS Rakdos Sacrifice


Embereth Shieldbreaker Embereth Shieldbreaker Fire Prophecy Fire Prophecy


The Akroan War The Akroan War Ox of Agonas Ox of Agonas

There are many ways to approach this matchup and the correct route should be determined by their decklist. Against most versions, Fire Prophecy is weak because you don’t care about their smaller creatures and will eventually punch through with flyers or Embercleave. On the other hand, versions without Mire Triton and Tymaraet Calls the Dead will probably be forced to play naked Immersturm Predators. They could also be light on sacrifice outlets for their Claim the Firstborns and The Akroan Wars without Woe Strider. In either case, Fire Prophecy becomes more imporant. 

If they have fewer than three copies of Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger, Ox of Agonas is less than optimal. I enjoy using their Kroxas as a free way of getting it into the graveyard to use later but it’s cumbersome if you have to cast it on your own. Plus, if they don’t have Kroxa, they’re usually killing you with giant flyers, so you have less time to grind.

If you think splashing for counterspells is a bad plan, you’re not entirely wrong. There are issues, although most of the concerns are significantly lessened by the fact that Goldspan Dragon is in your deck. Gruul has the tools to beat Sultai Ramp (Yorion) without splashing but the margins are slimmer than I’d prefer. 

In a vacuum, I like the snow version of Gruul Adventures, and would recommend this.