Now that Kaladesh is part of our everyday Standard, you can pick apart what makes the decks in the format tick. That also lets you spot weaknesses in the metagame, in addition to just finding cool new budget approaches to Standard. Today’s deck helps accomplish all of those goals. Here’s a sweet new “go big” deck:
These 2 cards are your win conditions. It’s technically possible to kill with Lumbering Falls too, but realistically you’ll do all your heavy lifting with this duo. Thing provides an early blocker then clears the way later of pesky blockers that keep you from chaining Part turns. Combined, you get to go from losing horribly to winning on the spot. It’s one crazy feeling, and if you didn’t experience that joy with last season’s mono-blue deck, then you get another chance here.
These are your set-up cards. They ensure that you can find what you need while also filling up your graveyard. Milling a Take Inventory makes the first one you cast much more worth its mana, and in the meantime you’ll be throwing a ton of lands into the graveyard.
Explosive Vegetation may have rotated but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lot of ramp fun still. This will often just be a Veggies imposter on turn 4, but as the game goes longer it will return more and more lands such that you can cast it, untap, and chain Part the Waterveils. Evolving Wilds wouldn’t be necessary in this 2-color deck, but it combines well with Sudden Reclamation, allowing for constant rebuys. This interaction, along with Nissa’s Renewal, is part of the reason the deck is filled with as many basic lands as possible.
This is a similar idea to Splendid Reclamation, but fixed in the life and lands you get. Importantly it gets you to 9 mana, which is the critical amount to start chaining Parts. If you do have a Thing in the Ice in play it will also usually flip on the Renewal or Part turn, and turn 6 (or 5 with Reclamation) is where all the action really gets going.
These cards are incredibly similar but I like the split between them for now. Seasons Past will usually draw more cards but never lets you pick up 2 expensive cards you might want (i.e., 2 Part the Waterveils that were milled with Grapples). Wildest Dreams can be cheaper and offers a bit more flexibility, but is way less efficient. It does have the nice bonus of costing 1 so it can get returned by Seasons Past if milled, though remember that Wildest Dreams is exiled on resolution.
Kind of a weird looking sideboard card but this deck really has trouble versus Spell Queller. Plummet is a nice clean answer, and against those decks you can often kill an Avacyn or Smuggler’s Copter so Plummet will rarely be dead. Nothing fancy, but just the right card for the job.
Playing the Deck
The main plan is simply to survive. You’ll be constantly casting spells to set up your end game, and there are a few interactive cards included in the deck simply to aid this purpose. The nice news is you’ll usually have a pretty full hand and casting a ton of card draw spells over and over is pretty nice. Control decks are a little tricky game 1, but they importantly lack a true critical mass of counterspells and you can often get key cards to resolve simply because you have enough of them. Lumbering Falls is also huge here, though watch out for Avacyns and Torrential Gearhulks, which can ultimately ruin your day.
Against black decks you’ll want to bring in Trackers because Lost Legacy on Part the Waterveil is a real beating. You can still win of course, but it’s important to have the right tools to do so. One of the hardest parts of playing Constructed matchups is boarding to anticipate what your opponent will do. It’s not truly about what’s good or bad versus a deck, but what’s good or bad against your opponent’s board plan. Between all the counterspells and Tireless Trackers there should be a way to fight through opposing disruption.
The version I had before included Jaddi Offshoot, but I removed it because it doesn’t block particularly well right now and there are very few true burn decks. But if you are afraid of an aggro metagame, it is effective at gaining tons of life.
With as much ramping as this deck does, you could take the deck in a fireball direction with a Burn from Within splash where you just throw giant X-spells at your opponent. I haven’t actually tested that version, but it’s an interesting alternative. I like that that plan can incorporate more controlling elements and be less all-in than the straight Simic build, but the cleanness of the current version has a lot of qualities that really call to me as a player.
Kiora, Master of Depths isn’t particularly expensive nor is she particularly good here because she just gets attacked the turn you cast her. She also isn’t an instant or sorcery and thus your Pieces of the Puzzle become far worse. I do think she could be okay in a Temur build though.
Nissa, Vital Force on the other hand would be quite good as a 2-of because she protects herself and can apply additional pressure while also providing mana ramp to 6 in case you miss your land drop the following turn. If you want to add a pair, I would cut a Grapple with the Past and a Compelling Deterrence.
It’s the perfect time to brew. Standard is fresh, there are tons of current decks, and possibilities upon possibilities just waiting to be explored. Let me know your thoughts on the deck and if I missed anything, and I’ll see you next time for more money-saving Magic!