Let me preface this by saying that no one is more bored of Standard right now than I am. I was reluctant to even record any Standard videos until Amonkhet was released, but I felt like I would be remiss not to showcase a sweet deck when one arises, especially when my biggest issue with the format is its staleness.
Today we’re taking a look at a deck that’s part Eldrazi, part B/G Energy, and part awesome. Anyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot for the alien monsters, so I’m usually willing to try out any new strategy that tries to abuse them in some way. This version was piloted by Magic Online user norbicky.
So we basically cut a lot of the energy cards for, well, Eldrazi, and their interactions with Ruins of Oran-Rief. That’s a pretty big change, but it’s a powerful one, especially if you have any copies of Winding Constrictor in play. You also have 4 Heart of Kiran, which are easily piloted by things like Catacomb Sifter, Matter Reshaper, and Scrapheap Scrounger.
Let’s dive in!
As you can see from the videos, this list does not feel favored against Mardu Vehicles. While the original B/G list has ways to go over the top with cards like Verdurous Gearhulk, and access to more removal in the form of Grasp of Darkness, you… don’t. So while you’re simply playing big ground guys, they’re assembling complex synergies with their cards or casting planeswalkers.
I kept thinking that Ruins of Oran-Rief felt like a poor man’s Verdurous Gearhulk. Which is interesting, because I found an updated version of this list played four days later than the one I used, piloted by ciel_machine. Their version had 4 Verdurous Gearhulks in it, along with some other changes like 3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade, with fewer copies of Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher. I even mentioned in one match how much better Verdurous Gearhulk is than Reality Smasher, which makes me sad, but it is what it is. Even if you only have a 1/1 in play, which you put four counters on, that’s still kind of like getting a 5/5 haste that turn along with an additional 4/4 trampling body.
Similarly, I also wonder if Gonti is just a stronger Thought-Knot Seer. Wow, did that feel weird to type. Truth is, you actually gain a card to cast, that your opponent can never get back, and Gonti can trade with 5/5s as well as 2/2s.
Lifecrafter’s Bestiary in the sideboard actually seems a little risky, especially with so few sources of green in the deck and so many lands that enter the battlefield tapped. You also want to keep up a Ruins when you cast your colorless creatures, and keeping up 2 mana is a tall order. The sideboard of the newer version has 3 copies of Grasp and 3 copies of Bearer of Silence, both of which seem like nice additions that can add some value to the deck.
We’ve got our first glimpse of some Amonkhet cards now, so hopefully it won’t be too long before Standard gets a shakeup. Not sure if you noticed, but I only faced the top decks in our League: 2 B/G, 2 Mardu, and 1 Saheeli Combo. Call me crazy, but I guess I just long for the freedom to innovate in Standard. Hopefully it’s coming soon.