GP Paris and GP Toronto saw the rise of the new Standard public enemy #1: Deathmist Raptor. In combination with Den Protector this card gives an almost endless stream of 3/3 deathtouchers.

Let’s see what we can do to take down those nasty Raptors.

#1 – Perilous Vault

UB Control or Esper Dragons are great decks, but they suffer too much from Den Protectors and Deathmist Raptor’s recursion. What if we replace Crux of Fate with Perilous Vault so once they are dead they will never come back?

Incidentally, Perilous Vault helps against Abzan, but at the expense of a slight worse matchup against Mono-Red, especially in game 1.

This is what I’m testing these days:

Esper Vault

Another great weapon to beat Raptor-based decks is Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. An Ashiok on turn 3 might be very dangerous for a deck without Hero’s Downfall, especially if they have a slow start.

Even though Foul-Tongue Invocation isn’t great against an Elvish Mystic-based deck, it’s a must-include to answer all the Fleecemane Lions/ Rakshasa Deathdealers around, and the ability to gain 4 life is essential at times. My inclination is to play 3 edicts maindeck plus 1 more in the sideboard.

The rest of the deck is pretty straightforward, but it’s important to understand that the 2 Perilous Vaults are the real trump for this metagame, and with 4 Dig Through Time you’ll always have access to one.

#2 – Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

GW Company and Bant Midrange simply scoop to this card. The only way to get through her is Den Protector, but it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find a removal spell.

Post-sideboard things change and they might have Disdainful Stroke and Glare of Heresy, so remember to leave in some Thoughtseize to check if the coast is clear before dropping your best card.

There are very few decks that are currently playing Elspeth, Abzan Control is one of them and it’s very well-matched against Deathmist Raptor decks.

Here’s the deck list that I played at GP Paris, to a poor finish, but I still think that it’s very solid:

Abzan Control

Deathmist Raptor isn’t a problem at all for Abzan Control, since along with Elspeth, Sun’s Champion you have the best tool to deal with it in the form of Abzan Charm.

The only way to lose to Bant Midrange is if they swarm the board with a fast start and then are able to Disdainful Stroke or Negate your Crux of Fate or Elspeth.

Against the Abzan version of megamorph it’s even easier since they don’t have any countermagic, and discard spells can’t prevent your topdecks or Den Protectors.

#3 – Anafenza, the Foremost and Wingmate Roc

Dosimont won the last GP Paris with 4 Anafenza and 2 Wingmate Roc in his Abzan Aggro shell, a deck list very similar to the one designed by BBD and Brad Nelson for GP Toronto.

Anafenza, the Foremost breaks the recursion with Deathmist Raptor and makes Den Protector far worse.

Wingmate Roc is going to shine again, right now it’s an awesome evasive card that can fly over most other decks. It can be stopped by a Dragonlord Ojutai, but with 4 copies of Abzan Charm you can easily attack into it.

This is the Amand Dosimont deck list, the winner of GP Paris:

 Abzan Aggro

#4 – Anger of the Gods

This card hasn’t seen much play so far, but right now it’s one of the best answers in format.

Edgar Magalhaes reached the finals of GP Toronto with 4 copies of this card in the sideboard of Mardu Dragons, and in his deck does what Crux of Fate does for Esper Dragons: it lets you play your threats even before the sweeper to force your opponent to overextend.

In Round 15 of GP Toronto, Edgar was able to cast an Anger of the Gods with a Soulfire Grand Master in play against Atarka Red, gaining 15 life!

It’s not great with Goblin Rabblemaster, and that’s not a card that I would recommend keeping if you’re going to board in Anger of the Gods.

Dezani and many other good players played Mardu Dragons in GP Paris. None of them reached the Top 16, but his deck list could be a good starting point:

Mardu Dragons

The bottom line is that Deathmist Raptor is the real deal and you can’t really go to a tournament unprepared to face it, but I hope I’ve given you enough food for thought to defeat it.