We’ve seen the Eldrazi once again make their presence felt in Standard. Red Eldrazi was a strong deck at the Pro Tour, and White Eldrazi has been putting up some finishes on MTGO. The Deserts have given the tribe a valuable utility land that produces colorless for Eldrazi and can be cashed in later for value. Opting for black gives you some important spot removal spells, and lifelink.
Thought-Knot Seer is just a house. It’s well costed for its size, and exiles a key spell from your opponent’s hand. There are many decks with fewer threats or that won’t have removal for your Eldrazi, and TKS lets you take away the one spell that matters. Matter Reshaper is a card advantage outlet that hits hard and trades up. Reality Smasher is a fantastic finisher for black, as you don’t have the Archangel Avacyn or Glorybringer of other builds. Luckily, Reality Smasher is gigantic and ends the game in a hurry while there are few ways to answer it.
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is in a better position than he has ever been. There are tons of creature decks that look to rush out of the gates, and Kalitas stops them in their tracks. Red decks and Zombie decks are so good because of their recursive threats, and Kalitas also shuts down Dread Wanderer, Relentless Dead, Earthshaker Khenra, Scrapheap Scrounger, and many others. Finally, you have a huge lifelink creature that stays out of range of most of red’s removal. Kalitas can continue to grow throughout the game and plays well with the cheap and powerful removal black has in Standard right now.
Speaking of that removal, Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness deal with almost every threat in the format, are cheap to cast, and will commonly trade up. Killing a Hazoret with a 2-mana spell is a big tempo swing.
Gifted Aetherborn isn’t as good against the mono-red decks as people might think, but it’s still a solid creature for 2 mana. Red has plenty of ways to render creatures unable to block, or to simply kill a blocker, but the Aetherborn will make them have it. Even if you’re forced to attack with your Aetherborn due to these threats, you’ll buffer your life total. Removal spent on Aetherborn also means less removal for the Eldrazi and Kalitas.
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner works the angles that Gifted Aetherborn does not. Shining against midrange and control strategies, the Siphoner isn’t a great creature against aggro decks, but can take over any game that goes past the first few turns.
Drana, Liberator of Malakir blocks aggressive creatures well, but it also grows your entire team. This is pretty insane for all of your already large Eldrazi, and makes it impossible to race against your many lifelinkers. Gaining 2 per turn with Aetherborn is decent, but gaining more than that is insurmountable.
Liliana, the Last Hope is in a great spot right now. It picks off many of the creatures in red decks and can severely minimize the damage they’re doing. It’s also one of your best cards against Zombie decks. The fact that you can cash it in for card advantage in slower matchups or ultimate for an easy win makes Liliana a great weapon to have right now.
The addition of removal in your black and colorless lands thanks to Ifnir Deadlands has made Black Eldrazi into a real deck moving forward in Standard!