I get it.

Trust me, I feel the same way.

Standard really isn’t the most fun right now. We can argue and debate back and forth about whether it’s interesting, whether there need to be bannings, and what the biggest mistakes made have been, but it’s not going to get us very far. Even if you’re not among the disillusioned by Standard, there are many people who aren’t enjoying playing the format right now.

This brings us to a new casual format that has been picking up in popularity: Frontier.

Frontier is similar to Modern in that it uses all cards from M15 on forward, except there are far fewer broken options and there is enough power for real diversity. With enough time, and players committed to solving the format, it could devolve into an environment with its own set of detractors adding it to the long list of complaints—but for now, we get some fresh new decks!

Jeskai Skies takes melds the current U/W Flash deck with the aggressive and over-the-top capabilities of the old Jeskai Flash decks.

Smuggler’s Copter is still great even in Frontier. It’s an aggressive creature that will help churn through your deck, deal huge chunks of damage, and find the required spells you need to curve out or end the game. This needs some powerful creatures to maximize, but Frontier has those in spades.

 

You have the 3-drop duo that’s the centerpiece of U/W Standard decks in Spell Queller and Reflector Mage. They work great together and they’re excellent apart. Both provide huge doses of tempo that can really dramatically affect an opponent’s game plan. Keeping your opponent from enacting their powerful plan gives you more time to end the game.

Thraben Inspector is a big part of what makes Copter decks so dominant in Standard, and it’s still present in this list. It’s not, however, the only powerful 1-drop. Mausoleum Wanderer is much more effective in a deck that’s looking to close a game out quicker than something like Gideon and Avacyn. It turns on Copters and counters the most troublesome spells of Frontier.

The other big addition is Faerie Miscreant. You may not always draw a card, but you’re flooding the board with evasive creatures that threaten to end the game in a hurry.

The burn spells give the deck the reach you really want for once the battlefield is clogged up. With Lightning Strike, you’re paying 1 additional mana for a Lightning Bolt, and while that’s a bit too slow for Modern, it’s always been up to speed for Standard—and now Frontier.

Part creature and part burn spell, Mantis Rider is about as good as it gets. A 3-mana investment nets you a ton in this beater as a 3/3 flying, haste, vigilant creature can close the game in a hurry. Getting in even a single hit with a Mantis Rider is going to be tough to come back from, and you have Wanderers and Selfless Spirits to protect them before Spell Queller can close the door.

Jeskai Charm is the most important spell. Not only do you threaten to pump your entire team of efficient flying creatures and gain a ton of life, but you can tempo someone out by putting their creature on top of their library (a nice combination with Spell Queller or Reflector Mage), or just burn them out by sending 4 upstairs. Jeskai Charm is what really puts this deck over the top.

Frontier is the new hotness that seems to be taking over the world, and this list is an excellent place to start with lots of cards that have already proven their value in Standard.

Jeskai Skies

Kyo Suzuki, 1st place in the Frontier Challenge Cup