I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve featured a Ben Weitz deck in this column, but I can safely say that it’s a lot and he’s the most featured by a long shot. I guess that’s what happens when all you do is win and all you play are sweet decks. Today’s deck will bring out the little kid in anybody.
Ghalta, Primal Hunger is not small. The biggest creature in Standard is pushed and ready to trample over the battlefield. An early Ghalta is a scary, but giving it haste is just insanity. The answers to Ghalta are effectively Vraska’s Contempt, Settle the Wreckage, and some sorcery-speed removal, none of which are tough to play around. A single hit by the big Dino tends to be enough to win the game.
Regisaur Alpha is a one-card combo with Ghalta. Not only does Reggie throw 7 power onto the battlefield for just 5 mana, but he’ll help Ghalta get in there immediately. Regisaur plus Ghalta is going to end a ton of games quickly, and they’re actually cheap enough on most boards to be able to play both in the same turn so the opponent really has no opportunity to react.
Otepec Huntmaster brings the Dino deck together. You’re effectively making all of your more expensive cards cheaper, but you can also tap the Huntmaster to give a Dino haste. This means that curving into Regisaur doesn’t just give you a 3-power haste Dino, but 7 total power in haste, and even if they deal with Reggie, Ghalta still can get into the red zone quickly.
Carnage Tyrant looks well positioned right now and there is no better deck to feature the uncounterable hexproof fatty than in a deck with eight ways to give it haste. A 7/6 trampler ends the game quickly, and with Vraska’s Contempt’s stock at its highest, a hexproof threat looks incredible.
Ripjaw Raptor and Thrashing Brontodon give you some cheaper Dinos to get on the board early and hit hard. Spending 3 mana for 3 power or 4 mana for 4 power, each coming with an extra point of toughness just tacked on, are great rates for vanilla creatures, but these both have fantastic abilities. Brontodon can take out opposing Gifts, Bindings, and many important artifacts in the format. Raptor makes attacking into it a nightmare and blocking feel absolutely awful as the cards start to pour in.
Your other creatures aren’t Dinosaurs, but the explore Merfolk are perfect for filling a curve. They help to make sure you hit your land drops, help to find the spells that matter, and just hit hard. Merfolk Branchwalker isn’t an exciting card, but it’s a solid rate for 2 mana. Jadelight Ranger, however, is exciting. The opportunity to draw two lands on a 2/1, get a Rogue Refiner, or play a 4/3 for 3 that made sure you’re either drawing a good spell next turn or not drawing a bad spell next turn is sick.
Commune with Dinosaurs doesn’t go into any deck outside of this one, but it’s pretty nice here. It helps finds lands, helps to make sure that you hit your curve, and makes sure that you’re more likely to have your biggest, baddest Dinos on time.
Abrade is the best red removal spell right now. There are plenty of strong artifacts in Standard, not to mention Gearhulks, and killing Vehicles or 3-toughness creatures is important. Savage Stomp is the perfect removal spell for a deck filled with big Dinosaurs. Not only do you get a quality removal spell for a single mana, but you get to permanently pump a creature and maybe even draw a card off your Ripjaw Raptors. That’s a ton of value.
Ghalta and Carnage Tyrant are the heaviest hitters in Standard, so accelerate them out and give them haste!