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Five Brews for Throne of Eldraine Standard

One of the first things I like to do when brewing with a new set is look for engine cards and see how far they can be pushed. Each deck is built to maximize that engine, with all of them as 4-ofs, aiming to find out if they are powerful enough to fuel a top strategy. Fully figuring that out will take a metagame to test against, but I think these 5 cards are all great places to start in the new Standard.

Five Throne of Eldraine Standard Brews

The Great Henge

The Great Henge

4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Fabled Passage
8 Forest (347)
1 Island (335)
3 Temple of Mystery
3 Castle Garenbrig
4 Growth-Chamber Guardian
4 Leafkin Druid
4 Paradise Druid
4 Lovestruck Beast/Heart's Desire - Showcase
3 Questing Beast
3 Shifting Ceratops
4 Voracious Hydra
4 Hydroid Krasis
4 The Great Henge
3 Nissa Who Shakes the World

Sideboard
1 Shifting Ceratops
2 Thrashing Brontodon
4 Wicked Wolf
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
1 Veil of Summer
4 Negate

What is this deck trying to do?

Play The Great Henge on turn 4 or 5 and take over the game with a constant stream of creatures from there. Once you get rolling the card advantage, creatures and lifegain make it almost impossible for any deck to keep up. The creature density + Hydroid Krasis make it very hard for you to run out of gas.

Card Choices

  • Growth-Chamber Guardian is your best play off a turn 4 Henge, chaining together cards and 3/3’s. It also helps to fill out your curve and give the deck more to do with its mana.
  • Questing Beast, Shifting Ceratops and in particular Lovestruck Beast are there to help you cast Henge on schedule. Lovestruck Beast is by far the weakest of these cards, but it casts turn 4 Henge by itself, fills your curve and the deck is so explosive it actually doesn’t mind just having a 5/5 wall for 3.
  • Hydroid Krasis led me to the blue splash as it seems to be the most powerful and flexible card to ramp into (along with its low non-green color requirements). Of the splashable sideboard options, Negate also felt like it shored up the biggest weakness of the deck: sweepers.
  • 4 Fabled Passage and 3 Temple of Mystery. Having 4 untapped lands on turn 4 to cast Henge is critical for the deck and this balance serves that.

Other things to explore

The Magic Mirror

The Magic Mirror

What is this deck trying to do?

Manage the game like a normal blue-black control deck, but with The Magic Mirror as the finisher. You are looking to play Mirror around turn 6, ride its card advantage over the next few turns until Mirror decks you out and you win with Jace.

Card Choices

  • Jace, Wielder of Mysteries seemed to be the safest win condition as it entirely self-contained and can be a powerful card in its own right.
  • 1 and 2-of removal spells. The deck sees a ton of cards once it gets going, so having a diversity of roughly interchangeable but slightly different removal spells helps you better match your answers when the cards are flowing.
  • 4 Negate. Teferi is really rough for this deck.

Other things to explore

  • Win condition slots. Forgoing Jace and adding more bounce to better control decking with Mirror. Drowned Secrets and Clear the Mind are other options here.
  • 3 or 4 Chemister’s Insight?
  • The removal mix likely will need to be rebalanced based on a more settled metagame.

Ayara, First of Locthwain

Ayara, First of Locthwain
4 Castle Locthwain
18 Swamp (339)
4 Footlight Fiend
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion
4 Gutterbones
1 Sanitarium Skeleton
4 Priest of the Forgotten Gods
4 Yarok's Fenlurker
2 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
4 Ayara, First of Locthwain
3 Midnight Reaper
4 Murderous Rider/Swift End
2 Rankle, Master of Pranks
2 Legion's End

Sideboard
1 Cavalier of Night
3 Noxious Grasp
2 Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
4 Duress
2 Epic Downfall
2 Legion’s End
1 Witch's Vengeance

What is this deck trying to do?

Maximize the value of black sacrifice engines and look to play a midrange, grindy game in most scenarios, but with the ability to be somewhat aggressive due to its very low curve, powerful attacking 1-drops and reach.

Card Choices

  • Sanitarium Skeleton. The deck felt like it needed a 13th one-drop and Skeleton being a 1 of eliminates the nightmare scenario of ever drawing more than 1.
  • 0 Witch’s Cottage. This deck really wants to be playing untapped lands and tapping out turns 1-3. Late game the Castles give you plenty of utility from your lands.
  • 0 Witch’s Oven. I found this just not anywhere near powerful enough without Cauldron Familiar and playing 8 underpowered cards that are only good with both halves and form similar functions to other, more powerful cards in the deck seems bad.
  • 4 Yarok’s Fenlurker. The deck needed more cheap sacrifice fuel and I found myself getting into longer, grindier games with it the more I played. Fenlurker bridges those two needs perfectly.

Other things to explore

  • Gruesome Menagerie. Between 5 already recursive 1-drops and only seven 3-mana creatures that actually go to your graveyard, it can be hard to fuel Menagerie. That said, it is incredible with most of the cards in the deck and particularly Ayara. If you went this route I think the deck would want to move from Rankle, Master of Pranks.
  • Plaguecrafter.
  • The fourth Midnight Reaper and third Rankle, Master of Pranks. These cards both feel like they could merit another copy, but I am struggling to find room while still keeping the curve where I want it.

Edgewall Innkeeper

Edgewall Innkeeper

4 Edgewall Innkeeper
4 Foulmire Knight/Profane Insight
4 Paradise Druid
4 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
4 Lovestruck Beast/Heart’s Desire
4 Murderous Rider/Swift End
2 Questing Beast
1 Assassin's Trophy
2 Legion’s End
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Incubation/Incongruity
1 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
10 Forest
10 Swamp
2 Castle Locthwain

What is this deck trying to do?

Like Ayara, this deck is another midrange grindy one. It tries to push Innkeeper to the extreme and ask the question “Is G for a 1/1 with every other time you cast a creature spell draw a card” broken?

Card Choices

  • 4 Incubation // Incongruity. You want to have Edgewall Innkeeper in play as much as possible and this serves that aim. The deck is also a bit weak to fliers so Incongruity off of Paradise Druid comes up a fair bit.
  • 4 Foulmire Knight. As this deck is trying to maximize Innkeeper, I wanted cheap adventure creatures and Foulmire Knight is the cheapest to cast while being reasonably constructed playable.

Other things to explore

Doom Foretold

Doom Foretold

4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Watery Grave
4 Godless Shrine
3 Fabled Passage
1 Plains (331)
1 Island (335)
2 Swamp (339)
2 Temple of Silence
2 Dismal Backwater
2 Castle Ardenvale
2 Murderous Rider/Swift End
4 Golden Egg
4 Guild Globe
4 Disinformation Campaign
2 Oath of Kaya
4 Doom Foretold
4 Teferi, Time Raveler
2 Dance of the Manse
4 Kaya’s Wrath
4 Thought Erasure
1 Legion’s End

Sideboard
4 Thief of Sanity
1 Despark
1 Dovin’s Veto
1 Noxious Grasp
2 Cry of the Carnarium
1 Devout Decree
2 Legion’s End
3 Duress

What is this deck trying to do?

This deck is basically an Esper control deck with some prison elements/gameplay and a bit of a combo, one-shot finish in Dance of the Manse. Plan A is to use Doom Foretold along with permanents that generate a card to build advantage. Kaya’s Wrath helps you get the board down to a reasonable size for Doom Foretold to take over as well as being an excellent control card in general.

Card Choices

  • This deck is an absolutely unbelievable Teferi, Time Raveler deck, getting a ton of leverage out of all his abilities. Bouncing your own stuff is way better in this deck than the average Teferi deck, bouncing your opponent’s threats helps Doom Foretold kill important targets, and protecting your haymakers from counterspells and Dance from Wrath effects are all just insane. This gives me maybe the highest hopes for this deck as it not only maximizes a new engine, but one of the cards we already know is amazing in Standard.
  • 3 Duress and 1 Dovin’s Veto. Between Thought Erasure and Disinformation Campaign, Duress can often be a horrible topdeck.
  • 2 Dismal Backwater and 2 Temple of Silence. Thought Erasure has been amazing but requires more blue sources. With Kaya’s Wrath limiting non-black/white sources, gainlands where the only option. Castle Ardenvale has also been incredible, providing another win condition, a way to expend mana and to force your opponent into extending into Kaya’s Wrath/Doom Foretold. 2 Castles and 4 Temples was just too many white sources.
  • 4 Disinformation Campaign. This card has been insane with both Doom Foretold as your most advantageous sacrifice fodder and Kaya’s Wrath to catch up for taking turn 3 off to play a 2-for-1. The extra value with Thought Erasure also helps you keep up on cards with just about any deck in the format.

Other things to explore

I hope you all are having fun too brewing and playing with Throne of Eldraine! I tried a bit off a different format explaining these decks to get the key points across quickly. Let me know in the comments how this layout works for you.

Discussion

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