The Ixalan tribes haven’t seen much success in Standard, and lo and behold, the one tribal creature that has actually seen significant Standard play, Rampaging Ferocidon, is now banned. While that particular banning isn’t doing R/G Dinos any favors, a tribe that was already close to getting there now has new tools from Rivals of Ixalan. With some of the other top players in the format weakened, this could be time for Dinos to shine.
Regisaur Alpha isn’t your traditional “lord” when it comes to tribal decks, but this thing is incredibly powerful. Its floor is 7 power and toughness for 5 mana and you even get to swing in with a 3/3 trampler the turn you cast it.
Should your opponent not be able to deal with a 4/4 Regisaur, and let’s face it, it’s out of Lightning Strike, Abrade, and Fatal Push range, they’re going to have a real problem on their hands. Your creatures don’t get any smaller as you go up the curve, and the Dinos can close out the game really quickly thanks to high power, trample, and haste.
Regisaur isn’t the only way to get hasty Dinos, however. Otepec Huntmaster is a fantastic mana creature even if it doesn’t actually add anything to your pool. With 20 different Dinosaurs in the deck, Huntmaster will add tons of virtual mana throughout the game, and being able to give each of them haste means you’re going to be attacking early and often.
Deathgorge Scavenger is likely the weakest creature in this deck, and that just goes to show how powerful the creature suite actually is. Deathgorge is the new incarnation of Scavenging Ooze. It can provide immediate value in life gain the turn you cast it, fight hard against aggro decks with continuous life gain, threaten to attack as a 4/3 for just 3 mana, and really mess up God-Pharaoh’s Gift and other graveyard based decks.
Drover of the Mighty, on the other hand, is an insane mana creature. It fixes colors, ramps, and is a serious threat both early and late. A 3/3 creature for 2 mana is already well above the curve, and flooding the board with Dinosaurs before this thing starts getting in the red zone alongside them is tough to beat.
Ripjaw Raptor is another really pushed Dino. A 4/5 creature for 4 mana wins most combats, and damage-based removal spells look pretty silly against this thing. Trading a pair of Lightning Strike/Abrade/Shock removal spells for Ripjaw means that you’re drawing multiple cards and getting a nice 4-for-1, and letting this thing dominate the board in combat isn’t exactly much better for the opponent. With 4 copies of both Huntmaster and Drover in the deck, a turn-3 Ripjaw is commonplace.
Carnage Tyrant looked like it was going to be format defining when it was first spoiled in Ixalan, but things haven’t exactly panned out that way. Considering how much energy Temur was able to produce, Longtusk Cub and Bristling Hydra could trade with your 6-drop relatively easily. We’re no longer in that world, and while Cub and Hydra will still see play, they are vastly powered down without Attune or Refiner. This could definitely be Carnage Tyrant’s time to shine, and if people are going to play control decks without a sweeper that can kill a 6-toughness creature, they better have a plan against this Dino.
Ghalta, Primal Hunger is the new Dino on the block. A 12/12 trampler is no joke, but neither is the 12-mana casting cost. What if I offered you the curve of Drover of the Mighty into Ripjaw Raptor on turn 3? This gives you access to 5 mana and 7 power on the board on turn 4… turn-4 Ghalta is fairly strong. Regisaur Alpha can put 7 power onto the battlefield and give your Ghalta haste. Even just curving Huntmaster into turn-4 Regisaur can leave you with the possibility of Ghalta attacking with haste on turn 5. This deck is nuts!
Commune with Dinosaurs isn’t Traverse the Ulvenwald, but there are enough similarities to note how powerful it is. With 20 Dinos and over 20 lands in the deck, you’re likely to have some choices to make with your Communes over whether you need a land or particular Dino. Thunderherd Migration provides a Farseek to continue the ramping. With 3 Migrations and 8 mana creatures that cost 2, your Ripjaws and Reggies should consistently come down a turn earlier. Savage Stomp to provide a quality removal spell and Blossoming Defense for a combat trick round out a strong new Standard contender.
While R/G Dinos would have loved access to Ferocidon, it’s got all the weapons needed to compete. With a third powerful option as a 2-mana ramp spell and another massive finisher to close out the game, R/G Dinos is ready for the spotlight in Standard!