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Frontier TOP Decks

2017/09/22 00:00 

    • Jeremy Dezani
    • Hareruya Pros Blog

Few time ago, I discovered the Frontier Format. I have to say I enjoyed it very much.

You can check this link to know more about frontier creation: What is Frontier

Frontier is everything I love in MTG:

- Play with powerful cards but finally fair decks.

- Having many interactions with my opponent deck during games.

- Having enough different cards to deckbuild and search new ideas.

But the strong point of frontier is the diversity. There is a lot of different decks, every kind of strategy (aggro, control and combo), all good at almost the same level

Here, I will present you and rank the top 8 Frontier decks. It will help you to understand the format and the metagame.

No.8: Rally the Ancestors


《Rally the Ancestors》

1 《Forest》
1 《Island》
1 《Plains》
1 《Swamp》
3 《Blooming Marsh》
2 《Canopy Vista》
1 《Prairie Stream》
1 《Sunken Hollow》
4 《Flooded Strand》
4 《Polluted Delta》
4 《Windswept Heath》

-Lands (23)-

2 《Sidisi's Faithful》
4 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
4 《Satyr Wayfinder》
4 《Zulaport Cutthroat》
2 《Elvish Visionary》
4 《Nantuko Husk》
4 《Reflector Mage》
4 《Renegade Rallier》
1 《Grim Haruspex》

-Creatures (29)-
4 《Collected Company》
4 《Rally the Ancestors》

-Spells (8)-
hareruya

Nantuko HuskRally the AncestorsJace, Vryn's ProdigyZulaport Cutthroat

The deck is really similar to the old standard deck.

The main difference is the presence of 4 《Renegade Rallier》 instead of 4 《Catacomb Sifter》. This change makes the deck less dependent of《Collected Company》.

With 4 《Satyr Wayfinder》, 《Renegade Rallier》 has good chance to get good stuff to bring back on the following turn. Some players are using 《Spell Queller》, It can be good but I don’t believe it is better than 《Renegade Rallier》 overall. 《Rally the Ancestors》is a good deck but not that popular at the moment. This make it stronger because it is the only graveyard deck. There are some delve cards and 《Torrential Gearhulk》but players are not playing graveyard hate.

Best cards against this deck:

DispelHallowed MoonlightCrook of CondemnationScarab Feast

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

Kitesail Freebooter

When you are playing a 《Collected Company》 deck, you have to respect the number of creature in it. Sometime it become difficult after sideboard because you want instants and sorceries to interact with your opponent. 《Kitesail Freebooter》 will be a 《Duress》 but does not change the number of creature of your deck. 《Kitesail Freebooter》 Could be easily a maindeck card.

No.7: 4 Colors Saheeli


4 Colors Saheeli

2 《Forest》
2 《Mountain》
1 《Plains》
1 《Canopy Vista》
1 《Cinder Glade》
1 《Prairie Stream》
4 《Windswept Heath》
2 《Wooded Foothills》
4 《Botanical Sanctum》
1 《Spirebluff Canal》
2 《Aether Hub》

-Lands (21)-

4 《Elvish Mystic》
4 《Rogue Refiner》
3 《Reflector Mage》
1 《Manglehorn》
1 《Tireless Tracker》
1 《Whirler Virtuoso》
4 《Felidar Guardian》
1 《Arborback Stomper》
1 《Glorybringer》
2 《Elder Deep-Fiend》

-Creatures (22)-
4 《Harnessed Lightning》
1 《Eldritch Evolution》
3 《Oath of Nissa》
4 《Smuggler's Copter》
4 《Saheeli Rai》
1 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》

-Spells (17)-
hareruya

Rogue RefinerSaheeli RaiFelidar GuardianOath of Nissa

The deck was great before the 《Felidar Guardian》 ban, but you can play it again in frontier. The deck is good but turn 4 combo is pretty rare. It is because aggressive decks have big pressure and can kill 《Saheeli Rai》easily on turn 3, and also because control deck play removals and counter spells. But the deck is playing many advantage, making value with it to be able to set up the combo in late game after controlling the game.

Best cards against this deck:

Phyrexian RevokerGlorybringerThalia, Heretic CatharGrasp of Darkness

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

Regisaur Alpha

《Regisaur Alpha》 is making a 3/3 and his passive ability give haste to it. It is good card to crew 《Smuggler's Copter》. If you make a copy with 《Saheeli Rai》, you will get 2 《Regisaur Alpha》 who give haste to each other and 2 tokens who will attack with them for 14. Even when 《Regisaur Alpha》 copy will leave the battlefield; the 3/3 Dinosaur token will stay. It also an additional “enters the battlefield” effect for 《Felidar Guardian》

No.6: Green Black Hardened Scales


GB Hardened Scales

6 《Forest》
3 《Swamp》
4 《Blooming Marsh》
1 《Smoldering Marsh》
4 《Wooded Foothills》
4 《Llanowar Wastes》

-Lands (22)-

4 《Hangarback Walker》
4 《Walking Ballista》
4 《Elvish Mystic》
4 《Winding Constrictor》
4 《Managorger Hydra》

-Creatures (20)-
4 《Fatal Push》
2 《Duress》
4 《Hardened Scales》
4 《Oath of Nissa》
4 《Nissa, Voice of Zendikar》

-Spells (18)-
hareruya

Walking BallistaHardened ScalesNissa, Voice of ZendikarWinding Constrictor

Kenta Harane used this deck during the Frontier God tournament and finished 10th with it.

The deck is playing different cards who need +1/+1 counter. 《Managorger Hydra》,《Hangarback Walker》and《Walking Ballista》are the main creature of the deck. Each of them will progressively increase the number of counters on it. 《Nissa, Voice of Zendikar》,《Hardened Scales》and 《Winding Constrictor》are doing the same job. Do it faster and change simple creatures into real nightmare.

Best cards against this deck:

Declaration in StoneSolemnityKalitas, Traitor of GhetSoul-Scar Mage

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

Walk the Plank

In a deck who doesn’t have any problem with the double black, the card is just strong. Good in control decks with 《Torrential Gearhulk》,and it is also great in this deck and could be simply a 《Terminate》.

No.5: Temur Marvel


Temur Marvel

2 《Forest》
2 《Mountain》
1 《Island》
1 《Cinder Glade》
2 《Wooded Foothills》
4 《Botanical Sanctum》
4 《Spirebluff Canal》
1 《Lumbering Falls》
4 《Aether Hub》
1 《Shrine of the Forsaken Gods》

-Lands (22)-

4 《Rogue Refiner》
2 《Dragonlord Atarka》
3 《Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger》

-Creatures (9)-
4 《Attune with Aether》
4 《Harnessed Lightning》
3 《Censor》
2 《Abrade》
1 《Negate》
3 《Supreme Will》
2 《Glimmer of Genius》
2 《Hour of Devastation》
4 《Woodweaver's Puzzleknot》
4 《Aetherworks Marvel》

-Spells (29)-
hareruya

Harnessed LightningAetherworks MarvelUlamog, the Ceaseless HungerHour of Devastation

When you heard about 《Aetherworks Marvel》, you automatically think about a combo deck. In Frontier, this deck is not full combo. Personally, I see it as a control deck. There are a lot of card from Bue Red control in standard:

4《Harnessed Lightning》, 3《Censor》, 2《Abrade》, 1《Negate》, 3《Supreme Will》, 2《Glimmer of Genius》, 2 《Hour of Devastation》

But instead of 《Torrential Gearhulk》, the deck is playing a combo plan as finisher with 《Aetherworks Marvel》. Even if it finishes, sometime, the game ends very early

It is not rare to see this deck going in a long game plan and hard casting 《Dragonlord Atarka》and 《Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger》

Best cards against this deck:

ManglehornDispossessSolemnityCeremonious Rejection

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

Carnage Tyrant

The card could be a strong sideboard card against control decks. You can cast it with or without《Aetherworks Marvel》. Also, 6 toughness is enough to not die on 《Torrential Gearhulk》.

N0.4: Blue Red 《Ensoul Artifact》


Blue-Red 《Ensoul Artifact》

5 《Island》
5 《Mountain》
4 《Shivan Reef》
4 《Spirebluff Canal》
1 《Wandering Fumarole》
3 《Darksteel Citadel》

-Lands (22)-

4 《Ornithopter》
3 《Hangarback Walker》
2 《Thopter Engineer》
4 《Bomat Courier》
1 《Pia and Kiran Nalaar》
1 《Hazoret the Fervent》

-Creatures (15)-
2 《Stubborn Denial》
4 《Shrapnel Blast》
4 《Lightning Strike》
1 《Metallic Rebuke》
4 《Ensoul Artifact》
4 《Ghostfire Blade》
4 《Smuggler's Copter》

-Spells (23)-
hareruya

Hangarback WalkerEnsoul ArtifactDarksteel CitadelShrapnel Blast

Blue Red Ensoul Artifact is an aggressive artifact deck like Affinity in modern.

It attacks in the early turns with 《Bomat Courier》, 《Ornithopter》and《Smuggler's Copter》with the help of《Ensoul Artifact》and《Ghostfire Blade》. There is no 《Path to Exile》in Frontier and《Darksteel Citadel》and 《Ensoul Artifact》together could be super annoying. Just dealing few damages with creatures could be enough because the deck has also a great reach with 4 《Shrapnel Blast》and 4 《Lightning Strike》.

Best cards against this deck:

ManglehornDromoka's CommandForsake the WorldlyKolaghan's Command

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

《Pithing Needle》 is a great card but you have to wait or expect the card to name. With 《Sorcerous Spyglass》, it costs one additional mana but you don’t have these problems anymore. You can name Fetchlands if you see it in your opponent hand, 《Walking Ballista》, 《Aetherworks Marvel》 or 《Saheeli Rai》, for sure the card is strong in Frontier.

No.3: Atarka Red


Atarka Red

9 《Mountain》
1 《Forest》
2 《Cinder Glade》
4 《Bloodstained Mire》
4 《Wooded Foothills》
1 《Windswept Heath》

-Lands (21)-

4 《Monastery Swiftspear》
4 《Soul-Scar Mage》
2 《Zurgo Bellstriker》
4 《Abbot of Keral Keep》

-Creatures (14)-
4 《Wild Slash》
4 《Dragon Fodder》
4 《Atarka's Command》
4 《Lightning Strike》
2 《Hordeling Outburst》
2 《Stoke the Flames》
1 《Become Immense》
4 《Smuggler's Copter》

-Spells (25)-
hareruya

Abbot of Keral KeepAtarka's CommandMonastery SwiftspearSmuggler's Copter

Atarka Red is one of the most popular and represent deck in frontier right now. It is a very fast mono red who plays cheap mana creatures and goblin tokens who can make amazing attack with 《Atarka's Command》.

《Smuggler's Copter》is very easy to crew in this deck and it help you to get your burn spell with the looting effect, to finish the game. 4 《Wild Slash》, 4 《Atarka's Command》, 4 《Lightning Strike》and 2 《Stoke the Flames》.

Best cards against this deck:

Radiant FlamesArashin ClericGifted AetherbornCollective Brutality

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

3/3 menace for 3 is good. Having this additional non-gain life and distance damage effects make the card really strong. Many deck are going to add gain life with their sideboard. So, it is perfect timing to add 《Rampaging Ferocidon》. Also, it resists to 《Flaying Tendrils》 and 《Kozilek's Return》, so you can change your token cards like《Hordeling Outburst》for it.

No.2: Bant Human Company


Bant Human Company

3 《Forest》
3 《Plains》
1 《Island》
2 《Canopy Vista》
2 《Prairie Stream》
4 《Flooded Strand》
4 《Windswept Heath》
3 《Wooded Foothills》
1 《Botanical Sanctum》
1 《Fortified Village》

-Lands (24)-

4 《Thraben Inspector》
4 《Glory-Bound Initiate》
4 《Lambholt Pacifist》
4 《Thalia's Lieutenant》
1 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
4 《Reflector Mage》
4 《Renegade Rallier》
4 《Tireless Tracker》
4 《Thalia's Lieutenant》

-Creatures (29)-
3 《Dromoka's Command》
4 《Collected Company》

-Spells (7)-
hareruya

Reflector MageCollected CompanyThalia's LieutenantTireless Tracker

Bant Human is my favorite deck to play because it corresponds exactly to my play style. If you want to read more about this deck, I already wrote an article about it: Bant Human Article

Best cards against this deck:

DispelHour of DevastationUgin, the Spirit DragonLanguish

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

The deck contains only Humans as creature type. There are only 7 non-creature spells but It could be an issue with 《Dromoka's Command》if accumulate to many of this land. I can see 《Unclaimed Territory》 replace 1 《Botanical Sanctum》and 1 《Fortified Village》in the list

No.1: Blue Black Control


Blue-Black Control

5 《Island》
5 《Swamp》
4 《Sunken Hollow》
4 《Polluted Delta》
4 《Bloodstained Mire》
1 《Flooded Strand》
2 《Dismal Backwater》
1 《Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth》

-Lands (26)-

4 《Torrential Gearhulk》
1 《Silumgar, the Drifting Death》

-Creatures (5)-
4 《Fatal Push》
4 《Strategic Planning》
4 《Grasp of Darkness》
1 《Negate》
1 《Censor》
2 《Disallow》
2 《Essence Extraction》
1 《Void Shatter》
1 《Never // Return》
2 《Languish》
4 《Dig Through Time》
1 《Treasure Cruise》
2 《Liliana, the Last Hope》

-Spells (29)-
hareruya

Fatal PushDig Through TimeTorrential GearhulkLiliana, the Last Hope

Before, we had multicolour control decks but Yukio Matsuda create a new strong control deck with only 2 colors, won the Frontier God Tournament and show us we don’t need a crazy manabase and 4 colors. This deck is really powerfull, destroying aggressive strategy and still having good chances against the rest.

It plays best removal spells, with 《Fatal Push》and 《Grasp of Darkness》. It is easy to cast 《Dig Through Time》 with 《Strategic Planning》 and Fetchlands. Then, you can get it a 《Torrential Gearhulk》with it and flashback 《Dig Through Time》.

Even if I think all deck are good and Bant Human is my favorite deck, if I had to say what is the best Frontier deck, I would say UB control.

Best cards against this deck:

Disdainful StrokeGideon, Ally of ZendikarTireless TrackerDuress

Potential Ixalan card for the deck:

《Opt》can help you to find lands at the begin and don’t draw it in late game. But mainly it increases the number of cards in your graveyard for 《Dig Through Time》. 《Preordain》 was the best card in UB control in the old standard, and I believe it will be also the case for UB in Frontier.

I hope this article gave you the envy to try Frontier.

If your card shop is interested in holding a tournament of the new “Frontier” format, please contact us!

We can get your tournaments listed under our Tournament Information.

Contact Person: Jeremy Dezani

j.dezani@hareruyamtg.com

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy DEZANI

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