Hello everyone! It's two weeks since Dominaria released and as we can see, it had huge impact on Standard.
We have so many new decks and strategies. Old decks are significantly different than before. That being said, Dominaria changes a lot, and we have brand-new Standard right now!
My goal for today is to show you what new set brings to us and how to use it. I'll show you most interesting decks using new cards, with explanation why I do (or don't) like them, and what I would change to make a deck better.
Before I do that though, I want to share with you my personal opinion on the best cards from Dominaria, and also overrated ones.
Top 3 Overrated Cards
Don't get me wrong. Card is good, and in certain strategies can be busted, but people are playing it everywhere.
I don't think 《Karn》 is good enough to be a maindeckable option in decks that are not playing many artifacts. It might be OK card in sideboard versus controls, as it generates card advantage, but nothing above that. I don't see any reason to be the most expensive card in the set.
2. 《Mox Amber》
People are trying to break it, but I don't think it's possible, or at least easy. Maybe I'm wrong, and Pro Tour will show a great deck with 《Mox》, but I just don't see it.
Moxes in general are great, because they ramp us in turn one/two. This one needs a lot of effort to ramp us at all, and usually it doesn't happen that fast. Even if we get our nuts draw, our legend can die to removal, and turn off 《Mox》. It's too much effort, for such a low reward.
I played this card a lot at the beginning of the format, and it was underperforming all the time.
After turn four vanilla knights 2/2 are almost worthless. Pump effect is only for one turn, and is easy to play around. If our knight dies in the mean time, third mode is very weak. I wouldn't build my deck around this card.
Top 5 of the Most Impactful Cards of Dominaria
It's just a common, but has a huge impact for current Standard. Mono Green wouldn't be close to be as good as it is right now, without access to this powerful one drop.
Another good three drop for Mono Red. After ban of 《Rampaging Ferocidon》, deck was missing some power here. Goblin fixes the issue.
Next to 《Llanowar Elves》 makes Mono Green a real deck. Ability is very relevant, as all of important creatures with deathtouch, which is the scariest keyword for mono Green, have only two power.
Easy to kill, but unanswered wins the game on it's own. High risk, high reward. Great finisher for white midrange/control strategies.
It's a real hero. For control decks, being able to deploy a threat, generate card advantage and hold some mana open for opponent's turn is a dream. All of this you can have just for five mana.
Honestly, I think this is the most powerful card in the set, at least for Standard.
Interesting Decks of New Standard
-Land (23)- 4 《Soul-Scar Mage》
4 《Bomat Courier》
4 《Earthshaker Khenra》
3 《Kari Zev, Skyship Raider》
4 《Ahn-Crop Crasher》
4 《Goblin Chainwhirler》
4 《Hazoret the Fervent》
Obviously, Mono Red is not a new archetype in Standard, but it looks completely different, than two weeks ago. 《Soul-Scar Mage》 is good again. Synergy with 《Goblin Chainwhirler》 shines in any creature match up.
Sweet addition is a classic limited card - 《Fight with Fire》. Not only a great answer for 《Lyra》, the best card against red, but also a great finisher after 《Settle the Wreckage》, which often goes in pair with 《Lyra Dawnbringer》 in white decks. It's worth to note, because of addition of new Goblin, mana base has to trim on colorless deserts.
4 《Hashep Oasis》
1 《Scavenger Grounds》
-Land (24)- 3 《Walking Ballista》
4 《Llanowar Elves》
4 《Greenbelt Rampager》
4 《Merfolk Branchwalker》
4 《Steel Leaf Champion》
3 《Jadelight Ranger》
1 《Rhonas the Indomitable》
1 《Verdurous Gearhulk》
3 《Ghalta, Primal Hunger》
2 《Heart of Kiran》
2 《Aethersphere Harvester》
2 《Skysovereign, Consul Flagship》
Thanks to Dominaria, deck finally is tier 1 and has a huge impact on the metagame. People tried to play 《Ghalta》 before, but it was more like having fun, than trying to win. Right now business is serious. We are bigger, and faster, than the entire format. Match up with Mono Red is great, and except for 《Settle the Wreckage》 and 《Fumigate》 we don't have natural enemies.
With this in mind, I would try to add 8 black-green dual lands, and 4 sideboard 《Duress》. I think splashing here is almost free, and making our worst match up being reasonable is worth effort. Another tweak I would do is playing 《Crushing Canopy》 in sideboard instead of for example 《Plummet》. Decks where we want 《Plummet》 are mostly including 《Lyra》, which goes in pair with 《Cast Out》 and 《Seal Away》. Paying one more mana, for being able to rescue our best creature is worth it!
4 《Concealed Courtyard》
4 《Isolated Chapel》
4 《Shefet Dunes》
2 《Scavenger Grounds》
-Land (22)- 4 《Toolcraft Exemplar》
2 《Dauntless Bodyguard》
4 《Scrapheap Scrounger》
4 《Benalish Marshal》
4 《Sram's Expertise》
4 《Legion's Landing》
2 《History of Benalia》
4 《Heart of Kiran》
2 《Aethersphere Harvester》
2 《Gideon of the Trials》
2 《Karn, Scion of Urza》
Here we see the first use of 《Karn, Scion of Urza》, that I can stand behind. With so many servo sources, and Vehicles,《Karn》 makes a big impact. Making two big guys turn by turn, and still remain on the battlefield is great. If you want to play 《Scion of Urza》, be sure your main goal is to make a big bodies, not drawing bad cards.
Adding black here works exactly how I imagine it in Mono Green. Splash is almost free, and black sideboard cards are great. For me it sounds like a great deal.
4 《Irrigated Farmland》
4 《Glacial Fortress》
1 《Ipnu Rivulet》
4 《Field of Ruin》
-Land (26)- 4 《Torrential Gearhulk》
2 《Blink of an Eye》
4 《Settle the Wreckage》
4 《Glimmer of Genius》
2 《Commit // Memory》
3 《Seal Away》
1 《Search for Azcanta》
2 《Cast Out》
3 《Teferi, Hero of Dominaria》
Classic example of a good draw-go control deck. We have 6 cards, that we can't cast on the instant speed, and three of them are untapping 2 lands for us. In Dominaria we got everything that UW was missing. Good cheap removal (《Seal Away》), a threat, that can win us a game, if survives for a few turns (《Teferi》), and some way to re-gain a life, versus aggressive decks.
《Lyra》 is a huge upgrade over 《Caracal》. Looking forward I'm not a big fan of 《Blink of an Eye》.《Commit // Memory》 is a better version of this card. I would add two 《Hieroglyphic Illumination》, to make my deck ahead in controls mirrors. Especially if UW will be popular, which I really expect to happen.
4 《Scattered Groves》
4 《Sunpetal Grove》
2 《Hashep Oasis》
2 《Aether Hub》
-Land (24)- 4 《Walking Ballista》
4 《Llanowar Elves》
4 《Merfolk Branchwalker》
3 《Shanna, Sisay's Legacy》
3 《Thrashing Brontodon》
2 《Rishkar, Peema Renegade》
1 《Shalai, Voice of Plenty》
3 《Lyra Dawnbringer》
2 《Ixalan's Binding》
2 《Treasure Map》
3 《Aethersphere Harvester》
3 《Karn, Scion of Urza》
Another 《Llanowar》 deck, this time a little more going wide oriented. Personally I prefer mono Green version, but this also has something to offer. We want to be aggressive, which means our opponent will usually use his removal before turn five. That's the best case for 《Lyra Dawnbringer》 to shine. Unanswered angel closes the game really fast, and is almost impossible to race. Remember that 《Shalai, Voice of Plenty》 protects you from 《Settle the Wreckage》, which is a nightmare for green decks!
As usual, I'm not a huge fan of 《Karn》 here. With 《Walking Ballista》,《Treasure Map》 , and 《Harvester》 it might be better, than I expect, also we have early creatures to protect him, so maybe it's just me hating this card :D, but I'm still not convinced. 《Shanna, Sisay's Legacy》 is especially good against UW, because it dodges 《Seal Away》 and 《Cast Out》 due to its ability.
4 《Spirebluff Canal》
4 《Sulfur Falls》
-Land (20)- 4 《Ghitu Lavarunner》
4 《Soul-Scar Mage》
2 《Siren Stormtamer》
4 《Spellweaver Eternal》
4 《Adeliz, the Cinder Wind》
3 《Warlord's Fury》
4 《Lightning Strike》
4 《Wizard's Lightning》
3 《Reduce // Rubble》
The cutest deck in the format. Even faster and more aggressive, than Mono Red. I don't think this is very powerful, because it's easy to break the synergy with removal, or just don't draw enough creatures to make a real pressure and then deck doesn't do anything, but if you draw perfect seven UR is probably unbeatable.
I didn't play enough, to be sure about match ups, but I can imagine it's easy to beat UW and Mono Green with it, so at some point it might be a great metacall.
Standard is great now. We have a lot of new and interesting decks, from aggro with bunch of one drops, to hard control with only few wincons. Everyone can find a deck for himself, which makes the format enjoyable.
Upcoming days will show us which decks are better, and which are worse, but whatever happens, I'm sure GPs and PT will be really fun to both watch and play. Right now I have to focus on GPs Birmingham, which are both in Legacy and Standard, so we will have more good decklists in next week. Be sure to check coverage!
Until next time,