theros standard

Modern Deck Tech: Elspeth Tribal

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re diving into modern and with the new planeswalker rule coming with Ixalan I wanted to talk about a deck that could benefit that. At first I wanted to make a deck tech about Gideon Tribal, but everyone seems to be doing that already, so I thought “who doesn’t get enough love?” and the obvious answer is Elspeth! She has enough planeswalker cards to make it work and they all have a similar game plan: go wide with tokens. The deck is pretty straight forward, but let’s look at it and see how good it can be.

the Original

Sadly, the first printing on Elspeth might be the worse in this deck (while being the best one outside of it, but that’s another story). In here she only makes 1 token per turn, which isn’t GREAT but it’s still pretty decent. She protects herself and helps you go wide; she can pump up a creature for a turn, but you won’t be using that ability; and she can give all your stuff indestructible, which can be game-winning. So yeah, she’s pretty alright.

Protector of Mirrodin

Here we have the second printing of Elspeth and honestly this card is very good in here. You got yourself a way of gaining insane amounts of life if she isn’t dealt with right away and you can even alternate between gaining life and creating 2 tokens each turn if you feel like it. If you’re feeling spicy you can destroy every non-land non-token permanents, leaving you with an insane board advantage.

Theros’s Saviour

Lastly we have Elspeth’s latest printing, and hopefully not her last. At a whopping 6cmc, her effects are pretty game-changing. Being able to generate 3 tokens per turn, while ticking your planeswalker up is amazing. If anyone remembers standard during Theros, you know how good this card is. If your opponent doesn’t have a way to deal with this card early, I don’t know many decks that can deal with 3 tokens per turn to be honest, on top of all the other stuff you’ll be doing.

Making Some Friends

Here we have the rest of the deck, well, most of it. You’ll want to play cards like Gather the Townsfolk, Raise the Alarm, Lingering Souls & Oath of Gideon to make as many tokens as possible. That’s the deck really, making tokens. It might seem like a weak strategy to pop out some 1/1s but honestly most decks have a hard time dealing with Lingering Souls in general, imagine how much of a pain it is to deal with tons of them.

Removal Package

Alright so you’re playing white in modern, you know you HAVE to play Path to Exile, there’s no way around it really. I’d recommend playing some Condemn as well since it’s cheap, fits well in the deck’s mana curve, and is very effective against pretty much every relevant creature you’d want to exile (or put at the bottom of a library in this case). Maybe run some Blessed Alliance in the sideboard since it’s amazing against Death Shadow, and some board wipes too, like Day of Judgment can be good in some situations.

Spice Corner

Here I just want to mention a few cards that could potentially go in the deck but that I, personally, wouldn’t play. Cards like Anointed Procession that can really accelerate the whole token generating play, but has a high cmc that sort of hinders your curve; or cards like Honor of the Pure & Intangible Virtue that can pump up your tokens quite a bit and make them harder to deal with, honestly I can see playing this instead of Condemn, but that’s really up to the player of the deck; or even cards like Secure the Waste that can be an amazing 1 or 2-of in the deck to be cast in the late-game for a HUUUUGE amount of tokens. I think those 3 cards deserve at least a mention because they have an appeal in this deck.


There you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech as much as I did. I know this was a bit shorter than usual, but the deck is very straight-forward with a narrow & repetitive play style, which would feel like a drag to talk about each card individually since a lot of them do the exact same thing. I just want to quickly mention that I’d play a playset of Isolated Chapel just to be able to cast Lingering Souls from the graveyard, but otherwise all Plains is fine, maybe a couple Windbrisk Heights. The deck, in my opinion, is extremely fun to play and in a lot of cases can be impossible for your opponent to deal with. The only problem is that this deck suffers immensely from board wipes and has no card advantage to build back up if the board gets cleaned up and your planeswalkers are gone. So be careful about that. If I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for a legacy deck tech!

Never answered your question @lemonfont.
My favourite magic card is Ash Zealot.
Primarily a mono red / burn player I love everything about this card, it has all the good things about red creature spells. Low cost, First Strike, Haste and an added bonus of graveyard hate to boot (take that Snapcaster mage).

When I started playing a bit more competitively it was during Theros standard with the mono red devotion deck and I loved it.
It was quick deck to play and the additional damage from the burn spells of the time resulted in fast finished games.
Ash Zealot as a card aided alot towards the devotion with double Red in It’s cmc along with similar cards Burning-Tree Emissary (2x Red / Green hybrid) and Boros Reckoner ( 3x Red / White hybrid).
The early game aggro Ash Zealot had as opposed to Boros Reckoner was it could attack as soon as it was cast and not worry as much about early game blockers as normally a T1 Rakdos Cackler was unleashed and unable to block on your opponent’s side of the field.
I have dabbled with this in sideboards before in modern as, Snapecaster Mage is still one of the best 2 drops for a blue player. Ash Zealot’s activated ability is basically a bolt and can be punishing for any player who flashback or recast cards from the graveyard, plus the flavour text adds a bit of extra burn:
“Smarter than death? Let’s see you outsmart my mace, necromancer!”

slimonz  asked:

Is Theros standard considered a low point in Magic? The top tier decks didn't change for about a year. Very, very dull. Give me overpowered affinity anyday.

If you study Magic history, you will see Standard has fared far, far worse.

Mono Blue Devotion

While watching the Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir, I began to think about mono blue, remembering the recent printing of Shorecrasher Elemental and Counterspell, ehm, of course I mean Silumgar’s Scorn. The old days of the Return to Ravnica/Theros standard mono blue deck are long gone, but I could not help wonder about its viability now, perhaps there is a chance Master of Waves can take one final bow before disappearing off the standard stage for a long time, if not forever.

Creatures: [20]
4 Hypotic Siren
3 Mindreaver
4 Shorecrasher Elemental
2 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Master of Waves
2 Icefalll Regent
1 Prognostic Sphinx

Non-Creature Spells: [13]
4 Anticipate
3 Silumgarr’s Scorn
2 Hall of Triumph
1 Bident of Thassa
2 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise

19 Island

So far, these are only 52 cards and no sideboard yet. For the last 8 cards, I am considering one more island, another two drop (Frost Stalker, Jeskai Sage, Omenspeaker, Stratus Dancer) or two and/or some more tricks to, among others, poteentially abuse Mindreaver for more than ‘just’ its two devotion and power.

For the sideboard, I have not started planning yet. Some counterspells and combat tricks, perhaps a Monastery Siege whatever it will take to fill holes and weaknesses in the deck.

Perhaps the Prognostic Sphinx should be a third Icefall Regent, but I want to test it first.

If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to let me know.

The Allied Siege on Felidar

Creatures (25)

3 Zulaport Cutthroat
3 Drana’s Emissary
4 Serene Steward
4 Kalastria Healer
3 Lantern Scout
4 Siege Rhino
2 Felidar Sovereign
2 Defiant Bloodlord

Spells (12)

3 Feed the Clan
2 Shamanic Revelation
3 Murderous Cut
4 Abzan Charm

Lands (23)

2 Sandsteppe Citadel
3 Scoured Barrens
3 Blossoming Sands
2 Jungle Hollow
4 Plains
4 Forest
5 Swamp

With the release of a new set and Theros rotating out, Standard will soon go about some big changes. Here’s a cheap, fun deck to take to your FNM before everyone gets the chance to build the same 5 decks. Two things made me want to brew this. One was the reprint of Felidar Sovereign. The other was the realization that the Promo version of Siege Rhino was only 2$ a piece. The deck boasts 17 allies at CMC 3 and below, and the top end is all creatures that will benefit from the work these allies get started. Let’s dive right in.

Felidar Sovereign has a big body that can live through most combat and is an entertaining way for us to win. In theory, it allows us to treat any life we gain throughout the game as damage dealt. Once we gain 20 and hit that 40 mark, we can win. It’s not hard to hit 40 life when we can gain a quarter of that off of a single Feed the Clan. Defiant Bloodlord on the other hand, quite literally makes gaining life dealing damage. It turns Feed the Clan into the best 2 drop burn spell ever printed. The only problem with Bloodlord is we get nothing from gaining 50 life before we cast it. Bloodlord and Sovereign go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. And if they’re the PB&J, then Siege Rhino is the bread that makes them work. If you’ve played any Standard in the last year, you know exactly how powerful Siege Rhino is. Big body, explosive ETB, cheap cost.

Serene Steward allows us to turn our small army into an oppressive force. We have so many ways to gain life we’ll have no problem turning several 2/2′s and 1/1′s into 4/4′s and 5/5′s. Between Lifelands, Rally triggers, Rhino, Upkeep Triggers, ETC, we’ll have no trouble finding the time to spare a ‘W’ here and there for her. Kalastria healer is a little lackluster as far a body goes, but since we run 17 allies he’ll be able to generate plenty of value. Lantern Scout lets us gain massive amounts of life. Who cares if they block our whole army if Bloodlord is on the board and they still take lethal? 

Feed the Clan can be devastating in a deck like this. It allows some crazy plays like getting us from 30 to 40 in time for Felidar to win us the game. It can blow an opponent completely out of the water with Bloodlord on board. It can keep us from losing when we need a huge bump. It’s awesome. Abzan Charm is modal, and if I haven’t shoved every modal spell from Khans block down your throats in every single deck I could cram them into then I’m doing something wrong. As usual, all the modes are relevant. 1) Killing things is great. Exiling them is better. This will help us deal with any threats coming our way. 2) Q: Is drawing at instant speed is good? A: Yes. Q: Do we care about 2 life in a deck with this much lifegain? A: No.  3) This helps get our smaller creatures in the beginning over our opponents creatures. It can save us from some removal. It can help enable Ferocious. Shamanic Revelation is a card that will almost always benefit you. If it’s a completely dead card, things are probably already really bad. It can fill your hand up like crazy after dumping it onto the board, and can gain loads of life. It’s great in here.

Have fun gaining tons of life and beating in some face!


((This deck could definitely benefit form a larger budget. Things like a better mana base with Shambling Vent, Anafenza the Foremost, Beastcaller Savant, and Sorin, Solemn Visitor to name a few. There is also potential for a deck styled around Mastery of the Unseen paired with Felidar Sovereign.))

tomorsomthing  asked:

Return to Ravnica was released in 2012, making it only 3 years maximum that we've been doing 50% return sets on the consumer side of things. And we weren't 50% return sets until just now when battle for zendikar came out. Having played through that, 2 new settings followed by a return setting (they way you've been doing it so far) seems like it makes a lot more sense. Plugging your ears and saying "six years, six years!" In reference to a 3 year period seems kind of silly.

Zendikar was new. Scars of Mirrodin was a return. Standard was 50%. Then Innistrad replaced Zendikar. Standard 50%. Return to Ravnica replaced Scars of Mirrodin. Standard 50%. Theros replaced Innistrad. Standard 50%. It is false to say this is three years old.