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Brewer's Kitchen: Ashaya's Devastation (Standard 2022)


Well, hello there! Since this is my first video on the channel, I’ll introduce myself real quick:
Hey! I’m Brewer’s Kitchen. I create MTG gameplay videos and animations and like to go overboard with editing. 

Originally, I planned to play Historic Brawl for my first video here. But since Wizards postponed the release of Jumpstart Historic Horizons, we are checking out Standard 2022. While I usually only play Historic, the pre-rotated Standard format has felt like a fresh breath for deck building.



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The Gameplan

Early Game

We spend our first turns of the game ramping and setting up Landfall payoffs. All of our two-drops ramp us into four mana on turn three. We play a full playset of Yasharn, Implacable Earth to curve out and ensure land drops for the following turns. Our main win condition is Scute Swarm. While it can be tempting to play it as early as possible to start profiting from land drops, we usually wait until we can follow it up with the sixth land to get a copy of itself instead of an insect token.

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Mid Game

After spending our first two to three turns ramping and setting up future turns, it’s time to slam down the value pedal. Ashaya and Ancient Greenwarden make sure we get the most value out of our Landfall payoffs. Between Scute Swarm, Maja, Bretagard Protector and Felidar Retreat, we quickly overwhelm the board with creatures and gain a ton of life along the way with Prosperous Innkeeper.

Late Game

The deck wins either by going wide with tokens or going large with Ashaya. It might be tempting to run it all out there to create an insane board state but keep in mind: You are always a boardwipe away from losing it all. Unless, of course, that boardwipe destroys only nonland permanents… in which case we have probably cast it ourselves. If we control an Ashaya, we are leaving our own nontoken creatures untouched. But even if we don’t, it’s sometimes best to just slam the reset button if our opponent played out their whole hand since we have a lot of cards that can quickly take over the board again.

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Talking about boardwipes, I should probably address the weaknesses of the deck.

Matchups

The deck is very matchup dependent. Aggressive decks can try to sneak under our go-wide-plan but really struggle against the lifegain of Prosperous Innkeeper. We can also cast Devastating Mastery for its reduced costs to reset the board as early as turn three. What the deck really struggles against is early removal. Killing our Lotus Cobra or Scute Swarm before we get value out of it will greatly decrease our chances of taking over the game. Boardwipes like Blood on the Snow will send us back to the stone ages so try to assess the risk of our opponent playing these and sequence the threats accordingly. There is no use in playing a Scute Swarm if we already have a copy on the battlefield once we have six lands.
Ashaya allows us to dodge some removal though. You might see some opponents shame scooping after casting a Skyclave Apparition, Binding the Old Gods or -3 Kaya the Inexorable only to realize that there are no legal targets on our side of the board.

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Talking about making our opponents’ cards useless: Yasharn, Implacable Earth randomly hoses some decks with its ability, preventing paying life and sacrificing permanents. Sacrifice-based decks, as well as treasures, get shut down as long as Yasharn stays on the board, making it especially effective against the popular Green / Black Sacrifice decks.

Besides our own boardwipes, the deck doesn’t really play any interaction. Spell-based combo decks can just do whatever they want as long as they keep our board in check. Since Standard 2022 does not have Best-of-3, we can’t adjust to these weaknesses in post-board games but I will still talk about some cards that would fit a potential sideboard.

The Nonexistent Sideboard

You may have noticed the one-off Felidar Retreat which sticks out as the only non-creature permanent in the deck. It is an insane card in matches where we don’t want to blow up all non-land permanents. Once we get Best-of-3 in the format, you should include the rest of the playset in the sideboard to board in against control decks. Other front runners for sideboard slots are the other two Prosperous Innkeeper to provide more lifegain against aggressive decks and Toski, Bearer of Secrets which almost made the main deck. Toski naturally dodges our boardwipes by being indestructible but also gives us some much-needed card advantage.

Tips and Tricks

The deck has some neat tricks up its sleeve. Besides the already mentioned interaction between Ashaya and our boardwipes, we got some pretty interesting synergies that might not be obvious at first sight.
Ancient Greenwarden allows us to play lands out of our graveyard. We usually use this to replay our Evolving Wilds, but sometimes we can repeatedly activate and replay Bretagard Stronghold to pump creatures and give them lifelink and vigilance. This is especially brutal against aggressive decks and will quickly stabilize the board and life total.  
Emergent Sequence started as a four-off in the deck but got cut down to two because our basic land count is limited. While it usually plays like a 2/2 mana dork in other decks. We regularly play it as a 4/4 by stacking up land drops with Roiling Regrowth and Ashaya. The resulting creature also triggers landfall and dodges our boardwipes.
Devastating Mastery might seem like a pretty big downgrade if you play it for its reduced costs. Some decks get majorly blown out by it though. If your opponent has a board full of tokens, they will just lose everything. And if they have committed to a huge board, bouncing their two best permanents and destroying the rest is often enough to crush their plans as well.

Additions from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

This deck might get some serious support cards from the upcoming Innistrad block. Getting more dual lands will allow us to splash into Naya for cards like Valakut Exploration or Nahiri's Lithoforming. We might also get a Ghost Quarter to loop with Ancient Greenwarden to punish decks that are light on basic lands.

But we already know which card will make the deck for sure:

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Wrenn and Seven does everything the deck wants. From finding lands (+1), to triggering Landfall (0), to protecting us from flyers (-3), all the way to getting us insane card advantage in the late game (-8).

I’m excited to see what the new Standard will look like and if decks like this stand a chance against the power level that Innistrad will bring to the format.

Wrap Up

And that is it for my first gameplay video. I hope you enjoyed the video and article as much as I enjoyed making it. The deck is certainly not the best in the format but is a fun alternative to the Izzet Dragons and Green / Black Midrange decks. Keep in mind that there’s going to be a lot of clicking through triggers and potential Arena crashes coming your way.

Next time we are finally playing Historic Brawl with all the new toys that Historic Horizons will bring to Arena. Can we beat the 5-color value piles and the insane aggro f­­rom Muxus and Torbran decks?
Tune in next time to find out!

If you have questions or ideas for this or any deck, you can reach me on Twitter @Brewers_Kitchen or at brewerskitchen@mtggoldfish.com.



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