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Goldfish Gladiators: Temur Vannifar (Standard, Magic Arena)

Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators! Last week, we played a sweet Sultai Vannifar deck for a stream, and while the deck was a blast to play, one of the most exciting parts of Prime Speaker Vannifar is that there are a ton of different ways to build around the mythic. Today, we're trying a different take on Prime Speaker Vannifar—Temur Vannifar! What's the upside of splashing into red with a Prime Speaker deck? While there are a few, the biggest is Rhythm of the Wild to give our Prime Speaker Vannifar haste, to immediately start podding up value. Beyond the enchantment, Rekindling Phoenix is also amazing, giving us a four-drop to sacrifice for free every turn to tutor up powerful five-mana creatures like Biogenic Ooze and Siege-Gang Commander. Is going into red rather than black the right way to build around Prime Speaker Vannifar in Ravnica Allegiance Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Temur Vannifar


  • Temur Vannifar felt great! We played an Arena Mode event and ended up cruising to the maximum of seven wins!
  • Perhaps the biggest question about the deck is what makes Temur better than the other potential color combinations when it comes to building around Prime Speaker Vannifar? The biggest thing that red adds to the deck is Rhythm of the Wild, which isn't just a powerful card in a vacuum but also works especially well with Prime Speaker Vannifar by giving her haste and allowing us to start tutoring up creatures immediately, rather than passing the turn and giving our opponent an opportunity to interact with our namesake mythic with sorcery-speed removal. 
  • The other big red additions are Rekindling Phoenix, which gives us a powerful threat in the air that we can sacrifice every turn for three, since it will return from the graveyard anyway, and Siege-Gang Commander, which adds a touch of reach to the deck. Thanks to Vannifar's tutoring power, we can often tutor up a Siege-Gang Commander with all of our mana available, so we can immediately sacrifice all of our Goblin tokens and throw up to six damage at our opponent's face, giving us a way to win the game by surprise after the board get gummed up with blockers.
  • Otherwise, the deck is pretty straightforward. We have a ton of ramp in the early game to get to Prime Speaker Vannifar as quickly as possible, with some powerful removal creatures in Ravager Wurm and Dream Eater at the top of our curve. 
  • Maybe the most impressive aspect of Temur Vannifar is that we did well in a best-of-one event. Traditionally, best-of-one is rough on midrange decks, but Temur Vannifar is one of the most aggressive Prime Speaker Vannifar builds in the format, thanks to Rhythm of the Wild giving our threats haste and our Siege-Gang Commander reach. The deck's aggressive nature makes it a good Prime Speaker Vannifar option for the best-of-one format.
  • As far as updates to the deck, I'm pretty happy with how it played in general, although there is certainly potential to add in some spicy one-ofs. In some of our matches, Goblin Chainwhirler would have been great, even though the mana cost makes it tricky to cast on time naturally. This being said, one of the hidden powers of Prime Speaker Vannifar is that you can play some situational one-ofs and still find them consistently when they are good, which is a power that Prime Speaker Vannifar decks probably should embrace more.
  • This is normally where I talk about how much the deck costs on Arena, but I'm not sure it's worth it for Ravnica Allegiance Standard. Three-color decks with optimal mana bases are going to take a lot of rare wildcards in just about every case, and Temur Vannifar is no exception. The good news is that, especially with "Standard Plus" in the future, you're going to need shock lands and check lands anyway, so you might as well just take the plunge and pick them up as soon as you can. This being said, Temur Vannifar does require quite a few mythics as well, which means even by Ravnica Allegiance tri-color deck standards, it's not cheap on Magic Arena.
  • All in all, Temur Vannifar is a lot of fun to play and seems pretty well suited to compete in best-of-one and best-of-three. If you like tutoring up sweet creatures and getting in hasty attacks thanks to Rhythm of the Wild, give it a shot! 


Anyway, that's all for today. Which Prime Speaker Vannifar deck do you like best? What other sweet one-of tutor targets could we work into the deck? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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