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What New Decks Should You Be Playing in the New Standard?


Origins is definitely shaping up to be one of the most powerful Core Sets in a long time, which is fitting since it is the last Core Set in Magic history. What comes with big and powerful sets? Big changes to the Standard format. While specific strategies aren't disappearing, there are re-imaginings and a wide variety of new brews that are coming to the format. In this article we will be focusing on some of the new decks that you should be checking out.

U/R Thopters

I'm going to start off with the deck that I am most excited to try out and want to play. The most exciting part of this deck for me is just how many cards the deck can draw. Military Intelligence and Thopter Spy Network are excellent pay off cards with the amount of small dudes we will have out. Speaking of Thopter Spy Network, it is absolutely insane. Providing a 1/1 flier every turn and providing us with a source of card advantage is huge for a single enchantment. Ensoul Artifact acts as a great threat on its own as it can commonly come out on turn 2. The deck is pretty resilient with the amount of card draw it has and it can deal with some of the bigger creatures in the format like Siege Rhino and Stormbreath Dragon. I have been having a lot of fun with the deck in testing and highly recommend trying it out for yourself. I do think that this kind of grindy build of the deck is much better than the one trying to play things like Bonded Construct and Ramroller. Remember that just because Affinity exists in Modern and is super powerful, it doesn't mean that it is the only kind of artifact deck that can be successful. Sometimes you just want to make a bunch of thopters and draw a bunch of cards.

Goblins

Yes everyone's favorite red tribe is back in Standard thanks to a little guy called Goblin Piledriver. This guy is a fantastic pay off for playing a bunch of goblins including the all-star Goblin Rabblemaster. The biggest difference between Goblins and Atarka Red decks are simply the amount of burn between the two decks, which gives the Atarka Red decks a bit more reach. The best way to solve this problem for Goblins is to have a good amount of effects that make our big guys unblockable. Subterranean Scout, Frenzied Goblin, and Goblin Heelcutter all accomplish this perfectly. The addition of Goblin Piledriver can end games very quickly. Turn 1 Goblin Glory Chaser, Turn 2 Goblin Piledriver, Turn 3 Hordeling Outburst is a fantastic curve that will lead to many wins. I would highly suggest anyone looking to play an aggressive red deck to start here.

Elves

This deck is similar to its Modern counterpart: try to get a bunch of elves into play and beatdown. This is an aggro deck for sure, but how it differs from its Goblin counterpart is that what it lacks in quick damage, it makes up for in a powerful and large board presence thanks to cards like Obelisk of Urd and Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen. The black splash offered here is absolutely necessary in my opinion since Gnarlroot Trapper and Shaman of the Pack are two of the most powerful cards in the deck. A lot of people seem to be dismissing Gnarlroot Trapper as just another mana dork, but if you look closely, you can see another activated ability! Giving your elves deathtouch is super relevant in a format with a lot of big midrange creatures. It allows you to play less, if any, removal and allows you to go on the beatdown and forces your opponent to give up their bigger creatures. Shaman of the Pack is just insane in this kind of deck. It provides amazing value and allows you to push through a bunch of damage without attacking. Once again Collected Company is making Elves good, this time in Standard.

A Different Abzan

This may not look too exciting because "Woo... another Abzan build..." but I really do like this take on Abzan. I don't think that this list is completely optimized, but this is a rough version of what the idea would look like. Elvish Visionary joins Satyr Wayfinder as a great creature to play early defense and later become sacrifice-fodder for Sidisi, Undead Vizier, or to chump block to flip Liliana, Heretical Healer. I actually really like this version of Abzan where instead of jamming it full of value creatures and removal, we jam it full of synergy. This is the deck I am most anxious to test competitvely due to the power of the new Liliana, the fantastic board wipe of Languish, and the powerful color combination of Abzan.

White Weenie

The return of White Weenie to Standard is possibly among us. With the release of Magic Origins, the deck gets some very powerful creatures to help push it over the edge and into constructed playability. Kytheon, Hero of Akros is one of the best creatures in the deck and absolutely the best 1 drop. It can flip easily in this kind of deck and it is very powerful in both creature and planeswalker form. Kytheon can block or attack freely as long as you hold up 3 mana and the planeswalker side gives you a great attacker and a lot of control over combat which is exactly what this deck wants. Knight of the White Orchid and Vryn Wingmare aren't fantastic attackers in this deck but they offer utility instead of just an efficient body. Knight of the White Orchid allows you to play multiple creatures ahead of curve by getting a land out of your deck and onto the battlefield. Vryn Wingmare can be absolutely insane. Pushing a 5 mana board wipe to a 6 mana board wipe is huge and it helps stall sweepers like Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow. It also makes removal spells like Lightning Strike and Hero's Downfall miserable to cast for your opponent. The deck does have the same problem of running out of steam if you get stalled or board wiped, but the creatures in this deck are all so powerful that if you can overwhelm your opponent, you usually lock up the game.

Wrap Up

Whether or not these builds or archetypes will be competitive is yet to be seen, but the only way to see is if people play them! I am a spike as much as the next guy, but whenever a big new set gets released I recommned that people innovate. Don't go to one of the first Origins events playing the stock Mono Red, Abzan or Esper Control lists with a couple of new cards. Try something new that this set offers to you and see if it's good. You will have more fun this way and it might even help you find a new deck to play. Let me know what decks you have come up with in the comments below; this is the best time to get your deckbuilding juices flowing!


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