Deck Guide: Sultai Hadana’s Climb

Luis Salvatto

Luis Salvatto

Introduction

Hello everyone, Luis Salvatto here and I’m writing it from my home in Buenos Aires. (I usually write in the planes xD)

Today, I’m going to talk about one of the most popular decks in Standard: Sultai Midrange.

Two weeks ago, one of my friends in Argentina won the first online Mythic Championship Qualifier since Ravnica Allegiance released and I asked him advice about the deck, to understand how it works and here is the article about all that information.

Decklist

Here is the sweet decklist that gives my friend an invite to Mythic Championship London 2019:

Mainboard(60)

Breeding Pool

4

Forest

4

Hinterland Harbor

4

Overgrown Tomb

4

Watery Grave

4

Woodland Cemetery

4

Growth-Chamber Guardian

4

Hostage Taker

3

Hydroid Krasis

4

Incubation Druid

4

Jadelight Ranger

4

Llanowar Elves

4

Merfolk Branchwalker

3

Zegana, Utopian Speaker

2

Vivien Reid

2

Find/Finality

2

Cast Down

2

Hadana's Climb

2

Sideboard(15)

Cast Down

1

Find/Finality

1

Disdainful Stroke

2

Duress

3

Moment of Craving

3

Negate

3

Thrashing Brontodon

2

Differences Between This Sultai Decklist and the Others

Hadana's Climb

This decklist is a little bit different from the others. This one it’s more like a Simic +1/+1 Counters deck with a black splash, to get a good use of 《Hadana's Climb》.

We knew that the deck to beat of that weekend was Nexus Reclamation and other Midrange decks so we try to create a build that was good against these two archetypes.

Playing Black as a Third Color

Ravenous ChupacabraVraska's ContemptCry of the Carnarium

The first big difference is that we’re not playing spells that demand double black mana as regular lists do to avoid mana issues, so we’re missing cards like 《Ravenous Chupacabra》, 《Vraska's Contempt》 and 《Cry of the Carnarium》.

Playing 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》 Instead of 《Wildgrowth Walker》

Growth-Chamber GuardianWildgrowth Walker

The second difference is that we’re not playing 《Wildgrowth Walker》 as we prefer to play 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》 in that slot as it’s a better topdeck in the late game and it’s better against all matchups except Red Burn Decks. The sinergies between 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》 and 《Hadana's Climb》 is also better than it is with 《Wildgrowth Walker》.

Why Should I Try This Decklist over the Regular Ones?

Incubation DruidHydroid Krasis

《Hadana's Climb》 is a strong card in this Standard, but I think the answer depends on the type of decks you like the most. This decklist propose a lot more and commits more board than the regular one as it has less removals and your strength is based on playing big 《Hydroid Krasis》 helped by 《Incubation Druid》s.

The deck also has really good starts if we draw 《Hadana's Climb》 on the turn three (sadly, we can’t afford draw multiples so we can only play two). I can mention some of them to give you an idea on how many advantage you can get in the first few turns.

Sideboard Guide and Matchups

As I told you before, this decklist was built to win Midrange matchups, that’s reason why our mainboard may be weaker against Control and Aggro, but in game 2 and game 3 we can improve a lot those matchups.

Mono Red Aggro

Against Mono Red Aggro

Out

Incubation Druid Incubation Druid Incubation Druid Incubation Druid
Find // Finality Find // Finality

In

Moment of Craving Moment of Craving Moment of Craving Cast Down
Thrashing Brontodon Thrashing Brontodon
Moment of Craving

As we don’t have 《Wildgrowth Walker》 we must play more 《Moment of Craving》 than usual to make a time and reach big 《Hydroid Krasis》 to established the board and win the game. I prefer to take out the 《Incubation Druid》 as they are bad at blocking and they die with any red spell.

Treasure MapThrashing BrontodonExperimental Frenzy

《Thrashing Brontodon》 is really good at blocking and surviving red removal as it has 4 thoughness. It’s also very usefull against 《Treasure Map》 and 《Experimental Frenzy》.

Try to keep your life total high in the first 5 turns and take mulligan if you have slow hands. If you keep that in mind you’ll easily defeat them.

Nexus Reclamation / 4-Color Gates

Against Nexus Reclamation / 4-Color Gates

Out

Hydroid Krasis Hydroid Krasis Hydroid Krasis Hydroid Krasis
Hostage Taker Hostage Taker Hostage Taker
Cast Down Cast Down Incubation Druid

In

Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Thrashing Brontodon Thrashing Brontodon
Duress Duress Duress
Negate Negate Negate
Wilderness Reclamation

Remember that the key card is 《Wilderness Reclamation》, without it you will get them easy. The first game is really tough, as we don’t have any way to interact with their combo. Try to run at them, put pressure and go all in.

NegateDisdainful StrokeThrashing Brontodon

The other two games will be tough too, but we have a lot of ways to interact with their threats. Try to keep your mana up for your 《Negate》, 《Disdainful Stroke》 or a 《Thrashing Brontodon》 in play and to avoid tapping-out if it is unnecessary.

Growth-Chamber Guardian

《Growth-Chamber Guardian》 is our MVP in this matchup. You can chain and make them grow at the same time as instant speed so you can keep your mana up during your opponent’s turn. This is one of the reasons why I prefer 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》 over 《Wildgrowth Walker》 as it’s awesome by itself.

Root SnareGates Ablaze

The only difference between Nexus Reclamation and Gates is that Nexus plays 《Fog》 effects and Gates plays Sweepers. Against Nexus you can commit all the board you want and it will be okay.

Sultai Midrange

Against Sultai Midrange

Out

Merfolk Branchwalker
Merfolk Branchwalker
Merfolk Branchwalker

In

Cast Down
Disdainful Stroke
Find // Finality
Incubation Druid

This is a good matchup for us. We have to focus on card advantage, ramping with 《Incubation Druid》 and play big 《Hydroid Krasis》. 《Vivien Reid》 is a real threat as we don’t have 《Vraska's Contempt》, but they usually are behind us because they are slower.

Ravenous ChupacabraHostage TakerHydroid Krasis

《Hostage Taker》 is MVP here. You can steal a lot of good threats such as 《Ravenous Chupacabra》, 《Jadelight Ranger》 and 《Doom Whisperer》. Also it can reset big 《Wildgrowth Walker》s.

One thing I really like about 《Hostage Taker》 is that is perfect against 《Hydroid Krasis》. You can play it paying X and if you don’t play it and 《Hostage Taker》 dies, 《The Hydra》 dies too.

Izzet Drakes

Against Izzet Drakes

Out

Merfolk Branchwalker Merfolk Branchwalker Merfolk Branchwalker
Find // Finality

In

Duress Duress Duress
Cast Down
Hostage TakerPteramander

This is a fair matchup. 《Pteramander》 is the new acquisition of the deck and it fits perfectly with all the cantrips and spells the deck plays. It creates pressure in the early game with evasion and it can turn in a big deal really quickly.

Nevertheless, we have some tricks to deal with it. 《Hostage Taker》 is really really good against 《Pteramander》. You can exile it and play it in turn 5 or in turn 4 with 《Incubation Druid》 or 《Llanowar Elves》. It’s very useful to block big drakes and also to put some pressures when the field is empty.

Dive DownDuressDisdainful Stroke

《Duress》 is one of the best sideboard cards against Izzet Drakes. It works well to discard 《Dive Down》s and 《Entrancing Melodies》 (remember that your 《huge Hydra》‘s cost is just 2 in play) and it cleans the hand of potential 《Disdainful Stroke》s that can target your 《Vivien Reid》.

Mono Blue Tempo

Against Mono Blue Tempo

Out

Merfolk Branchwalker Merfolk Branchwalker Merfolk Branchwalker
Find // Finality Find // Finality
Zegana, Utopian Speaker

In

Moment of Craving Moment of Craving Moment of Craving
Thrashing Brontodon Thrashing Brontodon
Cast Down
Curious ObsessionThrashing Brontodon

Their key card is 《Curious Obsession》, so try to kill their creatures as soon as you can. 《Thrashing Brontodon》 seems useless at the beginning, but when you can crush an 《Obsession》 with it, it feels really good. Now they are also playing 《Pteramander》, and with all the other one drop creatures 《Hostage Taker》 becomes crucial in this matchup.

Esper Control

Against Esper Control

Out

Llanowar Elves Llanowar Elves Llanowar Elves Llanowar Elves
Hostage Taker Hostage Taker Hostage Taker
Find // Finality Find // Finality

In

Negate Negate Negate Cast Down
Duress Duress Duress
Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke

Esper is growing a lot recent weeks. Players are building really good brews and we are almost there to have a tier 1 list of this archetype.

Kaya's WrathLlanowar Elves

As they play 4 《Kaya's Wrath》, we intend to take some mana dorks out that have no impact in the game. 《Incubation Druid》 is still good because it allows you to ramp and reach big 《Hydroid Krasis》, so we keep them in.

Thief of SanityHostage Taker

Post board they bring a pack of good creatures such as 《Thief of Sanity》 (big trouble for us) and 《Hostage Taker》. Just try to put pressure without commiting to much resources and take advantage of cards like 《Hydroid Krasis》 and 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》.

Conclusion

If you like to play Midrange decks with some tweaks I strongly recommend to try this deck. It’s really nice to play and it has a lot of decisions to make regarding on how to chain spells and take the most of them.

Hope you enjoy the article! If you have any question feel free to ask me on my stream or in my social media channels (Luis Salvatto in all of them)!

Thanks,

Luis Salvatto@LuisSalvatto

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Luis Salvatto

Luis Salvatto From a top 8 finish at the Nationals 2011 in Argentina, time passes by to a magnificent win at the Super Sunday Series Championship 2015, another win at Grand Prix Rotterdam, and a top 8 finish at Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad bringing him back to the pro scene. After, he has 2 more Grand Prix top 8's and the golden rookie has now evolved in to a player representing South America. He is joining Hareruya Pros with his teammate from the same country of Argentina, Sebastian Pozzo. Read more articles by Luis Salvatto