10 Decks for Post-Rotation Standard

Fabrizio Anteri

Fabrizio Anteri

Introduction: Let’s Prepare for the Rotation and the Standard 2020 Event

Hello everyone,

Rotation is one of my favorite times in Magic because it gives so much space for exploring and brewing in a new format. The pool of cards that remains is relatively small, but still offers enough options to make it a fun puzzle to solve.

Instead of focusing on the previews from Throne of Eldraine, I want to explore what decks can we build with the current sets in Standard that will remain after rotation. In particular, I am building these decks for the “Special Standard 2020 event”. This event will be available from the 9th of September until the 26th in Best-of-One and Best-of-One ranked on MTG Arena!

Standard 2020 Event on MTG Arena

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Mono-Color Decks

When I look at the pool of cards available, I see a lot of power, but the mana is getting significantly worse with the departure of the checklands from Ixalan and Dominaria. So the first place I want to look at, is the option for mono-colored decks.

Tempest DjinnBenalish MarshalGoblin Chainwhirler

《Curious Obsession》 and 《Tempest Djinn》 are gone and with them the base of a Mono Blue deck. White weenie loses 《Benalish Marshal》, 《History of Benalia》, 《Legion’s Landing》 and 《Adanto Vanguard》, basically the entire deck gone as well. Red aggro loses most of its creatures (《Fanatical Firebrand》, 《Ghitu Lavarunner》, 《Viashino Pyromancer》 and 《Goblin Chainwhirler》) as well as most of its burn spells (《Lightning Strike》 and 《Wizard’s Lightning》).

What I can see remaining is the base for a Big Red deck:

Big Red

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The power here lies in the Planeswalkers. 《Sarkhan the Masterless》 gets very scary when combined with other Planeswalkers and all the Chandras together enable 《Chandra’s Triumph》, which I believe to be a reasonable replacement for 《Lightning Strike》. It doesn’t deal damage to the player, but that’s not much of a concern when you want your removal to protect your Planeswalkers instead of burning the opponent.

Bag of HoldingChandra's Regulator

Even with a pretty clean mana base, I am worried about the consistency of the deck. Drawing too many lands or too many expensive spells early can be punishing. That’s why I want to try 《Bag of Holding》 and 《Chandra’s Regulator》 in this build. 《Bag of Holding》‘s activate cost is a bit expensive, but it can help you get through the early game and later on recovering those extra lands and expensive spells should be game winning. Don’t forget the Bag will also exile cards when your opponent is trying to 《Duress》 or 《Thought Erasure》 you.

A deck that wasn’t good enough before, but I am very excited to try now is Mono Black:

Mono Black

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Plenty of room to tune this deck once there is a defined Metagame. Because aggro decks look the harder to build and because the mana bases are getting more tapped lands, I decided to run 4 《Duress》 maindeck, but they could become 《Disfigure》 if needed. A bit of a gamble with 《Noxious Grasp》 and 《The Elderspell》 as well, they are rather a big hit or a big miss.

Orzhov EnforcerPlaguecrafterCavalier of NightLiliana, Dreadhorde General

I like the interactions between 《Orzhov Enforcer》, 《Yarok’s Fenlurker》 and 《Plaguecrafter》, 《Cavalier of Night》. On the top end I went for 《Liliana, Dreadhorde General》, but 《Ugin, the Ineffable》, 《Command the Dreadhorde》 and 《Bolas’s Citadel》 are all good options as well.

Moving to the two-color decks. We have 5 guilds with better mana (because of the Temples) and 5 guilds that will rather have worse mana or would have to run sub-optimal dual-lands.

Two-Color Decks

Boros Feather

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Boros Feather remains pretty close to it’s previous form. 《Reckless Rage》 was one of the most important pieces of the deck and to replace it I decided to try a more aggressive approach with 《Infuriate》.

InfuriateSwiftblade VindicatorKrenko, Tin Street KingpinAurelia, Exemplar of Justice

Both 《Swiftblade Vindicator》 and 《Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin》 are very scary when you boost their power; That’s why I also liked the idea of adding 《Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice》 to the deck. 《Prison Realm》 is needed to have some more interaction. For the mana 23 lands are more than the previous usual, but this deck really needs to find red and double white early to operate and I would rather be more likely to flood than being unable to cast anything in my hand.

Simic Flash

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Simic is another guild with access to decent mana. There is a good base for a Simic Ramp deck, but without 《Nexus of Fate》 I feel the deck needs an extra color for a Win Condition. So instead I decided to go for this build of Simic Flash.

Frilled MysticNightpack AmbusherVivien, Champion of the Wilds

People already know how scary 4 mana open could be against a deck with 《Frilled Mystic》 and 《Nightpack Ambusher》. Here I am trying to make that happen on Turn 3 as often as possible. The deck is mono-creature except for that one card that rewards you for playing plenty of creatures: 《Vivien, Champion of the Wilds》. Whole team gains Flash? Yep, good luck beating those Wolves and Hydras.

I tried building decks on the other three guilds with decent mana (Izzet, Golgari and Orzhov) but I wasn’t convince with anything that I got.

Even with worse mana, I still consider Gruul Stompy to be a decent choice to get started next week.

Gruul Stompy

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The loss of 《Llanowar Elves》 surely affects this deck a lot, but the format as a whole is slowing down, so curving out big guys may still be a good enough plan.

Nissa, Who Shakes the WorldSarkhan the MasterlessNullhide FeroxZhur-Taa Goblin

Very flexible to build, this could be running 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》 or 《Sarkhan the Masterless》 on 5cc and maybe 《Nullhide Ferox》 on 4cc. 《Zhur-Taa Goblin》 is a good 2cc but I feel that’s pushing the mana too much.

There is not much on Selesnya to work with and I don’t love the mana for a Dimir or Azorius control deck. So moving to the three-colored decks with decent mana.

Three Color Decks

Jeskai Planeswalkers

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An archetype that’s been in and out of the metagame for several months and haven’t lost much with rotation.

OptAnticipateLightning StrikeChandra's Triumph

《Opt》 becomes 《Anticipate》 and 《Lightning Strike》 becomes 《Chandra’s Triumph》. It’s possible the mana is too complicated for 《Dovin’s Veto》 and 《Negate》 should be played instead. The exact build will depend on the metagame, maybe 5 sweepers are too many if people are focusing more on Planeswalkers.

Temur Elemental

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I haven’t personally explored this deck before, but I know there is a base here for something good. The mana is not ideal, but really this is the case for basically any deck post-rotation with more than one color.

Risen ReefCloudkin SeerOmnath, Locus of the RoilNeoform

With or without 《Neoform》; more midrange or more synergy focus are all questions that can only be answered once the event on Arena gets started and people start playing games in this new format.

Temur Reclamation

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While I was trying to build an Izzet deck, I remembered and got inspired by Pascal Maynard’s deck from the Mythic Championship in Cleveland and decided this was the base I wanted for an Izzet deck.

Expansion+ExplosionWilderness Reclamation

《Wilderness Reclamation》 was an extremely powerful card until 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 got printed. I believe Teferi will still see play after rotation but it’s possible it won’t see as much play as before. This deck still have answers for it and is doing very powerful stuff that are not always easy to interact with or to stop. The mana here is probably as good as it gets for a 3 colors-deck in this format. 27 lands and based Blue-Red.

Other Possibilities

Kethis, the Hidden HandHero of Precinct OneMarch of the Multitudes

Abzan also have access to decent mana, but I didn’t find anything good enough to build around. I tried a Legendary theme with 《Kethis, the Hidden Hand》 (just as a value card, no combo), multicolor with 《Hero of Precinct One》 and maybe a tokens deck with 《March of the Multitudes》. I am dropping these ideas here in case you feel like exploring it and maybe finding a convincing 60.

Leafkin DruidRisen ReefCavalier of Thorns

Sultai for me looks like a Green-Blue Ramp deck and I can’t justify myself for running Black there. With the Explore creatures gone I can’t see a good Sultai Midrange deck either.

Chandra, Acolyte of FlameSaheeli, Sublime ArtificerChandra, Fire Artisan

When I tried to build a Mardu Control deck, I ended up with all the red Planeswalkers and some random multicolor spells. So I decided it was better off as Big Red instead.

At first, I didn’t think a three-colors deck with access to only one Temple could have a functional mana base and these wouldn’t be worth building, but I ended up with two decklist that I really like:

Esper

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Basically all the good stuff remain after rotation (except maybe 《that one guy》, what was his name again?)

Gideon BlackbladeDiscovery+DispersalChemister's Insight

I think the 6 mana Planeswalkers could do a good job trying to replace big Teferi. The real issue here is the mana base. I added an extra land (up to 27 now) trying to make it more consistent and also decided to don’t push blue too deep and removed 《Narset, Parter of Veils》. 《Gideon Blackblade》 without creatures looks a bit silly, but if the format lacks aggressive decks, I really like the idea of him to pressure Planeswalkers. 《Discovery/Dispersal》 should also help with the mana. Without 《Search for Azcanta》 I like the idea of 《Chemister’s Insight》 again, also looting away the dead cards in each matchup.

Finally, as I promised. Here is a Ramp deck.

Bant Ramp

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I was expecting the mana base to be awkward, but being a mostly Mono Green deck that happens to need plenty of 《Forest》 for 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》s, it actually makes sense to just play few Blue-White dual lands and keep the rest of the mana base as Shock-lands or Basic 《Forest》s.

Arboreal Grazer

《Llanowar Elves》 is gone but I would still like to have some sort of 1-mana ramp, not only for Turn-1 but also when you do those big Krasis for X= an even number and can spare 1 mana after drawing a lot of cards.

Trostani DiscordantTeferi, Time RavelerFinale of Glory

This deck should win by overflowing the board with creatures that grow with 《Trostani Discordant》 or the old classic “end of turn, make 10 Angels” with 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 and 《Finale of Glory》.

Conclusion

With that, it’s 10 decklist for post-rotation Standard! I had plenty of fun brewing these decks and writing this article and I am sure you will also enjoy this new format.

We’ll be getting spoilers of new cards every day until the release of Throne of Eldraine and I am sure plenty of what I wrote in this article will change, but I believe it’s really important to understand the base of the format as it stands now to be ready for the new one at the end of the month.

Thanks for reading and happy brewing!

Fabrizio (Twitter)

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Fabrizio Anteri

Fabrizio Anteri Fabrizio Anteri is a Pro Player from Venezuela. He has 11 Grand Prix Top 8s and won 5 trophies. He went 2nd place at GP Bologna with his teammates and he joined Hareruya Hopes at The 2nd Hareruya Hopes Open Recruitment. Read more articles by Fabrizio Anteri