Ultimate Sultai Deck List and Guide

Grzegorz Kowalski

Grzegorz Kowalski

Introduction

Uro, Titan of Nature's WrathThought ErasureCasualties of War

Hello everyone! Today, I have something very special for you! Sultai Uro Control guide! If you ask any Standard player right now, they would probably tell you that Sultai is a nice deck, but loses badly to Mono Red, which makes it unplayable. Well, I’ve spent last three weeks working mostly on improving my red match up without making my good match ups worse, and I think I did my homework well! Today I’ll show my detailed guide for Sultai, and try to convince you to give the deck a shot!

There are not many premier events right now, so it’s hard to prove a deck in a competitive environment. Facts that might interest you:

Decklist

Here’s my list:

Card Choices

The Simic Core

Hydroid Krasis

4

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

4


Nissa, Who Shakes the World

3

Growth Spiral

2

This is the Simic core that you always want to play in your UGx decks. Only three 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》s because addition of 《Massacre Girl》 (my anti-Mono Red insurance policy). In Sultai we have many two mana interaction cards (《Tyrant’s Scorn》 and 《Thought Erasure》) so our second turn isn’t as empty as Bant’s for example. Because of that there is no reason to run four 《Growth Spiral》s, as the card gets way worse in any turn beyond the second one, and we often prefer to play discard over ramp if we can on turn two.

The Anti-Mono-Red-Policy

Tyrant's Scorn

4

Massacre Girl

2


Aether Gust

2

Polukranos, Unchained

1

(Note: and sideboard, I’ll explain it more in the Match up Guide section.)

Those are the cards I rely on while fighting aggro match ups. 4 《Tyrant’s Scorn》 is the best change I made for the deck by far. Some people played 2 + 2x 《Epic Downfall》, some even played 1! I think any number below 4 is just a mistake. Scorn is very versatile. It’s a great and mana efficient removal versus Mono Red and other aggro, but unlike 《Epic Downfall》, it’s never a dead card! Versus UW Control we can bounce our Krasis in response for removal, versus RB Sacrifice we can protect our 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》 or big 《Hydroid Krasis》 for getting stolen by 《Claim the Firstborn》. Against Jeskai Fires we can bounce Cavaliers or 《Kenrith, the Returned King》 for just two mana.

Another important maindeck addition is 《Aether Gust》. My goal with Sultai was to make Mono Red match up reasonable without hurting others. Gust is a perfect choice for that task, as a great anti-Mono Red card, while also being very good versus Fires and other Simic based ramp decks (Sultai, Bant, Temur).

《Massacre Girl》 is a way to effectively clear the board with 《Anax, Hardened in the Forge》 in play (when we kill Anax in our turn, tokens hit the battlefield before we -1-1 again!).

Four-Drops

Vraska, Golgari Queen

1

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

1


Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths

1

Polukranos, Unchained

1

This is the weirdest part of the deck :D. I believe all of those cards are bad in multiples, and I never want to draw two of them, but each of them have very unique effect that is worth to have in a deck with many card draws like Sultai.

《Vraska, Golgari Queen》 kills 《Trail of Crumbs》 and 《Lucky Clover》, while also being a good card draw later in the game, and a “must answer” threat because of the ultimate. In the worst case it’s a 4 mana point removal versus aggro, that gains some life (opponent has to attack it instead of us, if wants to kill it).

《Tamiyo, Collector of Tales》 is an insane combo with 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》, also provides card advantage on its own.

《Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths》 is a little weaker Tamiyo, but can attack and block as well.

《Polukranos, Unchained》 is a solid body versus aggro, and the second best answer for 《Dream Trawler》 (《Liliana, Dreadhorde General》 is the best one if you wonder).

Six-Drops

Casualties of War

3

Liliana, Dreadhorde General

1

《Casualties of War》 (CoW) is the reason to play this deck. Extremely powerful against all other midrange. The best card in the format against Fires, very good against Temur Adventures, Bant MidRamp, and 《Witch’s Oven》 decks.

《Liliana, Dreadhorde General》 is our best way to deal with 《Dream Trawler》, that might be also played in a proactive way.

Sideboarding

Match up Guide

Mono Red (Even/Slightly Favorable)

Enter the God-EternalsUro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

As above, this was my main concern and the challenge in order to make Sultai a good choice. I’m happy with the match up now. Game one is medium, but our sideboard is well tuned. Always target yourself with 《Enter the God-Eternals》 as it helps you with finding Uro and fuel for it.

Tyrant's ScornAether Gust

Try to kill opponent’s creatures as soon as possible to don’t take unnecessary damage. Usually it’s better to use removal in beginning of combat than after attackers to make 《Embercleave》 more expensive or even uncastable. If you have both Scorn and Gust available on turn two, it’s usually better to fire Scorn, as Gust works better against both Anax and Torbran.

Claim the FirstbornHydroid Krasis

Be aware some people have 《Claim the Firstborn》 in their sideboard. It’s not a common card in Mono Red, and you shouldn’t always play around it, but if you can do it for free, why not. Just think twice if you really need to cast this Krasis X=10, if you’re at 5 life and have lethal next turn anyway :D.

RB Sacrifice (Favorable)

Tyrant's ScornClaim the FirstbornAether Gust

RB is slower than Mono Red, and gives us more time to set up our great lategame. Even 《Casualties of War》 is good here thanks to 《Witch’s Oven》s. The only problem (and the best card against us) is 《Claim the Firstborn》. Here we can be sure our opponent has access to 4 in their 75, and we should play around it whenever we can. We have tools to do it, if we have time to set it up. The best answer is definitely 《Tyrant’s Scorn》 (just bounce the target in response for Claim). 《Aether Gust》 also works well, you can target Claim, to delay it, or target your own creature to “counter” Claim forever. There is no default correct play, you always have to think what works better for you under given circumstances. Remember to double-think about X while casting Krasis, in this match up more doesn’t always mean better.

Mayhem DevilUro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

《Mayhem Devil》 triggers when you sacrifice permanents (《Fabled Passage》 and Uro), so remember to stack Uro’s triggers in a good way (resolving gain life first, then sacrifice). Nothing is worse than dying to 《Mayhem Devil》 with “gain 3 life” trigger on the stack.

Temur Adventures (Even/Slightly Favorable)

Edgewall InnkeeperLucky CloverEscape to the Wilds

Close match up, we usually lose if they go 《Lucky Clover》 into 《Beanstalk Giant》, but win if they give us an easy time in the early game. There are only three things we have to take care of. 《Edgewall Innkeeper》, Clover, and 《Escape to the Wilds》. The rest of their deck doesn’t matter. We have a lot of removal for Inkeeper, and discard + Gust for Escape. The real problem is Clover. On the draw our first chance to answer it is Vraska which is usually too slow. On the play we have 4 《Thought Erasure》, so things look better. If for some reason they didn’t have Clover early, try to save your 《Casualties of War》 for it. Games are long, and at some point they’ll draw the artifact, so don’t waste CoW on just a creature and a land early on, and be sure you have an answer ready!

Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Your best weapon is 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》. They don’t have many ways to interact with her, and with ramp that Nissa provides you can control the game easier while also killing our opponent with lands.

Bant MidRamp (Even)

Elspeth Conquers DeathTeferi, Time RavelerDream Trawler

It’s kind of mirror match. We have the same core, they’re splashing for 《Elspeth Conquers Death》, 《Teferi, Time Raveler》, and 《Dream Trawler》 (at least from cards that matter), we do it for 《Casualties of War》 and discard. Sometimes one player draws better and stomp the opponent, and there is not much we can do about it, so let’s focus on the games where decisions actually matter. Usually those games are very grindy and resources oriented. Try to don’t lose value with Krasis X=2 etc. Always think about what gives you the best value in the long term.

Nissa, Who Shakes the WorldShatter the Sky

Remember that you can plus Nissa without animating a land. That’s important to play around 《Shatter the Sky》 (and around Casualties for your opponent). Be flexible with sideaboard, as there are many different Bant lists. If you see a 《Dream Trawler》, consider keeping Liliana instead of 4th Casualties. If they have 《Agent of Treachery》 instead, always sideboard out Liliana.

Jeskai Fires (Very Good)

Our best match up, and the reason I felt in love with Sultai in the first place. Really recommend to watch round three of the MIQ here if you want to see how to play it properly. Even though the match was versus Planeswalker version of Fires, not the most common one with Cavaliers, there are a lot of cool play patterns that apply to both versions.

Robber of the RichTyrant's ScornKenrith, the Returned King

Remember they always have an aggro plan postboard. Sometimes it’s 《Robber of the Rich》, sometimes 《Legion Warboss》. Maybe even both, so you should keep some Scorns in order to be ready. The good thing is Scorn also slows their main plan by bouncing Cavalier/Kenrith.

Nissa, Who Shakes the WorldUro, Titan of Nature's WrathCasualties of War

Always take the control role, keep up counterspells and removals, and at some point deploy a finisher (usually Nissa or Uro). Keep the open mana all the time. Never fully tap out unless you really have to. 《Casualties of War》 is your MVP, they can’t answer it if they have 《Fires of Invention》 in play, and CoW usually makes three or four for one.

Jund Food (Good)

Trail of CrumbsCasualties of WarWitch's Oven

Right now RB is more common on the ladder. Jund Food is still a strong deck though. Lucky for us, 《Casualties of War》 is even better here, because Jund is slower than RB, and also has enchantments worth to kill (《Trail of Crumbs》). Make sure to always have an answer for 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》 available. 《Massacre Girl》 isn’t as good as it looks like here, they don’t have many x/1 creatures in their deck, and with 《Witch’s Oven》 can easily sacrifice them in response.

Korvold, Fae-Cursed KingAether Gust

Playing versus Korvold is a little tricky, especially with 《Aether Gust》. If they don’t have any sacrifice outlets (《Gilded Goose》, 《Witch’s Oven》) it’s better to let the Dragon resolve, and Gust it in response for the trigger, so they have to sacrifice a permanent, but won’t draw a card. If they do have a Goose/Oven it’s usually better to Gust the spell on the stack, so they can’t sacrifice permanents in response for Gust with Korvold on the battlefield and draw multiple cards. You can also return it to their hand with Scorn, to deny the draw trigger.

Gilded GoosePolukranos, UnchainedMayhem Devil

《Polukranos, Unchained》 is your free removal for Goose, on the other hand 《Mayhem Devil》‘s triggers decrease Hydra’s power, so don’t trick yourself into unfavorable fight.

UW Control (Slightly Unfavorable/Even)

Tyrant's ScornAether GustMassacre Girl

In order to make other match ups good I had to make some concessions, and the UW match up got hit the most. Obviously we still have our good cards, like Nissa, Tamiyo, Uro etc. so we can easily win the match if we draw the good half of our deck. On the other hand we have many useless cards like 《Tyrant’s Scorn》 or 《Aether Gust》, and we don’t have enough options in the sideboard to fill those slots. This is the real cost of making Mono Red match up decent, and I’m sure it’s worth it. That’s the reason why we keep 《Massacre Girl》 postboard, just as a 4/4 Menace 5 mana creature which isn’t necessarily great.

Polukranos, UnchainedDream Trawler

Remember that 《Polukranos, Unchained》 is a great answer for 《Dream Trawler》, but UW has also a lot of solid answers for it, so try to don’t play it early. It’s usually correct to wait with Hydra until after they play the Sphinx.

Temur Reclamation (Slightly Favorable)

Expansion+ExplosionRobber of the RichLegion WarbossNightpack Ambusher

Similar to Jeskai Fires. Play as a full control, try to don’t tap out early, just sneak in one finisher later while keeping open mana to answer opponent’s threats. They don’t have many cards that matter. It’s usually just 《Expansion/Explosion》 and some aggro sideboard cards (it might be 《Robber of the Rich》, 《Legion Warboss》, or 《Nightpack Ambusher》). The rest are mostly cantrips and counterspells, so if you can answer those few things, game should be easy.

Growth SpiralWilderness Reclamation

Obviously sometimes they go turn two 《Growth Spiral》, turn three 《Wilderness Reclamation》 and gain huge mana advantage, but that doesn’t happen that often, especially after sideboard when we have more disruption.

Conclusion

That’s all I have for you today. Deck is great and if you like midrange-ish play style, you should try it! If you have any questions, as always hit me up on Twitter, I’ll do my best to answer all of them!

Have a great day, and until next time,

Grzegorz “Urlich” Kowalski. (Twitter / Twitch)

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Grzegorz Kowalski

Grzegorz Kowalski He made top 8 in GP Lille 2012 and GP Brussels 2015, and GP Santiago 2017 has achieved second place. His extraordinary skill is also demonstrated on Pro Tour, experiencing countless top prize and money finish. He is one of the top players who travels the world and continues to fight. Read more articles by Grzegorz Kowalski