Let’s See New Standard of Amonkhet

Michael Bonde

Michael Bonde

Hello there and once again welcome to my little corner.

Two weeks ago Amonkhet came online – and following that time it was announced that there would be no bannings, but as we all know – 《Felidar Guardian》 was eventually given the knife and put on pension. Prior to the banning, we had a lot of discussion in my testing team of various builds, but the initial testing was a bit on hold and skewed due to the format revolving a lot around Mardu vehicles and Saheeli cat in various constellations. It was due to this a somewhat rollercoaster ride, when it wasn’t, but later was banned.

With the cat gone the questions on everyones lips are about Mardu vehicles – whether to play it, if it’s gonna be as oppressive as we saw at the last PT or simply how to beat it etc. I have to say, that Mardu vehicles is a good deck – there is no doubt about it – but one of the main reasons it was so oppressive at the PT and in the format afterwards was because Saheeli cat was part of the metagame.

Mardu attacks various decks with vehicles, planeswalkers and tempo – all things that you have to deal with, and tune your deck to beat – on the other hand Saheeli cat punished decks for playing on curve, having solid sorcery removal and always having to keep up answers for at potential combo kill. When combo isn’t a part of the metagame your deck will be able to fight back against both Mardu, but also what others enter the tournament with, because the axis of attack, will now be control/grind or aggro – and this is an interesting meta to work and flourish in.

New Decks arising

Aggro

Amonkhet brought back some new mechanics, cards and an old fan favorite; Cycling. And it’s especially some of these new cards fit like hand in a glove, when wanting to fight Mardu in a new environment.

Going under:


Caleb Scherer – Mono-Black Aggro
SCGO Atlanta(6th)

18 《Swamp》
2 《Aether Hub》

-Lands (20)-

4 《Walking Ballista》
4 《Dread Wanderer》
4 《Night Market Lookout》
4 《Glint-Sleeve Siphoner》
4 《Scrapheap Scrounger》
4 《Bone Picker》

-Creatures (24)-
4 《Fatal Push》
4 《Grasp of Darkness》
2 《Collective Brutality》
3 《Never // Return》
3 《Liliana, the Last Hope》

-Spells (16)-
4 《Gifted Aetherborn》
4 《Scarab Feast》
3 《Harsh Scrutiny》
3 《Transgress the Mind》
1 《Liliana, the Last Hope》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya


Joshua Mason – BR Aggro
SCG Classic Atlanta(8th)

5 《Mountain》
5 《Swamp》
4 《Canyon Slough》
1 《Sheltered Thicket》
1 《Smoldering Marsh》
4 《Foreboding Ruins》
4 《Spire of Industry》

-Lands (24)-

4 《Scrapheap Scrounger》
4 《Forerunner of Slaughter》
3 《Lathnu Hellion》
3 《Plague Belcher》
3 《Pia Nalaar》
4 《Glorybringer》

-Creatures (21)-
2 《Fatal Push》
1 《Cut // Ribbons》
3 《Unlicensed Disintegration》
4 《Heart of Kiran》
2 《Fleetwheel Cruiser》
3 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》

-Spells (15)-
3 《Lay Bare the Heart》
2 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》
2 《By Force》
2 《Kari Zev's Expertise》
2 《Sweltering Suns》
2 《Never // Return》
1 《Fatal Push》
1 《Pick the Brain》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya

Dread WandererBone PickerLiliana, the Last Hope

Both of these decks try to go under the Mardu deck (and other decks) one more than the other. The monoblack deck makes use of the new 《Dread Wanderer》 and 《Bone Picker》 in a 20 land tempo deck. These cards, combined with the powerful artifacts and 《Liliana, the Last Hope》 gives us a deck with an insane aggressive approach.

GlorybringerCut // RibbonsPlague Belcher

Another approach for an aggressive deck is the B/R aggro deck from Joshua Mason. This deck is an adapting of the B/R aggro deck from Sebastian Pozzo at the last PT and putting in one of Amonkhets strongets cards 《Glorybringer》. Alongside the dragon we also see 《Cut // Ribbons》 and 《Plague Belcher》 in the main deck, and a couple of new cards in the sideboard. The interesting thing about this deck, is the merge between Mardu, aggression and midrange. It tries to utilize haste and the tempo it brings with cards that are undercosted but has some downsides.

Combo and Midrange

I think these decks play very well in the established Mardu metagame – but I also think, that the metagame will shift towards something different, when people start to figure out the different cards and their spot in Standard. But as of now, these are strategies that are similar to what we have been testing and I like the builds.

Going over:


Sam Lowe – Bant Aetherworks
SCG Classic Atlanta(1st)

4 《Forest》
3 《Island》
2 《Plains》
3 《Prairie Stream》
2 《Canopy Vista》
4 《Aether Hub》
4 《Botanical Sanctum》

-Lands (22)-

1 《Linvala, the Preserver》
4 《Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger》

-Creatures (5)-
4 《Attune with Aether》
2 《Negate》
1 《Pull from Tomorrow》
1 《Censor》
4 《Glimmer of Genius》
3 《Fumigate》
2 《Nissa's Renewal》
4 《Aether Meltdown》
4 《Cast Out》
4 《Woodweaver's Puzzleknot》
4 《Aetherworks Marvel》

-Spells (33)-
4 《Tireless Tracker》
2 《Dispel》
2 《Immolating Glare》
2 《Negate》
1 《Sphinx of the Final Word》
1 《World Breaker》
1 《Fragmentize》
1 《Blessed Alliance》
1 《Forsake the Worldly》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya


Brennan DeCandio – BG Delirium
SCGO Atlanta(5th)

8 《Swamp》
6 《Forest》
1 《Evolving Wilds》
4 《Blooming Marsh》
4 《Hissing Quagmire》

-Lands (23)-

3 《Walking Ballista》
4 《Grim Flayer》
2 《Tireless Tracker》
1 《Manglehorn》
2 《Gonti, Lord of Luxury》
2 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》
1 《Noxious Gearhulk》

-Creatures (15)-
4 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》
3 《Fatal Push》
3 《Grasp of Darkness》
2 《To the Slaughter》
2 《Never // Return》
4 《Vessel of Nascency》
3 《Liliana, the Last Hope》
1 《Ob Nixilis Reignited》

-Spells (22)-
2 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》
2 《Appetite for the Unnatural》
2 《Lost Legacy》
2 《Never // Return》
2 《Yahenni's Expertise》
2 《Liliana, Death's Majesty》
1 《Manglehorn》
1 《Tireless Tracker》
1 《Scarab Feast》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya

For the person whom has been following Standard for the last year or so, these two decks are not new commers, they are however built somewhat different than what we are used to.

Pull from TomorrowCast OutCensor

Bant Aetherworks has gotten a lot of new tools from Amonkhet, and I really like how this deck makes use of these. The problem when playing a ramp/combo deck, is often, that you draw from one side (ramp) of the deck and never from the other (action) and vice versa. With cards like 《Pull from Tomorrow》, 《Cast Out》 and 《Censor》 – Amonkhet has really giving the tools to have very good answers while maintaining versatility. With these new cards, and the loss of 《Felidar Guardian》, this deck has main deck answers to control/mirror in 《Negate》 and three copies of 《Fumigate》, which can be a deal breaker in most creature heavy MU’s – making the deck fight on all known axis in the current meta.

If you are more of a GB player – Delirium has re-awoken. Even though Amonkhet didn’t give the deck anything game changing 《Never // Return》 and 《Liliana, Death's Majesty》 and the change in the format, makes a deck like this a great grinder against almost anything you can throw at it. It works in a more 1 for 1 way, and generates value from the powerful planeswalkers and 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》 – having a great amount of blocker, while your removal and threats recour is a great gameplan against especially Mardu.

These are just a handful of decks displayed and talked about, there are a great amount of decks that are both great and fun – W/R deck with 《Glory-Bound Initiate》 U/R burn deck with 《Thermo-Alchemist》 and 《Glorybringer》 to finish your opponents and a vast amount of control decks with 《Approach of the Second Sun》 as win conditions next to 《Torrential Gearhulk》.

And more interesting cards

That was some of the decks that I have been really excited to watch in action during the weekend and jam some games with afterwards – but before I let you go, so that you can start brewing and figuring out the best approach to win – there are some interesting cards that I think will find some cool spots in the tournaments to come.

Rhonas the Indomitable

《Rhonas the Indomitable》 – Even though this god is seens in some of the Jund variants, I think it has an insane potential to steal, take over and power though in a lot games. It is in my opinion the god that has the least setup to attack. With only one creature it is possible for three mana, make your minor creatures incredible powerful, so the mix of tempo and the threat that it represents, I think it’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Kefnet the Mindful

《Kefnet the Mindful》 – Opposite the green god, the setup for Kefnet to attack is very high. Most games revolve around using your resources to gain advantage and then even more resources to close the game. That being said I think Kefnet is insane. The ability is massive in a lot of the grindy MU’s – and if you have played Kefnet in draft, you have either seen or tried how fast it actually turns on, and when turned on, how hard it is to regain any form of advantage and/or board that can power through. And as a side bonus, its blocks and kills any non-indestructible creature in Standard.

Nissa, Steward of Elements

《Nissa, Steward of Elements》 – Nissa is a unique planeswalker. Her last ability can close a game in one swing, but is somewhat underwhelming – but she has the opportunity to use it the turn the enters the battlefield – which can be massive. The possibilities with this card are great. I have a hard time finding the right shell for her in the current meta – but being able to protect herself in the shape of a mana-sink, pseudo drawing cards in control games, pipering creatures and being a killer of players and planeswalkers are things that I like in my planeswalkers.


That was it for this time – I hope I sparked some curiosity for standard and the evolving meta game – because it is really stirred up right now.

Until next time I hope you get to draft a lot of Amonkhet, win a lot of constructed games and open tons of invocations.

Michael

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