Standard Under a New Moon

Let’s jump right into this. So last format, we saw Green/White Tokens and Bant humans be about 50% of the meta; White Humans, but Tom Ross was the only person winning with it; Ramp existed but was too inconsistent, and towards the end of the format Black/White control and Green/Blue mid-range started to pique their heads up from out of the woodwork.  However, Eldritch Moon has a lot of cards in it that will defiantly effect the format that is so underrated it’s almost criminal.

Let’s start with what I believe to be the absolute best thing you can be doing in this format. Elder Deep-Fiend and Distended Mindbender are broken, let me repeat myself because some people will think what I said is hyperbolic. But, I assure you these cards are not fair; they break the rules of magic; they are just Lieutenant Dan levels of broken. Do not let the number in the top corner fool you these are both four drops. I have spent hours just wondering why did they made these cards: why does the blue one have flash? There has to be something I am missing, but I think wizards just actually made a mistake and let these cards get printed.  The effects being triggered on cast means the black one can rip the removal that was supposed to kill it and their next threat. There are plenty of creatures in standard that get their value when they come into play, and sacrificing them is not going to set you back as much as you think, thinking about how the games interact in turn 4 after casting literally any three drop you can upkeep tap all of your opponents lands, they need Anguished Unmaking or Collected Company into Reflector Mage right there or this 5/6 is gonna live to attack at least once. It’s Mistbind Clique where you don’t get back your champion. You go over the top of anyone interested in playing fair magic with you and you have a deck full of things that outclass the aggressive decks. Here is a U/R Eldrazi deck I have been testing:

4 Whirler Rouge
4 Eldrazi Skyspawner
4 Elder Deep-Fiend
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Reality Smasher
4 Drowner of Hope
4 Kozilek’s Return
4 Vile Aggregate
4 Matter Reshaper
2 Hedron Crawler
2 Ruination Guide
4 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Corrupted Crossroad
4 Shivan Reef
4 Shrine of Forsaken Gods
3 Island
1 Mountain

This is the first draft, but I think it’s a pretty good shell for Elder deep-Fiend.  I was trying to make the mana manageable by keeping it two colors, but I soon realized with pain lands in the format I was pretty much playing with better duels lands—pretty much, untapped tri-lands—and have since begun the dive into playing 4 or 5 color Eldrazi concoctions with an all pain land mana base.  Although I am not sure which version is the best, Sanctum of Ugin and Kozilek’s Return feel like a must. Having all pain lands makes us slightly weaker to aggressive strategies, but Kozilek’s Return on turn 3 and flashing it back within a turn or two is usually enough to lock up most agro match ups.

The Planeswalkers deck in this format is also looking like it’s going to be super powerful. It’s hard to tell which version of the planeswalker deck will be best in an unknown metagame. There is B/W/R:

4 Caves of Koilos
4 Battlefield Forge
4 Forsaken Sanctuary
4 Shambling Vent
7 Swamp
3 Plains
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
2 Oath of Liliana
4 Languish
4 Painful Truths
1 Planar Outburst
1 Transgress the Mind
2 Ruinous Path
2 Anguished Unmaking
1 Ultimate Price
4 Grasp of Darkness
1 Bruna, the Fading Light
2 Gisela, the Broken Blade

This build is pretty much the B/W control deck with the Nahiri combo to close games out instead of Westvale Abbey and Secure the Wastes.

We can also use the G/W tokens deck from the last format as a shell to beat people up in the mid-game:

2 Den Protector
4 Sylvan Advocate
3 Archangel Avacyn // Avacyn, the Purifier
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist
3 Tamiyo, Field Researcher
4 Spell Queller
8 Forest
6 Plains
4 Lumbering Falls
3 Canopy Vista
3 Fortified Village
2 Yavimiya Coast
4 Dromoka’s Command
4 Oath of Nissa
2 Declaration in Stone

I think there is a version of this deck that uses Oath of Nissa to its more extreme potential as well, but I think those waters maybe a little too risky to test this early in the format.

And finally, we arrive at Bant humans:

3 Duskwatch Recruiter // Krallenhorde Howler
4 Lambholt Pacifist // Lambholt Butcher
4 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Tireless Tracker
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 Elder Deep-Fiend
3 Forest
1 Island
5 Plains
3 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Fortified Village
1 Prairie Stream
4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Collected Company
4 Dromoka’s Command

While in the past staying to the humans creature type was worth it because of Thalia’s Lieutenant, I’m not sure this is the case anymore. There are just so many strong creatures in Bant that I think the value Bant collected company deck will be back in bigger force. Something more like this:

3 Duskwatch Recruiter // Krallenhorde Howler
4 Reflector Mage
4 Tireless Tracker
4 Spell Queller
3 Bounding Krasis
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
3 Sylvan Advocate
3 Eldrazi Displacer
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer  // Nissa, Sage Animist
4 Dromoka’s Command
4 Collected Company
3 Forest
1 Island
1 Waste
4 Plains
3 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Fortified Village
1 Prairie Stream
4 Yavimaya Coast

As far as hyper-aggressive decks go, red mages finally got an answer to their prayers. It’s not the Searing Spear or Lightning Strike we wanted, but Incendiary Flow is the three damage two CmC burn spell we deserved. Attarka’s Command still being in the format and some other burn cards like Collective Defiance being in the new set make me wonder if it’s not the time to dust off those Mountains we stored away all those months ago. That being said white humans didn’t exactly get worse with this new set; some may argue it got even better while I am not sure how good this card actually is in the humans deck it’s defiantly a powerful tool for them to take advantage of, the fact that the escalate cost of tapping a creature is laughable considering they already play four always watching.

Most of the times when I am approaching a new standard I tend to favor the aggressive strategies, no one knows what’s good yet and attacking with small guys while everyone is trying to have fun with the new cards has worked for me in the past. However, I am not entirely sure it’s going to be what takes down the Open in Columbus. Looking forward to seeing you all there! Safe travels, and if you have any questions about deck lists or want to share your brew with me, feel free to use the comment section down below; I am always down to talk some wizardry.

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