4 Oct 2012

Blog Standard: Return to Ravnica

Return to Ravnica will be released tomorrow but what rotation related realisations will be revealed in Standard?  



There are strong cards to support a mid-range Jund deck in Standard. There are many directions a Jund deck could go as it is a versatile deck which has access to strong creatures, removal and ramp. Abrupt Decay will be one of the best removal spells in the format. An uncounterable spell which destroys a lot of threats ranging from Champion of the Parish, Oblivion Ring and Liliana of the Veil.  
Jund players can also utilise Dreadbore to rid themselves of creatures and planeswalkers that have flossed regularly and are immune to decay. Other support cards include Rakdos's Return which can ruin unprepared control players and aggro decks alike.

What's Vraskas favourite cheese? Gorgon-zola
Vraska the Unseen could appear in a Jund brew- which is ironic when you think of it. If she is seen in standard this may be the deck for her. Not only does this walker pose a threat to any attacks against her, she also acts as another removal source. Her ultimate provides synergy with Kessig Wolf Run, a card most R/G decks are playing anyway, and the prospect of a + X trampler that can result in an instant game loss could be a replacement for Inkmoth Nexus based decks.
In terms of creatures Thragtusk is the obvious choice  for any deck playing Green. The life gain is important in any race and a 3/3 beast when it leaves the field is a nice bonus - I think Thragtusk is a banker when he's not being played in Magic.
Desecration Demon could rear its ugly head. A 6/6 flyer for four mana is not to be laughed at. Abyssal Persecutor saw a lot of play in Standard so I'd like to think the same is true for this chap. 
Huntmaster of the Fells is still stalking Standard and this guy is still mift about finding a wolf in an old woman's bed. The life gain he generates can counteract the effect of shocklands while providing a 2/2 wolf to block the new horde of tokens that will spring up.


When Innistrad first hit Standard G/W humans became a popular deck as it was fast and had good threats. Then there was mono-white humans, mono-white tokens and B/W tokens until you felt like you being token for a ride.   
Now the pattern has come full circle and G/W appears to be in a strong position again. Avacyns Pilgrim and Arbor Elf provide early ramp abilities to generate tokens faster. Call of the Conclave will take centaur stage in this build, it's just like Watchwolf except it provides great synergy with the populate mechanic. Another addition will be Selesnya Charm, arguably the second best of the charm cycle. The usual token suppliers and dealers will see play, Gather the Townsfolk, Lingering Souls, Intangible Virtue, Thragtusk and Garruk Relentless to name but a few.

The trees are alive with the sound of . . .populating?
Then we have the top end of a token build. Trostani proves a solid blocker while helping you stay in the game. Gather the Townsfolk nets you two life or if you less than five life, you get five 1/1's and gain five life. This with Entreat the Angels will just be annoying.
At the higher end is Armada Wurm which is a beast of a card. Two trampling 5/5's for six mana? Yes please! Though I'm not sure why they called it 'Armada' Wurm, an armada is a fleet of warships so if this is Selesnya's navy I'd hate to see their air force.



Zombies were making a strong comeback in Standard firstly with U/B then R/B. Both still have potential but the Golgari guild has added more to the pile of corpses needed to build a competitive Zombie Deck. First up is guild leader Jarad.

Jarad - the meterosexual kind of zombie lord
Jarad offers fuel for a deck featuring Gravecrawler. Paying three mana to sacrifice the recurring zombie may seem expensive but the two damage will add up. Jarad benefits from creatures being in the graveyard and as Jarad is a zombie you recast Gravecrawler from your graveyard to repeat the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Other editions to this deck are Lotleth Troll, Dreg Mangler and Jarad's Orders. Being able to discard a Gravecrawler benefits Lotleth Troll and Jarad. Jarad's ability allows you to sacrifice a high powered troll in response to removal which them adds to Jarad's power and toughness.
This deck also has access to Abrupt Decay and Grisly Salvage so again there are many ways to go with a Zombie deck in Standard.   



Enough said really.

There are more decks available for construction in Standard; W/U control, Red Deck wins and Grixis Control to name but a few. As for myself; I'm going to try to construct something from the contents of my booster box.

If you would like to explore any of these decks in further detail or if you have any ideas of your own, let me know and I'll go into more depth. 

All the best and see you tomorrow for Return to Ravnica Standard at Kid's Dreams.  

John, the recently unseen.

1 comment:

  1. AdamT7:28 pm

    Nice read.

    One thing I found though when I tested out B/G zombies over the weekend online... It didn't stand up to B/R zombies due to the lack of red reach and the loss of the powerful Aristocrat. Don't get me wrong, Lotleth Troll(which I believe the only zombie card worth talking about in RTR) disarding gravecrawler is great, but the dreg mangler is a worse version of Strangleroot geist, sure it's a bigger body, but once it's dead it's dead and the scavange is a highcosted pump.

    One more thing, Lotleth Troll has no synergy with Blood artist. Our lovely artist of the macabre is one of our big wincons when things die and I find any card that wants you to discard creatures and not sack them isn't the route to go down. Yes you can scavange but Zombies is tradionally an aggressive deck that flirts with the gravy, it's not dedicated to it which I can see as only slowing the deck down. By all means don't play artist in it but then you might as well admit you're playing a lesser zombie deck.

    I can see a Jund deck being formed out of this though. Liliana of the veil and Olivia Voldaren is still around and Vraska is a nice addition.

    But no mention of Rakdos, Lord of Riots? That guy is a beast.