Best Standard Magic Decks: Week of 11/07/16

Updated on December 8, 2016

Names for Color Combinations

When I played Magic: The Gathering back in the day, there were no fancy deck names like Grixis, Bant or Azorius. Once upon a time it was just the color involved such as Black-Red or Green-White-Blue, to name a couple. When I got back into Magic I would often see these unusual deck names and just couldn't figure out what they meant exactly. I later found out that each of the 25 color combinations has a unique name which identifies what color are in that particular deck. For decks that are just one color, they are typically referred to a Mono-"the color" and a deck with all five colors is simply just Five Color.

If you'd like to see all the combinations for yourself, please visit Humpeh.

Rakdos Aggro

The first aggro deck is a Rakdos Aggro and the deck colors are black and red. Obviously red brings a variety of aggression through Harnessed Lightning, Fiery Temper, and Unlicensed Disintegration. Bomat Courier has a unique talent in that every attack requires the top card of your library to be exiled face-down under Bomat Courier. Assuming Bomat Courier does not die somehow, you'll have the option of paying one red mana, discarding your hand and sacrificing Bomat Courier and now you can put all of those face-down exiled cards into your hand. I'm not really a fan of the Inventor's Apprentice in this deck. Granted this is a really nice one drop creature, but I feel like the ten artifacts in this deck just aren't quite enough to justify its presence.

In the world of the supernatural, few creatures have a higher degree of aggression than vampires. Falkenrath Gorger gives every single vampire card that isn't in play Madness, which is very handy in the event that you are forced to discard. In conjunction with Falkenrath Gorger, the Insolent Neonate can be sacrificed and when you discard a card, you get to draw a card. These two create a nice synergy especially when one of each is in play.

The swift killers of this deck are the popular Scrapheap Scrounger and the very popular Smuggler's Copter. The real thunder of the deck is the Lathnu Hellion, a 4/4 for three mana that has a time limit more or less. Key to the City is a handy tool in that you can tap it, discard a card, and then one of your attackers cannot be blocked. Now circle back to the madness for your vampires and each time you get to cast a new vampire in addition to making an attacker unblockable.

There are quite a few changes that I would personally make to this deck, but overall it is very fast and packs a lot of punch. Opponents are forced to work even faster or get beaten before you know it.

Creatures (21)
4 Bomat Courier
4 Falkenrath Gorger
2 Insolent Neonate
4 Inventor's Apprentice
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
3 Lathnu Hellion

Spells (11)
3 Harnessed Lightning
4 Fiery Temper
4 Unlicensed Disintegration

Artifacts (6)
2 Key to the City
4 Smuggler's Copter

Lands (22)
3 Aether Hub
4 Foreboding Ruins
11 Mountain
2 Smoldering Marsh
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Smoldering Marsh
2 Lightning Axe
2 Incendiary Flow
2 Rush of Vitality
4 Transgress the Mind
1 To the Slaughter
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Goblin Dark-Dwellers

Key Cards of Rakdos Aggro

Bant Aggro

Bant is a pretty popular color combination for a variety of deck types; green, white, and blue. Now this deck I have a bit of a problem with because let's be honest, it's basically White-Blue Flash with some green splashed in.

Let's start with the two Planeswalkers, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Tamiyo, Field Researcher. It's difficult to find a deck in Standard that has white in it and does not have Gideon in it. He has always been pretty useful in Standard especially but players knew that his time was limited when Battle for Zendikar was scheduled to fall out of Standard. However when Wizards of the Coast announced that the Standard rotation was changing, Battle for Zendikar remained in Standard until the end of 2017. That new set longevity instantly made Gideon very, very valuable. Tamiyo is a solid Planeswalker and lets be honest, his ultimate ability is absolutely outstanding. Not only do you get to draw three cards, but you can cast nonland cards from your hand without paying the mana cost. Yes, you get to just cast everything for free.

Selfless Spirit and Archangel Avacyn bring indestructible to your creatures and Tireless Tracker landfalls a Clue token with every land. Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, and Stasis Snare serve as living counterspells just in case you may need it. Servant of the Conduit brings some energy into play and can use that energy to produce any color mana that you may need for this three color deck. Duskwatch Recruiter is an Uncommon card that offers the opportunity to look at the top three cards of your deck and putting a creature card into your hand. Nevermind that he transforms into a werewolf that allows creature spells to be one mana less to cast.

Overall, this is a Flash deck that has been modified to be just a little more aggressive and powerful. If you are familiar and are skilled with Flash, this could be a really nice transition into an aggressive, yet modest deck.

Creatures (26)
3 Duskwatch Recruiter
4 Selfless Spirit
4 Servant of the Conduit
4 Reflector Mage
4 Spell Queller
4 Tireless Tracker
3 Archangel Avacyn

Planeswalkers (6)
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Tamiyo, Field Researcher

Enchantments (2)
2 Stasis Snare

Lands (26)
4 Botanical Sanctum
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Forest
4 Fortified Village
1 Island
1 Lumbering Falls
5 Plains
4 Prairie Stream

Sideboard (15)
1 Blossoming Defense
3 Natural State
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Negate
2 Gisela, the Broken Blade
2 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Linvala, the Preserver
1 Bruna, the Fading Light

Key Cards of Bant Aggro


Jund Aggro

Red, black, and green come together as Jund and are a delightful cocktail for a powerful deck. A unique aspect of this deck is the usage of Arlinn Kord. Arlinn is a Planeswalker who can put a 2/2 Wolf token into play then transforms into a werewolf. That werewolf form of Arlinn can give all creates a +1/+1 and trample as well as the ultimate making every single creature an unavoidable direct damage canon.

We also have the likes of Bomat Courier, Inventor's Apprentice, Scrapheap Scrounger and Lathnu Hellion which were each discussed previously in this article. One of the newcomers includes Voltaic Brawler, a 3/2 for two mana who can pump up when energy is available. Hanweir Garrison is an outstanding card and in my opinion a very under-appreciated card, in that it creates two 1/1 Human tokens every time it attacks. I'm a little surprised that Hanweir Battlements isn't included in this deck since it melds so powerfully with Hanweir Garrison. The legendary Pia Nalaar makes an appearance to help produce 1/1 Thopter tokens; they make such nice fodder for chump blocking. Lastly is Looter Scooter, I mean, Smuggler's Copter. It flies, it's a 3/3, and it's in more decks than we all know what to do with.

Blossoming Defense and Built to Smash bring the creature boosting that every aggro deck needs. Avacyn's Judgement is a card you really want to wait and cast via the Madness cost because it can deal way more damage. Lastly is Fiery Temper, which I might add is the Friday Night Magic promo card for the month of November 2016. Be sure to get out to your local game store and earn that awesome promo variation of Fiery Temper.

Creatures (24)
4 Bomat Courier
4 Inventor's Apprentice
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Voltaic Brawler
3 Hanweir Garrison
3 Lathnu Hellion
2 Pia Nalaar

Planeswalkers (2)
2 Arlinn Kord

Spells (11)
4 Blossoming Defense
4 Built to Smash
1 Avacyn's Judgment
2 Fiery Temper

Artifacts (4)
4 Smuggler's Copter

Lands (20)
1 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
1 Cinder Glade
2 Foreboding Ruins
4 Game Trail
8 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
1 Foreboding Ruins
2 Hissing Quagmire
3 Tireless Tracker
4 Unlicensed Disintegration
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Key Cards of Jund Aggro


I think that it's safe to say that most players at some point have made a deck that to them, was aggressive. These are just a few of the dozens and dozens of mixtures of spells that can make up an aggro deck.

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