Initial Ixalan Standouts
Hi all! It is that time of the year where we get ready to welcome a new set into Standard. Today Ixalan and all of its Dinosaur goodness will be legal to play in constructed and available to draft for anyone that is not playing Magic online. This week we are going to take a look at some of the 5-0 decks that have already appeared in MTGO’s league queues and see if they have what it takes going forward to compete against Red and Temur Energy.
The first list we are going to look at is from TurkeyTurkey. He went with a straight R/G beatdown deck topping out with a pair of Carnage Tyrants. I have a feeling that sooner or later people are going to be maindecking all 4 Carnage Tyrant. It is just so hard to deal with this card without using up a lot of resources. If anyone ever decides to double block this creature a single removal spell will quickly turn that into a losing proposition. The new tech here that might not have been on people’s radars is Samut, the Tested. At first this card was viewed as not powerful enough but I can see it playing a role much like Domri Rade did during Ravnica Standard. The sideboard also offers some trumps for both the quicker aggro decks and the UW control decks floating around. This is one of those decks where it is easy to see what you want to sideboard out in each matchup and then create a sideboard based on that.
Our second deck is something new too, it is a Red Green Dinosaur deck! Now, you might be saying “Wait a second Stu, they are both R/G Dinosaur decks!” You would be absolutely right! This was a bit of a joke, but to see 2 different R/G Dino decks appear and meet the criteria of being 10 cards different is interesting. I do think it is a bit of a cheat where you have the lands count, but there are a few other differences. Bayesta_93 moved 2 Chandra to the SB and split his removal spells by adding in Lightning Strike. I am not sure if playing Lightning Strike in this deck long term will be correct but it all depends on what Artifacts stay prevalent. The other difference is that this deck has the combo of Walking Ballista and Ripjaw Raptor which creates your own Jayemdae Tome. Whether this is too slow in a format full of Red decks will have to be figured before we see which of these 2 versions of R/G is best.
Now for a 3rd deck I give you Black-Green Dinosaurs! Sensing a pattern? This deck forgoes the Red and adds some dino-mite power to the Winding Constrictor decks. I mean, a dinosaur is basically a walking snake. Or is it a bird, I think it is a bird. Yeah, definitely a bird and not a snake. Any who, Constrictor helps add some more power behind new cards Savage Stomp and Deathgorge Scavenger. I think Deathgorge Scavenger has a chance to be one of the most powerful cards in the format. With a lot of creature decks running around and Gearhulk decks still using the graveyard, this low-costed Dino has the potential to hose those and quickly get out of hand.
The last deck I want to touch on is something that is probably strictly Tier 1.5 or Tier 2 but it does gain a pretty cool new card. Roxzorr added Search for Azcanta which has the chance to give the control decks a way to snowball card advantage. These decks have a way of just running out of gas at some point after answering a lot of the midrange deck’s threats and then just lose. I am not sure if I like having Opt in the main deck and neither cutting any lands nor being the type of tempo deck in the vein of Delver that wants this effect. I rather see those as more Hieroglyphic Illumination. I think the opportunity to draw 2 is worth more than a Scry 1.
This weekend is the first time we will see these decks in action on camera and I am personally excited to see where the format goes. I have my reservations about the Standard format due to the absurd power level of Energy and a lot of the cards in Ixilan might just make that deck better rather than be something different. If you are playing this weekend good luck to you and I will see you again in 2 weeks!
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