Ravnica Block Constructed Guide for MTG Arena

Nathan McCarthy
June 19, 2019
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I don’t know about you, but I love Planewalkers. You know what else I love? Ravnica. What else? Brewing in unique formats! And I am in luck because we have the 5th week of War of Spark Chronicles, which is all about Ravnica Block Constructed! 

So… you could say I’m pretty into the event WotC has cooked up for us next week. But where do I even start?

Oooooold faithful, of course! I have some bad news for you burn players: this may be the one format where you simply cannot make burn happen. I tried for a long time to assemble the critical mass of aggressive 1- and 2-drops to fuel Light Up the Stage, Skewer the Critics, Experimental Frenzy, and Risk Factor, but there simply aren’t enough. While Ravnica has offered some of the most powerful card advantage burn has ever seen, it is shockingly short on aggressive creatures.

    

Instead, I want to leverage the raw power of Sarkhan the Masterless and Chandra, Fire Artisan in my mono-red deck. While it does play Rix Maadi Reveler, this is really just a flexible 2-drop that’s still good late, but we do run 4 Blood Crypts so we can occasionally Spectacle him, even though he’s usually just a 2-drop. Another more experimental addition is Burning Prophet. The deck desperately wanted playable 1- or 2-drops to hold the board and get the pressure going and there just weren’t very many options. If you do get to play the curve-out plan of 2- into removal or 3- into 4-, Prophet seems like she will effectively smooth your draws and hold the ground as you grind it out into the late game.

Another oddity of this format is that, while planeswalkers will be all over the place, I don’t expect Command the Dreadhorde to be very good! Without the Explore package, I think running it as a 4-of is a mistake, and if there aren’t other Command decks to prey upon, playing it as top-end in your control decks (as we currently see in Esper Superheroes in Standard) is much less effective.

    

However, if you’re willing to play some tapped lands, the power level of Jeskai Superfriends is absolutely going to shine. This deck leverages ‘walkers extraordinarily well and can kill out of nowhere with Sarkhan topping the curve. While this does play board wipes, I’d classify it much more as a Midrange deck than a Control deck. You really don’t have to answer everything your opponent is doing, just fight for the board and win the mid-game with a pile of Loyalty Counters.

This is my pick for best deck. It’s simple, extremely powerful, and has insane come-back mechanics. I know casting a UUUU spell in your base-Green, 17 Basic deck seems daunting, but just try it.

   

Nissa is probably my pick for most busted card in Standard atm, despite what other people may tell you. Just look at the general card quality of what’s in these Nissa decks and it’s pretty clear to me that they’re being dramatically propped up by the raw power of this 5-mana ‘walker. Tamiyo, Collector of Tales also does a ton for this deck. When you have a card that your deck 100% revolves around (Nissa), finding it is really all you should be trying to do until you’ve found it, and Tamiyo does an amazing job of this. Additionally, Arboreal Grazer may not be Llanowar Elves, but this little sloth still does a good enough job of ramping you up and blocking for your insane ‘walkers.

Wait, did I just say Simic was the best? Why, because it has the most over-powering late-game? Well what if we never got to the mid-game?

While Simic may be my pick for best deck, White Weenie is 100% my pick for ‘winningest’ deck. Why aren’t those the same thing? Well, it’s because this White deck should chew up and spit out the Simic deck! I think there are going to be a lot of big green, and guildgate-based decks in this queue and the best way to beat decks like that is simply to kill them.

    

With Charmed Stray and Healer’s Hawk, this deck also gets a huge payoff in Ajani’s Pridemate. Additionally, even though we miss out on Benalish Marshal and History of Benalia, Gideon Blackblade and Unbreakable Formation are still totally terrific 3-drops for this strategy. Even though they are overshadowed by the other options in Standard, these two cards should be plenty good enough to carry you to victory.

So what do you think? Have I perfectly nailed the metagame? Am I a literal genius? Will I drop even a single game with these decks next week?

 

If you have your own brews for Ravnica Block Constructed, let me know! Follow me @suddenoats on twitter or just leave a comment about which of my decks you like or don’t like or what you plan to play that I missed! Brewing is the best part of magic, and I hope you have as much fun as I did putting these piles together.

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