Standard Jeskai Black

Posted in Daily Deck on October 9, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Most players have speculated that Crackling Doom would become more powerful once Battle for Zendikar rotated into the format, and sure enough, Crackling Doom showed up in a variety of decks last weekend. Interestingly, Mardu was not the color combination of choice for Crackling Doom, and instead players splashed the card in their existing Abzan or Jeskai decks.

Today's deck is a Jeskai build that splashes black for Crackling Doom. As you can see, Jeskai didn't change all that much after the rotation. We lost Goblin Rabblemaster and a few burn spells, but the core cards are still present: Mantis Rider, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Wild Slash, and Dig Through Time.

There are a few innovations in Jeskai, the most obvious one being Ojutai's Command and Dragonmaster Outcast. Ojutai's Command had already been seeing play due to its synergy with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, but Dragonmaster Outcast is a new addition to the party. The Outcast doesn't do much in the early game besides soak up some removal spells or get discarded to Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, but the strength of this card after turn six is too high to ignore. You can easily cast an Ojutai's Command on your opponent's end step to return your Outcast to play, and if your opponent's removal is only sorcery speed, then there's nothing stopping you from getting a free Dragon.

The new Battle for Zendikar lands play a really important role in this deck alongside fetch lands. These lands make it very easy to play four colors, and as you can see from the decklist, Mystic Monastery, previously the best land in the deck, only shows up as a two-of. Additionally, with the high number of basic lands in the deck, you have far fewer lands entering the battlefield tapped, allowing you to play a faster deck with a less awkward mana curve. The high fetch land count also makes your Dig Through Times better. You will be filling your graveyard more quickly, allowing you to cast them earlier.

Four-color midrange decks seem to be the norm now with the new options in Battle for Zendikar, and I would be surprised to see many midrange decks playing less than three colors going forward.

Adam Varner’s Jeskai Black

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