My Pro Tour Gatecrash Deck

Posted in Feature on February 19, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

I write all the decks for each week during the previous week. Right now, I'm on a plane on my way to Pro Tour Gatecrash in Montreal.

There's a good chance that Standard will look fairly different when you read this than it did when I wrote it, but this week I'm going to feature a variety of decks I considered playing for Pro Tour Gatecrash—or decks that teammates played.

I'm not sure these lists will be exact, since there are still several hours before we actually have to register our decks and a lot can change at the last minute, but as of right now, I believe I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be playing.

I've spent the last few weeks tweaking a variety of Orzhov-based decks. I've arrived at a deck I'm fairly happy with called The Aristocrats, because it's largely based on Cartel Aristocrat and Falkenrath Aristocrat.

This is an aggressive deck that exploits a variety of creature-based synergies while using several of the best creatures in the format.

The pressure starts early with Champion of the Parish, the heaviest-hitting one-mana creature in Standard, or Doomed Traveler, an all-star in this deck that fuels all the other cards.

Cartel Aristocrat

Cartel Aristocrat, Skirsdag High Priest, and another Human to be determined (I'm considering Knight of Infamy; Nearheath Pilgrim; Thalia, Guardian of Thraben; Thrill-Kill Assassin; and Gather the Townsfolk) follow up on turn two.

Cartel Aristocrat is a deceptively good blocker against small creatures and a resilient threat, as well as a sacrifice outlet to allow Skirsdag High Priest to activate whenever I have two other creatures.

Lingering Souls provides those other creatures, which are excellent fuel to preserve my Aristocrats, or just flying attackers, and Boros Reckoner is a nightmare for aggressive strategies.

Falkenrath Aristocrat is at its best in this deck, with around twenty Humans to sacrifice to get +1/+1 counters. It presides over a far-more-nourishing public than we've usually seen in the Zombie cast it's supported in the past.

Zealous Conscripts deals a huge amount of damage, and, with eight creatures that let me sacrifice a creature at any time, my opponent is unlikely to ever get his or her conscripted creature back.

Orzhov Charm is an amazing removal spell in a format where most removal is extremely limited, and this can double as a threat against control decks that don't have creatures I need to kill. I believe it's a criminally overlooked card at the moment.

The Aristocrats

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