Eight Decks for Fate Reforged Standard

Posted in Reconstructed on January 13, 2015

By Gavin Verhey

When Gavin Verhey was eleven, he dreamt of a job making Magic cards—and now as a Magic designer, he's living his dream! Gavin has been writing about Magic since 2005.

Ahhhh. Take a whiff of the air. It smells like…the past. The sulfur is fresher and there's a hint of dragons.

We're officially here. It's time for Fate Reforged.

The Prerelease is this weekend, giving you your first chance at getting your hands (or dragon claws; I don't judge) on of those fresh new cards.

But what should you keep your eye out for? What's new and exciting for the decks you want to build?

Well, that's where I come in!

The diligent and wonderful readers of ReConstructed have been putting together decks and sending them my way ever since the first Fate Reforged card broke its way onto the scene. Now, finally, it's time to put all of those decks to good use!

Today, we're going to take a quick look at a whopping eight reader-submitted decks! We're counting off two-by-two today: among them are two beatdown decks, two midrange decks, two control decks, and even two new combo decks! These should provide plenty of ideas for you as you plunge into Fate Reforged Standard.

All right! Let's hop right into it!

Beatdown—WB Warriors

Ato Shingai's WB Warrior's

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Warriors showed up in Khans of Tarkir as a subtheme you could talk about building around, primarily using Chief of the Edge and Chief of the Scale. Well, in Tarkir's past—our future—it turns out that there are plenty more strong Warriors that enter the fray!

Mardu Shadowspear gives the deck another solid one-drop that hits for 2 (and can even dash in a pinch) and Mardu Strike Leader makes for a great three-drop that can also singlehandedly take over the game against control decks.

One other great addition I don't see here is Brutal Hordechief. This four-drop hits hard, letting your entire team hit extra hard and killing from a distance. Once you hit five mana, you can even just keep pseudo-Faltering them, throwing every one of their creatures in front of your smallest one.

If I were looking to tweak this deck, I would remove some of the spells: it doesn't really need all of the Gods Willings and Feat of Resistances. You just want to curve out with your creatures and smash face! When you're adding creatures, you could also consider some token makers since those plays well with the Hordechief plus cards like Sorin and Dictate of Heliod.

Beatdown—Heroic Mentor

Andrew Wiesel's Way of the WU-rrior

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For pre-Fate Reforged Standard, you have probably seen some of the white-blue heroic decks running around. Well, now that Fate Reforged is here, these decks get a whole new tool: Monastery Mentor.

Heroic decks already like to cast a lot of spells. They're all for targeting their creatures with cheap tricks like Defiant Strike. Monastery Mentor gives these decks a whole new level of play, serving as a self-contained win condition in addition to its normal heroic tricks. You can always just fire off a bevy of cheap spells after you cast it and have an army of tokens—then do the same on your next turn and attack for a huge chunk of your opponent's life total.

Cards like Gods Willing and Valorous Stance even helps to protect your Mentor! Play it with four mana up and a Gods Willing in your hand, and your opponent is going to find the removal spell he or she was counting on woefully unhelpful.

Something in this space could be one of the major decks with Fate Reforged out. Give your spin on it a try, and have fun!

Midrange—Mono-Green Revelation

Itou Kazunari's Mysterious Manifest

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There are a couple new powerhouse green cards in Fate Reforged—namely, Whisperwood Elemental and Shamanic Revelation.

The Revelation is something you don't see that often in green: a way to draw tons of cards and gain life. It certainly shares more than just the word Revelation with Sphinx's Revelation. It feels sort of like playing the Freyalise Commander deck: you can just drop a ton of creatures onto the battlefield, Revelation, and still have plenty of gas left!

The Elemental is a complete powerhouse. It generates creatures every turn, getting out of hand very quickly…and even serves as anti-wrath protection to boot!

Itou's build is a little more manifest-focused than I would make mine, but I think there's the kernel for a really great mono-green deck here that explodes with creatures and then draws back up. If you cut the Trail of Mysterys, Reclamation Sages, and Frontier Sieges for a mix of Courser of Kruphix, Polukranos, Whisperer of the Wilds, Genesis Hydra, and Arbor Colossus, you have the beginnings of something very threatening.

Midrange—Abzan Manifest

Marvin Pontiac's Abzan Manifester

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Manifest is a curious mechanic. How often does it need to hit a creature to be worthwhile? How should you build your deck around it? Do you even need to build your deck around it?

Well, Marvin has an interesting take on the situation.

In his Abzan deck, there are plenty of cards he is happy to hit on their own—Brimaz, for example—that he can then flip up and bring the beats with. But he is also playing a couple of manifest "cheats." Hooded Hydra flips up for a paltry GG when manifested—and gets the five counters from doing so. When Master of Pearls turns up for only 1W, its morph trigger still goes off. These are some perfectly reasonable creatures in their own right, and with manifest they get even better.

Another interesting thing he does is have Liliana Vess to help control his draws. If you want to, say, ensure you are going to manifest a Hooded Hydra under your Lightform, Liliana can help make that possible.

While I wouldn't exactly expect manifest Abzan to instantly supplant the Siege Rhino-wielding version that has been so successful, a mixture of old Abzan and something like this could be something to look at.

Control—Blue-Black Control

Jakub Oboza's Pearl Lake Control

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While UB control is nothing new to the Standard scene and just won GP Denver (despite cries of "control is dead!" from onlookers), one key card is new: Crux of Fate.

Crux gives this deck a sweeper it needed. Perilous Vault got some of the job done, but sometimes it was just too slow or vulnerable to Utter End. Crux wipes the board of Siege Rhinos and Butcher of the Hordes alike on turn five, clearing the way for the deck to take over. Plus, if you end up with any Dragons in your deck it won't even blow up your own stuff!

While it may not be new, it's definitely a deck to watch closely as Fate Reforged enters.

Control—Sultai Silumgar

Noda Teppei's Enter the Silumgar

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Previously, we looked at a blue-black decklist. This one splashes in some green—for good effect. Sultai Charm, Sultai Ascendancy, and Kiora all add an element to this deck.

But the big add is Silumgar. Note how nothing in this deck gets picked off by creature removal. (Unless you count Hero's Downfall also hitting your Planeswalker.) One of your two Silumgars will often just attack your opponent to death, in a fashion Standard players better get acquainted with.

After Silumgar, there is still another new option, though: you'll note Palace Siege. I anticipate plenty of Siege battles to come in the next few months—and Palace Siege is certainly among them. Draining for 2 quickly sets up a clock that's hard to come back from. Stumble at all, and Palace Siege will finish you off. You could even consider playing more in this deck, tapping out for Sieges and then controlling the game. Who needs creatures when you can just counter spells, wipe the board, and slowly drain the opponent to death?

Combo—Sandsteppe Sage

Henry's Sage of Infinite Turns

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This is the deck that put the biggest, goofiest smile on my face this week. (So congratulations to Henry for accomplishing that!)

What's the combo? Well, it works like this:

Step 1: Have Sage of Hours and Roaring Primadox on the battlefield.

Step 2: Cast Sandsteppe Mastodon, putting five +1/+1 counters on your Sage of Hours.

Step 3: Take an extra turn!

Step 4: During your extra turn, return Sandsteppe Mastodon to your hand with Primadox. Repeat steps 1–4. Ta-da! Infinite turns!

Now, that may seem a little hard to pull off—and it certainly isn't simple. But Chord of Calling and Commune with the Gods both offer redundancy, and I think you can also just build this deck to be a good green midrange deck as well. For example, you could probably play Shamanic Revelation and/or Whisperwood Elemental in here as well.

This deck looks like a blast to play when it works. See what you can do with it!

Combo—Retraction Action

Ryota Nishimura's Token, Token, Token

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Ryota has uncovered a couple of pretty fun infinite token combos—and what better way to show them off than cram them all into one deck?

The new one is with Monastery Mentor.

Step 1: Have Monastery Mentor, Midnight Guard, and Springleaf Drum on the battlefield with a Retraction Helix in hand.

Step 2: Play Retraction Helix on the guard. That makes a token.

Step 3: Tap the token and the Drum for a mana. Tap the Guard to bounce the Drum.

Step 4: Recast the Drum. Get another token. Guard untaps. Repeat steps 1–4 and end up with a million tokens—and also a million/million Monastery Mentor!

That's pretty fresh and fun! Of course, there's also a Setessan Tactics combo:

Step 1: Have a Hornet Nest and a Midnight Guard.

Step 2: Make the Hornet Nest indestructible with Ephemeral Shields/Spirit Bonds. (Or perhaps a to-be-added Valorous Stance.)

Step 3: Cast Setessan Tactics on Midnight Guard.

Step 4: Tap the Guard to fight the Nest. Nest makes 4 tokens, but stays alive because it's indestructible. Guard untaps and can fight again. Repeat over and over until you have Hornets buzzing to your heart's content. (Or, perhaps, Mark Rosewater's discontent.)

Is putting all of these combos in one deck right?

Well, probably not. But you know what the big problem is in telling combo fantasy and combo reality apart? They're both ridiculous.

With some refinement, there could be something real here. Focusing on one combo in more of a midrange shell (perhaps like some of the others mentioned here today!) could be the secret to success. Give it a try and see where you get—or go further down the rabbit hole and see if perhaps something with Jeskai Ascendancy could work here!

Your Move

This week, I featured eight decks in eight different archetypes. And now, it's your turn!

These eight decks are all interesting—but they're not entirely formed either. They could each use some tuning, and I've offered some basic suggestions. Now we're going to try something a bit fresh to kick off the year: I want you to take one of these eight choices I've given you and try modifying it yourself!

Pick one of these archetypes, try and make the best build you can, and let's see what happens. Here are the full details for this mission:

Format: Fate Reforged Standard

Restrictions: Choose an archetype featured in today's column. Refine it, and send in your take on it!

Deadline: Monday, January 19 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Submit all decklists by emailing me at reconstructeddecks@gmail.com.

Decklists should be submitted with YOURNAME's DECKNAME at the top. Underneath should be one card per line, with just a leading number. For example:

12 Mountain

4 Firedrinker Satyr

3 Ash Zealot

4 Lightning Bolt

…and so on. Please don't use anything but a space to separate the card numbers and names—don't write "4x Lightning Bolt," for example. Well-formatted decklists have a much better chance of being read and making it into the column. Poorly formatted decklists are more likely to be ignored. (If I can't read your decklist, I certainly can't talk about it!)

Please send your decks to reconstructeddecks@gmail.com.

I'm excited to see how this goes! It's a fun chance to see deck building evolve: someone starts with an initial idea, I make some comments on it, you tweak it, and then I look at your modifications in depth. In some sense it's like a deck building version of the telephone game, but more interestingly it's a way to see how decks get tuned over time. Have fun with it!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the decks here and they gave you some inspiration for the new world of Standard! If you have any comments on this article at all, it's always great to hear from you. Feel free to send a tweet my way or ask me a question on my Tumblr, and I'll be sure to take a look.

The Prerelease is this weekend, and I hope you all have a blast! The Revive Ugin activity and the Ugin's Fate boosters are very much something I worked a lot on—and I would love to hear any feedback on how that goes as well. Let me know if it's something you'd like to see more of in the future!

Have a great Prerelease, and I'll be back next week with another look at brand-new Standard! Talk with you all then!




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