The Many Flavors of Deathmist Raptor

Posted in GRAND PRIX PARIS 2015 on May 10, 2015

By Frank Karsten

The raptor fences are down! Roughly 30% of all players in Day 2 of Grand Prix Paris were running a Deathmist Raptor deck of sorts. Although there's always the lysine contingency if it really gets out of hand, it is fair to say that we're living in a Jurassic Standard right now.

The Raptor does it all: It attacks for a reasonable amount, trades with almost any opposing creature, and keeps on coming back from the dead. Yesterday, I described various approaches to beating it. Today, I want to highlight the diversity of Deathmist Raptor decks.

I counted as many as nine (!) different megamorph archetypes on Sunday. Some, such as Abzan or Bant, are more established; others are more, well, out there. For all of them, I selected an exemplary list and briefly analyzed their key selling points. The archetypes are sorted in descending order of popularity.

Lukas Diekjobst's Abzan Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Fourteen (four each of Den Protector, Deathmist Raptor, and Whisperwood Elemental alongside two Hidden Dragonslayers).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Exile their Raptors with Abzan Charm.

Why Pick this Archetype: Siege Rhino is still one of the best cards in Standard, and this deck has already proven itself. Ben Feingersh piloted it to a Top 8 at Grand Prix Toronto last weekend.

Lukas Blohon's Bant Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Thirteen (four copies of Den Protector and Deathmist Raptor, two each of Stratus Dancer and Mastery of the Unseen, plus one Rattleclaw Mystic).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Give your Raptors (or, heck, Dragonlord Ojutai) first strike with Ajani Steadfast.

Why Pick this Archetype: It has already proven itself with a Top 8 at Grand Prix Kraków in the hands of Sam Pardee.

Joel Larsson's Sidisi Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Eight (four Den Protectors and four Deathmist Raptors).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: You out-Raptor them by milling more than your opponent with Satyr Wayfinder and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, or you go over the top with Hornet Queen and Whip of Erebos.

Why Pick this Archetype: You want to make the most of your graveyard, appreciate Murderous Cut as an answer to Stormbreath Dragon, and are not afraid of Anafenza, the Foremost.

Teruya Kakumae's Green/White Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Seventeen (four Den Protectors, four Deathmist Raptors, three Rattleclaw Mystics, four Whisperwood Elementals, two copies of Mastery of the Unseen).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Out-Raptor them with way more face-down creatures than most versions, and if everything else fails, you can go over the top with Elspeth, Sun's Champion.

Why Pick this Archetype: You like green/white aggressive decks with a fast clock and a consistent mana base, but dislike the randomness of Collected Company. (Most green/white decks contained the 4-mana instant, so Kakumae's list is unusual in that regard.)

Michael Beaumer's Temur Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Fourteen (four each of Den Protector, Deathmist Raptor, and Rattleclaw Mystic, along with a pair of Ashcloud Phoenixes).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Fly over their Deathmist Raptors with Thunderbreak Regent and Stormbreath Dragon!

Why Pick this Archetype: You like both dragons and dinosaurs, and you want to have access to Sarkhan Unbroken and Disdainful Stroke against midrange and control decks.

Fabrizio Anteri's Black/Green Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Eleven (four Den Protectors, four Deathmist Raptors, three Whisperwood Elementals).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Exile their Raptors with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or with Pharika, God of Affliction from the sideboard.

Why Pick this Archetype: You prefer a mana base with few painlands and few taplands so you gain an edge against aggressive decks, and you consider the card quality in green and black to be sufficient.

Charly Boudjema's Red/Green Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Eighteen (two Den Protectors, but four copies each of Rattleclaw Mystic, Deathmist Raptor, Ashcloud Phoenix, and Whisperwood Elemental).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Out-Raptor them with way more face-down creatures than most versions, and fly over their Deathmist Raptors with bees from Hornet Nest!

Why Pick this Archetype: You like consistent mana, bees, and enjoy referring to your deck as "Clever Gruul."

Jeremy Payen's Four-Color Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Eight (four Den Protectors, four Deathmist Raptors).

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Give your creatures first strike with Soul of Theros to ensure your Raptors beat theirs in combat.

Why Pick this Archetype: You can't choose between Siege Rhino, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, and Dragonlord Ojutai, so you just have to play them all!

Tamas Nagy's Chromanticore Megamorph – Grand Prix Paris 2015 Day 2

Number of Morph/Manifest Cards: Nine (the usual four Den Protectors and four Deathmist Raptors, plus one Sagu Mauler)

Tech for the Megamorph Mirror Match: Bestow Chromanticore on a hexproof Soulflayer. Good luck beating that!

Why Pick this Archetype: It includes the awesome Chromanticore/Soulflayer combo; isn't that enough reason? As Team Pantheon showed at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir, the deck is competitive, and it can go over the top of anything.

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