5 Under the Radar Decks from Pro-Tour Ixalan

This past weekend, magic Pro’s from around the world gathered in Albuquerque to test their metal at Pro-Tour Ixalan. While an obscene number of player turned up with the Bogeyman of the format in the form of Temur/4 Colour Energy, the event was surprisingly fun to watch. The top 8 was quite diverse, Seth Manfield again proved he is one of the best in the world today, and more importantly there was a few brews that did much better than anyone could have expected. In today’s article we will be looking at five of these decks that should be on your radar moving forward. Who knows, maybe you might be tempted to give them a try in the coming weeks.

5. Sultai Pummeler by Patrick Dickmann

Creatures (21)
4 Longtusk Cub
4 Servant of the Conduit
4 Electrostatic Pummeler
1 Rhonas the Indomitable
4 Rogue Refiner
4 Bristling Hydra
Spells (14)
4 Attune with Aether
4 Blossoming Defense
2 Dive Down
4 Larger Than Life
Enchantments (5)
4 Cartouche of Knowledge
1 One With the Wind
Lands (20)
4 Aether Hub
4 Botanical Sanctum
6 Forest
4 Hashep Oasis
2 Island
Sideboard (15)
1 Swamp
2 Greenbelt Rampager
2 Spell Pierce
4 Negate
3 Aethersphere Harvester
3 Cartouche of Ambition

Pummeler decks have been around for a while now, but have always been just out of reach of top tier status. This deck is unusually however, because it is Sultai rather than Red/Green or Temur. In past iterations of the deck, pump spells like Built to Smash and Invigorated Rampage where used to force through damage. This version of the deck however uses Cartouche of Knowledge and One With the Wind to avoid blockers entirely and deal lethal damage from the skies. Able to wind games out of nowhere, be weary of the little gem moving forward.

4. Mono Black Aggro by Andrejs Prost

Creatures (26)
4 Dread Wanderer
4 Night Market Lookout
2 Vicious Conquistador
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
1 Bontu the Glorified
3 Yahenni, Undying Partisan
4 Bone Picker
Spells (10)
4 Fatal Push
2 Walk the Plank
3 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
1 Vraska’s Contempt
Artifacts (4)
1 Heart of Kiran
3 Aethersphere Harvester
Lands (20)
3 Ifnir Deadlands
17 Swamp
Sideboard (15)
1 Scavenger Grounds
4 Duress
2 Arguel’s Blood Fast
4 Gifted Aetherborn
1 Doomfall
2 Raiders’ Wake
1 Vraska’s Contempt

There are many ways to build a successful magic deck. You can look for synergies between all cards from all the legal sets in a format. You can build it around a powerful mechanic. Or you can fill a deck full of mono-coloured aggression. Taking a page out of Ramunap Reds playbook, this brew relies on early aggressive creatures, backed up with solid removal spells to win the game before any opponents can stabilize. If you’re looking for an alternative to Mono-Red, then maybe this is the list for you.

3. Green/White Aggro by Eduardo Vieira

Creatures (26)
2 Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
3 Sacred Cat
4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Adorned Pouncer
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Resilient Khenra
2 Kinjalli’s Sunwing
1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
2 Oketra the True
Spells (7)
3 Blossoming Defense
4 Appeal // Authority
Artifacts (2)
2 Aethersphere Harvester
Enchantments (2)
2 Legion’s Landing
Lands (23)
5 Forest
3 Hashep Oasis
7 Plains
1 Scattered Groves
3 Shefet Dunes
4 Sunpetal Grove
Sideboard (15)
3 Heroic Intervention
2 Gideon of the Trials
1 Skywhaler’s Shot
2 Sunscourge Champion
2 Cast Out
3 Fumigate
2 Hour of Revelation

Now this is a brew after my own heart. Green/White Aggro has always been one of those decks I try to make work when I get the chance, and Eduardo Vieira seems to have been successful in bringing back this architype in Ixalan Standard. Containing a string of solid creatures like Adanto Vanguard and Adorned Pouncer, it then can finish the game with Appeal // Authority. A solid two-colour deck, I might have to have a crack at building this brew myself.

2. White/Blue Cycling by Boussaud Eliott

Spells (25)
4 Censor
1 Djeru’s Renunciation
2 Countervailing Winds
1 Forsake the Worldly
4 Renewed Faith
4 Hieroglyphic Illumination
3 Settle the Wreckage
3 Fumigate
3 Farm // Market
Artifacts (2)
2 Abandoned Sarcophagus
Enchantments (10)
2 Search for Azcanta
4 Drake Haven
4 Cast Out
Lands (24)
3 Drowned Catacomb
2 Fetid Pools
4 Glacial Fortress
3 Irrigated Farmland
3 Island
8 Plains
1 Shefet Dunes
Sideboard (15)
4 Authority of the Consuls
1 Duress
1 Negate
4 Sunscourge Champion
2 Ixalan’s Binding
1 Fumigate
2 The Scarab God

We have seen a combo deck, an aggro deck, and a mid-range deck. But what about a control? Well Boussaud Eliott has us covered with this cool looking White/Blue Cycling brew. Using Abandoned Sarcophagus to get more value out of your Cycling cards, and Drake Haven as a win condition, this deck was so close to getting Boussaud to a top 8 finish. Still, 8-2 is not a bad result, and I know more than a few control players who will be keeping an eye on this deck as the weeks move forward.

1. Mono White Vampires by Wilson Hunter

Creatures (24)
2 Duskborne Skymarcher
4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Aviary Mechanic
4 Metallic Mimic
4 Legion Conquistador
3 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
3 Angel of Invention
Artifacts (4)
4 Oketra’s Monument
Enchantments (10)
4 Legion’s Landing
1 Thopter Arrest
2 Cast Out
3 Ixalan’s Binding
Lands (22)
15 Plains
3 Scavenger Grounds
4 Shefet Dunes
Sideboard (15)
2 Fragmentize
4 Glory-Bound Initiate
1 Aethersphere Harvester
2 Thopter Arrest
1 Gideon’s Intervention
1 Angel of Sanctions
4 Dusk // Dawn

When Ixalan was first announced many players (including myself), where excited about the prospect of Dinosaurs and Pirates running rampant of Standard. But as the weeks came and went, there was little to no sign that any of the tribes in Ixalan where making an impact in the format. It looked like Ixalan would just be another one of those sets that lacked any meaningful changes to Standard. Then Wilson Hunter came to the rescue with not Dinosaurs, Pirates or even Merfolk, but with Ixalan’s other tribe. Yes, it turns out Mono White Vampires was the sleeper hit of Ixalan Standard, but to be honest it shouldn’t be that surprising given the state of the current meta game. The two top decks of the format, Temur Energy and Ramunap Red, both struggle with strategies that can go wide and gain life, two things this deck can do very well. Breathing new life into Oketra’s Monument, I wouldn’t be surprised if this deck starts to terrorise local store meta games in the coming weeks.

And there you have it, five decks to keep an eye on in this new Standard format. While Temur is still the most popular deck around, there is by no means a lack of other decks that can hold their own. Whether any of these decks will have what it takes to shake up the global meta game is yet to be seen, but I’m hopeful for the future of Standard. Well that will do for today. If you have enjoyed today’s article and want to read more, why not like and subscribe to keep up to date on the latest articles from us here at Master of Magics. But until next time remember, Good Look and Have Fun.

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