An Early Look at Guilds of Ravnica Standard

This week see’s the official start to the Guilds of Ravnica preview season, and it is certainly looking like Magics latest set is going to be awesome. Not only are we getting some great reprints like Chromatic Lantern and Shocklands, but some very powerful constructed payables such as Assassin’s Trophy and March of the Multitudes. Soon these cards will be working their way into the hands of drafters and brewers alike. I myself am looking forward to building some new and exciting Standard decks for the site, so be sure to keep your eyes out for them in the coming weeks and months.

But I’m far too impatient to wait for a little thing like a ‘release date’ to start testing out decks for the new Standard season, and I’m not the only one. Good friend of the site and fellow content creator Jordan from Orcs Head Magic has also been looking at what he was going to play in the new season. We have both been throwing idea’s around and working on some rotation proof decks, all in preparation for when Guilds of Ravnica drops in a few weeks.

So, we decided it would be fun to do some Pre-Standard testing and see what we have to look forward to after rotation. And since we are both content creators, we though it would make for a fun video.

The Decks

Now we don’t have access to all the cards that will be available in Guilds of Ravnica, but there are some great reprints that we can get our hands on to do some testing with. Chief among these are the ever-important Modern staples, Shocklands. With these and all ten ‘Havelands’ in one Standard season three to four colour decks are not just feasible, they are inevitable. One of the decks I am keen to try out is a three colour Saproling build.

Some of you might remember me and Samuel had a go at brewing with these fungus-based creatures back when Dominaria first came out. I looked into a Green/White go wide strategy, while my colleague went with more of a Black/Green aristocrat brew. Both decks were a lot of fun to play, with strengths and weaknesses unique to their own strategies. But after we had written our article we both talked about what a three colour Saproling deck would look like. Now we get to find out.

Overgrown Tomb
Temple Garden

Abzan’s Saprolings

Creatures (18)
Sporecrown Thallid
Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
Yavimaya Sapherd
Slimefoot, the Stowaway
Shalai, Voice of Plenty
Tendershoot Dryad

Enchantments (9)
Seal Away
Song of Freyalise
Radiant Destiny
Ixalan's Binding

Sorceries (4)
Saproling Migration

Instants (6)
Vicious Offering
Spore Swarm
Lands (23)
Field of Ruin
Overgrown Tomb
Temple Garden
Woodland Cemetery
Sunpetal Grove

Sideboard (15)
Baffling End
Slaughter the Strong
Broken Bond
Fungal Plots
Sentinel Totem

The plan of the deck is simple. Go wide, and go hard. Firstly, we use spells like Saproling Migration, Yavimaya Sapherd and Spore Swarm to quickly overwhelm the board. Then we use ‘anthem’ effects like Sporecrown Thallid, Tendershoot Dryad and Radiant Destiny to pump up our team to deal maximum damage as quickly as possible.

We also have access to some great legendary creatures to support our deck. Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy become a huge threat once we start amassing our swarm of tokens. Slimefoot, the Stowaway can help us rebuild, and punishes anyone whom decides to destroy our force of Saprolings. Finally, Shalai, Voice of Plenty protects us and our team, as well as giving us another way to pump creatures.

We also have access to some great support spells and removal options. Song of Freyalise allows us to us our creatures to fix our mana. Meanwhile, Seal Away, Vicious Offering and Ixalan’s Binding allows us to deal with a wide variety of our opponent’s threats. Add in our on-colour Shock and Havelands, as well as a couple of copies of Field of Ruin to round out the deck and we are ready to go. As for Jordan, well he decided to really push out the boat and tried something utterly new and completely out of his comfort zone. NAH, just kinding. He’s playing Goblins.

Legion Warboss

Now before you all say his deck choice is uninspired, we need to look at the Standard format we are moving into. Shocklands will provide players with quick and efficient mana fixing, but they will also take a chunk of damage in order to make use of them the turn they are played. This coupled with the fact that aggro decks usually perform very well at the start of a new Standard season, and the fact that Red/Black aggro will become obsolete, means that Goblins could well become the new go to aggressive deck in the format. Especially with the addition of the new Legion Warboss.

Jordan’s Goblins

Creatures (26)
Skirk Prospector
Goblin Instigator
Wily Goblin
Goblin Warchief
Goblin Chainwhirler
Goblin Trashmaster
Siege-Gang Commander

Enchantments (3)
The Flame of Keld

Sorceries (4)

Instants (4)

Planeswalkers (2)
Jaya Ballard
Lands (21)
21 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Lightning Strike
Fight with Fire
Volley Veteran

This deck goes a long way to show you how viable Goblins could be in the new meta. Early board advantage can be earned with creatures like Skirk Prospector, Goblin Instigator, Wily Goblin, Goblin Warchief and the ever-impressive Goblin Chainwhirler. This is later enforced with Goblin Trashmaster and Siege-Gang Commander as a way to close out the game.

But what if you find yourself in a long game board stall with no way to get through your attackers? Well, that’s where our good friend Banefire comes in. With Skirk Prospector you can sacrifice your multitudes of Goblins (and any unused treasure from your Wily Goblins) and blast your opponents’ life total from out of nowhere. Add in some Shocks for early game removal, The Flame of Keld to refill your hand and increase damage output, and some spice in the from of two mainboard Jaya Ballard and you have a pretty sweet rotation proof deck.

The Match

So, there are the deck, but which one would win? Who would be crowned the victor? What are we looking forward adding to the decks when Guilds of Ravnica is released? Well have a watch of the video below and all will be revealed.

Well I hope you enjoyed our little foray into what the upcoming Standard season could bring. Of course, we have yet to see all the spoilers Guilds of Ravnica has to offer. But if what we have already seen is any indication, I’m confident Magics latest set is sure to be a good one.

But what do you think? Are you looking forward to Guilds of Ravnica? What decks are you planning on building? Let us know in the comments below. And while you are there why not subscribe to the site and our YouTube channel to keep up to date on all our future content. But until next time remember wherever and want ever you play, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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