/ Articles / Rotation Proof Decks Pt 3

Rotation Proof Decks Pt 3

Arena Standard Standard 
By: MTG_Joe - 09 Aug 2019
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Returning with part 3 of my look at some “Rotation Proof” deck shells, seeing which cards or themes could potentially have an impact post rotation. To preface, I am not claiming the below decks will be tier 1 in the new Fall Standard, as we are still expecting a big shakeup from the new set which will account for about 20% of the card pool. What I am looking to do is offer up some decks that people can feel safe crafting in some variant at the present moment without having to worry about the cards becoming obsolete in the next few months. This also provides us with a thought exercise in seeing what constraints certain decks may have with the departure of less flashy cards like Cast Down as a 2 drop removal spell. Finally, we can see which current decks have little to no shakeup after rotation, or decks that will obsolete come the Fall (looking happily at you Nexus).

For this article, I focused on some deck archetypes requested by Arena Subreddit users. If there are any other themes/decks you are interested in drop a comment below (RW Feather is in the queue).

 

Rotation Proof - Mono Black Midrange

Main 60 cards (15 distinct)
Creature (21)
$2.66€1.93
$8.99€4.56
$3.16€2.18
$0.99€0.92
$8.00€5.46
$3.09€2.59
$0.23€0.11
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (12)
$1.39€0.96
$0.15€0.07
$0.23€0.11
$0.15€0.06
Land (24)
$0.55€0.25
$0.15€0.04
Planeswalker (3)
$4.45€3.77
$0.36€0.19
Side 15 cards (7 distinct)
$1.67€0.74
$1.81€1.11
$0.15€0.04
$3.10€1.19
$0.35€0.16
$4.45€3.77
$1.17€0.82

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)

Gameplay for Mono Black Midrange

The first deck is a mono black midrange list looking to take advantage of Dread Presenceimage and a heavy swamp manabase. I actually really liked the disruptive package of Duressimage and yarok’s fenlurker main to pick apart the opponent’s hand. Yarok’s Fenlurker and Knight of Ebon Legion also both scale well into the late game and they can be mana sinks.

The deck is able to offset the card disadvantage of playing Rotting Regisaurimage through card draw Dread Presenceimage, Midnight Reaperimage and God-Eternal Bontuimage. Spawn of Mayhemimage was a card I played as a 1-of, and overall performed well in the games we got out. In the future, I’d probably explore adding 1-2 more copies. I also liked the combination of both Mobilized Districtimage and Dreadhorde Invasionimage as recursive threats vs control.

Depending how the meta evolves further, I would probably switch the disfigure in the main to Legion’s End to deal with Scapeshift decks. Bolas’s citadel was my “card advantage” engine against slower decks, but I think it may overall be too slow. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough opportunity to try it out in the matches, but thought it would play similar to how esper tempo leverages the card.

 

Rotation Proof - 5C Golos Zombie Gates

Main 60 cards (25 distinct)
Creature (21)
$0.25€0.09
$3.92€4.42
$31.41€21.24
$0.25€0.08
$1.18€0.69
$9.35€7.37
$4.21€1.47
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (8)
$0.99€0.35
$0.32€0.15
Land (27)
$0.15€0.06
$0.15€0.04
$0.15€0.04
$0.15€0.04
$7.94€5.57
$0.15€0.05
$17.95€14.62
$0.15€0.06
$0.15€0.06
$0.70€0.64
$0.15€0.04
$3.78€4.10
$5.19€3.42
$2.26€1.81
$0.15€0.07
Planeswalker (4)
$17.77€17.30
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)
$3.61€2.88
$20.92€14.26
$1.09€0.87
$0.29€0.13
$0.15€0.04
$0.98€0.47
$3.10€1.19
$1.17€0.82

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)

Gameplay for 5 Color Golos

This deck is definitely my most ambitious, combining 4C Gates, Scapeshift, Yarok Elementals and 5C Golos decks into one wild brew. Surprisingly, it ended up working well in the first game; as you can see in game 1 of the gameplay, we “combo off” with some sweet Golos Value.

The deck started off with the request to explore an update to 4C gates. This deck took a significant hit with the printing of Teferi, Time Ravelerimage and Narset, Parter of Veilsimage which disrupts the card draw engine of the deck. Teferi also easily bounces the two gates payoff creatures in Gate Colossusimage and Gatebreaker Ramimage. The deck also struggled dealing with planeswalkers before War of the Spark and has only gotten worse with the heavy influx of planeswalkers since. To offset this weakness, I dropped the gates card draw/creature package but kept the ramp elements and varied land base as a shell for a post-rotation Field of the Deadimage deck. Golos, Tireless Pilgrimimage does its best impersonation of Scapeshiftimage in this deck, mainly pulling out a copy of Field of the Deadimage. Unlike the Bant Scapeshift decks that combo off creating 30+ zombies, this version of the deck is more grindy, attrition base. Golos’s 2WUBRG ability lets us cast stuff for free which serves as advantage.

One of the ways we can ramp in this deck is a small elemental package of Risen Reefimage and Yarok, the Desecratedimage. Yarok has the added bonus of double triggering a number of our creature’s ETB effects like Archway Angelimage for double life, Deputy of Detentionimage for double exile and even double Golos searches.

Teferi, Time Ravelerimage and Hydroid Krasisimage are the hold overs from Bant Scapeshift. These cards can protect the deck on our turn from opponent’s interaction and refill our hand after the initial ramp turns. The mana base in the decklist above was revised slightly from that of the video. I had too many red sources main and not enough white. I’d also look to drop 1-2 Plaza Harmony in place of some different named lands to more consistently hit the 7 land condition of Field.

Overall I really enjoyed this deck and will be spending more time trying to streamline it further.

 

Rotation Proof - GW Tokens

Main 60 cards (15 distinct)
Creature (20)
$2.39€1.69
$0.50€0.31
$0.19€0.07
$1.43€1.20
$5.18€3.85
$0.43€0.25
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (15)
$3.40€2.76
$0.25€0.11
$0.27€0.14
$0.15€0.05
Land (23)
$7.94€5.57
$0.15€0.06
$0.15€0.03
$0.15€0.07
Planeswalker (2)
$0.89€0.52
Side 15 cards (7 distinct)
$3.34€3.24
$0.49€0.30
$3.61€2.88
$0.95€0.67
$0.25€0.11
$0.21€0.07
$0.25€0.11

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)

Gameplay for Selesnya Tokens

Up next is Selesnya tokens. To preface, Selesnya strategies are usually my least favorite/played so this deck is a bit outside my wheelhouse. If there are any tokens specialists that can offer some critiques, that would be great. The token strategy loses two key cards in the upcoming rotation in Legion’s landing and History of Benaliaimage. Both cards can generate a bunch of value with only investing 1 card.

The deck starts off with the standard shell of Emmara, Soul of the Accordimage and March of the Multitudesimage to generate a wide board of creatures. I’ve added in some afterlife creatures that provide value when they die in the form of Hunted Witnessimage and Tithe Takerimage (happens to be really good vs all these instant speed decks). From there I rounded things off with Trostanti Discodant as token maker/anthem and Hanged Executionerimage as two bodies with potential upside removal stapled on. Finally, I wanted to include a resilient threat so I went with God-Eternal Oketraimage, which on its own is a 3/6 double striker, but can also make tokens. The one noticeable card omitted was Venerated Loxodonimage which I didn’t think would be as effective without the early creature drops from Legion’s landing and History of Benalia.

Overall, the deck performed about average. We ended up beating Scapeshift Match 1, which is surprising as White Green right now has no real board wipes post rotation for the tokens. Hanged Executionerimage was pretty lack luster and I would likely replace it with another Ajani and potentially some Gideon Blackbladeimage.

 

Rotation Proof - Esper Hero

Main 60 cards (21 distinct)
Creature (15)
$1.07€0.89
$0.25€0.11
$3.92€4.42
$0.20€0.10
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (14)
$1.12€0.52
$1.67€0.74
$0.98€0.47
$0.52€0.38
$0.34€0.17
Land (23)
$12.94€10.71
$11.11€8.59
$9.42€7.52
$0.16€0.08
$0.17€0.07
$1.99€1.61
$0.14€0.08
$0.15€0.06
$0.15€0.03
Planeswalker (8)
$1.55€1.48
$17.77€17.30
$1.17€0.82
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)
$2.25€2.49
$1.09€0.87
$2.00€1.61
$0.39€0.17
$0.50€0.24
$0.98€0.47
$0.35€0.16
$2.75€2.38

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)

Gameplay for Esper Hero

One of the most requested deck builds from Reddit was some form of Esper build. My initial hesitation with 3 color decks not featuring green was the limitation with the manabase post rotation, with a large number of come into play tapped lands. I opted to go with Esper Tempo/Hero build vs Traditional Esper Control.

At this point, likely everyone has been terrorized at times by Hero of Precinct Oneimage in an esper shell. The creature package I opted for included Hero, Basilica Bell-Hauntimage, Elite Guardmageimage and Deputy of Detentionimage. All these creatures provide relevant ETB effects, either disrupting the opponent’s hand/board, drawing us cards and gaining life. In terms of disruption package, there are a number of powerful gold cards in the form of Thought Erasureimage, tyrant’s scorn and Oath of Kayaimage.

In terms of the Planeswalker package, I went with the obvious 4x Teferi, Time Ravelerimage as a start. I included Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlordimage as a way to recycle our creatures once they are killed, provide them lifelink and his +2 can pick off opponent’s Planeswalkers. Ashiok, Dream Renderimage was included in place of Narset, Parter of Veilsimage to improve the Scapeshift matchup game 1.

In terms of gameplay, there were a couple instances where we suffered from lands not coming into play, but not as many as I expected. What did occur, and may just be small sample size variance, is mana screw and the need to mulligan almost every game. Against Grixis match 1, I really got hampered by not drawing a 4th land in time. In match 2, we played against the foiled out mirror, where we encountered similar mana screw issues. Note that Arena crashed towards the end of Match 2 Game 3, but we got buried under multiple Teferis and were progressing to lose that game anyways.

Going forward, there may be enough good cards primarily in UW that a hero build can be built upon or just the inclusion of the missing scry lands could help smooth out draws.

 

That wraps up this week’s decks, let me know what you think. Did I miss any obvious inclusions? Also let me know if there are any decks I haven’t covered yet that you’d like to see.

About MTG_Joe

MTG_Joe

I am a part time content creator on YouTube playing everything from budget brews to Tier 1 lists. I enjoy focusing on build guides and explaining strategy through my videos to help our newer and returning players. I am also very engaged in the Arena Subreddit community, also happy to chat MTG.

Youtube & Twitch: MTG_Joe

Twitter & Instagram: MTG_Joe2

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