/ Articles / Standard Rotation Proof Decks - Pt.1

Standard Rotation Proof Decks - Pt.1

Arena Standard Standard 
By: MTG_Joe - 25 Jul 2019
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The first announcements of our fall set Throne of Eldraine are upon us, which means Standard rotation is eminent. Upon release of the new fall set expected to drop October 4, 2019, Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria and M19 will no longer be Standard legal. This means that format staples like Teferi, Hero of Dominariaimage, Nexus of Fateimage, Goblin Chainwhirlerimage, and many more cards bid their farewell.


Until this release we are in somewhat of a lull in Standard where historically we've seen lower participation rates and less innovation due to unwillingness to invest in physical cards so close to rotation. While we have seen some new decks with the release of M20 in Vampires and Scapeshift variants, there still is the hesitation investing in cards with such a short shelf life. This is only further exemplified on Arena, where the economy relies on Wild Cards that once crafted are single time uses. Despite the announcement of the Historic format, the feedback of a lot of newer players on Arena, or just the "Free-to-Play" crowd, are hesitant to commit their hard-earned Wild Cards.


One question or theme that has come up a lot on the Arena subreddit, particularly the weekly New-Comer thread has been the concept of Rotation Proof decks. I thought this would be an interesting exercise to see what kind of decks we could theorycraft and test out using only the non-rotating sets of Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark and Core Set 2020. 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. It also provides us with a thought exercise in seeing what constraints certain decks may have with the departure of certain less flashy cards like Cast Downimage as a 2 drop removal spell.

Rotation Proof - BW Lifegain Midrange

Main 60 cards (17 distinct)
Creature (12)
$0.25€0.13
$0.20€0.08
$0.25€0.11
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (17)
$1.16€0.66
$0.45€0.19
$0.25€0.12
$1.43€0.96
$0.15€0.06
$0.50€0.34
Land (24)
$0.25€0.10
$0.33€0.05
$12.94€8.31
$0.15€0.07
$1.75€1.50
Planeswalker (7)
$5.98€6.47
$1.99€1.53
$5.28€4.62
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
$0.15€0.08
$0.36€0.16
$0.50€0.24
$0.24€0.09
$0.25€0.13
$13.88€13.00

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

DeckHub DeckHub Twitch Extension

The DeckHub Twitch extension is used by Twitch streamers to display their currently played deck in the video overlay. After a quick install you can select any public deck on AetherHub to be displayed in your overlay, here is how you set it up:

How to install

Open your Aetherhub Profile editor
  • Select "My Account" top right corner, then "Edit Profile". Click the "Copy" button where it says "Twitch Secret"
Install DeckHub Twitch extension on Twitch.tv
  • Install DeckHub on Twitch by clicking this link
Configure App
  • After install click the app and select "Configure" put in Aetherhub Username and the Twitch Secret, click "Connect".
  • Make sure the Extension is active! Go back to Extensions, you will see a list of your installed extensions. Set it is set as an Active Component overlay and put it on the far left side and on the top for the best experience. If you only use one extension you can set it as Overlay 1 instead of Component
You are done!
  • Clicking the Twitch button on any public deck will now set it as your current Deck in the extension

Gameplay for BW Lifegain

This first deck is a midrange-control list that looks to use life as a resource. We have a number of Planeswalkers that can gain us life such as Kaya, Orzhov Usurperimage and Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlordimage along with creatures and spells like Basilica Bell-Hauntimage and Oath of Kayaimage. With gaining all this life, we have payoff cards in the form of Ajani's Pridemateimage which can grow massive if left unchecked as well as Dawn of Hopeimage which can be used as a card draw engine. Finally we have Dreadhorde Invasionimage which can create a stream of tokens with that extra life, while if they get large enough gain lifelink as well. One card that was asked about was the exclusion of Bloodthirsty Aerialistimage. My rationale was two fold; 1) 3 drop slot was pretty crowed 2) wanted to treat pridemate like a Tarmogoyfimage 2 drop that I could then drop powerful control options from CMC 3 onwards.


After playing some games, I felt the growing Ajani's Pridemate and/or Bloodthirsty Aerialist if you wanted to play it, didn't work out that great. Current standard has a number of reoccurring lifegain effects at 1 CMC like Ajani's Welcomeimage or Leonin Vanguardimage which we lose out on post rotation. This ensures that you can get the lifegain trigger as soon as the turn you drop those creatures. In this deck, often times Pridemate just was killed on spot, while Healer's Hawk was a chump block + gain 1 life. Ajani, Strength of the Prideimage also felt really underwhelming. There were many turns where it could have been cast, but was basically a do nothing based on the board state.


What did feel strong was the core of Sorin, Kaya and Bell-Haunt in conjunction with the powerful enchantments in the deck. I think the deck evolves more effectively into a Orzhov Control deck like the mock up below. Orzhov gives us access to the only non-conditional 4 mana sweeper in Kaya's Wrathimage. Liliana, Dreadhorde Generalimage 's passive ability also triggers when any of our tokens generated by our enchantment die, drawing us extra cards. Finally, having a density of Planeswalker also turns on Mobilized Districtimage as a creature land that can survive board wipes and pressure our opponent.

Rotation Proof - Orzhov Control

Main 60 cards (20 distinct)
Creature (4)
$0.25€0.11
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (23)
$1.16€0.66
$2.00€1.55
$0.45€0.19
$1.95€1.13
$0.25€0.12
$1.43€0.96
$0.15€0.06
$0.50€0.34
$0.24€0.11
Land (24)
$0.25€0.10
$0.33€0.05
$12.94€8.31
$0.65€0.30
$1.75€1.50
Planeswalker (9)
$5.98€6.47
$4.25€3.80
$0.39€0.18
$13.88€13.00
$1.99€1.53
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
$0.49€0.29
$0.15€0.08
$0.36€0.16
$0.50€0.24
$0.24€0.09
$0.25€0.13

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

DeckHub DeckHub Twitch Extension

The DeckHub Twitch extension is used by Twitch streamers to display their currently played deck in the video overlay. After a quick install you can select any public deck on AetherHub to be displayed in your overlay, here is how you set it up:

How to install

Open your Aetherhub Profile editor
  • Select "My Account" top right corner, then "Edit Profile". Click the "Copy" button where it says "Twitch Secret"
Install DeckHub Twitch extension on Twitch.tv
  • Install DeckHub on Twitch by clicking this link
Configure App
  • After install click the app and select "Configure" put in Aetherhub Username and the Twitch Secret, click "Connect".
  • Make sure the Extension is active! Go back to Extensions, you will see a list of your installed extensions. Set it is set as an Active Component overlay and put it on the far left side and on the top for the best experience. If you only use one extension you can set it as Overlay 1 instead of Component
You are done!
  • Clicking the Twitch button on any public deck will now set it as your current Deck in the extension

 

Next up is a Golgari Undergrowth Graveyard focused deck

Rotation Proof - Golgari Graveyard

Main 60 cards (15 distinct)
Creature (27)
$0.25€0.11
$0.24€0.10
$0.24€0.13
$0.57€0.34
$2.15€1.54
$0.20€0.09
$0.36€0.16
$0.15€0.05
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (7)
$13.29€11.12
$0.25€0.13
Land (24)
$0.33€0.05
$0.33€0.12
$6.93€5.11
$1.79€1.45
Planeswalker (2)
$6.99€4.66
Side 15 cards (7 distinct)
$0.50€0.40
$0.15€0.06
$0.54€0.34
$4.76€3.05
$0.75€0.40
$0.25€0.13
$3.00€1.48

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

DeckHub DeckHub Twitch Extension

The DeckHub Twitch extension is used by Twitch streamers to display their currently played deck in the video overlay. After a quick install you can select any public deck on AetherHub to be displayed in your overlay, here is how you set it up:

How to install

Open your Aetherhub Profile editor
  • Select "My Account" top right corner, then "Edit Profile". Click the "Copy" button where it says "Twitch Secret"
Install DeckHub Twitch extension on Twitch.tv
  • Install DeckHub on Twitch by clicking this link
Configure App
  • After install click the app and select "Configure" put in Aetherhub Username and the Twitch Secret, click "Connect".
  • Make sure the Extension is active! Go back to Extensions, you will see a list of your installed extensions. Set it is set as an Active Component overlay and put it on the far left side and on the top for the best experience. If you only use one extension you can set it as Overlay 1 instead of Component
You are done!
  • Clicking the Twitch button on any public deck will now set it as your current Deck in the extension

Gameplay for Golgari Graveyard

This deck is focused around putting creatures into our graveyard with cards like Glowspore Shamanimage and Gorging Vultureimage. The main payoff cards for this strategy are Molderhulkimage which often times can be a 6/6 for 2 mana and Lotleth Giantimage to throw damage at the opponent. Blood for Bonesimage is a way we can cheat out an early Lotleth Giantimage as well as return a relevant creature back to our hand.


After playing some games, I think going up to a 3rd Midnight Reaperimage to increase the card draw in the deck and swapping 1 Lotleth Giantimage for an Izoni, Thousand-Eyedimage. Izoni can allow us to swarm the board to either create a bunch of chump blockers or alpha strike our opponent.

Rotation Proof Gruul Midrange

Main 60 cards (16 distinct)
Creature (24)
$3.29€2.82
$3.87€2.67
$1.75€1.50
$0.25€0.09
$0.36€0.16
$1.49€0.80
$4.76€3.05
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (7)
$0.25€0.14
$0.20€0.09
$0.15€0.06
Land (24)
$0.26€0.08
$0.33€0.12
$0.15€0.05
$11.40€8.11
Planeswalker (5)
$1.17€0.90
$19.34€17.64
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
$0.50€0.40
$0.25€0.12
$0.50€0.34
$1.25€0.66
$0.50€0.26
$5.88€3.71

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

DeckHub DeckHub Twitch Extension

The DeckHub Twitch extension is used by Twitch streamers to display their currently played deck in the video overlay. After a quick install you can select any public deck on AetherHub to be displayed in your overlay, here is how you set it up:

How to install

Open your Aetherhub Profile editor
  • Select "My Account" top right corner, then "Edit Profile". Click the "Copy" button where it says "Twitch Secret"
Install DeckHub Twitch extension on Twitch.tv
  • Install DeckHub on Twitch by clicking this link
Configure App
  • After install click the app and select "Configure" put in Aetherhub Username and the Twitch Secret, click "Connect".
  • Make sure the Extension is active! Go back to Extensions, you will see a list of your installed extensions. Set it is set as an Active Component overlay and put it on the far left side and on the top for the best experience. If you only use one extension you can set it as Overlay 1 instead of Component
You are done!
  • Clicking the Twitch button on any public deck will now set it as your current Deck in the extension

Gameplay for Gruul Midrange

This is a take on Gruul Midrange, focused around hasty threats. Gruul is one of the most flexible guilds, allowing you to build aggro, midrange fatties or heavy planeswalker focused. This version of the deck is looking to take advantage of hasty Riot creatures like Gruul Spellbreakerimage and Skarrgan Hellkiteimage. Domri, Anarch of Bolasimage was a real star in the deck, serving as both removal ramp/preventing our creatures from being countered, all while giving our creature +1/+0. In the gameplay I was trying out [Vivien, Champion of the Wilds]], but ended up cutting it for a 3rd Domri. Another consideration I'd probably go with is swap the Incubation Druidimage and Voracius Hydra for 4x Pelt Collectorimage, as it is a threat that scales up well with the deck.


Last one up is a take on Azorius Fliers:

Rotation Proof - Azorius Fliers

Main 60 cards (16 distinct)
Creature (25)
$0.20€0.08
$1.13€1.26
$0.49€0.29
$1.89€1.52
$0.49€0.26
$0.90€0.31
$0.30€0.17
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (7)
$0.21€0.08
$0.99€0.47
$0.18€0.06
Land (22)
$0.25€0.10
$0.30€0.11
$0.15€0.04
$10.00€7.43
Planeswalker (6)
$2.07€2.11
$14.51€15.05
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
$3.83€3.85
$7.59€7.07
$0.27€0.15
$0.95€0.60
$0.25€0.12
$0.99€0.47

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

DeckHub DeckHub Twitch Extension

The DeckHub Twitch extension is used by Twitch streamers to display their currently played deck in the video overlay. After a quick install you can select any public deck on AetherHub to be displayed in your overlay, here is how you set it up:

How to install

Open your Aetherhub Profile editor
  • Select "My Account" top right corner, then "Edit Profile". Click the "Copy" button where it says "Twitch Secret"
Install DeckHub Twitch extension on Twitch.tv
  • Install DeckHub on Twitch by clicking this link
Configure App
  • After install click the app and select "Configure" put in Aetherhub Username and the Twitch Secret, click "Connect".
  • Make sure the Extension is active! Go back to Extensions, you will see a list of your installed extensions. Set it is set as an Active Component overlay and put it on the far left side and on the top for the best experience. If you only use one extension you can set it as Overlay 1 instead of Component
You are done!
  • Clicking the Twitch button on any public deck will now set it as your current Deck in the extension

Gameplay for Azorius Fliers

This deck looks to play a bunch of cheap, useful flyers like Pteramanderimage (becomes a 5/5), Spectral Sailorimage (Card Draw) and Healer Hawk (lifelink). The deck then uses Empyrean Eagleimage or Rally of Wingsimage as an anthem. There is also the powerful interaction where Sephara, Sky's Bladeimage can be cast for her alternate cost of 1 white mana and tapping 4 fliers. Sephara is a power 7/7 that also makes all our other creatures with flying indestructible. Dovin, Grand Arbiterimage can make more flying creatures and has the potential to draw us cards. Teferi, Time Ravelerimage is a super powerful card worth including. It throws off the opponent's sequencing for casting spells and has the tempo play of bouncing opponent's permanents and drawing cards.

This wraps up pt.1 of the Rotation Proof Deck series. Let me know if there are any decks/themes/colors you'd be interested in seeing in future videos. I'll be back hopefully this weekend with a couple more decks.

 

MTG_Joe

Youtube & Twitch: MTG_Joe

Twitter & Instagram: MTG_Joe2

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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