CaptainJamoke's Quick Take on M20

Decklists Economy 
By: CaptainJamoke - 27 Jun 2019
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Magic 2020 Core Set

.Notable White Cards
.Notable Blue Cards
.Notable Black Cards
.Notable Red Cards
.Notable Green Cards
.Notable Multicolored Cards
.Notable Artifact Cards
.Notable Lands
.Rule of Law Esper Control Decklist
.Leylines Decklist





 Additional discussion of this article can also be found in this /r/magicTCG posting and this /r/spikes one


Ajani, Strength of the Prideimage Ancestral Bladeimage Brought Backimage Cavalier of Dawnimage Gods Willingimage Leyline of Sanctityimage Loyal Pegasusimage Planar Cleansingimage Raise the Alarmimage  Rule of Lawimage Starfield Mysticimage Hanged Executionerimage Loyal Pegasusimage Sephara, Sky's Bladeimage Angel of Vitalityimage

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I think people are sleeping on Rule of Lawimage. Resolve Rule of Law and it becomes very easy to lock your opponent down with counterspells or removal. Rule of Law allows you to control the game in a major and consistent manner by expending only one card per turn to completely counteract your opponent's ability to do anything. This card alone could bump up the value of flash spells, counterspells, and planeswalkers. Cards like Unsummonimage even gain value, and lockdowns consisting of just Rule of Lawimage and Teferi, Time Ravelerimage will be brutal to deal with. And that's not considering any other cards that would be included in such a deck. Here's a card with a similar upside-downside that was very impactful in its heydey Winters Orb. 

Other notable cards of mention are Ajani, Strength of the Prideimage. This card looks better than it will play, and is somewhat of a red-herring in it's Ajani's Pridemateimage creation ability. In my opnion this Planeswalker doesn't meet the cut as a good all-arounder and it is limited to life-gain specific decklists.

White aggro players should be very happy with M20. These archetypes, whether mono white, azorious, boros, or selesnya, all see some powerful tools. Ancestral Bladeimage is a fun card in that it costs two mana and you essentially get a 2/2 soldier creature and an equipment all at once. Compare this to a hypothetical 2/2 afterlife creature that costs two and leaves a 1/1 behind on death with the following caveat - the afterlife 1/1 can only attack or block if another one of your creatures is also attacking and blocking, but its indestructible. Not bad. Raise the Alarmimage is also a bit of a stealth inclusion. This card powers Venerated Loxodonimage similarly to how Saproling Migrationimage is presently used- with no requirement of green mana.

Lastly, we have at least one new potential archetype in flyers, primarily due to Sephara, Sky's Bladeimage which can be played very early for just one cmc and tapping 4 flying creatures. Expect to see this often.






Agent of Treacheryimage Brineborn Cutthroatimage Cavalier of Galesimage Drawn from Dreamsimage Dungeon Geistsimage Faerie Miscreantimage Flood of Tearsimage Hard Coverimage Leyline of Anticipationimage Masterful Replicationimage Metropolis Spriteimage Portal of Sanctuaryimage Spectral Sailorimage Unsummonimage Warden of Evos Isleimage Winged Wordsimage

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Drawn from Dreamsimageprovides a ton of utility for searching and fixing your deck, and synergizes very nicely with Rule of Lawimage to find needed tools. Expect to see this played very often.

Flood of Tearsimage is another very powerful reset card with a fantastic secondary ability. Compare this to Cleansing Novaimage and its clear which is the stronger card. Masterful Replicationimage also has some very nice potential, and fantastic synergy with the tokens Karn, Scion of Urzaimage puts out. I'll certaintly be trying to make an artifact-based deck work. 

Blue also receives some flying tribal cards, which as we noted in the WHITE section, above, will likely see some play.

Cavalier of Galesimage A 5/5 flyer for 5 isn't bad on its own. Add some deck manipulation and card draw and its a pretty good card. Add god-recurssion to a non-legendary and we have the makings of a great card. If you're running 4 of these, you'll probably see this hit the top of your deck after death just as quickly as a War of the Spark God would. 




Audacious Thiefimage Blood for Bonesimage Bloodsoaked Altarimage Cavalier of Nightimage Disfigureimage Dread Presenceimage Embodiment of Agoniesimage Gorging Vultureimage Knight of the Ebon Legionimage Legion's Endimage Leyline of the Voidimage Mind Rotimage Murderimage Noxious Graspimage Rotting Regisaurimage Sanitarium Skeletonimage Scheming Symmetryimage Sorcerer of the Fangimage Sorin, Imperious Bloodlordimage Thought Distortionimage Undead Servantimage Unholy Indentureimage Vampire of the Dire Moonimage Vilis, Broker of Bloodimage

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There's a few really nice additions to black in M20. The single most powerful card is a tough call, but I'm leaning towards Scheming Symmetryimage. Yes, this has a downside, but it will be played in a deck able to mitigate its downside through removal, permission, and advantage-generation.

Around 20% of the meta right now is Esper or some variant or Dreadhorde, and these decks can all mitigate Scheming Symmetryimage downsides with minimal alterations to existing lists:

At its worst, Scheming Symmetryimage is the ultimate one last shot card- a situation where one card, just any card, could keep you in the game to come back from a reactive-disadvantage. At its best it comes down after a Teferi, Time Ravelerimage has been played. Use the +1 ability of Teferi, Time Ravelerimage, and play Scheming Symmetryimage on the end step of your opponent's turn searching fo cards using the following valuation method:

1) Land cards to prevent one-sided uninteractive game (encouraged to players in oth players all deck types);

2) Cards that prevent immediate and unfavorable game over (encouraged to players on reactive-disadvantage only);

3) Cards that cause immediate and favorable game over (restricted to players on the reactive-advantage only; this is lower priority than number "2" to account for game spectacle, education, economy gain, an unexplainable game-goal misalignment of fundamental purposes to play, and amusement); and

4) Cards most likely to cause opponent to play at a reactive-disadvantage for remainder of game (encouraged to players on both the active-advantage and the reactive-advantage). See my GB Rock List write-up for relevant definitions.

Scheming Symmerty finds a home in decks playing counterspells allowing for total control of your opponent. If high in popularity, a resulting Mono Red resurgence is likely.

Personal favorite card of M20 release: Rotting Regisaurimage. Reasons: artwork, playability in preferred archetypes, immediate impact, and the downside-upside (the downside can be an upside in potential decks (i.e. Hollow One decks). Drop this down, stall the game out and go to town. While Hollow Oneimage isn't standard format, Bag of Holdingimage. With what is available to black right now, Mono-Black Control makes sense as an obvious frame.




Cavalier of Flameimage Chandra, Acolyte of Flameimage Chandra, Awakened Infernoimage Chandra, Novice Pyromancerimage Chandra's Embercatimage Chandra's Regulatorimage Dragon Mageimage Drakuseth, Maw of Flamesimage Ember Haulerimage Glint-Horn Buccaneerimage Leyline of Combustionimage Marauding Raptorimage Mask of Immolationimage Thunderkin Awakenerimage

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Let's start with the most obvious. C3 Chandra, Acolyte of Flameimage and C6 Chandra, Awakened Infernoimage. C3, Chandra Jr., might qualify as a generally good deck option after M19 rotates out of standard. Until then, better three-cost options exist.

For C6, big Chandy, a recall of when GRN was released is useful. After GRN release and until mid-point RNA, Niv-Mizzet, Parunimage so a high amount of usage. Both are 6 total mana, both cannot be countered, both have to be immediately answered or unfavorable game over will occur. Niv, however, is much more resource intensive in the color cost requirements - 3 blue and 3 red - that combination is very restrictive on how the remainder of your deck is built. C6, in comparison, is four colorless and two red. That's splashable as a third color. Niv wasn't splashable, and its very tough to splash into a Niv list with another color.

Previously it was pretty much Niv Control, Niv Counterspell, Jeskai Control, and finally Temur Reclamation. And those decks made significant sacrifices to reach a consistent probability of casting Niv Mizzet on curve. You also have Chandra's Embercatimage which is not viable to even deck build with, as you don't have a Chandra of every single drop on the curve on a consistant basis.

In addition to C3 and C6, the two mana artifacts could see some game (Chandra's Regulatorimage Mask of Immolationimage). Artifacts have gotten out of hand quite a bit in the past, and design is likely intended to viability to a point of rarely encountering them in Standard Format. Especially so because of their playability in certain legacy decks which are borderline issues.

The elemental tribal might be a viable route for an eight card inclusion to boros feather decks in Scorch Spitterimage and Thunderkin Awakenerimage.





Barkhide Trollimage Cavalier of Thornsimage Elvish Reclaimerimage Gargos, Vicious Watcherimage Growth Cycleimage Leyline of AbundanceimageLoaming Shamanimage Nightpack Ambusherimage Shifting Ceratopsimage Veil of Summerimage Vivien, Arkbow Rangerimage Voracious Hydraimage Wolfrider's Saddleimage Woodland Championimage

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Nightpack Ambusherimage is one of the most likely to impact the meta from the green side. This card provides a significant source of advantage maintenance as well as recovery from disadvantage.

Can be flash casted on opponents turn or in response to spells. That ability is integral in using this card properly in a reactive-advantage deck like GB Rock or Bant Manipulation. In GB Rock, for example, you would hold this and many other cards until your opponent's end-step so that you can react accordingly to their most recent play. In a reactive deck you hold your mana open and cards like Chemister's Insightimage have been valued for their ability to provide repeat advantage after your opponent's turn shifts to you at the end step. Nightpack Ambusherimage performs a similar function by perserving your in-hand cards and providing you with immediate board presence against control decks while providing a significant obsticale against red decks.




Empyrean Eagleimage Ironroot Warlordimage Kaalia, Zenith Seekerimage Kethis, the Hidden Handimage Kykar, Wind's Furyimage Omnath, Locus of the Roilimage Risen Reefimage Skyknight Vanguardimage Rienne, Angel of Rebirthimage

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Bag of Holdingimage Diamond Knightimage Golos, Tireless Pilgrimimage Grafdigger's Cageimage Heart-Piercer Bowimage Icon of Ancestryimage Manifold Keyimage Mystic Forgeimage Pattern Matcherimage Prismiteimage Retributive Wandimage Salvager of Ruinimage Scuttlemuttimage Steel Overseerimage

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Field of the Deadimage Lotus Fieldimage

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Multicolored, Artifacts, Lands didn't make the initial article, but if you'd like to get my input on them, as with any other M20 card- then please leave a comment and I will edit this article accordingly to include your request.




Rule of Law Esper Decklist

Click the deck name for a link to the list




Standard Leylines

Click the deck title for a link to the list

See Much Abrew: Legacy Leeylines (4/17/17), Saffron Olive, MTG Goldfish




About CaptainJamoke:



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Full time job: Attorney (No legal advice)

Location: North East, United States





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Please feel free to request more input on any M20 card, and I'll be sure to respond or edit the article. Additionally, feel free to join my discord and review the chat history for some detailed discussion of this list at
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