Articles / CaptainJamoke's Quick Take on M20

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 Pride]] [[Ancestral Blade]] [[Brought Back]] [[Cavalier of Dawn]] [[Gods Willing]] [[Leyline of Sanctity]] [[Loyal Pegasus]] [[Planar Cleansing]] [[Raise the Alarm]]  [[Rule of Law]] [[Starfield Mystic]] [[Hanged Executioner]] [[Loyal Pegasus]] [[Sephara, Sky's Blade]] [[Angel of Vitality]]

{{Ajani, Strength of the Pride}} {{Ancestral Blade}} {{Brought Back}}


{{Cavalier of Dawn}} {{Gods Willing}} {{Leyline of Sanctity}}


{{Loyal Pegasus}} {{Planar Cleansing}} {{Raise the Alarm}}


{{Rule of Law}} {{Starfield Mystic}} {{Hanged Executioner}}


{{Loyal Pegasus}} {{Sephara, Sky's Blade}} {{Angel of Vitality}}


{{Master Splicer}} {{Soulmender}} {{Yoked Ox}}



I think people are sleeping on [[Rule of Law]]. 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 [[Unsummon]] even gain value, and lockdowns consisting of just [[Rule of Law]] and [[Teferi, Time Raveler]] 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 Pride]]. This card looks better than it will play, and is somewhat of a red-herring in it's [[Ajani's Pridemate]] 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 Blade]] 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 Alarm]] is also a bit of a stealth inclusion. This card powers [[Venerated Loxodon]] similarly to how [[Saproling Migration]] 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 Blade]] which can be played very early for just one cmc and tapping 4 flying creatures. Expect to see this often.






[[Agent of Treachery]] [[Brineborn Cutthroat]] [[Cavalier of Gales]] [[Drawn from Dreams]] [[Dungeon Geists]] [[Faerie Miscreant]] [[Flood of Tears]] [[Hard Cover]] [[Leyline of Anticipation]] [[Masterful Replication]] [[Metropolis Sprite]] [[Portal of Sanctuary]] [[Spectral Sailor]] [[Unsummon]] [[Warden of Evos Isle]] [[Winged Words]]

{{Agent of Treachery}} {{Brineborn Cutthroat}} {{Cavalier of Gales}}

{{Drawn from Dreams}} {{Dungeon Geists}} {{Faerie Miscreant}}


{{Flood of Tears}} {{Hard Cover}} {{Leyline of Anticipation}}

{{Masterful Replication}} {{Metropolis Sprite}} {{Portal of Sanctuary}}

{{Spectral Sailor}} {{Unsummon}} {{Warden of Evos Isle}}

{{Winged Words}}



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

[[Flood of Tears]] is another very powerful reset card with a fantastic secondary ability. Compare this to [[Cleansing Nova]] and its clear which is the stronger card. [[Masterful Replication]] also has some very nice potential, and fantastic synergy with the tokens [[Karn, Scion of Urza]] 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 Gales]] 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 Thief]] [[Blood for Bones]] [[Bloodsoaked Altar]] [[Cavalier of Night]] [[Disfigure]] [[Dread Presence]] [[Embodiment of Agonies]] [[Gorging Vulture]] [[Knight of the Ebon Legion]] [[Legion's End]] [[Leyline of the Void]] [[Mind Rot]] [[Murder]] [[Noxious Grasp]] [[Rotting Regisaur]] [[Sanitarium Skeleton]] [[Scheming Symmetry]] [[Sorcerer of the Fang]] [[Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord]] [[Thought Distortion]] [[Undead Servant]] [[Unholy Indenture]] [[Vampire of the Dire Moon]] [[Vilis, Broker of Blood]]

{{Audacious Thief}} {{Bloodsoaked Altar}} {{Vilis, Broker of Blood}}

{{Cavalier of Night}} {{Disfigure}} {{Dread Presence}}

{{Embodiment of Agonies}} {{Gorging Vulture}} {{Knight of the Ebon Legion}}


{{Legion's End}} {{Leyline of the Void}} {{Mind Rot}}


{{Rotting Regisaur}}  {{Thought Distortion}} {{Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord}}


{{Sanitarium Skeleton}} {{Scheming Symmetry}}



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 Symmetry]]. 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 Symmetry]] downsides with minimal alterations to existing lists:

At its worst, [[Scheming Symmetry]] 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 Raveler]] has been played. Use the +1 ability of [[Teferi, Time Raveler]], and play [[Scheming Symmetry]] 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 Regisaur]]. 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 One]] isn't standard format, [[Bag of Holding]]. With what is available to black right now, Mono-Black Control makes sense as an obvious frame.




[[Cavalier of Flame]] [[Chandra, Acolyte of Flame]] [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]] [[Chandra, Novice Pyromancer]] [[Chandra's Embercat]] [[Chandra's Regulator]] [[Dragon Mage]] [[Drakuseth, Maw of Flames]] [[Ember Hauler]] [[Glint-Horn Buccaneer]] [[Leyline of Combustion]] [[Marauding Raptor]] [[Mask of Immolation]] [[Thunderkin Awakener]]

{{Cavalier of Flame}} {{Chandra, Acolyte of Flame}} {{Chandra, Awakened Inferno}}

{{Chandra, Novice Pyromancer}} {{Chandra's Embercat}} {{Chandra's Regulator}}

{{Dragon Mage}} {{Drakuseth, Maw of Flames}} {{Ember Hauler}}

{{Glint-Horn Buccaneer}} {{Leyline of Combustion}} {{Marauding Raptor}}

{{Mask of Immolation}} {{Thunderkin Awakener}}



Let's start with the most obvious. C3 [[Chandra, Acolyte of Flame]] and C6 [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]]. 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, Parun]] 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 Embercat]] 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 Regulator]] [[Mask of Immolation]]). 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 Spitter]] and [[Thunderkin Awakener]].





[[Barkhide Troll]] [[Cavalier of Thorns]] [[Elvish Reclaimer]] [[Gargos, Vicious Watcher]] [[Growth Cycle]] [[Leyline of Abundance]][[Loaming Shaman]] [[Nightpack Ambusher]] [[Shifting Ceratops]] [[Veil of Summer]] [[Vivien, Arkbow Ranger]] [[Voracious Hydra]] [[Wolfrider's Saddle]] [[Woodland Champion]]

{{Barkhide Troll}} {{Cavalier of Thorns}} {{Elvish Reclaimer}}

{{Gargos, Vicious Watcher}} {{Growth Cycle}} {{Leyline of Abundance}}

{{Loaming Shaman}} {{Nightpack Ambusher}} {{Shifting Ceratops}}

{{Veil of Summer}} {{Vivien, Arkbow Ranger}} {{Voracious Hydra}}

{{Wolfrider's Saddle}} {{Woodland Champion}}


[[Nightpack Ambusher]] 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 Insight]] have been valued for their ability to provide repeat advantage after your opponent's turn shifts to you at the end step. [[Nightpack Ambusher]] 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 Eagle]] [[Ironroot Warlord]] [[Kaalia, Zenith Seeker]] [[Kethis, the Hidden Hand]] [[Kykar, Wind's Fury]] [[Omnath, Locus of the Roil]] [[Risen Reef]] [[Skyknight Vanguard]] [[Rienne, Angel of Rebirth]]

{{Empyrean Eagle}} {{Ironroot Warlord}} {{Kaalia, Zenith Seeker}}

{{Kethis, the Hidden Hand}} {{Kykar, Wind's Fury}} {{Omnath, Locus of the Roil}}

{{Risen Reef}} {{Skyknight Vanguard}} {{Rienne, Angel of Rebirth}}




[[Bag of Holding]] [[Diamond Knight]] [[Golos, Tireless Pilgrim]] [[Grafdigger's Cage]] [[Heart-Piercer Bow]] [[Icon of Ancestry]] [[Manifold Key]] [[Mystic Forge]] [[Pattern Matcher]] [[Prismite]] [[Retributive Wand]] [[Salvager of Ruin]] [[Scuttlemutt]] [[Steel Overseer]]

{{Bag of Holding}} {{Diamond Knight}} {{Golos, Tireless Pilgrim}}

{{Grafdigger's Cage}} {{Heart-Piercer Bow}} {{Icon of Ancestry}}

{{Manifold Key}} {{Mystic Forge}} {{Pattern Matcher}}

{{Prismite}} {{Retributive Wand}} {{Salvager of Ruin}}

{{Scuttlemutt}} {{Steel Overseer}}





[[Field of the Dead]] [[Lotus Field]]

{{Field of the Dead}} {{Lotus Field}}

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

Information relevant to readers regarding most my decks:

Since MTGA ranked seasons began I’ve hit mythic ranking consistently, often early into the month. All of my deck posts involving write-ups involve significant gameplay in ranked Bo1 and/or ranked Bo3. I tend to switch up the game mode depending on how much time I have to play MTGA, meaning that my decks are designed to work as listed in both Bo3 and Bo1 with zero changes to the main board. Currently, MTGA has 50-deck limit which can inhibit deck cloning if you are working in multiple decks at once   **Note -Since both formats have different metas, these decks can be modified for optimization if you stick with one format only. This doesn’t apply to decks posted for any tournament entries.**

My deck building process:

I will take a concept and put together an initial list. The deck is then played solely in ranked regardless of my current rank. I play until I lose a few and then modify the list to remove its weakest cards. I then repeat that process until I get bored with the deck. This process has gotten me to mythic every season except for one- I really tried to make bridgemaster affinity work but couldn’t figure out the right list. I ended up stuck in limbo between plat/diamond for the whole season. The most recent “core” deck concept we hit mythic was last season with GB Rock on 5/11/19.


I occasionally stream on Twitch and recently started trying to figure out YouTube- you can find me by searching “captainjamoke” on either. I’m also always hanging out in the Aetherhub discord if you want to discuss the deck lists.


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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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