Sweet 2019 Brews

by Simon Nielsen on 06 July 2018, Friday

Simon Nielsen


Sweet 2019 Brews

Whenever a new expansion is released, I will lock myself into a dark room, hunched over stacks after stacks of discarded parchment, trying to brew up new and exciting decks for the upcoming Standard format. As usual, I will share my findings with you!

Ready? Let's go!


Brew #1: B/R Sarkhan

First up is a version of what could easily be considered the best deck in the format: B/R Chainwhirler.


Sarkhan, Fireblood

I think Sarkhan, Fireblood is a very interesting new card that slots right into this archetype, as not only does it threaten a turn 4 Glorybringer, it also works well with the 2-drops of the deck, either discarding Scrapheap Scrounger for value or being a 3-mana Planeswalker which, as we already know, works wonders with Heart of Kiran

To facilitate Sarkhan, we need to include a few more Dragons. Here is my initial list:

Verix Bladewing has been outdone by the other 4-drop options in red, but Sarkhan works so well with it that we might see the breakthrough of the twin dragons. 4 Glorybringers might be excessive, but with 26 lands to accommodate it's hard to go wrong with such a powerful card. Chandra's Defeat does completely wreck this deck, so that's something to look out for. 

I wouldn't be surprised if we'd want to splash blue here to play Nicol Bolas, the Ravager over Rekindling Phoenix. Sarkhan helps with the mana-fixing, and Bolas might very well be the best card out of M19. Would be a perfect fit in a deck that also contains the best card out of Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, and Dominaria!


Verix Bladewing Glorybringer

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager


Brew #2: Mono-Green Vinemare

Revisiting another deck, Mono-Green has been near and dear to my heart. I think the deck was widely misunderstood in the last few months of Standard. I'm still convinced that it was a lot better than B/G Constrictor. Sadly, Mono-Green has a bad matchup against B/R, which caused Mono-Green to be pushed out of the format.

But a new card in M19 gave me new hope for my green buddies. And no, it's not Gigantosaurus (which by the way is just worse than Verdurous Gearhulk, a card I'm not even running). 

It's Vine Mare


Vine Mare

This horse is the perfect follow-up to Rhonas the Indomitable and a very safe ten power in play to curve into a two-mana Ghalta. I have no idea what the recently popular Blue-Black Midrange decks are supposed to do about it when they can't even block it proficiently with most of their creatures.

And we could even take more advantage of this newly added Hexproof threat. Let's scour M19 for which playable auras it might have for a Mono-Green deck:

I won't write it off that we might want to go a different route with more mana dorks, Bristling Hydras and Prodigious Growth instead of Blanchwood Armor, but for now I want to keep it more like the Mono-Green decks I know. 


Prodigious Growth Blanchwood Armor

Blanchwood Armor does mean that we neither can splash a color nor play Hashep Oasis. But I wouldn't be surprised if it's worth it. Obviously it's going to be great on Vine Mare on turn 5 (another perfect set-up into Ghalta), but even just jamming it on Steel Leaf Champion with Blossoming Defense up sounds very strong to me. 

You might think that Vine Mare matches up poorly against Goblin Chainwhirler, and while it is true that it can't block, with the help of Resilient Khenra, Branchwood Armor and Blossoming Defense, it can frequently attack through the goblin. 




Brew #3: Mono-Black Improvise


Phylactery Lich Dread Shade Herald of Anguish


Phylactery Lich has been in Standard multiple times before, but not in an environment that suits it as much as this one. The creepy guy slots right into a deck that wants to play another scary fella: Herald of Anguish. And if we combine the two, we get something quite unsettling:

Phylactery Lich biggest drawback is that it just plain dies to Abrade. There are a few ways to get around that, and this deck tries to make sure that at least they are not Abrading an attractive target. Servo Schematic isn't really the best target for Abrade (unless they follow it up with a Goblin Chainwhirler!) and Renegade Map and Prophetic Prism at least gives you back the card. 

However, if the opponent does not have Abrade, you will quickly be shoving taking huge chunks off your opponent's life total! Take that!

I like some interactions here, like when you put a Phylactery counter on a Treasure Map and then flip it. Now you will have a land with a Phylactery Counter on it, which makes the lich all that much more durable! Don't do this if they have Field of Ruin, though. 

I also like that this deck can support Cabal Stronghold quite well, which will help us fuel our mana sinks or to cast Herald of Anguish on turn 6. We've even got Prophetic Prism to turn that colorless mana into black mana, so we don't prevent ourselves from a 3-drop on turn 3!

Brew #4: Mono-White Cats

Well, it's apparent to me that Zombies is one of the most evident decks and many players are currently working on this tribal deck. However, in my ever-present strive to be different, I instead took a look at another creature type! 


There are also some very clearly signaled cat synergies in M19, such as Leonin Vanguard gaining 1 life to synergize with Ajani's Pridemate.

Sadly, this deck seems to fall victim to some whirled chains, but Leonin Warleader into Regal Caracal is such a powerful curve. Moreover, if you precede that with Radiant Destiny what are the red decks exactly supposed to do?

Mono-White Cats (M2019) (Standard (M2019) - Others)

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At first, I had the full playset of Radiant Destiny in here to protect my early drops from Goblin Chainwhirler, as well as a couple Aethersphere Harvesters. But then I remembered that this is a Mono-White deck with lots of creatures, so I tossed Benalish Marshal in here. 
It also happens to work well with the sideboard plan against, where we remove some of the fragile 1-toughness creatures and go from Cats to Knights! These cards even happen to be quite useful against control. 


Radiant Destiny History of Benalia

Just like my last brew-article, I've ended up with triple-colored cards in all my decks. I guess I really like them and the powerful incentive they give for staying mono-colored (which already a powerful incentive in itself). Sadly Tempest Djinn does not get to show up here.

Next time maybe! Have fun with Magic 2019!

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