Mardu Planeswalkers by Travv on MtGO

Creatures (7)
1 Archangel Avacyn
2 Thraben Inspector
4 Walking Ballista

Non-Creature Spells (29)
4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Oath of Chandra
3 Oath of Liliana
3 Renegade Map
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
1 Anguished Unmaking
4 Fatal Push
2 Release the Gremlins
3 Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (24)
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Inspiring Vantage
3 Mountain
1 Needle Spires
3 Plains
3 Shambling Vent
3 Smoldering Marsh
3 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
2 Archangel Avacyn
1 Authority of the Consuls
2 Hanweir Garrison
2 Heart of Kiran
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Transgress the Mind
1 Veteran Motorist


After the impressive emergence of Mardu Ballista (or really the evolution of Mardu Vehicles into a more midrange-aggro deck), the question of how to compete with the three-colored deck has been on the minds of every Standard player. Usually, the saying that “if you can’t beat them, join them” comes with one add-on in Magic. It really reads, “if you can’t beat them, join them, and do what they’re doing better.” Since Mardu has turned to a less-aggressive strategy that is built to take advantage of planeswalkers, logically competing with them better on their new axis is a recipe for success, and that’s exactly what this Mardu Planeswalkers deck aims to do.

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Alongside the usual suspects in Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, this deck adds the powerful Sorin, Grim Nemesis to the mix. Sorin offers twists on the classic high-cost planeswalker abilities of adding loyalty to draw a card and removing loyalty to destroy a creature. For Sorin, he can draw you cards while kill the opponent and can kill creatures while single-handedly gaining you enough life to stabilize. Additionally, the one copy of Archangel Avacyn and two in the sideboard allows the deck to go bigger than it’s Mardu Ballista cousin. Both Oath of Chandra and Oath of Liliana have seen an uptick in play recently, and including a total 6 in the mainboard lets the deck stay lean and take advantage of planeswalker synergies.

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3 copies of Renegade Map is certainly something that certainly stands out. Despite being called by multiple people as “the best common in Aether Revolt,” Renegade Map has never been considered a constructed-playable card. However, it has a few important applications in this deck. Firstly, it helps in hitting land drops, as the deck only has 24 lands and wants to cast 6 mana spells. It also triggers Fatal Push in a pinch. Triggering the powerful 1-mana instant is frequently a big to-do in Standard, but this deck struggles much less in that regard.

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The sideboard has more of the same, including one copy of Nahiri, the Harbinger, which can frequently take over a game singlehandedly. The copies of Hanweir Garrison and the copy of Veteran Motorist seem like throwaway inclusions, and I’ll be cutting them below.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Release the Gremlins

+1 Anguished Unmaking


-1 Authority of the Consuls

-2 Hanweir Garrison

-2 Heart of Kiran

-1 Veteran Motorist

+1 Release the Gremlins

+2 Aethersphere Harvester

+1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

+2 Ob Nixilis Reignited

This is day 65 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll cover a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 64 here, where we featured a Legacy deck that contains some of the most successful and unsuccessful cards of Standard formats past.

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