W/R Humans by Dopie on MtGO

Creatures (29)
4 Expedition Envoy
3 Hanweir Garrison
4 Inventor’s Apprentice
3 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
4 Metallic Mimic
1 Pia Nalaar
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Thraben Inspector

Non-Creature Spells (9)
3 Declaration in Stone
1 Fragmentize
4 Shock
1 Always Watching

Lands (22)
1 Hanweir Battlements
4 Inspiring Vantage
5 Mountain
4 Needle Spires
8 Plains

Sideboard (15)
2 Authority of the Consuls
2 Collective Effort
2 Fragmentize
3 Kari Zev’s Expertise
2 Lantern Scout
1 Release the Gremlins
3 Selfless Spirit

Summary

It’s been a while since a tribal deck has done well in Standard, but Shadows over Innistrad block certainly offered enough in human tribal for a powerful, consistent deck to be an option as long as the block remains in Standard. It saw some success prior to Kaladesh, but has fell out of favor since. A lot of critical cards from that iteration of this deck have since rotated, which will force the deck to morph into something a little unfamiliar in order to remain a cohesive unit. It may be time for a return, however, as several of the viable decks in this format struggle when they are forced to play from behind.

The 1 mana creatures are where the fun begins in this deck. Expedition Envoy and Inventor’s Apprentice attack for 2 on turn 2, and Thraben Inspector is an important card to hold the deck together. This is where the deck really misses several other powerful 1 mana creatures that rotated out of Standard, but that only means that the deck has to go a little bigger.

Speaking of a little bigger, Hanweir Garrison‘s inclusion definitely caused me to raise an eyebrow. On its surface it’s not a very powerful card, and most players have dismissed it as unplayable, but in this deck it can become a very impressive beater quickly, when paired with Metallic Mimic or Thalia’s LieutenantKari Zev, Skyship Raider is another interesting inclusion that’s currently not seeing any play in this Standard format. Similarly to Hanweir Garrison, Kari Zev has just high enough of a power level and just enough synergy with the other cards that it merits an inclusion in this deck.

Sideboards for aggressive decks like this one are critical, as they have to change the deck’s strategy enough that it can compete against bad matchups, while not disrupting the core aggressive strategy. Lantern Scout and Selfless Spirit do exactly this, but I think that only the spirit is a necessary and impactful inclusion. Authority of the Consuls feels like a necessary evil to have against 4-Color Copycat, and Kari Zev’s Expertise allows you to swing the race in life total and in board presence quickly against Mardu variants.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Declaration in Stone

-1 Fragmentize

-1 Always Watching

-1 Inventor’s Apprentice

+4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Sideboard

-1 Collective Effort

-2 Lantern Scout

+1 Release the Gremlins

+1 Fragmentize

+1 Declaration in Stone

This is day 84 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 83 here, where we featured a Legacy deck that’s been a true staple of the format for years.

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