W/G Vampires by Jack Kiefer at SCG Dallas – 59th

Creatures (28)
4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Angel of Invention
4 Duskborne Skymarcher
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
3 Oketra the True
2 Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Non-Creature Spells (9)
4 Thopter Arrest
4 Legion’s Landing
1 Dusk // Dawn

Lands (23)
3 Forest
8 Plains
4 Scattered Groves
4 Shefet Dunes
4 Sunpetal Grove

Sideboard (15)
1 Sentinel Totem
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Feral Prowler
1 Cast Out
1 Gideon’s Intervention
1 Dissenter’s Deliverance
2 Heroic Intervention
3 Dusk // Dawn
2 Fragmentize

Summary

SCG Dallas, the first major Standard event since the release of Ixalan, told us a lot about how the format is shaping up. Aggro, midrange, and control strategies are all viable. Some old strategies persisted, some new ones were formed. The deck we’re featuring today is W/G Vampires (no you’re not reading that wrong), which capitalizes on powerful white and green creatures and the vampire synergies provided in Ixalan.

While the deck is called W/G Vampires, that may be a slight misnomer, as there aren’t that many vampires in the deck. However, the vampires that do appear are crucial to the deck’s strategy. Adanto Vanguard varies widely in power level if you are on the front foot versus if you are on the back foot. On the front foot, it is very close to a 3/1 indestructible for 2 mana, which is close to the best card in Standard. This deck attempts to make sure it’s on the front foot for exactly this reason. Duskborne Skymarcher doesn’t have a ton of targets in this deck, but as an evasive source of damage that can make combat tricky for the opponent, it represents good value. Legion’s Landing operates as a 1 mana vampire that produces more in the late game. Lastly, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle is a powerful 3 mana vampire payoff card that can produce unrivaled board presence if left alone.

 

As for other cheaper options in this deck, Merfolk Branchwalker is the first sign of explore we’ve seen in Standard. As a 2/1 for 2 mana, it’s not an excellent option, but the land that it draws is valuable and a 3/2 for 2 mana is a good rate in an aggressive deck. Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter doesn’t effect the board a ton in the early game, but in the late game it takes advantage of the board presence that has been achieved throughout the game, producing massive tokens turn after turn. Rishkar, Peema Renegade helps to make combat a nightmare for the opponent while producing extra mana to pump out some of this deck’s larger creatures.

 

At the top of the curve there is Oketra the True and Angel of Invention, both of which feed excellently into this deck’s strategy. Oketra the True is a hard to remove creature with good power and toughness for Standard, that also pumps out tokens with extra mana available. Angel of Invention takes advantage of this deck’s go wide strategy to make a formidable force even more impressive. Both “modes” of the card are good in this deck, as it can struggle with evasion and can always use more tokens.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Oketra the True

+1 Verdurous Gearhulk

Sideboard

-1 Cast Out

+1 Sentinel Totem

This is day 277 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 276 here, where we featured a new Ixalan Standard deck that takes an old favorite and updates it for this format.

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