Brewing with Born of the Gods, Part 2

Welcome back for part two of Brewing with Born of the Gods. You can read part one here. Once again, I can’t provide tuned lists or sideboards, as there’s no way I could test that much, but I can provide some suggestions to consider for each sideboard. I’ve updated a couple of the top-tier decks this time, as well. That way, we’ll have an idea of where those decks are going with the new cards.

[deck title= Naya Midrange]

[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Sylvan Caryatid
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Polukranos, World Eater
2 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
3 Ghor-Clan Rampager
3 Stormbreath Dragon
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
2 Selesnya Charm
3 Xenagos, the Reveler
4 Advent of the Wurm
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Boros Charm[/card], [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card], [card]Mizzium Mortars[/card], [card]Revoke Existence[/card].

Naya just keeps getting all kinds of fun toys. Unfortunately, they can’t all fit in the same deck due to most of them costing so much mana. One that does fit quite well, though, is [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], since he’s an early drop that helps create a lot of board advantage. If Naya doesn’t pick up with this set, it will soon, as it is the number one deck in Theros Block Constructed tournaments right now.

[deck title= Boros Aggro]

[Creatures]
4 Dryad Militant
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Daring Skyjek
4 Boros Reckoner
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Searing Blood
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Temple of Triumph
2 Mutavault
5 Mountain
6 Plains
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Legion’s Initiative[/card], [card]Mizzium Mortars[/card], [card]Revoke Existence[/card], [card]Skullcrack[/card].

Boros Aggro is another deck that greatly benefits from [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card]. [card]Searing Blood[/card] is also another solid addition that keeps the board clear for your troops to march to victory. While I don’t see this deck getting a lot of play, it will show up and surprise its way to victory.

[deck title= Mono-Black Aggro]

[Creatures]
4 Tormented Hero
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Rakdos Shred-Freak
4 Pack Rat
4 Pain Seer
4 Mogis’s Marauders
4 Xathrid Necromancer
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
4 Bile Blight
2 Hero’s Downfall
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Mutavault
18 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Duress[/card], [card]Gild[/card], [card]Lifebane Zombie[/card], [card]Pharika’s Cure[/card].

Mono-Black Aggro is a serious consideration now. It has an aggressive element while still being able to run [card]Pack Rat[/card] and [card]Thoughtseize[/card] quite effectively. This deck also gains [card]Pain Seer[/card], to help generate card advantage, and [card]Bile Blight[/card], which is one of the best removal spells we’ve seen in Theros block so far. I suspect this may replace some of the other B/x aggro decks in the format, due to having an easier time with its mana base.

[deck title= Black Devotion]

[Creatures]
4 Pack Rat
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Desecration Demon
3 Mogis, God of Slaughter
4 Grey Merchant of Asphodel
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
3 Devour Flesh
4 Hero’s Downfall
4 Underworld Connections
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Malice
4 Blood Crypt
4 Mutavault
14 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card], [card]Duress[/card], [card]Pharika’s Cure[/card], [card]Slaughter Games[/card].

The boogeyman of the format, Mono-Black Devotion, gets some new firepower too, which is pretty scary, considering how dominant it has been the last few months. I, for one, hope it didn’t gain enough to keep it at the top of the heap, as I would like to see a more diverse variety of decks in Standard. Notably, it can now splash any color except green with scry lands—and green will be possible in a few months when the next set is released.

[deck title= Bant Control]

[Creatures]
1 Aetherling
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
3 Syncopate
3 Last Breath
4 Detention Sphere
4 Dissolve
4 Sphinx’s Revelation
4 Supreme Verdict
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Enlightenment
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Temple Garden
3 Mutavault
4 Island
2 Plains
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard suggestions: [card]Gainsay[/card], [card]Glare of Heresy[/card], [card]Selesnya Charm[/card], [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card].

This is more Azorius Control splashing green for [card]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/card], but she is really quite good in this kind of deck. The sideboard also opens up for cards like [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] to fight other controls decks, and [card]Selesnya Charm[/card] to exile those beefy monsters and pesky gods. I won’t be surprised when Azorius Control decks ditch black and [card]Dark Betrayal[/card] for green and [card]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/card].

[deck title= Gruul Monters]

[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Boon Satyr
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
3 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Stormbreath Dragon
3 Xenagos, God of Revels
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
2 Flesh // Blood
2 Mizzium Mortars
4 Domri Rade
3 Xenagos, the Reveler
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple of Abandon
2 Mutavault
7 Forest
6 Mountain
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card], [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card], [card]Ruric Thar, the Unbowed[/card], [card]Unravel the Aether[/card].

Go big or go home—that’s the motto of the Gruul Monsters deck. The addition of [card]Xenagos, God of Revels[/card] to this deck makes it that much more potent. Now you too can be swin for fourteen with a hasted [card]Polukranos, World Eater[/card], bloodrushed by a [card]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/card] on turn five. This deck will likely continue to be a recurring monster in the format, as it has been in the past.

[deck title= Archangel Combo]

[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Kiora’s Follower
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
4 Fathom Mage
4 Horizon Chimera
4 Archangel of Thune
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
4 Gods Willing
2 Savage Summoning
4 Commune with the Gods
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple Garden
3 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Aetherize[/card], [card]Centaur Healer[/card], [card]Detention Sphere[/card], [card]Unflinching Courage[/card].

Turn 5: untap, draw, kill you…that’s what the Archangel Combo deck wants to do, but now it has more options to be able to play as a normal aggro deck. For those who don’t know the combo, let me break it down for you. When you gain a life, [card]Archangel of Thune[/card] lets you put a +1/+1 counter on all your creatures, then you draw a card from putting a +1/+1 counter on [card]Fathom Mage[/card], then you gain a life from [card]Horizon Chimera[/card] because you drew a card, which starts the whole chain over again until you have lots of cards, life, and giant monsters. While it doesn’t see much play, it does keep getting more toys to make it a pretty appealing option.

[deck title= Grixis Control]

[Creatures]
1 Aetherling
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
3 Quicken
2 Syncopate
3 Far//Away
3 Mizzium Mortars
4 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4 Dissolve
3 Drown in Sorrow
3 Hero’s Downfall
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Ral Zarek
1 Whelming Wave
3 Opportunity
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Temple of Malice
2 Blood Crypt
4 Steam Vents
4 Watery Grave
6 Island
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Bile Blight[/card], [card]Gainsay[/card], [card]Slaughter Games[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

So far, Grixis Control hasn’t seen much play because most of the things it can do, Azorius or Esper Control can do better. But a deck doesn’t always have to do certain things better than others to be a good deck. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone playing Grixis over some of the other control options currently available. It gets a fairly unique set of spells to keep the board clear. The cards that really give it a good push are [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card], which can keep the board clear of small creatures, and [card]Whelming Wave[/card], which bounces every creature that sees play except [card]Mutavault[/card].

[deck title= Blue Devotion]

[Creatures]
4 Cloudfin Raptor
4 Judge’s Familiar
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Tidebinder Mage
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Master of Waves
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
2 Rapid Hybridization
4 Fated Infatuation
2 Bident of Thassa
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Watery Grave
4 Mutavault
12 Island
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Dark Betrayal[/card], [card]Gainsay[/card], [card]Thassa’s Rebuff[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

The other boogeyman of Standard, Mono-Blue Devotion also got a few new toys. While cards like [card]Thassa’s Rebuff[/card] may or may not end up in the main deck, [card]Fated Infatuation[/card] is destined for abuse with [card]Master of Waves[/card] to make even more tokens at instant speed. Other nice tricks are using [card]Fated Infatuation[/card] to make instant-speed [card]Tidebinder Mage[/card]s or using it as a [card]Rampant Growth[/card] by copying a [card]Mutavault[/card].

[deck title= Orzhov Humans]

[Creatures]
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Tormented Hero
4 Cartel Aristocrat
3 Imposing Sovereign
4 Pack Rat
4 Pain Seer
3 Banisher Priest
4 Xathrid Necromancer
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
4 Bile Blight
3 Spear of Heliod
[/Spells]

[Land]
4 Godless Shrine
4 Temple of Silence
4 Mutavault
4 Plains
7 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card], [card]Sin Collector[/card], [card]Spirit of the Labyrinth[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

Finally, we have Orzhov Humans, bringing back currently underused gems like [card]Cartel Aristocrat[/card] and [card]Imposing Sovereign[/card] while allowing some new toys like [card]Pain Seer[/card] and [card]Bile Blight[/card] to really shine. This deck is pretty customizable, with cards like [card]Orzhov Charm[/card] and [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card] not making the cut in the above list. This is another deck that can use the [card]Pack Rat[/card] and [card]Thoughtseize[/card] two-card whammy we’ve been seeing in Standard for a while now. It also has the ability to just go with a resource denial plan against control decks. Using [card]Sin Collector[/card] and [card]Thoughtseize[/card] to disrupt your opponents’ hands and [card]Spirit of the Labyrinth[/card] to keep them from drawing a bunch of extra cards is pretty powerful.

So Many Brews

That’s all I have for Born of the Gods, but expect more brews once we get Journey into Nyx in May. I always have a ton of fun brewing, and as long as people keep reading, I’ll keep writing. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them for me and I will try to get back to everyone.

Thanks for Reading,

Josh Milliken

@joshuamilliken of Twitter

Josh Milliken

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7 comments on Brewing with Born of the Gods, Part 2

  1. Jere says:

    Really fun article series so far! My only suggestion would be to add Courser of Kruphix in R/G, and Herald of Torment seems like a must-have for black aggro. Thanks for getting the creative juices flowing!

    1. Josh says:

      They were both the very last cards cut, mostly due to the 3 drop slot being so packed in both decks.

  2. Josh says:

    For anyone else who reads this, I made top 8 of a 7 round 81 person tournament this past weekend with my Mono Green list from Brewing with Born of the Gods, Part 1 -1 Mutavault +1 Forest. I went 5-0-2 in the swiss, and lost to a bad keep against Bant Control in game 3 of the Top 8.

  3. Stephen says:

    I’m reading… (:
    I came across the green list over on QS and ran it in a 5 round tourney Fri. Went 4-1 with my only loss coming in the 4th round when I mulled to 4 before seeing my first forest. good for 3rd place.

    Played the deck again today in a top 8 event and split top 4 for 27 packs. Only loss was against w/u control.
    Love the deck. I played your list on Fri then made a few changes for today.
    -1 enlarge / +1 polukranos
    -1 reverent hunter +1 witchstalker
    -1 battlewise centaur + 1 gyre sage
    -1 mutavault +1 nykthos.

    Keeping with the draft leftovers theme, the change I made to the board was adding a tower defense over a plummet. That card is amazing in this list. In addition to consistently being able to ambush attacking flyers, it is amazing against 2 other card the list is weak to, anger of the gods and mizzium mortars. I will definitely be replacing the second plummet with this and possibly making room for a third.
    It was awesome to cast bramblecrush, enlarge, and tower defense all in the same game of standard. Nothing better than winning with cards your opponents have to read when cast.

    Josh, I am strongly considering running this in some ptqs in the next few weeks and would love to get your take on the changes I made, maybe your sb plan against gruul, and potential future changes.

  4. SeTZeR says:

    Hi there,

    In your Archangel Combo why you’ve go on a aggro shell instead on a tempo/control shell? How good is Kiora’s Follower over Sylvan Caryatid? Have you tryed packing Prophet of Kruphix en the deck?

    1. Josh says:

      I haven’t gotten to play it, but one of the issue with the deck is that the combo folds to removal. I built a version that doesn’t have to combo to win while making it hard to actually use removal against it. While yes Prophet of Kruphix is a good card and a reasonable option in this deck, five mana is still a lot but you could put it in the place of Savage Summoning. The thing Kiora’s Follower does over Sylvan Caryatid is that it can attack, or it can put something like Archangel of Thune back on defense after attacking with it.

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