Brewing With Shadows over Innistrad

Welcome back for Brewing With Shadows over Innistrad, and a new world order for Standard. With this latest set Standard is now a three block format that currently consists of Dragons of Tarkir, Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, and Shadows over Innistrad. This is a super exiting time, because screw [card]Siege Rhino[/card] and free rolling four color decks with the fetchlands, I won’t miss them. I’ve brought fifteen decks for you today, sideboards not included. Instead of having a fleshed out sideboard foe these decks, I have included four sideboard suggestions as cards you should heavily consider when constructing the sideboard for the deck. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the deck lists…

This is one of the obvious decks to build with the new cards, but with a few cards people haven’t been considering such as [card]Scion Summoner[/card] as some additional ramp to make sure you get to your bigger spells. Most lists will run more token makers and less ramp spells, but the mana gets super difficult the more you push it into red.

[deck title= Gruul Tokens]
[Creatures]
4 Deathcap Cultivator
4 Den Protector
4 Leaf Gilder
4 Sylvan Advocate
4 Scion Summoner
2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Oath of Chandra
4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Arlinn Kord
3 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Cinder Glade
4 Game Trail
9 Forest
6 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Boiling Earth
2 Crumble to Dust
3 Fiery Impulse
4 Plummet
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

The format seems to have slowed down a bit, which should give rise to some midrange decks doing well. I would be surprised if this deck isn’t at least a small part of the metagame over the next couple of months.

[deck title= Golgari Eldrazi Rock]
[Creatures]
4 Bearer of Silence
4 Den Protector
4 Wasteland Strangler
3 Liliana, Heretical Healer
3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
4 Thought-Knot Seer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Dead Weight
3 Transgress the Mind
2 Grasp of Darkness
2 Ruinous Path
3 Read the Bones
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Hissing Quagmire
4 Llanowar Wastes
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Blighted Fen
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Westvale Abbey
1 Forest
1 Wastes
5 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Duress
2 Flaying Tendrils
3 Reality Smasher
4 Ultimate Price
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This deck really only lost [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card], but actually gained a few options. I made a conscious decision to cut [card]Explosive Vegetation[/card] for [card]Hedron Archive[/card] to more easily facilitate Delirium on [card]Traverse the Ulvenwald[/card], if it doesn’t turn out to be good then it should go back in that slot. Expect a ton of this deck until players figure out how to fight it best.

[deck title= Gruul Ramp]
[Creatures]
4 Sylvan Advocate
4 World Breaker
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Oath of Nissa
3 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Ruin in Their Wake
4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
3 Kozilek’s Return
3 Hedron Archive
2 Arlinn Kord
3 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Cinder Glade
2 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods
3 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Evolving Wilds
8 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Wastes
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Crumble to Dust
2 Hangarback Walker
3 Jaddi Offshoot
4 Thought-Knot Seer
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This deck heavily benefits from [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] leaving the format, but does get worse mana and loses [card]Outpost Siege[/card]. I may give it another shot soon if there aren’t too many control decks to fight through.

[deck title= Enchantress]
[Creatures]
4 Hearald of the Pantheon
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Vessel of Nascency
4 Myth Realized
4 Oath of Chandra
4 Silkwrap
4 Stasis Snare
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
4 Sigil of the Empty Throne
2 Starfield of Nyx
4 Quarantine Field
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Canopy Vista
4 Cinder Glade
4 Battlefield Forge
2 Needle Spire
11 Plains
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
2 Hallowed Moonlight
3 Radiant Flames
4 Surge of Righteousness
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

I expect quite a bit of red aggro in the coming months, whether it’s Rakdos Aggro, Atarka Red, Mono Red, or even Rakdos Vampires I don’t know, but it has lost a lot of punch with this rotation. This version is just focused on going fast with efficient creatures, and maybe getting a small amount of card advantage back with [card]Asylum Visitor[/card] and [card]Abbot of Keral Keep[/card].

[deck title= Rakdos Aggro]
[Creatures]
4 Falkenrath Gorger
4 Village Messenger
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Asylum Visitor
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
4 Forerunner of Slaughter
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
3 Reckless Bushwhacker
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Fiery Impulse
2 Avacyn’s Judgment
4 Dragon Fodder
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Forboding Ruins
4 Smoldering Marsh
11 Mountain
2 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Act of Treason
2 Roast
3 Self-Inflicted Wound
4 Smash to Smithereens
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This is likely the default for most aggressive red players, as it doesn’t stumble all over its mana. [card]Village Messenger[/card] will likely only be mediocre, but it’s still probably going to flip and deal three damage if you go first. There is only one discard outlet for [card]Fiery Temper[/card] in this deck, but often times you’re just going to cast it on your opponents turn anyways making the discount mostly irrelevant.

[deck title= Mono Red]
[Creatures]
4 Falkenrath Gorger
4 Village Messenger
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
2 Lightning Berserker
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
3 Reckless Bushwhacker
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Titan’s Strength
3 Fiery Impulse
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Fiery Temper
[/Spells]
[Land]
21 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Act of Treason
2 Boiling Earth
3 Roast
4 Smash to Smithereens
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This seems like it will be a fun fair combo deck, but I have no idea if it will be any good. Turning on Delirium for [card]Traverse the Ulvenwald[/card] will be pretty easy in this deck, so there are a few silver bullet lands. This sideboard could also give you some silver bullet creatures and/or lands to aid in devouring the land.

[deck title= Jund Lands]
[Creatures]
3 Groundskeeper
3 Mina and Denn, Wildborn
3 The Gitrog Monster
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Vessel of Nascency
4 Magmatic Insight
3 Molten Vortex
4 Tormenting Voice
3 Kozilek’s Return
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Cinder Glade
2 Smoldering Marsh
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Drownyard Temple
1 Westvale Abbey
1 Blighted Fen
4 Hissing Quagmire
2 Llanowar Wastes
5 Forest
3 Mountain
1 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Duress
2 Jaddi Offshoot
3 Languish
4 Roast
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This deck hasn’t seen any love in a while, but it doesn’t lost much. With the format slowing down and a repeatable mill thirteen cards effect, it will be a little easier to get there. I expect quite a few players to make use of their [card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/card]s in this deck since he’s not as easy to flip anymore.

[deck title= Izzet Tutelage]
[Creatures]
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Magmatic Insight
4 Tormenting Voice
4 Avacyn’s Judgment
4 Oath of Jace
4 Sphinx’s Tutelage
2 Harness the Storm
4 Startled Awake
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Wandering Fumarole
4 Shivan Reef
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Drownyard Temple
6 Island
4 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Horribly awry
2 Kozilek’s Return
3 Negate
4 Thing in the Ice
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This deck lost its best one drop and combo kill, and barely gained anything. It will likely see some play, but the removal is now much better in this format making it’s weak creatures and spells seem unexciting. But it did gain [card]Thing in the Ice[/card] and a variety of Madness spells that could be good depending on how the metagame shapes up.

[deck title= Izzet Prowess]
[Creatures]
4 Thing in the Ice
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Elusive Spellfist
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
4 Stormchaser Mage
1 Jori En, Ruin Diver
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Expedite
3 Slip Through Space
2 Rush of Ice
3 Fiery Impulse
4 Titan’s Strength
2 Avacyn’s Judgment
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Wandering Fumarole
4 Shivan Reef
4 Evolving Wilds
6 Island
5 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Boiling Earth
2 Negate
3 Roast
4 Welcome to the Fold
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This is how I envision Atarka Red now after playing red decks almost exclusively for the past two years. Another card that could be considered in the sideboard is [card]Nissa, Voice of Zendikar[/card], but she will be hard to cast quite frequently. I expect a lot of this deck for a while, most likely misbuilt and warping it’s mana to have [card]Nissa, Voice of Zendikar[/card] in the main.

[deck title= Atarka Red]
[Creatures]
4 Falkenrath Gorger
3 Lightning Berserker
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
4 Thopter Engineer
3 Reckless Bushwhacker
2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Fiery Impulse
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Atarka’s Command
3 Arlinn Kord
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Cinder Glade
4 Game Trail
2 Forest
13 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Act of Treason
2 Boiling Earth
3 Roast
4 Plummet
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This will be another deck that players will gravitate to, but I’m not sure it’s all that good. If it is, it will be time to break out the [card]Virulent Plague[/card]s to shut this deck down. This deck really only gains [card]Archangel Avacyn[/card], which might not even be all that great in it with [card]Dragonlord Dromoka[/card] being a great option in that slot as well. But with a slower metagame it will be easier to set up the kind of plays this deck wants to do.

[deck title= Selesnya Tokens]
[Creatures]
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Deathcap Cultivator
3 Archangel Avacyn
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Oath of Nissa
4 Dromoka’s Command
4 Oath of Gideon
4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Secure the Wastes
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Fortified Village
4 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Westvale Abbey
6 Forest
4 Plains
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Declaration in Stone
2 Plummet
3 Silkwrap
4 Surge of Righteousness
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This seems like it could be either really good or terrible depending on what the other decks are trying to do. I hope it’s really good, because I do like to play Jund when I can. It doesn’t have the best options for removal though, and could be gone under by some fast aggro decks.

[deck title= Jund Walkers]
[Creatures]
4 Deathcap Cultivator
4 Den Protector
2 Leaf Gilder
2 Liliana, Heretical Healer
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Oath of Nissa
4 Oath of Chandra
3 Read the Bones
1 Kolaghan’s Command
3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
3 Arlinn Kord
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Game Trail
4 Cinder Glade
3 Smoldering Marsh
4 Hissing Quagmire
4 Llanowar Wastes
6 Forest
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Duress
2 Plummet
3 Roast
4 Self-Inflicted Wound
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

This is the deck that everyone is talking about as the aggro deck of the format, and it does seem pretty powerful. I expect a lot of variations on this deck as long as Shadows over Innistrad is legal, since the only vampire not from the set in it is [card]Drana, Liberator of Malakir[/card] , and we will assuredly get more good vampires in Eldritch Moon.

[deck title= Rakdos Vampires]
[Creatures]
4 Falkenrath Gorger
4 Indulgent Aristocrat
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
4 Heir of Falkenrath
4 Asylum Visitor
3 Drana, Liberator of Malakir
3 Olivia, Mobilized for War
4 Incorrigible Youths
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Avacyn’s Judgment
4 Fiery Temper
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Forboding Ruins
4 Smoldering Marsh
4 Evolving Wilds
6 Mountain
4 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Dead Weight
2 Duress
3 Roast
4 Self-Inflicted Wound
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

Esper didn’t lose a heck of a lot that couldn’t be replaced, but the mana it lost is pretty painful. I expect to see a lot of this deck as people try to make the mana work. I will be glad to no longer have to worry about [card]Dig Through Time[/card].

[deck title= Esper Dragons]
[Creatures]
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
3 Dragonlord Ojutai
2 Dragonlord Silumgar
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Dead Weight
4 Silumgar’s Scorn
3 Anguished Unmaking
4 Foul-Toungue Invocation
4 Scatter to the Winds
2 Ojutai’s Command
2 Planar Outburst
2 Epiphany at the Drownyard
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Prairie Stream
4 Sunken Hollow
2 Port Town
2 Choked Estuary
2 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
4 Shambling Vent
8 Island
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Duress
2 Negate
3 Surge of Righteousness
4 To the Slaughter
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

I saved my favorite for last, and to everyones shock it’s not a red deck. I started with the Golgari Eldrazi Rock deck in my brewing process, and once I saw [card]Declaration in Stone[/card] and [card]Anguished Unmaking[/card] I knew this is where I wanted to be to start the new standard format. This deck should be capable of fighting anything the format can throw at it with proper sideboarding. Some options that are being considered are [card]Virulent Plague[/card], [card]Pick the Brain[/card], [card]Grasp of Darkness[/card] and [card]Ruinous Path[/card]. I have completed a sideboard for this one, as it’s what I will initially be testing.

[deck title= Orzhov Eldrazi Rock]
[Creatures]
4 Hidden Dragonslayer
4 Bearer of Silence
4 Wasteland Strangler
3 Liliana, Heretical Healer
3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
4 Thought-Knot Seer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Dead Weight
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Silkwrap
2 Read the Bones
3 Anguished Unmaking
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Shambling Vent
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Westvale Abbey
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Plains
1 Wastes
6 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard Suggestions]
1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Declaration in Stone
3 Duress
3 Flaying Tendrils
2 Reality Smasher
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
2 To the Slaughter
2 Transgress the Mind
[/Sideboard Suggestions]
[/deck]

That’s all I have for now. I’ll see you again for Brewing With Eldritch Moon. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading,

Josh Milliken

@joshuamilliken on Twitter

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One comment on “Brewing With Shadows over Innistrad

  1. Josh says:

    After getting to play the BW Eldrazi deck and absorb the SCG Top 8 and some comments from other players, I have edited the list.

    4 Shambling Vent
    4 Caves of Koilos
    4 Evolving Wilds
    2 Westvale Abbey
    2 Blighted Fen
    1 Plains
    6 Swamp
    1 Wastes

    3 Dead Weight
    2 Silkwrap
    3 Declaration in Stone
    2 Grasp of Darkness
    2 Read the Bones
    3 Anguished Unmaking
    2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
    1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

    4 Hidden Dragonslayer
    3 Liliana, Heretical Healer
    4 Wasteland Strangler
    3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
    4 Thought-Knot Seer

    Sideboard
    3 Duress
    3 Transgress the Mind
    1 Declaration in Stone
    1 Grasp of Darkness
    2 Virulent Plague
    2 Ruinous Path
    3 Languish

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