Only one week away and we’ll have a new Standard. I have to say I couldn’t be happier. I actually can’t remember the last time Standard rotated and I was excited about it. I’m a control player at heart, but I love trying to break the format in that first few weeks. Plus I have an anti-establishment streak longer than that bridge across the Chesapeake Bay, so I’m just happy to see the Old King die.


The King is Dead, Long live the King


Well, since the king is dead, how about I share two decklists with you. The first is American Control:


Justice League of America

Chandra, Flamecaller
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Jace, Unraveler
Nahiri, The Harbinger
Fiery Impulse
Radiant Flames
Startled Awake
Descend upon the Sinful
Welcome to the Fold
Declaration in Stone
Oath of Jace
Oath of Chandra
26 Lands


The first thing you’ll notice is that I’m very planeswalker heavy. In fact, that’s pretty much how I plan to win with this deck. Overwhelming card advantage is the plan. The other thing you’ll notice is Oath of Chandra. It’s no all-star, I agree, but Oath of Chandra is a concession to that old standby of Week one aggro. I need early game interaction so I can survive until I can slam a planeswalker on turns 4-8. In fact, I may be a little heavy on the removal, but I think that my mid- and end-game plan is solid enough to make up for it. I’ll also admit that the deck is nothing fancy; there’s nothing going on here beyond brute force control. Wipe the board, draw the cards, close out the game. Really that’s what Durdling is all about.


So my next build is a bit of a curve-ball to the classic Esper Control deck. I’m trying a take on Demonic Pact, which sort of acts as Planeswalker 9-12 in this deck. Here’s the list:


Esper Shadow-friends

Ob Nixilis, Reignited
Jace, Unreveler of Secrets
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Angelic Purge
Demonic Pact
Crush of Tentacles
Transgress the Mind
Ultimate Price
Silumgar's Command
Ruinous Path
Oath of Jace
26 Lands


The first thing you’ll notice is that this deck is a little less worried about that “Week one aggro” plan. This will be my fall back deck if the meta looks… more reasonable. Transgress the Mind is one of my favor cards in Standard right now. It’s not only amazing, it also gets Deathmist Raptor out of the picture. While we’re talking about Deathmist Raptor, I want to thank Tony Loman for cluing (Investigate jokes, bro!) me in to Angelic Purge. This is a wonderful addition to the Demonic Pact deck and it has the added bonus of getting rid of something resilient that would otherwise be a real pest for this deck. I opted to forego playing a bunch of three-mana counters in lieu of just having a range of answers and playing to a more “tap out” style of control. Ob Nixilis, Reignited is basically a five-mana Ruinous Path that hopes to live a turn and draw aggro maybe supplementing my life total. I’m pretty excited to play the new Sorin, Grim Nemesis. I haven’t been this excited about a six-mana planeswalker since… never. Jace, Unraveler of Secrets seems like he’ll be worth the cost just to draw a card and draw some aggro. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar will likely win me most of my games, so having extra fodder in the deck to draw my opponent’s focus in so many directions should prove to be kind of useful.


These are “broad strokes” decks right now. I need time to figure out the exact mana bases and tweak the removal and number of threats. Y’know, the stuff that comes with actually playing the deck with opponents.


But here we are, two decks for the new meta. Here’s to the new meta; hopefully everyone will try to not just play every color at the same time.

Zac Clark is the Founder of Hipsters of the Coast. An avid gamer since his early teens, Zac can often be found in Brooklyn either playing games or taking photos. When he’s not drawing extra cards, wrathing boards and countering spells, he’s taking pictures of other peoples good times and listening to 90’s Music.

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