War of the Spark is finally here, and this weekend the SCG Tour stops in sunny Richmond Virginia for week one Standard! I’ve always dreaded week one Standard events since I’m much more of a deck tuner than a deck builder, and this weekend is no different. To pair well with not being a poor deck builder, I’m not too swell at evaluating new cards either; you think those two may be connected?

As you might imagine these things leads to me not being all that attached to any one deck or archetype. That’s led me to a wide range of decks right now. I thought I’d share the decks that I’ve been working on and considering for this weekend.

Simic Nexus

Spells (35)
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Wilderness Reclamation
Search for Azcanta
Nexus of Fate
Chemister’s Insight
Growth Spiral
Root Snare
Blink of an Eye
Callous Dismissal
Sinister Sabotage
Lands (25)
Breeding Pool
Hinterland Harbor
Blast Zone
Memorial to Genius

Let’s start out with public enemy number one. Nexus decks have often been talked up to be these broken decks. People claim that something needs to be banned either because the deck is too powerful or because the gameplay is not fun. I’m almost always in the camp of avoiding bannings at all costs, but this archetype may make a good case. War of the Spark provided a few cards that could make the deck even better: Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, Blast Zone, and Callous Dismissal.

Tamiyo gives the deck another engine piece so that you don’t have to rely on Search for Azcanta to do all the heavy lifting while you’re comboing off. I’ve also been very impressed by the number of times I’ve locked out my aggro opponent by returning a Root Snare for multiple turns until I was able to combo.

Blast Zone is a sweeper in Simic that’s also an easy-to-include colorless utility land for a two-color deck. Thanks to Wilderness Reclamation, you can even destroy higher mana cost permanents the turn you play the Blast Zone!

Callous Dismissal seems to be an odd inclusion when you’re first glancing over the decklist, but it actually plays the most important role of all: winning the game. You’ll notice there are actually no other ways to win in the above list; this is because Callous Dismissal is all you need. Thanks to Tamiyo milling you everytime you plus her, you actually reach a deterministic infinite turns combo much sooner than before. Once you have infinite turns you can keep minusing to get back Dismissal to bounce all your opponents nonland permanents while growing your army each time you do.

Boros Heroic

Creatures (18)
Adanto Vanguard
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Tenth District Legionnaire
Feather, the Redeemed
Krenko, Tin Street Kinpin

Spells (20)
Reckless Rage
Defiant Strike
Gird for Battle
Sheltering Light
Lands (22)
Sacred Foundry
Clifftop Retreat
Boros Guildgate

This heroic deck struggles to get its footing in a game, but once you’re there your engine does some really powerful things. You can apply a hefty amount of pressure when you need to. Gird for Battle was the card I think most people missed in the initial builds, but it drastically increases the power level and consistency of the deck.

Of the decks in this article, this is the one I’m least likely to register. But it is extremely competitive and a blast to play! One interaction to keep in mind if you pick this deck up is that spells that are cast with Dreadhorde Arcanist will return to your hand at the next end step if they triggered your Feather, the Redeemed.

Simic Stompy

Creatures (36)
Llanowar Elves
Pelt Collector
Departed Deckhand
Kraul Harpooner
Thorn Lieutenant
Merfolk Branchwalker
Steel Leaf Champion
Thrashing Brontodon
Nullhide Ferox
Frilled Mystic
God-Eternal Rhonas
Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Spells (2)
Spell Pierce
Lands (22)
Breeding Pool
Hinterland Harbor
Unclaimed Territory
Simic Guildgate

Who doesn’t love smashing face with some big green creatures every now and then? I’m sure you all are aware of my affinity for mediocre blue decks, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a good stompy deck.

If your goal is to beat the infamous Nexus decks this weekend, this is certainly the deck for you! You’ve got excellent pressure backed up by countermagic, which is always a recipe for success against combo in any format.

Sultai Midrange

Creatures (23)
Llanowar Elves
Merfolk Branchwalker
Wildgrowth Walker
Jadelight Ranger
Hydroid Krasis
Hostage Taker

Spells (13)
Vivien Reid
Find // Finality
Cast Down
Assassin’s Trophy
Vraska’s Contempt
Lands (24)
Breeding Pool
Overgrown Tomb
Drowned Catacomb
Watery Grave
Woodland Cemetery
Hinterland Harbor
Memorial to Folly

I know, I know, boring old Sultai—and I don’t even have any new cards! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Boring old Sultai is my fallback for this weekend for if I can’t figure out a winning configuration for anything else.

It may not be exciting, but Wildgrowth Walker paired with some explore creatures will still beat a large swath of decks in the new format. You will be signing up to be a dog to the dreaded Nexus menace though. In line with my plan of being a “safe” default deck, I’ve maxed out on Find // Finality and Hydroid Krasis to give me that additional flexibility in game.

Izzet Drakes

Creatures (10)
Enigma Drake
Crackling Drake
Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Spells (30)
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Search for Azcanta
Chart a Course
Lava Coil
Discovery // Dispersal
Beacon Bolt
Spell Pierce
Lands (20)
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Blood Crypt

Don’t worry, I’d never pass up the opportunity to give you a mediocre blue deck. And oh my, is this as mediocre as they come! I really don’t know what happened, it’s like the world kept moving and Izzet Drakes stayed right where it’s always been. Don’t get me wrong, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer has given you some new blood, but all the fundamental issues this archetype has always had are still there while all the other decks get leaner and meaner with each new set. All that being said, it’s hard for me to fight off the siren call of Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Crackling Drake, and there is always a decent chance I pull the trigger on ol’ not so faithful.

So these are the five decks I’m considering for the weekend. Any thoughts on which I should play? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know which you think I should play! If you’re at the Open this weekend, feel free to come say hey or mock me for always playing mediocre decks. If you’re staying home to watch the action on Twitch, I hope you’ll be rooting for me and the rest of Team Nova!

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.