It’s the year 2020 and we are on the plane of Theros. The world of Akroans, Gods, and Temples now brings Titans who have escaped the underworld. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is making a name for itself in Standard. The Star City Games tour heads to Philadelphia this weekend, and I’ve been given the Standard seat for the event. I’m going to be escaping some Uros this weekend.

Standard Bant Midrange

Creatures (25)
Paradise Druid
Brazen Borrower
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Questing Beast
Dream Trawler
Hydroid Krasis
Cavalier of Thorns
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves

Planeswalkers (7)
Teferi, Time Raveler
Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Spells (3)
Growth Spiral
Time Wipe
Lands (25)
Breeding Pool
Temple of Mystery
Hallowed Fountain
Temple Garden
Temple of Plenty
Temple of Enlightenment
Castle Vantress

Sideboard (15)
Knight of Autumn
Thryx, the Sudden Storm
Mystical Dispute
Deputy of Detention
Disdainful Stroke
Elspeth Conquers Death
Time Wipe

Wizards of the Coast keeps printing great Green cards, and Theros Beyond Death continues that trend. When I first saw Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, I knew it would end up in my decks. Standard already has a good Simic shell built around Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Questing Beast, and Hydroid Krasis. Cavalier of Thorns joins the team to help fuel Uro. Cavalier is already a good rate for five mana by itself, but it also fuel the escape on Uro every time.

The deck could stay in Simic colors and dedicate to Elementals, but the value engine of the deck invites splashing a third color. I think white brings the most to the table. Teferi, Time Raveler turns the tempo game in your favor. Time Wipe is a good catch-all against all the other Simic decks that may be floating around. The last addition in the main I wanted was Dream Trawler. Red is expected to do well, so a life linker with hexproof is a good way to brick wall them.

Why Play Bant?

Why do I think this deck is good? you may ask? First off, this deck screams my name—it’s exactly the style of Magic I want to play. You’re playing the best Bant rares and mythics in the format, and that’s a good combination the way they’ve been printing cards in those colors lately. I like to build my Standard decks to ooze value, and this one surely does. Almost every card in this deck gives you some form of value or a significant advantage that plays well with each other.

Another of my favorite deck traits is adaptibility. I love how well Bant can transition right now. If you need to beat down, cards like Questing Beast, Nissa, Who Shakes the World, and Brazen Borrower do that wel. When you need to be more reactive and grind them out of the game, Hydroid Krasis and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath take over the game.

White adds premier interaction with cards like Time Wipe, Elspeth Conquers Death, and Deputy of Detention. Against the new Azorius decks, you shut them down with Teferi, Time Raveler, Thryx, the Sudden Storm, and six counterspells to fight that batttle. That flexibility helped me decide this was what I wanted to register for SCG Philly.

The Standard Metagame

After Richmond last week the metagame offers three main decks. Azorius Control has been rising in popularity and for good reason, it’s a good choice right now in Standard. New additions include two cheap enchantments that help smooth their draws, a four-mana wrath, and a good finisher. Corey Baumeister and his team won with Azorius Control and it looked tough to beat. Bant has the tools to beat Azorius after sideboarding, but they do have an advantage in game one.

The next big deck is Mono Red deck, from Tania Russell and Evan Whitehouse. I’ve faced that deck often on the Arena ladder. Mono Red is always scary because of its speed, but Bant can shut them down pretty well. With four copies of Uro and Hydrois Krasis, two Dream Trawlers, and Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves you have enough life gain to stay afloat. Questing Beast also helps by being big, and Petty Theft can prevent Embercleave combo kills. Beating Mono Red is one of the reasons I like Bant.

The third big Standard deck I expect to see in Philly is Temur Reclamation, which is a matchup I’ve enjoyed playing against while laddering. Wilderness Reclamation can win out of nowhere, burt Bant can outposition them with careful play. You can either shut down the Wilderness Reclamaiton nonsense with Teferi, Tiime Raveler, or bounce it back to their hand with Petty Theft. After sideboarding the matchup becomes even more fun, in my opinion—midrange dancing around the combo deck.

I’m looking forward to playing Bant Midrange with William Courson and Zac Hill! Are you going to Philly? Who’s your squad and what’s your seat?

Zack a veteran grinder at this point plays most of his magic online nowadays. That doesn’t mean you won’t find him occasionally slinging spells at an Open or Grand Prix. Catch him streaming on Twitch to find where he’s at with all the formats.

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