After being gifted a fully-stocked MTG Arena account from Wizards (thanks again!) for the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths preview event, I was able to dive right into the new Standard format a day before its release. Over the last two days, I have tried Tribal Companion decks, Temur busted enchantments, and a flurry of flying sharks to attack the opponent for lethal.

Here are my favorites and what I think will be mainstays in Standard going forward.


Companions are fine!

Yup, you heard it here first. I know there was a lot of fear that Companions will be tough on Constructed formats and potentially ruin them. Now I know it was a small sample size and people were trying more fun decks to showcase the cards but even when it was at its best the “extra card” didn’t seem broken. I played with Kaheera, the Orphanguard and had a Gruul beast-centric deck in the works. Even as an anthem effect it didn’t do much to harm the integrity of the game.

Having a Companion can also be a disadvantage more often than most people think. When I played against Mono-Red that had Obosh, the Preypiercer, I knew that my opponent only had odd CMC spells in their deck, so I knew there were a few things I didn’t need to worry about. In this case, I knew they didn’t have Runaway Steam-Kin or Embercleave and was able to leverage my removal accordingly.

tl;dr: Companions are okay and here to stay.

Song of Creation

When I was scanning Google for some cool Ikoria decks to play on stream and saw Gerry T’s Temur Elemental list and it looked really fun.

Standard Temur Elementals

Creatures (23)
Arboreal Grazer
Cavalier of Flame
Risen Reef
Omnath, Locus of the Roil
Leafkin Druid
Brazen Borrower
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Yidaro, Wandering Monster

Spells (7)
Growth Spiral
Aether Gust

Enchantments (4)
Song of Creation
Lands (26)
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Breeding Pool
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Mystery
Temple of Epiphany
Fabled Passage

Sideboard (15)
Aether Gust
Healer of the Glade
Mystical Dispute
Robber of the Rich
Redcap Melee

And, in fact, this deck was loads of fun. More importantly it really showed off some new cards but mainly how good Song of Creation is.

Using the Elemental shell really helped you use Song fully. With cards like Risen Reef you were able to get a bunch of lands out, you can play four, five, even six spells a turn when you keep drawing a bunch of cards. Gerry even took advantage of the discard aspect of Song of Creation with Jumpstart and Escape cards that didn’t mind being in the graveyard. Cards like that can really neuter the downside of discarding your hands.

I’m not sure if this is the optimal build to fully take advantage of this powerful enchantment but I know I will be looking into trying it out some more.

Rielle, the Everwise

I wrote about this card last week so I was definitely interested in trying it out ASAP.

Standard Izset Rielle, the Everwise

Planeswalkers (3)
Ral, Storm Conduit

Creatures (4)
Rielle, the Everwise

Spells (24)
Channeled Force
Aether Gust
Mystical Dispute
Expansion // Explosion
Thirst for Meaning
Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor

Enchantments (4)
Shark Typhoon
Lands (25)
Fabled Passage
Temple of Epiphany
Steam Vents

This list was submitted by my buddy, John Ramos, and it really showcased the power of Rielle, the Everwise.

First off, I would love to say it was loads of fun killing opponents with flying sharks. Shark Typhoon is a card that works well if you draw it late with a handful of gas or early and have one jammed in your hand. Having Cycling also really helps out with Rielle allowing you to draw two for it.

Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor was surprisingly a really efficient removal spell for what it is. While Scorching Dragonfire is better in the first couple of turns, Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor becomes a Terminate in the later turns. The fact that it hits walkers and has an exile clause for pesky Escape cards or Red demigods gives it a lot of play.

While I would love to see some shells combining Rielle and Arclight Phoenix, this one was loads of fun to start off with.

What are you planning on jamming in standard now that Ikoria is out? What are you guys crafting first to secure your Arena collection?

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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