Now that it has been a month since Ikoria hit the virtual streets, we can see how the set is influencing metagames across Constructed formats. Companions have been the most-hyped powerhouses so far, seeming to take over formats like Legacy. (That’s always a good sign!) But I want to focus on one companion in particular, Yorion, Sky Nomad.

Yorion has been proving itself as the best companion in Standard. That’s not too hard to believe given the many powerful blue and white cards in the format defined by Teferi, Time Raveler. You do have to play 80 cards in your main deck, however. Thanks to the online-only release of Ikoria so far, nobody’s had to shuffle 80 paper cards together round after round of a major Standard tournament. And yet, shuffling a big deck might be the only real limitation on playing Yorion as your companion, because it sure isn’t hard to fill up a Standard deck right now.

Two main variants of Yorion have been showing success in Standard. Bant decks of both ramp and midrange persuasions have adopted Yorion, and so has the Polymoph-style combo deck featuring Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast and Agent of Treachery. Let’s start with Bant.

Yorion in Bant

This should come as no surprise, but I have been playing a lot of Bant Ramp lately on Arena. Here’s my list:

Bant Yorion Ramp

Creatures (14)
Arboreal Grazer
Knight of Autumn
Cavalier of Thorns
Hydroid Krasis
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Planeswalkers (9)
Teferi, Time Raveler
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

Spells (20)
Growth Spiral
Omen of the Hunt
Omen of the Sea
Shatter the Sky
Elspeth Conquers Death
Lands (37)
Breeding Pool
Fabled Passage
Hallowed Fountain
Temple Garden
Temple of Enlightenment
Temple of Mystery
Temple of Plenty
Zagoth Triome

Sideboard (15)
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Aether Gust
Dovin’s Veto
Mystical Dispute
Time Wipe
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves

I’ve found a nice groove in Standard with this deck. There’s a lot going on, as you’d expect with twenty extra cards in the deck. I love that the extra slots make room for plenty of utility creatures without having to cut down on board wipes, and you can fit in some extra lifegain to stand up to aggressive decks.

The Omens are a good way to get a bunch of value and churn through your deck. That is pretty important for these 80-card decks, so that you can find the spells and colors of mana you need to cast them. My favorite part of playing so many Omens is all the value you can get from them later. Paying three leftover mana to scry 2 is always nice, but leaving them on board means you can flicker and reset all your Omens with Yorion.

Knight of Autumn, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and Cavalier of Thorns provide all sorts of value that will help pull you ahead at any point in the game. Flickering cards like Knight of Autumn is particularly nice with all the options available on the enter the battlefield ability itself.

Of course if you want real value off flickering permanents, I recommend planeswalkers. This deck has plenty, allowing you to fire off their minus abilities before resetting loyalty with Yorion. Being able to bounce Yorion with Teferi to draw a card and flicker your battlefield every turn is strong. You can often lock out the game from that position.

Yorion with Lukka

If you’d rather steal all the permanents with the latest Polymorph-style combo deck, check out this list. While I haven’t played with it myself, I’ve faced off against it many times.

Yorion X Lukka

Creatures (4)
Agent of Treachery

Planeswalkers (13)
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis

Spells (27)
Fires of Invention
Omen of the Sea
Omen of the Sun
The Birth of Meletis
Shark Typhoon
Shatter the Sky
Elspeth Conquers Death
Lands (36)
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Hallowed Fountain
Raugrin Triome
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Temple of Epiphany

Sideboard (15)
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Aether Gust
Deafening Clarion
Dream Trawler
Mystical Dispute
Omen of the Forge

The gameplan here is simple. Generate token creatures from enchantments like Birth of Meletis, Omen of the Sun, and Shark Typhoon. Activate the -2 ability of Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, exile a token, and flip through your library to find the only creature card in your deck: Agent of Treachery. Now you control an opposing permanent too! Then you drop Yorion to reset your value permanents to rinse and repeat, taking more from your opponent’s board.

The cool part about this version is that it plays Fires of Invention. Yorion does a neat trick with Fires: once you play your two free spells, flicker the Fires of Invention until end of turn with Yorion and proceed to cast more spells. And with four different planeswalkers running around the deck, you can outgrind opponents basically forever. This archetype is very powerful. If you don’t want to play Bant ramp, I recommend Yorion X Lukka.

How does it feel playing so many 80-card Standard decks? Which variant attracts you the most?

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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