Monday was banned and restricted announcement day. We knew ahead of time that the hammer was heading to Legacy and Vintage, and indeed it fell. Lurrus of the Dream-Den is gone from those eternal formats—but what about Standard, Pioneer, and Modern? People continue to hope that Wizards will do something to reduce the dominance of Companins in these formats too.

What if you want to move away from building a Companion deck anyway? This week I look at some strong alternatives to play in Standard, Pioneer, and Modern without using a Companion.


Standard has been riddled with Yorions and the Kerugas running around, but I am here to say there’s another solution to playing those cards. What if you curve out with big green creatures and attack?

Mono-Green Stompy

Creatures (28)
Pelt Collector
Barkhide Troll
Growth-Chamber Guardian
Wildborn Preserver
Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
Questing Beast
Stonecoil Serpent

Planeswalkers (5)
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds

Spells (3)
The Great Henge
Lands (24)
Castle Garenbrig
20 Forest

Sideboard (15)
Ram Through
Shifting Ceratops
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Soul-Guide Lantern
Voracious Hydra

This deck is sweet and has game against a lot of the field. Gemrazer is a good threat that does work against Fires of Invention. Having slots like that in the maindeck really helps against all the sagas out there like Elspeth Conquers Death or The Birth of Meletis.

Yorion decks are still going to give you some trouble, but this deck has some good ways to get around their non-sweeper means of removal. Elspeth Conquers Death and Teferi, Time Raveler can struggle against efficient threats that hit the board on the first two turns. Here we have Pelt Collector, Barkhide Troll, Growth-Chamber Guardian, and Wildborn Preserver, plus Stonecoil Serpent has protection from Teferi’s bounce. These creatures all get big thanks to counters and often have trample as well. Sweepers will still hurt, but you put them to the test.

I think this deck is fine and will only get better if/when Companions get kicked out of Standard.


The top six Pioneer decks on MTGGoldfish all have Companions—a lot of Lurrus and Yorion to be exact.  Well I have a treat for you: a non-Companion Pioneer deck! How do you keep up with the power of Companion? Consider this:

Lotus Field by Caleb Scherer

Creatures (12)
Arboreal Grazer
Fae of Wishes
Vizier of Tumbling Sands

Spells (24)
Hidden Strings
Pore Over the Pages
Strategic Planning
Sylvan Scrying
Underworld Breach
Blink of an Eye
Lands (24)
Lotus Field
Thespian’s Stage
Botanical Sanctum
Breeding Pool
Yavimaya Coast
Temple of Mystery
Blast Zone

Sideboard (15)
Blink of an Eye
Underworld Breach
Anger of the Gods
Expansion // Explosion
Hour of Devastation
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Thought Distortion
Tome Scour
Tormod’s Crypt
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Void Snare

Who would have thought the Lotus Field deck would be the good guy? Caleb has been tearing it up online with this deck lately in the challenges and qualifiers. This is an “aggressive” combo deck that can go off quickly, often racing to stay under Yorion decks. Lurrus decks are all burn and creature-based—they don’t have much that interacts with what is going on here. That’s one of the big selling points for Lotus Field: you don’t have to change the list much to compete against Companions.

The basic idea is to repeatedly tap and untap Lotus Fields using cards like Hidden Strings and Vizier of Tumbling Sands while filling your graveyard digging for Underworld Breach to rebuy all your spells. Fae of Wishes can fetch the win condition you need for each particular game, and also gets interaction when you need that.

If you are looking for a combo deck to play in Pioneer, this deck is a good choice. Take some time to balance the metagame against Companions while honing your combo skills. If Companions leave Pioneer, Lotus Field will quickly revert to format bugbear once again.


The Modern metagame continues to shift as old archetypes add Companions and warp around their restrictions. Burn, Jund, Grixis Death’s Shadow, and The Rock all have adapted to playing Lurrus of the Dream-Den. These decks aren’t giving up much to fill the requirements for Lurrus, if anything adding to these decks by generating more advantages for them.

So how do you compete against them? What old archetype hasn’t bothered adding a Companion? What deck does everyone love to hate, especially when they lose to it?

Eldrazi Tron

Creatures (14)
Matter Reshaper
Reality Smasher
Thought-Knot Seer
Walking Ballista

Planeswalkers (6)
Karn, the Great Creator
Ugin, the Ineffable

Spells (16)
All Is Dust
Warping Wail
Chalice of the Void
Expedition Map
Mind Stone
Lands (24)
Eldrazi Temple
Urza’s Mine
Urza’s Power Plant
Urza’s Tower
Blast Zone
Cavern of Souls
Scavenger Grounds
Tectonic Edge

Sideboard (15)
Walking Ballista
All Is Dust
Ensnaring Bridge
Grafdigger’s Cage
Liquimetal Coating
Mystic Forge
Relic of Progenitus
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Sorcerous Spyglass
Spatial Contortion
Tormod’s Crypt
Wurmcoil Engine

This fun old deck is companion-free and can compete against those decks. Lurrus is practically an invitation to play Chalice of the Void. Eldrazi Tron was already statistically favored against decks like Shadow, and I would think that remains true even with Companions in the mix. Tutoring up Blast Zone does nice work here. You know how annoying it is to get hit by Thought-Knot Seer, and how fast Reality Smasher can end games.

Just like Lotus Field Combo, I doubt many people would expect Tron to become part of the good team in Modern. We live in strange times for competitive Magic.And that’s how it is for now. Companions are part of the game in every Constructed format. It is time to choose if you are with them or against them before it is too late!

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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