The Bane of Standard?

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The letter I!t should be no surprise that Ali Aintrazi came up with another wacky five-color deck. As always, Ali's deck tries to "go over the top" of most decks in the format, which gives him a much superior late game.

In this case, Ali's deck abuses Axebane Guardian in combination with Sylvan Caryatid to generate a lot of colored mana very quickly. That mana tends to turn into huge spells, like Angel of Serenity, Sylvan Primordial, Sphinx's Revelation, and Rakdos's Return. In the meantime, it stalls with "normal" spells like Jace, Architect of Thought; Mizzium Mortars; and Supreme Verdict.

At the StarCityGames Open in Orlando, David McDarby bravely chose to run Ali's brew. He was 5–1 before the wheels fell off. Apparently the deck has a reasonable matchup against Mono-Black Devotion, in no small part due to Blood Baron of Vizkopa. Normally, that would just be Devour Fleshed, but Ali's deck has sacrificial fodder with his mana walls and Thoughtseizes in his sideboard.

If you want to go big without using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Axebane Guardian is probably the best way to do it.

Gerry Thompson
Gerry Thompson
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Gerry Thompson is a former professional Magic player and strategy writer, whose career highlights includes a Top 8 at Pro Tour Gatecrash and two Grand Prix wins in Denver and Nashville. He's currently a development intern for Wizards of the Coast.

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