Standard: Bants Lands
So this week I had a super spicy brew for you, but then M19 and Reliquary Tower got spoiled and that got put on hold. So instead, I have the biggest pile of do nothing you’ve ever seen: Bant Lands.
Hour of Promise makes this deck work. It's just so ridiculously good in here. This entire deck revolves around utility lands, and this card allows us to get the best one in every situation. Additionally, while the Zombie Tokens may not seem like much, they do give an amazing amount of value. On most board states a 2/2 is enough to stop most threats attacking. That may seem surprising, but if your incidental token trades off for anything that’s straight card advantage. And that's effectively how the rest of the deck plays out, forcing your opponents into trading cards for basically nothing.
These two cards form our engine. Ramunap Excavator lets us get our sacrificed lands back… so we can sacrifice them again, and Wayward Swordtooth means we can do that multiple times a turn. There’s a reason these utility lands make you sacrifice them, and when you effectively don’t have to you begin to break them. It also helps that these two can also beat down, providing us with the first of a few win cons.
Ipnu Rivulet is the card that made me build this deck. Milling your opponent out is a real thing, and it gets even more real when you can recur your deserts and keep milling.
But the mill alone is not always the right answer. Hence the presence of Cradle of the Accursed and Memorial to Glory. Between these two we can make a swarm of tokens and very quickly find a lethal attack. It's due to these multiple angles of attack that the deck functions so well. There's no easy way to defend against the list once its turned the corner.
These four cards are crucial to us turning the corner. Thaumatic Compass is ok on the front and helps us find our colours in the early game, but once it flips it just locks down the best threat on the other side of the board. Paying two mana for a Maze of Ith is no bad deal.
Seal Away has proven itself in the past weeks as one of the best removal pieces in the format. Exile is extra important right now against red decks. But, something to watch out for is that Heart of Kiran has Vigilance, and thus is not often tapped down.
Settle the Wreckage and Fumigate pull their weight in this deck more than ever. We can stall and force our opponent to commit to the board, thus making our sweepers even better. Finally, Ixalan’s Binding, is a great piece of removal but as far as playing it is concerned it should be saved for a centre piece of the opponents deck. Think The Scarab God, Hazoret the Fervent, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.
The Sideboard is tuned to beat control, since we have a lot of dead removal game one, but a small amount of help for aggro should be included anyway.
Of note we have a total of zero copies of Approach of the Second Sun. Initially I had included a couple of copies, but it didn't turn out to be necessary. We don’t struggle to win games, thus Approach is a waste of a slot. We don’t need to close the game quickly.
That’s me for this week, no sideboard. As usual, if you enjoyed the article be sure to share it on Facebook and all the others, but also let the folk at your LGS know. If you want regular updates on my articles be sure to check me out on Facebook right here, and I’ll see you guys next time.