April 3, 2018

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Standard Four Colour Tokens

This week I'm bringing you guys my favourite deck of Rivals of Ixalan Standard; Four Colour Tokens.


This deck is looking to survive the early game, make chump blockers to preserve our life total, then generate a massive board state to win the game.

To help us stall in the early game we have Servo Exhibition, Anointer Priest, and Legion's Landing. All three of these are ideal for stopping an early assault, and there's not much more to them than that. If something is attacking for three or more, these tokens will always bite the bullet and jump in front.

The other thing to note here is the incidental life gain that comes as a result of Anointer Priest and the Lifelink on our Vampire tokens. It might not seem like much, but against red aggro it can be game deciding.

This early barrier allows us to get to one of the key stages for the deck, turn five. Once you get to this point, the deck begins to transition from being scarily on the edge of death, to slightly less scary. There are two ways of making this change from being behind, to being at parity.

The best is Fumigate. It's unlikely that our early tokens have actually traded off in combat, instead they probably just chump blocked. This means that come turn five the board state can seem pretty dire, with pretty much all of an opponent's hand on the board at times. Fumigate comes in and cleans that up in a pinch. Sweeping the board and gaining anywhere between three and six life. Initially the deck didn’t have any sweepers in it, and it was awful. Do not cut this spot.

The other way we can get back into the game is with Angel of Invention. Three bodies is already enough to make this card good, but when it pumps the rest of the team it just seems unfair. It's almost always correct to make the tokens, so if you're stuck on what to do, go for that option. When it comes to making blocks though, be aware that a 2/1 Angel dies to pretty much everything, so try to avoid being wiped out by a Magma Spray.

Now that we've survived till turn five, how do we take over the game? Our value engine that's how

These four make up the seemingly endless supply of 1/1 creatures that will close out the game. Between them you can continue to block whatever your opponent plays and start to make a swarm. Eventually you will make a board state large enough to win the game, but often opponents will just scoop when this engine starts running. Plus, with an Anointer Priest on board your precarious life total will be anything but in a few turns. This is what makes the deck tick, and it really is the centre piece. It’s almost like assembling a combo when it happens.

Finally we have our Planeswalkers:

These three really push the deck over the top. Jace, Cunning Castaway helps to make early chump blockers, and can go for some real shenanigans if your opponent can't hit him. The best fun I've had with the deck was an opponent scooping to 32 Jace tokens. Really, what's not to love? Vraska, Relic Seeker provides crucial removal, dealing with this deck's big weakness; Flyers. And as it turns out when half your field has Menace, it's pretty hard to deal with.

Finally, Huatli, Radiant Champion is a card draw engine. Sure her second ability allows for some big swings, but her ultimate is just too easy to achieve, often multiple times. Just be careful you don't mill yourself. It’s surprisingly easy.

As far as the sideboard is concerned, it needs to be a Meta call. The main deck doesn't have much space for sideboard cards, since it's so synergistic. You need to decide what you expect to see at any given tournament and hose that match up. At the moment there is a lot of Red Aggro and UBx control/midrange, so I'd be packing the above.  Between them, UBx and Red Aggro are totally hosed, along with a few pieces for other archetypes. But this sideboard is by no means set in stone, as the meta changes it will have to, more so than in most other decks.

When playing the deck look to push your opponent to make one for one trades and just delay the game. By doing this you have a degree of inevitability in your deck. Create time and the win comes naturally. And try not to be too distracted by the prospect of more Jaces than you can count, no matter how tempting it is.

The Sideboard

This week I want to take a moment to discuss Brawl. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last week or so Brawl is a new, official magic format. You build a 60 card, singleton deck with cards that match your "commander's" colour identity. Except all of those cards must be Standard legal.

I really like this concept. People are calling it Commander-Lite, which is true to an extent, but Brawl seems like an outlet for people to play cards and assemble combos simply not good enough for Standard. I know I'll be building some crazy Combo deck, probably with Paradox Engine, Zacama, Primal Calamity and Panharmonicon. Or maybe I'll play Tezzeret the Schemer, a card I've always loved. Either way this looks like a good laugh, and I'd recommend giving it a go. If you want to read a bit more about this exciting new format I'd highly recommend Andy Hull's article from a few days ago, linked here.

That's me for this week, but be sure to check out my Facebook and follow me on Twitter for regular updates on my articles, and with Dominaria coming up, my personal favourite spoilers. Thanks for reading and I'll see you guys next week.