mtgUK Standard Deckbuilding Competition: The Results! by Christopher Cooper

mtgUK Standard Deckbuilding Competition: The Results! by Christopher Cooper

A little over a month ago I put it to you, my readers, to come up with some Standard decks.

They had to be cheap.

They had to be good.

They had to be interesting and original.

And you did not disappoint!

When the dust had finally settled and all the decks had been counted we ended up receiving a total of 66 entries, so a huge thank you goes out to everybody who entered a deck into the contest.

We decided to split the decks into different archetypes, and then pick the winner based from those “best of the bunch” decks. Each of these decks would be rated according to its style, control, damage and aggression, each out of ten according to our three judges.

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard banner

Our runners up included (in no particular order):

Ross Oliver – Mono-Red Goblins

Alex Telford – Red/Black Aggro-sac

David Hughman – Mono-white Life Gain Combo

Lee Coetsee – Token Burn

Jamie Williams – Blue/White Control

William Masters – Blue/White Quiet Contemplation Control with transformational sideboard

Mark Lingelbach – Tales of the Bard

Two of our favourite decks among these were the last two (Mark Lingelbach’s and William Masters),  due to their uniqueness amongst the other entries, which was something we really wanted to encourage for the competition. It made the decks stand out amongst other more “cut and paste” type lists as they showed imagination and inventiveness to squeeze their decks in well under budget. Due to their more unique nature, we’ve also included the lists for these two decks and a little bit about them too.


Tales of the Bard

[deck]1 Agent of Horizons
1 Arbiter of the Ideal
1 Archetype of Endurance
1 Archetype of Imagination
2 Elvish Mystic
1 Fleetfeather Cockatrice
1 Garruk’s Packleader
3 Hunter’s Ambush
1 Hydra Broodmaster
1 Jalira, Master Polymorphist
2 Kiora’s Follower
2 Kruphix, God of Horizons
4 Market Festival
3 Mortal’s Resolve
2 Paragon of Eternal Wilds
2 Pheres-Band Tromper
4 Prophet of Kruphix
4 Ranger’s Guile
1 Reverent Hunter
1 Sagu Mauler
1 Siren of the Fanged Coast
1 Stormtide Leviathan
1 Tromokratis
4 Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
12 Forest
6 Island[/deck]


[deck]1 Arbor Colossus
2 Dragon Throne of Tarkir
2 Elvish Mystic
1 Heroes’ Bane
2 Kiora’s Follower
1 Nessian Wilds Ravager
1 Terra Stomper
1 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Voyage’s End[/deck]

This deck is about getting creatures on the battlefield without actually casting them.

An ideal play would be:

Turn 1: [card]Forest[/card] into [card]Elvish Mystic[/card].
Turn 2: [card]Island[/card] into [card]Kiora’s Follower[/card].
Turn 3: Play a [card]Forest[/card], tap [card]Elvish Mystic[/card] and all lands to cast [card]Market Festival[/card] on a land. Then the [card]Kiora’s Follower[/card] untaps that land to play [card]Yisan, the Wanderer Bard[/card]. From there he is able to put out creatures while other spells keep him alive. The goal is to get him and the [card]Prophet of Kruphix[/card] out to have creatures coming out on your turn AND the opponents turn. With [card]Kiora’s Follower[/card], that is twice per turn per person.

The judges really liked this deck due to its toolbox nature and the way it can really generate value very quickly with Yisan out. However, it does have a few notable omissions which stopped it getting a higher score which it could well have included due to the fact that it came in incredibly far under budget at only just over £60!

We felt that the deck could have done with a little more attention to the manabase, as just having basic lands can leave us colour screwed a little too often and a few copies of [card]Chord of Calling[/card] would go a long way to making sure we have access to Yisan more often, as well as allowing us more access to the toolbox when we need to. However, we were very impressed by the deck nonetheless.


Blue/White Quiet Contemplation Control with transformational sideboard

[deck]4 End Hostilities
4 Quiet Contemplation
3 Banishing Light
4 Dig Through Time
2 Negate
3 Dissolve
1 Aetherspouts
2 Last Breath
2 Pearl Lake Ancient
2 Crippling Chill
2 Reprisal
4 Defiant Strike
1 Pillar of Light
5 Plains
9 Island
2 Radiant Fountain
4 Tranquil Cove
4 Temple of Enlightenment
2 Evolving Wilds[/deck]


[deck]2 Negate
4 Seeker of the Way
1 Erase
4 Chasm Skulker
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Resolute Archangel
2 Phyrexian Revoker[/deck]

So I read your article today and thought I’d pull together a list which I’d been brewing, and see if I could make the build cheaply. As it turns out, I could make it come in under the budget with £0.32 to spare, and without cutting the most important, expensive card, [card]Dig Through Time[/card].

The deck is a Blue/White control list with [card]Pearl Lake Ancient[/card] (a conveniently cheap mythic) as the win condition. The innovation is [card]Quiet Contemplation[/card] in the list, which (hopefully) puts our opponent in a position where they need to over commit to the board to get through that, before we use [card]End Hostilities[/card] to punish them for it.

With [card]Quiet Contemplation[/card] we might want to play a card at our opponents beginning of combat step, so we’re quite loaded with proactive instants, so we have [card]Last Breath[/card], [card]Crippling Chill[/card], [card]Reprisal[/card] and [card]Pillar of Light[/card], and the best of the lot – [card]Defiant Strike[/card]. A one-mana instant that draws a card is exactly what we want. Topping that off with [card]Dig Through Time[/card], which we should often be able to use very cheaply, and we have plenty of instant speed options.

The sideboard is designed to be transformational – largely because in a control mirror I want to board out 16 cards, so I wanted plenty of options I could board in to. I’m sure it could use some play-testing and tuning but I think it looks fun, and with some potential.

Now, the reason that we loved this deck was the fact that William had considered the limitations of his deck and had a plan to play around it. He has built a deck that can play well against the aggressive and midrange decks of the format, but that in a control mirror where he feels that the budgetary constraints of the deck will cause his cards to be outclassed he has an innovative sideboard plan that will allow him to compete in these games.

He has also managed to squeeze in all the elements a good control deck needs. A stable manabase that gives him extra value, some strong mass removal, some good spot removal and some game winning, difficult to kill threats. But despite all of this, the deck was still missing something. Something some people would define as an “X-factor”.


And the winner is…!

Which leads us nicely on to our winner, in a way that will become very apparent. This deck definitely has an “X-factor”. It really caught the imagination of us all, with its great mix of control elements, light ramp, hard to remove win conditions and very strong manabase. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Ashiok’s Golden Egg by Matthew Lingelbach

[deck]1 Forest
3 Island
4 Jungle Hollow
4 Opulent Palace
5 Swamp
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Temple of Mystery
2 Dictate of Karametra
2 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
2 Bile Blight
3 Disdainful Stroke
3 Dissolve
3 Murderous Cut
2 Negate
3 Sultai Charm
2 In Garruk’s Wake
2 Treasure Cruise
2 Villainous Wealth
3 Courser of Kruphix
2 Sagu Mauler
4 Sylvan Caryatid[/deck]


[deck]2 AEtherspouts
3 Despise
2 Drown in Sorrow
4 Embodiment of Spring
2 Mistcutter Hydra
2 Silence the Believers[/deck]

I began playing Magic with a group of guys at work during lunch. There, I usually play fast/aggressive decks – my current being a Red/White Heroic deck. I also always gravitate towards red and/or white. I wanted to do something different, something new. For that reason, I started looking into blue and black to take me out of my comfort zone. I wanted something very control oriented with a big finish, and I think that is exactly what [card]Villainous Wealth[/card] provides.

To start off, you just want to focus on keeping your opponent down. Destroy or counter anything he puts out. Your goal here is to build up as much mana as you can and flash out a [card]Dictate of Karametra[/card] right into a massive [card]Villainous Wealth[/card]. The worst case scenario of casting a [card]Villainous Wealth[/card] for X of about 5 will most of the time be worth it.

The way I see it, the better your opponent’s deck is, the better your deck will be. Both Ashiok and [card]Villainous Wealth[/card] enable you to win by using your opponent’s deck against them.

In the main deck, I like to use basic destroy spells. These will work against most decks that only use a few choice creature threats. [card]Bile Blight[/card] and the sideboard [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card]s are very nice for token/creature heavy decks. The counter spells pretty much speak for themselves and are a must have in this deck.

[card]Sultai Charm[/card] is a very universal card. You can use any of its abilities to benefit this deck. [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] (poor man’s [card]Dig Through Time[/card]) gets very easy to cast with all of the destroy and counter spells you will be putting in the graveyard. Once you get late game, you can cast it easily with dictate.

If you get into a bad spot, you can always [card]Dictate of Karametra[/card] into an [card]In Garruk’s Wake[/card] instead. The [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] and [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]s are just amazing for ramping. I also put [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card] on the sideboard. If you find the match going very long, having another X cost card that can take advantage of Dictate is very nice. It has haste and can’t be countered. Even with 5 mana, you can flash out a Dictate and have a hasted 9/9 Hydra swinging the next turn.

Most [card]Villainous Wealth[/card] decks I have seen rely on [card]Villainous Wealth[/card] to be the win condition. I feel like this version provides a little more flexibility.

I hope you’ll agree that a deck like this is rather a thing of beauty, able to control the board and before eventually swinging in with its big haymakers. This deck scored highly across the style, control and damage categories as it is able to lock down the board well, and take over the game with incredibly swing games with huge amounts of damage outputs.

Thank you once again for all of your entries, it’s been a huge privilege for me to go through them and pick my favourites. I’ve tried to go through and represent a wide range of archetypes, which wasn’t particularly difficult because there were just so many different types of decks. Standard is a wide open environment right now and this competition has really displayed that.

Join me again soon as I’ll be back to exploring a different format and looking forward to Christmas.



We decided that we couldn’t just let you see these deck names above without a list, so included below are all of the rest of the top 8 lists.

Mono-red Goblins by Ross Oliver

[deck]4 Obelisk of Urd
3 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Frenzied Goblin
4 Goblin Kaboomist
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Circle of Flame
4 Dragon Mantle
3 Hammerhand
3 Stoke the Flames
4 Hordeling Outburst
3 Twinflame
20 Mountain[/deck]


[deck]4 Titans Strength
3 Searing Blood
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet[/deck]

Red/Black Aggro-sac by Alex Telford

[deck]3 Ashcloud Phoenix
4 Bloodsoaked Champion
2 Brain Maggot
4 Generator Servant
4 Grim Haruspex
2 Master of the Feast
2 Mogis’s Marauder
2 Mogis, God of Slaughter
4 Tymaret, the Murder King
3 Underworld Cerberus
1 Dictate of Erebos
4 Lightning Strike
3 Magma Jet
4 Temple of Malice
4 Bloodfell Caves
8 Swamp
6 Mountain[/deck]


[deck]3 Act of Treason
2 Murderous Cut
3 Bile Blight
1 Torch Fiend
4 Despise
1 Whip of Erebos
1 Hammer of Purphoros[/deck]

Mono-white Life Gain Combo by David Hughman

[deck]18 Plains
4 Radiant Fountain
4 Ajani’s Pridemate
4 Hopeful Eidolon
4 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Soulmender
4 Sungrace Pegasus
4 Watcher of the Roost
4 Wingmate Roc
2 Mortal’s Ardour
4 Staff of the Sun Magus
4 Sunbond[/deck]


[deck]3 Congregate
3 Feat of Resistance
3 Kill shot
4 Mass Calcify
2 Plains[/deck]

Token Burn by Lee Coetsee

[deck]4 Purphoros, God of the Forge
4 Spear of Heliod
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Triplicate Spirits
4 Mardu Charm
3 Chained to the Rocks
2 Launch the Fleet
2 Murderous Cut
3 Tormenting Voice
2 Butcher of the Horde
4 Swamp
6 Plains
6 Mountain
2 Scoured Barrens
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 Wind-Scarred Crag[/deck


[deck]2 Lightning Strike
1 Tormenting Voice
1 Magma Jet
2 Launch the Fleet
2 Read the Bones
3 Ponyback Brigade
2 Despise
1 Crackling Doom
1 Dead Drop[/deck]

Blue/White Control by Jamie Williams

[deck]3 banishing light
3 Devouring Light
3 Disdainful Stroke
4 Dissolve
2 Divination
3 End Hostilities
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Jace’s Ingenuity
2 Last Breath
2 Negate
1 Pearl Lake Ancient
3 Prognostic Sphinx
3 Radiant Fountain
1 Resolute Archangel
4 Tranquil Cove
2 Treasure Cruise
2 Voyage’s End[/deck]


[deck]2 Aetherspouts
2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Erase
1 Fated Retribution
2 Last Breath
2 Negate
3 Nyx-Fleece Ram
1 Resolute Archangel[/deck]


Community Question: Would you like to see Pyroclasm reprinted in Fate Reforged? Should it be reprinted?

Would you like to see Pyroclasm reprinted in Fate Reforged

Christopher Cooper

Please let us know what you think below...

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