Temur Monsters in Standard… Is It Time? by James Ashall

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Temur Monsters in Standard… Is It Time? by James Ashall

Since the release of Khans Of Tarkir most of us realised that Abzan was an incredibly strong and popular deck. It took over Standard & Modern and still takes a very high percentage of the field in the tournaments that we play in. Now, some of you may well be on the Abzan train, enjoying the deck and posting good results with it. But what about the people who are getting a little fed up with playing against it?

Well, looking at the recent Pro Tour it looks that UB Control’s re-appearance has thrown a spanner in the works, so to say. We first saw the new style of a Control deck back in Khans Of Tarkir – it used Perilous Vault & Pearl Lake Ancient. Dragons Of Tarkir, the third set the in Khans of Tarkir block, has given some great cards that have strengthened both UB and Esper Control. However, Control is not the only way to mess with Abzan. There is another way. We didn’t see it featured at the Pro Tour DTK, but I think it has a strong competitive edge now.  It’s Temur Monsters.

savage knuckleblade

I am going to show you the progression I have made with this deck – from the first decklist using just Khans of Tarkir to my most recent one. I shall explain what I have changed over the 8 months and my reasoning behind the changes.

Deck 1 – Khans Of Tarkir set:

(60)
Elvish Mystic
Heir of the Wilds
Rattleclaw Mystic
Goblin Rabblemaster
Boon Satyr
Savage Knuckleblade
Polukranos, World Eater
Ashcloud Phoenix
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Crater’s Claws
Lightning Strike
Stubborn Denial
Temple of Abandon
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast
Shivan Reef
Mana Confluence
Frontier Bivouac
Mountain
Forest

Sideboard:

(15)
Xenagos, the Reveler
Destructive Revelry
Hunt the Hunter
Stubborn Denial
Disdainful Stroke
Magma Spray
Anger of the Gods

This was the first deck that I started to play, when the new set Khans of Tarkir was released. Of course, one of a few eye-catching cards from the spoiler was Savage Knuckleblade. Though R/U/G casting cost looked a bit prohibitive, it was a 4/4 that offered haste, buff, and bounce. A powerful card – to say the least.

Rattleclaw Mystic was another great utility card for the kind of deck that I was building. It offered me the mana in colours that I needed to make this deck work. Also its morph ability – giving me three mana of each colour when turned face up – made it a card I definitely needed in the deck. Having four copies of them would be ideal.

Ashcloud Phoenix was one of those that I thought was great. The card had a fun little mechanic of ‘instead of dying it comes back as a morph’, so I was able to use it as an effective blocker or my opponent had to use two removal spells to kill it. But looking back on it maybe I could use something better. I found that the card was not as impactful as I had hoped it would be.

Overall, I posted some great FNM results – which included winning a few – so I knew I was on the right track.

Deck 2 – including Fate Reforged set:

(60)
Elvish Mystic
Heir of the Wilds
Rattleclaw Mystic
Goblin Rabblemaster
Boon Satyr
Savage Knuckleblade
Polukranos, World Eater
Stormbreath Dragon
Whisperwood Elemental
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Crater’s Claws
Lightning Strike
Stubborn Denial
Temple of Abandon
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast
Shivan Reef
Mana Confluence
Frontier Bivouac
Mountain
Forest

Sideboard:

(15)
Xenagos, the Reveler
Destructive Revelry
Hunt the Hunter
Stubborn Denial
Disdainful Stroke
Wild Slash
Anger of the Gods

When Fate Reforged was released, there was a few exciting cards in the set. But the one that really stood out and fit incredibly well into this deck was Whisperwood Elemental. My god, this card is just phenomenal, If it stays on the board, it’s a threat that just makes manifest tokens and I feel that this works incredibly well in this deck. With all the cheap costing creatures that are at your disposal, it can really turn the tides in your favour very fast.

Another great card to come out of Fate Reforged was Wild Slash. This was one of those “yes, straight into my sideboard”. With the ferocious mechanic that is on this card to make sure that the damage can not be prevented, it fitted very well into this list – as most of the creatures you have in this deck will are power 4 or greater.

Also I swapped out Ashcloud Phoenix for Stormbreath Dragon. This was mainly due to appearing of Crux of Fate. Since it destroyed Dragons or non-Dragons, it would kill everything on my board or everything except my Dragon. I felt this sweeper would be a popular card and that given the next set was Dragons of Tarkir, I thought it would be a good idea to make the change sooner rather than later. As previously stated before, the Phoenix just was not working the way I had hoped for, so I took the opportunity to change it while I could.

Deck 3 (the current list) – including Dragons Of Tarkir set:

(60)
Elvish Mystic
Heir of the Wilds
Rattleclaw Mystic
Goblin Rabblemaster
Boon Satyr
Savage Knuckleblade
Surrak, the Hunt Caller
Stormbreath Dragon
Whisperwood Elemental
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Crater’s Claws
Lightning Strike
Stubborn Denial
Temple of Abandon
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast
Shivan Reef
Mana Confluence
Frontier Bivouac
Mountain
Forest

Sideboard:

(15)
Xenagos, the Reveler
Destructive Revelry
Display of Dominance
Stubborn Denial
Disdainful Stroke
Wild Slash
Anger of the Gods

This is the third list and the deck I am currently playing in Standard at the moment. Dragons of Tarkir gave it some interesting new cards, to say the least.

Do you think the one that stood out the most to fit into this deck was Sarkhan Unbroken? Well, for me it does not have the potential that the current Sarkhan I am running does. The Dragonspeaker offers a 4/4 flying haste indestructible creature and also deals 4 damage to any creature without hexproof – which I find is more useful that the abilities of the new Sarkhan.

One of the other cards that I’ve put straight into the deck is Surrak, the Hunt Caller instead of Polukranos, World Eater. This guy just fits so well into the deck and it is so easy to get his formidable mechanic working. With all the 4 power guys in the deck  – along with the mana creatures you have from the start – almost every time you are making a 5/4 haste guy for 4 mana and just applying so much pressure onto your opponent.

The other card that I feel is great in my sideboard – considering how popular Abzan and UB Control is – is Display of Dominance. It’s great against all Black removal at the moment, and being able to destroy a Blue or Black non-creature permanent means it’s a great removal spell for things like Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and many other inconveniences in other decks.

I think this is the right time for this Temur deck. If it performs 100 per cent, without mana flooding or mana screw, I feel the deck can win tournaments every week. It’s powerful and holds its own very well in the current Standard meta, thanks to the sideboard.

Feel free to comment your thoughts and opinions, guys. I will do my best to reply to your comments and see if I can answer some questions =)

James Ashall

Twitter – @RiotJames

Community Question: What Blue card do you feel offers a Temur deck the best value?

What Blue card do you feel offers a Temur deck the best value

Please let us know what you think below...

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