Here we are again, a new standard format. Omnath, Locus of Creation, Lucky Clover, and Escape of the Wilds were all banned in Standard. At this point, you know how I like to approach new formats by looking at the cards that we know are great. Looking at past results, the cards that I want to start with are Edgewall Innkeeper, Lotus Cobra, and Kroxa, Titan's of Death's Hunger.
No surprises here, a Throne of Eldraine card is the card I want to look at first. For a low investment cost, Edgewall Innkeeper is a powerful card advantage engine that fits great in most two-color aggressive decks. Selesnya, Gruul, and Golgari are the places that I would like to start.
Gruul is the most common of the Adventures aggressive decks. Looking at the Grand Finals, we can see the power of this archetype. Emma Handy and Autumn Burchett put a version of this deck in the Top 8. Due to the bans, I took the liberty to make a couple of changes. The first change I made was to replace the Gemrazers with Questing Beasts. Gemrazer's main role was to destroy opposing Lucky Clovers, and the banning of Lucky Clover left us with not a ton of artifacts or enchantments to destroy. Next, I decided to put the Rimrock Knights back into the deck in order to have a slightly higher adventure count. The last change I made was to add two copies of Chainweb Aracnir over the copies of Stonecoil Serpents. With the removal of Gemrazer, the serpents aren't nearly as effective, and Chainweb Aracnir is fantastic against Dimir Rogues. After Seth Manfield's top 8 finish with Rogues, I expect many people to give it a try in this updated format.
The next Adventures deck I would like to look at is Golgari Adventures. Golgari is a deck that I had some success with in the prior format, and I believe these bans gives it a real chance to shine. I took the time to make an updated list, and I am stoked to get back on ladder to see what this deck has to offer.
The biggest change I made to the deck is that I slanted it to be more aggressive. With Uro and Omnath being remove from the format, I think we can afford to be less interactive and more aggressive. The card I want to make the most of in this list is The Great Henge. The Great Henge is a "great" engine and with the removal of Lucky Clover there should be less main deck artifact removal. With that in consideration, I wanted ways to get The Great Henge out even faster. The first addition I made with this in mind is additional copies of Skyclave Shade. Skyclave Shade isn't the biggest creature on the surface, but we want an aggressive two-drop. The odds are that our two-drop dies at some point and we can cast it with kicker later in the game for a 5 power beater that greatly reduces The Great Henge's mana cost. Kazandu Mammoth was my next inclusion due to its ability to have 7 power if I have Fabled Passage. Kazandu Mammoth is awesome with The Great Henge just like it is with Embercleave. The last change I made was to cut a copy of Scavenging Ooze; I made this cut due to the removal of Uro from the format. Ooze is still great, and I would never play less than two in the main deck. My sideboard changes are limited, but I did add Witch's Vengeance to the mix for the Rogues matchup. It's currently just an experiment, so let me know how it works out for you.
Selesnya Adventures is our last Adventures deck. Selesnya by far has the most playable Adventure creatures, so I think its worth taking a look at.
Back when this deck was popular for a brief moment, Venerated Loxodon was legal, so you could make use of all your small bodies. My original thought with this list was to use Glorious Anthem in that spot. Sadly, I noticed after making the list that Lovestruck Beast and Glorious Anthem are not very good with each other. For this reason, I'm the lowest on this version of adventures, but there might be just enough to make it work.
Lotus Cobra wasn't the reason that various ramp decks were winning in previous standard, but it did help to create a ton of mana. With lands like Fabled Passage and Evolving wilds, there are a ton of easy ways to take advantage of the Cobra's mana ability. Looking deeper, we have cards like Cultivate and Migratory Greathorn that can help us play multiple lands in the same turn. Not to mentioned, Lotus Cobra is a great enabler in decks that are trying to play 3 colors. For example, let's look at Naya Winota.
Winota hasn't been a huge player in Standard since Agent of Treachery got the hammer, but it is still a very powerful creature. Winota cheats mana like nothing else in the format, and Lotus Cobra quickens this process. Lotus Cobra acts as bridge from two mana to four mana, and it also attacks while producing that mana. Let's map out what we expect our curve to be in this deck. Turn one Selfless Savior, Turn two Lotus Cobra, and turn three Winota. Then we get to take our combat step and get two Winota triggers, which will probably put the opponent too far behind to come back. This deck wasn't relevant in previous standard due to combat not being an important part of the format. With the new changes, I expect combat to be important, and this deck to become a role player in that scenario.
Next, Migratory Greathorn is great way to force extra lands into play, and Lotus Cobra is a great creature to Mutate.
Okay I'll admit this is more of a hope, and less of something that I am confident will see play. I love the Mutate mechanic, and it has been greatly overshadowed by the powerful mechanics in Standard. However, Lotus Cobra makes a heck of addition to this deck with all the extra lands it puts into play with Migratory Greathorn, Auspicious Starrix, and Parcel Beast. This deck can quickly put the powerful Ugin, the Spirit Dragon into play, and it usually a good thing in standard to be playing the strongest planeswalker.
Lastly, Cultivate is still in standard, and it is still a fantastic ramp spell. They have banned a variety of ramp spells over the last ban cycles, but I believe that ramp still has solid legs in Standard.
This deck looks more like the ramp decks that we are used to in standard. Some ramp spells and some pay-offs. There's no creatures that do a little of everything anymore, but I don't think there needs to be. Genesis Ultimatum and Terror of the Peaks is a combo that we have seen before that can win quickly. Plus casting a Beanstalk Giant with a Terror of the Peaks on the field sounds like a dream come true. This deck shouldn't be as broken as previous ramp decks. However, it will be a solid choice in the format.
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger is our remaining Titan in the format. As we have seen before Escape is a extremely powerful mechanic. Kroxa is not in the same league as Uro, but make no mistake it will be a huge pillar in standard.
Unlike the other cards we talked about, Kroxa really only fits into one deck, Rakdos. While there is many ways to build Rakdos, Midrange is probably the best place to start. In an Omnathless world, it is possible that we can get back to a variety of two for ones being a reasonable way to win a game. Kroxa can lead to a multitude of two for ones leaving you in a great place to take full advantage of your interaction spells. This deck started to pick up traction before the ban, and I expect it to be even better now.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please direct them to my DMs on Twitter, @stormcrowts. The deck I probably will play the most with is Golgari Adventures. Let me know what you play and how it goes for you! If you want me to do a deep dive of one of the lists let me know, and I'll consider it for my next Tin-Street article. See you next time!