Standard is a great place right now. There are a variety of decks that are competitive, and many decks that are still unexplored. The last bans have changed the landscape of the format from a brewer's nightmare to a brewer's paradise. Being a brewer myself, it was difficult choosing a particular deck that I wanted to try to move up the rank ladder. The deck that I decided to take a look at is Simic Mutate. After having a blast in one game with Simic Mutate, I knew that this was the deck that I wanted to write about. Simic Mutate is not a completely new deck, but I believe the new additions from Zendikar Rising gives Mutate the ability to consistently snowball with a powerful engine.
Looking at the past standard formats, you can clearly see the advantage that a good engine can grant you. For example, Lucky Clover took advantage of Adventure spells giving you repetitive two-for-ones, while continuously snowballing your advantage with cards like Fae of Wishes. While I don't think Mutate is that strong, I do believe the engine is powerful enough for the current format.
What is the Simic Mutate engine?
The engine in Simic Mutate is a combination of a variety of things within the deck due to its ability to play a majority of its cards in a single turn. The cards that allow these shenanigans are Auspicious Starrix and Illuna, Apex of Wishes. The obvious goal of these two cards is to force as many permanents into play from the top of your deck as possible, but how do we get the mana we need to accomplish this in a single turn instead of just once or twice every turn? This deck looks to accomplish a mana advantage through Migratory Greathorn and Lotus Cobra. These two cards are great individual mana producers, but they are outstanding in combination with one another. Migratory Greathorn produces even more land drops for the Cobra gaining you an extra mana every time you mutate. Where this plan really starts granting you a major advantage is the combination of Lotus Cobra and Auspicious Starrix. Unlike Illuna, Apex of Wishes, Auspicious Starrix puts lands into play giving you approximately millions of mana on the turn you start mutating in bunches.
What do we do with all that mana?
The easy answer is to hope you flip over Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate to put in on the battlefield. Vivien in this particular deck is to ensure that we don't run out of gas once we start playing multiple mutate creatures on the same turn. When Illuna and Auspicious Starrix start putting things into play, you are almost guaranteed to hit a creature at some point. As long as you have a Lotus Cobra you should be able to continuously add creatures to your board.
How do we win?
There are two ways this deck can win. The first is by making a ton of land drops on one turn with a Ruin Crab in play. Ruin Crab is our best win condition in matchups where our opponent has a way to destroy all of our creatures before we get the ability to attack. Cards like Shatter the Sky and Extinction Event can make winning with this deck difficult, so the ability to win in one turn through many mutate triggers is an important avenue to victory. The second way this deck looks to win is through overwhelming your opponent with a wide board. Various decks in the format have zero ways to kill ever creature on the board in one turn, so the large creatures that this deck can produce is more than enough to win a variety of matchups. Triggering Auspicious Starrix multiple times in the same turn can lead to you having a huge board after not having a board the previous turn, and this board state can prevent many players from attacking to win. Eventually your board is going to be big enough to win or you will find a Ruin Crab.
This deck is not the greatest deck to play on ladder due to the variety of Yorion decks that are seeing play. However, it is a blast to play, and if board wipes fall out of favor it really has a shot at being one of the better decks in the format. For gameplay of this deck, check out my twitch stream on Friday night over at Twitch.tv/StormCrowTS. If you are a more visual learner be sure to check out my deck tech over on my YouTube channel, StormCrow TS. Until next week, hit me up with any brews you have, and any questions about this deck over on Twitter or Instagram, @StormCrowTS. Thank you for reading!