This week in Magic: Let’s build a deck!



Welcome to another “This week in Magic.” For this week’s edition we’re going to tackle some Standard. I am a terrible deck builder, so I thought that it would make a perfect topic for this week. With Khans of Tarkir coming out very soon, it’s time to get a little realistic and start thinking about possible deck ideas. Out of all the color combinations, I am a big fan of Jesaki (URW). Although, I’m sure at some point, I’ll find my way playing Mono Red.


I guess the first question is where to start. I think the best place would be with the new “Mantis Raider.” This card reminds me a lot of Lightning Angel. In fact, I wish it was Lightning Angel, but you can’t have everything you want, I guess. This guy is going to be the base of our deck. The game plan will be to land him early and hope he sticks around to eventual win us the game. We’re looking at a possible midrange deck here with counterspells and burn spells. Remember, the Mantis is only a 3/3. This means that its vulnerable to Lightning Strike, Bile Blight, and numerous other creature removal spells.


In a format where three colors seems like it will be the norm, I feel like we’re going to need some help in the deck manipulation field. I’ve always been a fan of Omenspeaker, but it’s never really had a place in Standard – that is until now. I think it’s going to be great come post rotation. Not to mention they’ll serve as great aggro fodder. A two mana 1/3 wall that can scry 2 for us is nice.


The biggest loss that blue will feel is the rotation of Jace, Architect of Thought. As of right now, I don’t think the new Jace can cut it, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Another alternative could be Steam Augury. There was some hype when this card was first spoiled, but since then, it has cooled off a lot; to the point that it’s not even a blip on the radar. Khans may see the comeback of Steam Augury.


Mindswipe is a great contender to make the deck. Just like every other card we’ve discussed, Syncopate leaves the format thanks to rotation woes. Mindswipe has some big pros and cons. The big benefit to the card is the ability to burn your opponent. Denying your opponent a spell and punishing them for not being able to cast the spell is rather dirty. However, we lose speed in the spell due to the extra mana needed to cast it. Syncopate was so good because control players were willing to shock themselves in order to Syncopate for one mana. Now the earliest we can counter is on turn three.


Speaking of countering on turn three, Dissolve remains in the format and there doesn’t seem to be any other option that is better in that slot. The is, of course, Dissipate, but being able to scry wins in my book. Alright, let’s take a look at this Frankenstein of a deck so far:


Jeskai Midrange
4x Mantis Rider
4x Omenspeaker
1x Keranos, God of Storms


4x Dissolve
3x Divination
2x Mindswipe
3x Banishing Light
3x End Hostilities
3x Jeskai Charm


4x Jace, the Living Guildpact
3x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion


4x Mystic Monastary
4x Mana Confluence
4x Temple of Enlightenment
4x Temple of Epiphany
2x Temple of Triumph
4x Island
2x Mountain
2x Plain


This thing looks like a pile, but it’s a start! As you can see I finished the deck as I started typing out the list of what we had. I didn’t have the guts to add Steam Augury, but if you think it will work, then kudos to you.


End Hostilities is something I am definitely on the fence about. However, this deck does need a board wipe, and we’re limited in that department. I decided to also go all in with the new Jace. I guess the only way we’ll see if he’s good or not is to actually try him out. Also, while Mantis Rider is an excellent creature, we can’t forget that Elspeth is still in Standard. She also pairs extremely well with the new Jeskai Charm.


Divination is an important addition to the deck. It’s so important is that not only do we not want to miss a land drop, but not we have to be conscious of not missing certain colors. Banishing Light is a great solution to many things. I’d like to bump that number to four, but what do we cut? Maybe an Omenspeaker? If the field is not as hostile, then it may be safe cut.


Finally, check out that lone Keranos. I feel like this is a solid one-of. If you draw him, then it’s going to be a bumpy ride for your opponent, but if you don’t, then it’s not the end of the world. There is a little chance you’ll ever turn him on, but that’s not the main goal here. We want him for his secondary ability.


I’m going to end things here for this week. However, I’m going to leave you, the reader, with some homework. First, I would love to know what you think? Are we off to a good start, or should we scrap it and try something else. I’m hoping there is some potential. I know one thing is for sure, that mana base needs some work. So leave your comments and constructive criticism in the comment section down below!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


Donate to the Extra-Life fundraiser!




Join the Battleground Games & Hobbies community forums!

Please don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @battleground_gh!