Strixhaven Standard is in full swing, and as many players have noticed, not much has changed since before the new set released. While Rogues, Temur Adventures and Sultai Ultimatum are still the pillars of the format, they aren’t your only options for spiking tournaments or climbing the Arena ladder. Today, we’ll go over three decks that are great for anyone looking for something a little different.
Prismari Midrange got a lot of hype at the start of Kaldheim Standard. The plan was simply to get Goldspan Dragon on the board, protect it, and win the game by countering all your opponents’ spells and killing their creatures. But Strixhaven has added a new dimension to the deck that allows it to go over the top of everything else.
By adding both Magma Opus and Alrund’s Epiphany to the deck, you can overpower your opponents in the late game while getting more out of Goldspan Dragon’s Treasure-generating ability. While Magma Opus is by no means the most powerful late game spell in Standard, it’s the only one that never gets stuck in your hand. Its ability to give you a Treasure is especially useful in this deck — not only because of Goldspan Dragon, but because you also have access to Galazeth Prismari. Galazeth is another nice addition to this deck — it dodges a fair bit of damage-based removal and, like Goldspan Dragon, it provides some immediate mana that you can use to protect it.
This Prismari deck is rounded out by a ton of other solid cards. Bonecrusher Giant and Brazen Borrower serve as both interaction and threats. Frost Bite and Saw it Coming keep a wide range of threats in check. Combine all that with a flexible sideboard and you’ll have the tools to approach any match-up and tailor your approach as other decks evolve.
This deck excels at dominating other midrange decks and “go big” decks like Sultai. If you’re looking for a deck that is great against both Sultai and Temur, this is the deck for you. It can struggle against lower-to-the-ground decks like Rogues, Mono-Red and Mono-White, but the sideboard has a lot of space dedicated to help clean up those match-ups.
Another deck that had a strong early showing in Kaldheim Standard, but fell off the map as the format grew hostile. While some of Mono-White’s predators (like Rogues) are still at the forefront of Standard, one new card from Strixhaven has completely changed the game for this deck.
Elite Spellbinder has proven to be a great way to disrupt opponents, and it also provides a nice clock. But the biggest reason to play this card, in my mind, is its perfect synergy with Drannith Magistrate. Drannith Magistrate has been close to main-deckable for a little while now, but was always hard to justify based on its stats. Now, with the deck full of Elite Spellbinders, you always have a chance of making Magistrate a real card.
Mono-White has always been full of cards that demand answers and ways to protect them. Having another in the main deck is going to be a real problem for lots of decks — especially Sultai. If you have the cards for Mono-White on your Arena account, now’s a great time to pick the deck back up again.
For the past few months in Standard, Sacrifice decks have been on the outside looking in. But with their natural predators losing metagame share and with Adventure decks and Mono-Red dominating, this is the best time in a while to play a Sacrifice deck. Claim the Firstborn is in a great position right now, and when you’re playing cards like Bastion of Remembrance, it’s easier than ever to whittle down an opponent’s life total.
Strixhaven has also added a few new tools to this deck, the most notable of which is Extus, Oriq Overlord//Awaken the Blood Avatar. Both sides of this card do a lot for this deck: the front half lets you refuel in the late game, while the back half is a powerful win condition. There aren’t many good answers to Blood Avatar right now, and it provides a surprisingly fast clock.
Mardu is an unconventional choice, but one that can lead to some great results against the right decks. If you have the wildcards and are looking for something a little outside the box, I’d recommend trying it.
Standard might be more of the same from Kaldheim, but hopefully these decks help you find new ways to enjoy the format. If you try any of these decks this weekend, let me know what you think on Twitter at @masoneclark!
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.