Last week, I shared five new Standard decks that you could build with Kaldheim and play on the Arena ladder. I also asked our community to submit their own Kaldheim brews — and you responded with some great ones! Today, I’ll be sharing five Standard decks submitted by our readers. Hopefully these will inspire you to try out some new decks with Kaldheim!
Mason Landry’s Mono-Red Boast Aggro
From Mason: “I liked the synergy of many of the boast cards such as Arni, Birgi, Dragonkin Berserker, and Frenzied Raider, so I took those cards and put them in the body of a Mono-Red Aggro deck with…staples such as Torbran, Bonecrusher Giant, and Embercleave.”
I like the idea of trying to explore new mechanics early on and see if they work; too often, players can dismiss a new mechanic or group of cards without having tried them, and they end up missing out on some powerful cards and synergies. Mason Landry has chosen to try out a handful of different boast cards in this deck, which is a great way to evaluate these cards relative to each other and see which ones perform best.
There are a few things I would change if I were building this deck myself. A Boast deck will be demanding on your mana, as every boast ability has a cost, and there are a few ways we could generate more mana with this deck. One is substituting Magda, Brazen Outlaw in place of one of the non-boasting two-drops (Frenzied Raider and Immersturm Raider). I would also recommend adding some more mana sources to this deck, including Shatterskull Smashing or even Faceless Haven. This deck will often want the extra lands, and having lands that double as creatures — or lands that clear the way for our attacks — is very nice.
Chris Bova’s Giants Burn
From Chris: “Built from the idea that Giants would be big (ha!). Chose black/red and then realized there weren’t that many black giants coming in Kaldheim. Oh well. It has a bunch of snow lands to boost Frost Bite and a few more Kaldheim red spells.”
Chris’s submission illustrates an important lesson: sometimes, you’ll have a great idea for a deck, but when you get to building it, the pieces just don’t quite line up. This sort of thing will happen a lot when building and brewing decks. Nothing wrong with trying stuff out, but some ideas just get left on the cutting room floor.
If we wanted to continue down this road, a Grixis Giants deck would be a great place to start. This will allow us to use some of the good blue and red giant cards while still having access to Kroxa and removal spells. You may realize as you build this deck that the black cards don’t add as much as you’d like and Blue-Red is the way to go — it’s all part of the deck-building process.
Matt Robinson’s Yorion Mardu Midrange
From Matt: “Seemed like a solid shell to test out several new cards, and it turned out quite good so far.”
Matt has taken a tier two deck from last season and tried to breathe new life into it. I love exploring ideas that were close but not quite there whenever a new set comes out — especially when the new set provides the best decks (Gruul and Rogues) with so few upgrades.
This decklist includes some standouts from Kaldheim that really help this archetype. Valki is a great four-of inclusion here, since it pays us off early and late. Kaya also seems like a potential good fit; her minus and ultimate abilities are both powerful effects that this deck is interested in, and there might be ways to tweak this list to better maximize her +1.
I’m less sold on Skull Raid and Tergrid in this list, since both are big mana commitments for their effects. If I were building this deck myself, I’d revert back to Omen of the Sun and Elspeth Conquers Death in those slots instead. While there’s plenty of merit to trying out new cards and seeing what works best, sometimes the tried-and-true options from previous sets are the best way to go.
Jeremy Oliver’s Boros Treasures
From Jeremy: “This deck focuses on Treasures and their use as artifacts, sacrifice outlets, and mana production. All to help Boros get back to its prime.”
I like that Jeremy is using some new cards to maximize the value of some of the more underutilized cards in Standard, like All that Glitters. I’ve looked into playing All the Glitters myself many times in the past, so the potential of this list really excites me.
There are few small tweaks we could make to help boost the power level of a deck like this. I’d add at least one copy of Halvar, God of Battle to support the Forging the Tyrite Sword plan; alternately, you could try Seize the Spoils or Magda. I think Stonecoil Serpent is another card that could really help here. I’d prefer it to Blood Aspirant — which is a bit at odds with the treasure accumulation plan — plus, it’s a great top-deck in the late game.
Jeff Johnson’s Azorius Flyers
From Jeff: “It’s an updated deck of Azorius Fliers with some Kaldheim cards I’m trying out. There’s some really great support for Angels and Birds in cards like Righteous Valkyrie, Glorious Protector, and the card I’m hoping to work out the most, The Raven’s Warning. In board parity, it allows you to get more info on what the opponent is doing and wish a card to stop it. They’re flooding the board? Doomskar. Setting up an Embercleave? I Saw It Coming. They’re just control? Grind them out with Mazemind Tome or give them a taste of their own medicine with Dream Trawler. However, the creatures are small, so I could see myself backing into a more controlling shell, but overall, I’m happy to try it out!”
Jeff has a really unique deck here, and I like the concept a lot. It has a strong theme with great support, from established but underutilized cards like Lofty Denial to exciting new cards like The Raven’s Warning.
Jeff has a strong game plan, as he articulated above; the only advice I have is to keep tuning the sideboard. When a new set comes out, it can be hard to predict what the metagame looks like and decide what cards you want to sideboard. But the more one-of effects you have in your sideboard, the less likely you are to see them in your games and the less data you’ll have to inform your decisions. I tend to try multiple copies of a few sideboard cards early on in a new format and try new things as I play my games and gauge which cards are most impactful.
I’d like to thank all our readers for submitting their decklists last week and for brewing some awesome decks for new Standard. Hopefully these lists and my takes on them have provided you with some direction as you navigate the new format.
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.