There was a Banned and Restricted list update this past Monday. With it, they banned Uro and only Uro. While I think that might not be enough, we still must get out there and play the games. Uro is a card that has been a terror on standard and made it very hard to play control and non- midrange decks. Today, I will cover some decks that I think might be good in this new Uro free world.
It’s hard to start this article with anything less than the Omnath deck that won the Standard Challenge this past Sunday that was only playing one Uro. The deck has the core of all the other Omnath ramp decks, but unlike those decks, these decks win condition is Ruin Crab. The deck’s plan is just to mill out the other Omnath decks and play on a different axis. The deck even goes as far as to play Glasspool Mimic to help make sure you have multiple crabs going. The Crabs are very hard to kill in the traditional Omnath decks as they lack clean kill spells for them. It takes three Spikefield Hazzard just to answer one Crab, not exactly a winning line. The Crab also is a nice blocker against aggressive decks. Some of the players who played this build of the deck went as far as to add Nahiri’s Lithoforming to set up burst turns with the Crab. I think the deck will be where a lot of people enter into this format. You can even make builds of this deck that are more in on the Lithoforming and become harder combo decks. So, despite Omnath losing one of the best cards printed in the last couple of years, expect to still face this deck on the ladder.
I updated the decklist for you all since Uro is no longer in the format. I am unsure if its actually powerful, but Ancient Greenwarden seems rather impactful in this strategy, so I made that swap. If you’re looking to save on wild cards, probably try Radha Heart of Keld or Cultivate
The next deck I want to talk about won the PTQ on Sunday. Omnath Adventures combines the powerhouse of Omnath with the incredibly solid shell of the adventure cards. This deck was popularized by Emma Handy and Liz Lynn, who played this list in her VML match this past week. The deck is having a consistent A plan of what you would expect from an adventure deck, but then can draw into Omnath and have completely absurd turns. This is a deck that seems to benefit a lot from cross pollination from the Omnath decks. I have a sneaking suspicion that as the Omnath ramp decks continue to inbreed with stuff like Ruin Crab that this deck will become the default best Omnath shell for a while. Your normal game plan is just very solid. There might even be some legit conversations to be had about lowering the actual number of Omnaths down from four to three.
While we are here, I will quickly cover traditional adventures. I think the deck we have seen since Eldraines release is probably a fine choice still, but for the moment, I personally would lean to the higher power level that the four-color builds lend themselves to. That is not to say Temur Adventures is bad, but simply where I am at in the discovery portion of the format, we are in yet again.
The next deck I want to talk about is a bit more off the traditional beaten path. Blue Black control is a deck that some people brought to the SCG Qualifier on Saturday. Last week, I talked about how two cards I thought would be useful against these Omnath decks are Mystical Dispute and Ashiok’s Erasure. I think ultimately playing Sultai control was correct if you were going to play a control deck, but that was solely because of Uro. Now with Uro gone, I want to explore this deck more.
The deck has a few strong selling points. First, you’re able to interact with every deck in the format and keep their game plans broken up. When people’s game plans become so focused, you can poke holes in them. I would expect decks like the Crab Omnath builds from this article to be good matchups, while decks like the Omnath Adventures deck will be a more taxing match up. The second big selling point to this deck is you’re playing a different style of magic than the rest of the format, so people will be underprepared for you. Their cards just are not currently chosen to line up well against a bunch of removal and counterspells. This deck also gets easy access to Crawling Barrens. While not a card that jumped off the page as super impressive to me at first sight, I am incredibly impressed after having played with it a good bit. You basically always have a mana sink, and if your opponent ever taps out, you can typically get a huge chunk of damage on them. This format’s mana request has been incredibly taxing on decks, but this seems like one of the few decks that can actually play it and not have problems, while also having the mana to pump it up. This is a deck that, when playing, you will be walking on a razor’s edge in many games, but your ability to answer everything your opponents are doing can lead to some lopsided games.
One thing that might be worth considering is a light splash for another way to end the game. I think a light splash of Red for Kroxa could be very interesting. Kroxa is a very powerful late-game threat. It might end up that you just want a singular threat you can recurse a lot, much like Uro in Sultai.
Mono green was an aggressive deck that was starting to gain some traction near the end of the last few days of the Uro being part of the Omnath decks. This decks plan is to put big bodies on the board and smash. This deck is good at doing that one thing. That sounds like I am ragging on the deck, but I am not. If you think that the Omnath decks will continue intermingling and using Ruin Crab as there win con/way to stave off damage, this is the deck for you. You very quickly outsize the Crab while still brawling with the Omnaths, and you have a decent amount of disruption for blockers. The deck is one I will be keeping an eye on for sure. It has a lot of well-stated cards that could be well-positioned for the next bit. I do have some problems with this deck versus the Omnath adventure decks. Which I think might secretly be the better build for a while. That deck has a lot of ways to break up what you’re doing. Between Giant Killer and Brazen Borrower, combo that with a single clover and your deck might not be able to keep up. If you are experiencing a lot of Omnath Adventures, you might need to adapt. Outside of that one deck, this deck is proactive with big bodies—a proven recipe for wins in recent meta-games.
Even with Omnath still towering over this format I think there are still games to be played and see if we can overcome the menace. I could have easily written about five other decks, including rogues and how they are potential options in this format. One card leaving a format can change a lot, especially when we are talking about the power level that Uro is on. Losing Uro hurt the deck. So now is the time to get in the trenches and figure out what is good.
What decks are you having success with on the ladder? Tweet @Masoneclark and @card_kindgom to let us know what you’re doing to tear up the ladder!
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.