Week One Crimson Vow Standard Decks

Mason Clark Standard

Innistrad: Crimson Vow is out now on MTG Arena. So before you hop into the Standard queues, let me give you three decks that are going to mess up some Alrund’s Epiphany players. Since Epiphany decks did get a few new toys — including better mana — the least we can do is come packing some heat from day one.

Mono-Red Burn

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Standard has been missing a core staple of the format for a while now: a dedicated Burn deck. But the release of Crimson Vow has given this deck a few new tools. 

First up, we have Kessig Flamebreather. This red deck is less interested in combat than burning the opponent out, so having another pinger like to go with Thermo-Alchemist allows this deck to fire off a flurry of damage. 

Burn also picked up Ancestral Anger, a card that does a fine job pushing a little extra damage. It also does a great job just triggering our pingers and allowing us to move through the deck quicker. 

The one thing this deck is lacking is a critical mass of damage-based spells. To mitigate the downsides, I’ve chosen to run Expressive Iteration and Magmatic Channeler in this build. Iteration is one of the best draw spells in years, and Channeler may finally find a home here, since a few of our cards play well with the graveyard. Both of these additions should help you churn through your deck to find the right spells you need quickly.

Temur Midrange

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Jean-Emmanuel Depraz popularized a deck very similar to this at this year’s World Championship. At its core, this is a “monsters” deck that uses countermagic to fight the control and Extra Turns decks. And with Crimson Vow, this deck gets two big additions that fill some big holes in its game plan. 

The original Temur Midrange build lacked early plays that impacted the board, and was lacking just a little bit in the top end, leading to some inconsistent draws. Ascendent Packleader looks to fix both problems by allowing us to curve out draw and rewarding us for drawing bigger cards in the midgame. There’s also Ulvenwald Oddity, which provides the late-game top end this deck has been looking for. A big body that lets us use excess mana in the late game is a great thing for this deck. This deck can sometimes have too much mana and not much to do with it, so these two midgame power cards will be huge additions.

Bant Midrange

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This last deck has become popular more recently, and it may continue putting up good numbers with Crimson Vow. It’s a more aggressive midrange deck that looks to get on the board early and pressure the opponent out with a little bit of disruption. The addition of Thalia to the format gives this deck yet another powerful early play that will help execute that game plan. This deck has some small Human synergies, thanks to Katilda, so it can take advantage of Thalia’s creature typing as well. This deck is secretly very strong and should get more respect going into this new Standard season.


The time is now to step into the reception hall for the big set release. So, what deck are you most excited to play? Tweet at @masoneclark and let me know!