Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Standard and Standard 2022 Decks from Day 2
D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (AFR)
Today was the second day since the release of the new set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms on MTG: Arena, and we’ve got another collection of decks to share. If you missed the decks from day one, check out yesterday’s collection here. In addition, further breakdowns of the new cards in both constructed and limited are available. The impact of AFR on Historic still seems to be quite small, so our main focus will continue to be on new decks in Standard and Standard 2022 for now.
It seems like one of the biggest winners so far has been Mono Green Stompy, a deck that’s gained a lot of traction in both Standard and Standard 2022 ranked queues since the AFR release. Two cards in particular have given this archetype a big boost.
Werewolf Pack Leader starts with a very efficient 3/3 body for two green mana. On top of that, it also functions as a draw engine and a mana sink in the late game. Mono green decks have been on the fringes of competitive play for some time now, but one of the things that held the deck back was a lack of good 2 drops. Werewolf Pack Leader may have gone a long way towards solving that problem.
The other new card that’s seeing heavy play in mono green is Lair of the Hydra, a creature land which can become a creature as large or as small as its controller needs it to be. In the past, mono green decks have typically run Faceless Haven, and many players were unsure if Lair of the Hydra (and the other new creature lands in other mono decks) would be good enough to run instead of Haven.
Thus far, it seems many decks have decided to run as many as four of each instead of choosing one or the other. An example decklist from each format is posted below:
Standard Mono Green
Standard 2022 Mono Green
Other than mono green, players have been experimenting with a few other archetypes featuring the new cards. Rakdos Midrange in various flavors seems to be pretty strong, leaning into the power of cards like Orcus, Prince of Undeath and the Treasure-generating one-drops Forsworn Paladin and Shambling Ghast. Treasure synergies in general seem like they might be quite powerful, especially when paired with the already well-established Goldspan Dragon.
Other two colored aggressive decks are also seeing some play, often built around Nadaar, Selfless Paladin which is a fairly strong aggressive threat that can also provide some value. A few new goblin cards from the set have also revived interest in the goblins archetype, although many of the core cards from the deck are set to rotate in the fall.
The Standard 2022 format continues to allow for more experimentation thanks to the lack of format-defining cards from Throne of Eldraine and Ikoria: Lair of Monsters. Decks built around, or at least utilizing, the Learn mechanic from Strixhaven are looking pretty good post rotation for the card advantage they provide.
The venture into the dungeon mechanic may also be a fairly potent source of value, especially when the ability is stapled onto a solid aggressive body such as the previously mentioned Nadaar, Selfless Paladin.
Bonus: Historic Izzet Phoenix
Today also saw one of the first Historic tournaments to take place since the release of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and although there was almost no representation from the new set in the top 8, one card in particular is at least being experimented with in the existing Izzet Phoenix archetype: Demilich.
Demilich is a very interesting card that has been the subject of some heated debate in the community. It’s still unclear how successful this card will be and in what formats, but it has some fairly obvious synergy with phoenix decks in Historic. Izzet Pheonix decks are already looking to mill themselves to get copies of Arclight Phoenix into the graveyard, and cast at least three instants and/or sorceries in order to return them to play.
Demilich seems to fit perfectly with this strategy, but it may turn out to be more difficult to maximize than the other creatures that see play in phoenix decks like Stormwing Entity and Sprite Dragon.
It’s going to need some time and more competition in tournaments to see if Demilich is really the best option for Izzet Phoenix, but there were a handful of decks featuring Demilich that appeared in the top 8 of today’s event. The seventh place decklist is featured below: