Gruul Theorycraft Decks – Throne of Eldraine Standard

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Throne of Eldraine Standard is now on its second day and players are quickly finding their favorite decks and refining them. Yesterday we covered Golgari (green and black), which we found to have some viable strategies for the new Standard format. Today we will be reviewing Gruul – green and red – the color combination concerned with big, aggressive creatures.

Fortunately, Standard rotation did not affect this deck archetype a whole lot, but we could say that Llanowar Elves was the key component of the deck, allowing your threats to come down a turn early and giving not much chance for your opponents to deal with your big creatures.

Despite this, Gruul decks have gone from strength to strength since Ravnica Allegiance, adding some guild-specific cards such as Gruul Spellbreaker, Domri, Anarch of Bolas and Domri’s Ambush. Throne of Eldraine is no different as the set looks to add more threats to augment this deck archetype!

Today we will share with you some builds that makes use of the new green and red cards to explore each of the strengths and weaknesses. All decks will make use of the raw power of Questing Beast and Bonecrusher Giant; they will prove too good not to use and are perfect for this deck archetype.

Gruul Aggro

Gilded Goose is the new Llanowar Elves and it is not as bad as it seems. We still have Paradise Druid to ramp and it is even better with no Goblin Chainwhirler around. If you can manage a Questing Beast on turn 3, your board state will be hard to beat. All creatures in this deck have toughness greater than 3 as well (except for the goose) and is not affected by Shock or Cry of the Carnarium.

Doom Foretold is also another card you should watch out for as the deck picks up traction, though Gilded Goose helps combat the card slightly. As the meta changes, play around board wipes such as Kaya’s Wrath and Time Wipe.

This version of Gruul Aggro is for theorycrafting purposes and will require tuning.

2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Nullhide Ferox (GRN) 138
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
4 Zhur-Taa Goblin (RNA) 215
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
5 Mountain (ELD) 262
8 Forest (ELD) 266
3 Domri, Anarch of Bolas (WAR) 191
1 The Great Henge (ELD) 161
3 Domri's Ambush (WAR) 192
4 Questing Beast (ELD) 171
4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
3 Skarrgan Hellkite (RNA) 114
4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160
3 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239

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4 Domri's Ambush (WAR) 192
9 Forest (XLN) 277
4 Zhur-Taa Goblin (RNA) 215
4 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169
2 Embercleave (ELD) 120
4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Pelt Collector (GRN) 141
4 Questing Beast (ELD) 171
3 Skarrgan Hellkite (RNA) 114
3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
5 Mountain (XLN) 273
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
2 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239

3 Veil of Summer (M20) 198
3 Flame Sweep (M20) 139
2 Tectonic Rift (M19) 162
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
2 Sarkhan the Masterless (WAR) 143
2 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

Gruul Midrange

Gruul can also play the longer game, and can overwhelm the opponent with things they must answer – or else will take over the game. These are cards like Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Sarkhan the Masterless and a big Voracious Hydra. These cards can be found more easily with Once Upon a Time. Robber of the Rich is also better in decks like this as you have more abundance of mana to cast your opponent’s spells – similar to Thief of Sanity.

This version of Gruul has a slightly higher mana curve and engines such as Once Upon a Time and the planeswalker superfriends package. It does not try to play the quick game but rather playing value spells after spells so your opponent runs out of answers.

4 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169
2 Voracious Hydra (M20) 200
4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160
1 Sarkhan the Masterless (WAR) 143
4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
2 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
1 Domri, Chaos Bringer (RNA) 166
2 Domri's Ambush (WAR) 192
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
2 Domri, Anarch of Bolas (WAR) 191
8 Forest (GRN) 264
5 Mountain (GRN) 263
3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
2 Skarrgan Hellkite (RNA) 114
3 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
1 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240

Gruul Adventure Phoenix

This is a cool variation of the Golgari / Jund Adventure decks, that utilize Once Upon a Time and a bunch of cheap Adventure spells to power out Arclight Phoenix as early as the first turn. It also a surprising amount of reach thanks to the combination of Edgewall Innkeeper, Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck Beast.

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Wrapping Up

We feel Gruul is another deck that can be easily streamlined to be at least a second tier deck in an established meta. It is particularly good against decks that use smaller creatures and have limited removal spells like Mono Red Aggro and Rakdos, but can fold more easily to controlling decks with board wipes.

Make sure to check out our decks section for all the up to date Throne of Eldraine Standard decks, and as always you can follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on all our articles and find us at our Discord server to discuss the latest Throne of Eldraine format.

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