Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt Art by Viktor Titov

Ikoria Constructed Event Guide and Decklists

Welcome folks! This weekend’s event is Ikoria Constructed, a format reminiscent of the old Block Constructed format, which has the stipulation that your decks must consist only of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths cards; all cards from other sets are prohibited. This is an opportunity to get to use more of the new cards, experience a somewhat different metagame, and win some Individual Card Rewards (ICRs) in the process. Read on to find out more about the event, its reward structure, some tips on building decks with Ikoria cards only, and of course some sample decks to get you started!

Event Information


Bring a deck and play games using cards only from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. You’ll receive rewards based on how many games you win.

  • Duration: May 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM PST – May 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM PST
  • Format: Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Constructed
  • Entry Fee: 100 Gems or 500 Gold
  • Ends After: 4 wins or 2 losses (whichever comes first)
  • Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)

Event Rewards

Note: All ICRs (Individual Card Rewards) are uncommon for this event except for at 4 wins – there, you receive a rare & two uncommons.

# of WinsGoldUncommon ICRsRare ICRs

Building Your Ikoria Constructed Deck

Remember that you may only use Ikoria cards! As a result of the limited card pool, a competitive deck will likely revolve heavily around the set’s mechanics, themes, and limited archetypes, and be more reliant on Ikoria’s standout rares and mythic rares. Here are some examples:

Three Color Theme

Ikoria has a broad three color theme, and each of the five three color combinations has a Triome, Apex, an Ultimatum and an Enchantment as potentially powerful buildarounds.


Cycling has proven itself a powerful deck in Standard already and almost entirely consists of Ikoria cards anyway, losing out only on Shocklands in the mana base (as with every other deck). As such, we expect it to be one of the best early contenders, if not the best – it’s going to be tough to overcome the raw might of a decent Standard deck almost completely unharmed, alongside Lurrus as an easy Companion option. It’s going to be nigh impossible for every deck without countermagic to prevent simply being burnt out by huge Zenith Flares for 10 or so…

Simic Mutate/Sultai Mutate

Mutate suffers a little from its Standard variant since it loses out on Paradise Druid and Arboreal Grazer, both really important cards for applying pressure from the get-go, and a finisher in End-Raze Forerunners; you’re now forced to run more expensive Mutates or cards like Kogla, the Titan Ape. That being said, it retains access to Umori, the Collector and practically every other Standard deck loses out more or is unplayable, so it should be good nonetheless!

In the Sultai variant, mana base is kind of rough but you get to add in a lot of great black cards like Zagoth Mamba, Dirge Bat, and Nethroi, Apex of Death. This is the more exciting build, but may still prove worse.

Abzan Humans/Orzhov Humans

Abzan Humans, while missing a Companion, I think is the Humans deck best build to grind and take on the Cycling Menace, having an abundance of cheap removal for Cycling’s threats, gaining life with Chevill, and then being able to burn away enemy graveyards to prevent Zenith Flare. The main issue is the mana, but I think you can afford to run quite a few taplands, since the deck is more of a grindier midrange deck anyway.

Thanks to SidetraK for submitting our Orzhov Humans list; it combines powerful standalone cards like General Kudro and Sanctuary Lockdown with access to the best removal spells in the entire format in Dire Tactics and Mythos of Nethroi. Lacking a Companion hurts, since there aren’t really good options and you really want to be able to play 3+ cost permanents, but perhaps Humans will be able to overcome that weakness by just killing every Companion they face and beating down! One advantage of Orzhov is that it is by far the less expensive deck.

Cycling Reanimator

One of the cooler decks we came up with, the name is pretty self-explanatory – you ditch your cycling creatures and then reanimate them on t5 or 6 with your powerful reanimation spells, or you go for the hardcast line with Migration Path. This deck aims to go way over the top of the other decks, and will be good against decks without much removal/ways to punish you too hard before turn 5. I added Chevill and Extinction Event to try to stem the early bleeding, so we’ll see how that goes! Kogla is a pretty exciting card in this deck, since you run plenty of Humans to fuel his powerful activated ability.

4C Yorion Control

Essentially Grixis Control splash Narset, this deck eschews a lot of speed in having a billion taplands, but if its suite of answers prove strong enough to overwhelm the early and mid-game, it should easily crush the late game with so much card advantage and so many counterspells. I expect this deck to be decent against Cycling for example, since the combination of removing all of their stuff and then countering their Zenith Flares is a great place to be – you really want to save your counters in that matchup, since there aren’t loads of them in your 80-card deck.

It’s possible that this deck would be better without Yorion, since your counters and strong cards are easier to draw then, but I do think being a Companion down is a huge disadvantage in many matchups, though having that as your only creature does turn on opposing removal.

Our Top Ikoria Constructed Decklists

Below are some Ikoria Constructed decks that we’ve prepared for this event. Use these as a starting point or to get some ideas you can brew around for yourself! Ikoria has a good selection of powerful of uncommons that you can use, so you can substitute cards where you can if you don’t want to craft them, and the set is deep enough that there should be some interchangeability possible in every deck.

More decks are in the process of being added so check back every so often!

Thanks for reading!

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Drifter is a draft and strategy specialist, with hundreds of articles under his belt! Of special mention are his Limited Reviews and draft coaching service.

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