Jeskai Midrange Standard Deck Guide

Inspired-Ultimatum-Ikoria-MtG-Art

Does anyone remember a time when Yorion, Sky Nomad decks weren’t just variations of Doom Foretold decks?

Pepperidge Farm Remembers Meme

It’s clear why they are. As soon as you pass the turn Doom Foretold automatically does its thing and if your opponent can’t sacrifice a permanent you can still instantly pull ahead. It doesn’t necessarily make this card the “end all, be all” it has come to be. I think the classic Yorion value deck can still compete. Not only survive, but maybe even conquer…

I have played A LOT of Doom decks over the past few months. Orzhov, Esper, Mardu, and Abzan. In the past I also played a lot of Yorion blink-value decks and had the itch to try them again. It wasn’t long until I realized the pros of cutting Doom Foretold.

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Doom Foretold is clunky and having two in your hand before your fourth land drop is not ideal. Skyclave Apparition is also super popular right now and can easily deal with it. The icing on the cake is that Mr. Doom Foretold himself, Andrea Mengucci, cut Glass Casket from his deck because Wilt and Thrashing Brontodon were seeing more play, and even some versions of Mono Green Food are playing two in the main deck. I think the rise of hate also coincides with Doom Foretold falling from its ranking in the metagame. So, does cutting Glass Casket help? Maybe – but not basing your deck around an enchantment that doesn’t instantly impact the board is better.

Also, since you automatically have 4 Doom Foretold, 3 Yorion, and 3 or more Elspeth conquers Death in your main deck, your curve is slightly spiked. This limits the amount of other high end cards you can play. With cutting the 4-drop and lowering the CMC of other cards in our deck we can afford to play a few more expensive cards.

The Deck

The list I ended up with this line of thinking. Basically, I took my favorite parts of the Doom decks without the namesake enchantment and combined it with the value decks of old Standard, and this is where I ended up.

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Companion
1
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Creature (18)
3
Alirios, Enraptured
4
Bonecrusher Giant
4
Charming Prince
4
Skyclave Apparition
3
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Sorcery (11)
4
Emeria's Call/Emeria, Shattered Skyclave
4
Inspired Ultimatum
3
Shatter the Sky
Artifact (7)
4
Glass Casket
3
Golden Egg
Enchantment (14)
3
Elspeth Conquers Death
4
Omen of the Forge
4
Omen of the Sea
3
Omen of the Sun
Land (30)
4
Fabled Passage
1
Island
1
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway/Pillarverge Pathway
2
Plains
4
Raugrin Triome
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
4
Temple of Enlightenment
4
Temple of Epiphany
2
Temple of Triumph
Cards 80
Sideboard (15)
2
Archon of Sun's Grace
2
Dance of the Manse
1
Heliod's Intervention
4
Mystical Dispute
2
Negate
2
Shark Typhoon
1
Shatter the Sky
1
Yorion, Sky Nomad

We have all the best white cards in Yorion, Sky Nomad, Skyclave Apparition, Glass Casket, Elspeth Conquers Death, Shatter the Sky and Omen of the Sun. Mixed it with a sprinkle of red removal in Omen of the Forge and Bonecrusher Giant and a light touch of card draw in Omen of the Sea and powerful counters in the sideboard. Then top it off with a super underrated Ultimatum and VOILÀ! A lean mean midrange, value, machine.

The deck plays just like the Azorius Yorion lists pre-rotation. But why the red splash? Well Omen of the Forge gives us additional removal and increases our clock every time Yorion blinks one which is accelerated even more with Charming Prince making a crazy blink lock with Yorion.

Bonecrusher Giant seems a little out of place since it doesn’t really do anything with the sky noodle. There’s a reason why the card is played in almost every red deck these days and this deck is no different. The ability to remove a small creature or shock to the face to increase our clock then slam a 4/3 body that deals damage if out opponent tries to deal with it directly is something I would be in the market for. Also, having a 4 powered creature other than Yorion to draw us a card when we cast Shatter the Sky is useful and appreciated.

Inspired Ultimatum is the standout and the main reason to go Jeskai. Previously decks like this played Dream Trawler as a finisher. However, Extinction Event is at an all-time high right now and I think smart Doom players would leave in Extinction Event against us since we make so many tokens, and including Charming Prince, are all even CMC. Inspired Ultimatum gives us instant advantage, increases our clock, and gains us life. Literally everything we want. Like Dream Trawler, it is also useful against aggressive decks since it can remove a larger creature like Questing Beast or Lovestruck Beast while gaining us life and reloading our hand.

I have mentioned “increasing our clock” several times. This is normally a phrase used strictly for aggressive decks. So why would I say it in a midrange/control/value article? Well while a lot of decks like this like to play with their food, I prefer to get my value, then win before my opponent has the chance to draw out of my soft lock on the game and this deck does just that.

Cards to Consider

Baneslayer Angel: I think this could be a fine trump card in aggressive matchups, but with all our removal it is overkill and just outclassed by our other cards. But if you really fear Gruul or Mono Red, then I could see a copy or two finding its way into the sideboard.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: This is a card that exemplifies why I value increasing my clock. I can’t count how many times I slammed an Ugin, exiled the board and then lost my dragon to a Elspeth Conquers Death, a Questing Beast attack, or have to sacrifice it to a Doom Foretold. This is also why I shy away from decks that look to play Ugin fairly. If I am not cheating it in somehow then I don’t want it. I could see playing one in the board as an ace against Doom. However, I have seen decks look to cheat Ugin in by discarding it with Narset of the Ancient Way, then bring it back off chapter 3 of Elspeth Conquers Death.

Narset of the Ancient Way: As mentioned above you can be cute and look to sneak in Ugin with Narset’s minus ability. I like this card in counterspell-heavy metas. You may think this means the Rogues matchup, but they pressure us too hard for this card to be any good in that matchup. As a result, I just don’t think this slow, clunky planeswalker has a place here.

Fire Prophecy and Scorching Dragonfire: These cards are great no question. We already play a ton of removal and have plenty of trump cards in these creature heavy matchups that synergize better with our central game plan.

Video

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Gruul Adventures

InOut
+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace-3 Alirios, Enraptured
+1 Shatter the Sky

I think this matchup is in our favor. We just have so much interaction. They can storm off with a god hand and even have a fair amount of reach into the later game drawing cards off Edgewall Innkeeper and The Great Henge – the reason why it is is still a top tier deck. We can make a cute little army with Yorion and Alirios, but we can also do that with Omen of the Sun. Bringing in Archon to build an army with flying and lifelink just feels so much better and another sweeper is always welcome.

Tip: You can use Charming Prince and Yorion to exile important creatures like Archon then cast Shatter the Sky. Then when it re-enters you get your army back if you exiled it with other multiple enchantments.

Doom Foretold

InOut
+2 Negate-4 Bonecrusher Giant
+4 Mystical Dispute-3 Shatter the Sky
+2 Shark Typhoon-4 Glass Casket
+1 Heliod’s Intervention
+2 Dance of the Manse

Basically, a mirror match. We just need to watch out and play around Doom Foretold as we still have plenty of cards we can sacrifice to it and still get value. In this matchup we are basically just going to trade cards back and forth until someone runs out of juice. Elspeth Conquers Death is everything in this matchup and it is never wrong to keep blinking it as long as possible.

Their main engine of drawing cards without Yorion blinks is Treacherous Blessing. This can work in our favor because without some life gain, we can pressure them hard with our burn cards and creatures. Late game Inspired Ultimatum is our best friend. The huge life swing and drawing 5 cards instantly is fantastic.

We board out Bonecrusher Giant because it is just lackluster outside of a beater and is too easily dealt with because of the abundance of permanent based removal. Shatter the Sky is useless since all their creatures are generally just tokens that they can recreate for nothing and we can match those naturally, and Glass Casket since unless they have problematic tokens it is a dead draw.

The counters help keep problematic cards off the board. Shark Typhoon acts as a bomb. I rarely play it as an enchantment without counters because of Elspeth Conquers Death removing it or Heliod’s Intervention blowing it up. Speaking of Heliod’s Intervention, it cleans up the board perfectly. Removing all our opponent’s enchantments is almost an auto win in some board positions. Dance of Manse is how we recover from a Heliod’s Intervention and can close a grindy game out fast with an army of 4/4’s with ETB triggers that give us even more advantage.

Tips:

  • Have it on full control going into your turn if you have something to flash in before a Doom Trigger. Sometimes if you don’t it goes straight to the Doom trigger and skips your ability to respond.
  • Bonecrusher Giant getting targeted by Skyclave Apparition other abilities doesn’t trigger Bonecrusher’s ability.
  • If you blink enchantments that are creatures from Dance with Yurion, when the re-enter the battlefield they will no longer be creatures.

Mono Red Aggro

InOut
+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace-3 Alirios, Enraptured
+1 Shatter the Sky-1 Inspired Ultimatum
+1 Heliod’s Intervention

Their deck is fast. They come out of the gate hard. But they don’t have the late game reach. We board the same for the same reasons as Gruul, but we cut 1 Inspired Ultimatum since it is so slow, for 1 Heliod’s Intervention because they play Anax which is an enchantment that can be destroyed by it and they are much more dependent on Embercleave and Torbran to close out a lot of games.

Tip: Always when doing a damage calculation, factor in Embercleave and block accordingly. Use exile effects on Anax if possible since he only makes 1/1s on death. This isn’t burn. Gaining a ton of life doesn’t always save you.

Dimir Rogues

InOut
+2 Negate-3 Elspeth Conquers Death
+4 Mystical Dispute-3 Shatter the Sky
+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace-4 Inspired Ultimatum
+2 Dance of the Manse

This matchup is hard and unfavorable for us, but not as bad as for Doom decks as our removal suite is at least not dead against them. Their mix of disruption and pressure is a lot to take on though. Game 1 just try to get a head and hope they draw the wrong cards.

Game 2 things get a little better depending on their build and how they board. We cut a lot of our more expensive spells. Elspeth Conquers death gets the cut because there are rarely any good targets for it especially in the Lurrus builds and it is countered to easily.

Most of their deck runs at instant speed, so Shatter the Sky won’t do its job effectively enough and lines up poorly since if they are smart and see it coming they will hold up the counter and pressure you with what they have. Your best bet is deal with creatures 1-for-1 with Glass Casket, Skyclave and our other removal.

Inspired Ultimatum is just far to slow, clunky and expensive. By the time we can cast it we are tapping out in a desperate attempt to not die and even then, drawing 5 can hurt us since they are also milling us to death.

Mono Green Food

InOut
+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace-3 Alirios, Enraptured
+1 Shatter the Sky-2 Inspired Ultimatum
+2 Dance of the Manse

This deck is much slower than other aggressive decks but a lot more resilient since Wicked Wolf can become indestructible, Feasting Troll King comes back for only 3 Food tokens and The Great Henge. Despite all of this, the matchup is still manageable since we have such and abundance of removal. We cut Alirios because it is lacking as a blocker and Inspired Ultimatum is slow and a high life total isn’t as saving since they just keep coming with big beat sticks. Archon builds a solid army and gives us value even if they remove our enchantments. Shatter is just the best sweeper we have, and Dance of Manse brings back any enchantments they destroy as beaters in the late game to attempt to grind them out.

Tip: Use exile effects on Wicked Wolf if possible. It is the hardest threat to deal with. Once it is taken care of we can take care of most of their cards 1-on-1.

Wrapping Up

This deck is a breath of fresh air in Standard and I think it has all the tools to be a contender. I think if I had to play in a tournament or anything similar soon, this would be the list I would register. This deck sideboards so cleanly and beautifully and ticks all my boxes for a powerful deck.

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The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!

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