Kaldheim Standard: My Ten Best and Favorite Brews
Hello everyone! For the final article before Kaldheim’s release, I want to do a wrap up of everything I wrote about so far. I went over the Aggro decks, the Midrange decks, and the Control decks so any type of player could find a brew they’re happy with. With this article, I’m going to be ranking all the brews I’ve made from #10 all the way down to #1. With that, I also have a final five brews I haven’t written about yet that will be on this list as well. For the decks I haven’t written about, I’ll have longer sections here talking about them and for the decks I have written about, you can reference the older articles if you want to read about them more. Let’s get started.
Maybe I’m a fool for trying to make Auras in Standard work, but it may finally be good enough after a long while. The first Standard deck I ever had success with was UW Heroic and ever since, I’ve been trying to create a deck that’s given me the same feel as that one. Although not as powerful as Heroic was, I feel like this deck has a lot going for it.
Although a lot of your creatures are somewhat unimpressive on the surface, they all serve vital functions in the deck at large at either being great threats or protecting them. I tried Selesnya Auras in Zendikar Rising Standard, but we were lacking a power card to get it across the finish line. Although it may not seem like, Runeforge Champion may be the card we needed to put Auras on the map.
Back in the UW Heroic days, I played Heliod’s Pilgrim and I liked it! A 3 mana 1/2 that tutored for an Aura was good enough, and in fairness, the deck played a lot of powerful and diverse Auras. Although Heliod’s Pilgrim is still legal, it’s not nearly powerful enough to play in this Standard environment. Runeforge Champion however, may be the gas the deck needed. Having an extra power is nice and tutoring for a Rune upon entering is also quite reasonable. It’s unfortunate you can’t tutor for any Aura, but when Runeforge Champion makes all of your Runes cost one colorless mana instead, you start to not mind as much. When you combine the power of Runeforge Champion with Setessan Champion, you can be chaining off spells like crazy in just a few turns and burying your opponent in card advantage.
I love my aggro decks, and since their release, I’ve really enjoyed playing with Knights. With a bevy of powerful and cheap plays, it always felt like a great tribe as you can either beat your opponent down quickly, or grind them out with Stormfist Crusader, Worthy Knight, and Acclaimed Contender. I wrote about Boros Knights last Standard and I felt the deck was very good, but not good enough to justify playing over a Tier 1 strategy. What it really needed was slightly better mana and one more powerful card to go in it, and luckily, we got both.
With Blightstep Pathway entering Standard, Mardu Knights has literally the best 3 color mana base in Standard: 12 Pathways and 4 Tournament Grounds goes a long way to ensure you can always cast your spells.
Beyond excellent mana, Rally the Ranks fits perfectly into this deck. At first glance, you think calling it on Knight would be the obvious choice, but here, it’s actually better to call it on Human for Worthy Knight tokens. This deck is fast, has a lot of late game power, and a very malleable sideboard which makes for a great option for the new Standard.
I’m a big fan of Yorion decks and this may be one of the best ones we’ve seen yet. With the combination of the Food package and great permanents to blink like Binding the Old Gods and Elspeth Conquers Death, this is a very powerful deck. If you want to slap around creature decks while also having a great game plan against other archetypes, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve talked about Rakdos a few times now, but I really think this is going to be an extremely powerful deck. Despite that, Rakdos isn’t too new of a concept and although I think it’s going to be great, it’s hard to call it my favorite when it’s mostly an established deck. Despite that, I’m still very excited to play Claim the Firstborn again.
I generally don’t play Control decks for one simple reason, they aren’t proactive. Nothing is worse to me than an opponent killing you while you’re sitting on a hand of all the wrong answers. Although Foretell Control doesn’t completely fix that issue, it definitely does a lot to solve it. With more proactive plays in Niko Aris, Cosmos Charger, and Behold the Multiverse, you can actually punish your opponents for not having a strong play rather than being annoyed you didn’t get to use your spell on a good target. If you want to play a more punishing Control deck, this is where I’d start.
For those who are unaware, there’s actually a reasonable game winning combo in Kaldheim standard. If you have 2 Moritte of the Frost in your graveyard, a Thassa’s Oracle in your hand or on the battlefield, and a Harald Unites the Elves, you win. How it works is you cast Harald Unites the Elves, mill 3, target a Moritte of the Frost to bring back (it’s a Changeling so also an Elf) copying Harald Unites the Elves. Your new Harald Unites the Elves triggers again and you bring back your second Moritte of the Frost also targeting Harald Unites the Elves. However since Moritte of the Frost is Legendary, one of you Harald Unite the Elves copies has to be sacrificed before the trigger goes on the stack. What this does is you keep bringing back Morrite of the Frost as a Harald Unites the Elves, keep Legend ruling one of them, and repeat until your entire deck is in your graveyard. Then if you have a Thassa’s Oracle in hand, you can cast it at the end of the combo or with your final Harald Unites the Elves trigger, copy an Oracle that’s already in play.
This combo seemed like a meme originally, but I think that’s in part that many players didn’t consider how best to build this shell and chalked it up to a cute interaction. In this list, you’re still playing a lot of powerful cards that eventually culminate into a combo kill. I’m not one to be hyperbolic, but a combo deck that uses a lot of slots for the combo and the rest for interaction is a bit similar to Splinter Twin. The largest downside to this deck is that the combo is extremely soft to graveyard hate which can end up being problematic, but being immune to creature removal is a huge boon for the decks power level. This may end up being a meme, but if a list can be created that utilizes the combo as Plan A and has a great back up plan as well, this can easily be a monster.
It’s rare to get even one combo deck in Standard at a time, but this time around, we may have two! Although Temur Song isn’t a literal combo like Sultai was, this deck is significantly more balanced and requires less to go off.
As the name implies, the deck works around the powerful engine Song of Creation. The idea behind this deck is to cast a bunch of Adventure creatures for their spell half, play a Song of Creation, and then go absolutely nuts with it. I tried this deck months ago and I really liked the deck’s ability to play either as a combo deck, or a reasonable midrange deck, but felt it was missing an important piece. Enter Birgi, God of Storytelling.
I don’t know if this was the intention and I’m assuming it’s not, but it’s hard to imagine a better card for this deck than Birgi. Both halves of the cards work super well with the deck in different ways and will be situationally dependent on which one you want. The Birgi half really excels when you play out a Song of Creation and have a lot of creatures on an Adventure. The extra Red mana with each cast will help to keep the spells coming and can easily make quick kills tenable. Although Birgi is great for this deck, the Harnfel, Horn of Bounty half may be even better. Song of Creation draws you 2 cards per cast spell, but there’s no guarantee that you can use those spells properly. With Harnfel, every extra card you get off of Song of Creation can dig you to more cheap spells to keep the chain going. It’s also very possible that if you untap with a Song of Creation and a Harnfel out, it’s actually pretty easy to win the game. Just keep casting super cheap spells, keep exiling cards out of your deck, then kill them with a Thassa’s Oracle. If the combo part of the deck isn’t working out for you, you can board into Elder Gargaroths and Ox of Agonas to act as a Midrange deck instead. The fact that this deck can so easily shifts game plans gives it a slight leg up compared to Sultai.
This deck is super sweet and nobody will tell me otherwise. Beyond how cool it is, I think this deck has a lot of power with a large amount of interactive early plays into a strong and synergistic late game. This is like a Control deck and a Midrange deck had a baby that only kept the best of both of their qualities, and I’ll all for it.
I love good old fashioned midrange decks, and this Jund list really tries to capture the spirit of that mentality. With a lot of proactive elements coupled with interspersed interaction, this deck will always allow you to have game against anything you’re facing and really leverage your decision making abilities.
I’m a simple guy, I just want all my spells to accrue value while also killing the opponent, is that so much to ask? The concept for this deck is very simple, but I believe with the right configuration, extremely potent.
Jolrael is a powerful engine that doesn’t require much beyond playing cards you already want to play to start amassing an advantage. Binding the Old Gods comes through once again in my decklists as an excellent way to take care of any type of permanent, something this style of deck absolutely needs. You have fantastic late game in Elder Gargaroth, and Shark Typhoon to get huge threats that will eventually kill the opponent. Lastly you get to play a bunch of Sublime Epiphany to create insane blowouts when your opponent is already struggling to get a foothold. You ever go turn 5 Elder Gargaroth then Sublime Epiphany? You can’t really lose from there.
This deck is interactive, powerful, and most importantly, malleable so if you need your interaction to do something else, you can just change the deck to accommodate. I can’t say that this will be the best deck or anything, but it certainly has the potential to be one of the strongest decks you can play.
Thank you so much for reading! I’m extremely excited for the release of Kaldheim and I will be getting back into streaming as well! If you’re interested to see these decks in action, you can check me out here! Have a great day!