Play Any Deck Event Guide and Decklists
The new expansion Throne of Eldraine and the new Standard format is here, and MTG Arena is making its official launch out of the open beta phase after almost exactly one year. To commemorate this occasion, MTG Arena is holding a special two-part event that allows you to play with all the cards in Standard, and an opportunity to win a copy of each card as well!
Like the events, this will also be a two-part guide – in this first one, we explore the new cards, theorycraft and early access decks, and the first week brews of the new era of Throne of Eldraine Standard. In the upcoming second guide, we will find out what kind of decks survived the meta once the dust has settled, and what decks are expected to perform the best where higher stakes are involved.
- View Event Page
- Duration: September 26 at 8 a.m. PT (3 p.m. UTC) to October 1 at 8 a.m. PT (3 p.m. UTC)
- Format: Throne of Eldraine Standard Constructed – Cards from Guilds of Ravnica forward (Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, Core Set 2020, and Throne of Eldraine)
- Entry Fee: None, but you can only participate once.
- Ends After: Up to 12 games (win or lose)
- Match Structure: Single matches (BO1)
- Rewards: None specific for this event – games still count towards Daily Quests, Daily and Weekly Wins.
What is Play Any Deck?
We’ll provide access to playsets (four copies) of every card in Standard, which you can use to build and play any deck in Standard. You can build as many decks as you like, and you can change them between matches.
The first part of the MTG Arena two-part launch celebration goes live as soon as the game update hits. This event allows players to build Throne of Eldraine Standard decks without being restricted to their collection – that is, we can use any card we want!
This allows us to test new Standard cards and decks without having to craft them for no cost, but only for up to 12 games. This will prove to be important as part of the testing process, as the second part of the event that comes a few days later – called the Win Every Card Challenge – is a high-stakes event that rewards a copy of every card in Standard for winning 12 matches.
For this event, we will look maximizing our 12 game limit and find out what cards to build around, and decks to watch, so that we are well prepared for the next event and have a more refined list. We also do not want to be using our Wildcards frivolously outside of the event so early on in the set as well!
Top Throne of Eldraine Cards
Here are the cards we look forward to playing with the most on the surface level.
New set, new Planeswalkers to build around! Three mana cost Planeswalkers are no joke, especially when they can tick up to six loyalty as soon as it comes down. At the very least, they do not have passive abilities like the War of the Spark ones.
- Oko, Thief of Crowns: We are excited to see what the best shell would be for Oko – whether it be a Food deck, or just for some midrange value. It can be a deterrent to aggro decks, steal your opponent’s creatures (in exchange for a Food token) as early as the second turn it comes down, or render their artifact or creature less useful.
- The Royal Scions: In order to maximize the use of Will and Rowan, it can’t all be about spells – we need to add creatures as well! Arclight Phoenix is the most obvious pairing that comes to mind, but Irencrag Pyromancer and Crackling Drake are all fine partners too.
- Garruk, Cursed Huntsman: There are other 6 mana Planeswalkers can fill a similar role to the returned Garruk – such as Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Ugin, the Ineffable. On the surface, it definitely is a decent Planeswalker,
Fires of Invention
Any card that allows you play cards without paying their mana cost is just asking to be broken and the more creative minds will be sure to come up with something good very quickly. Part of the reason why it’s so good is that it can act as mana fixing, and you can even cast something else the turn it is played.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
This card makes red decks even more scarier. If Experimental Frenzy was all about adding resilience to red decks, Torbran adds explosiveness and speed. Opponents will have to be more careful about taking early damage, as when this dwarf comes down on turn 4 – even with 2 or 3 creatures on the board could end things quickly. Mono Red Aggro is here to stay
All the castles are fine additions to any one or even two color decks – there is hardly any downside to including these in your deck, and they all have decent abilities towards mid to late game. Even if they don’t fit your game plan perfectly they should warrant 2 to 4 land spots in your deck.
In a three color deck it might be questionable – though cards like Castle Ardenvale and Castle Vantress have broad enough abilities that if you don’t mind them coming into play tapped, could still be well worth including.
These signature artifacts are cards that can be built around or can just augment your deck in some way. At first glance, they seem a bit too slow for competitive Standard to be the focus of the deck, but rather look to be better as 1 or 2 copies to help your game plan. You definitely do not want to have multiple copies in your hand, or even your starting hand as their cost reduction requires a board presence or cards already in your graveyard. That being said, they could just be even better than it looks, especially The Great Henge where it can be relatively easier to cast compared to the others.
Our pick for the favorite card of the set – it doesn’t do anything flashy (pun intended) but it is just an all-rounder that will be on everybody’s minds if you have blue mana available. Like its cousin Vendillion Clique, we expect this card to be a strong contender in Standard and will be in many, if not most decks that play blue.
Food is looking like it will be more similar to the Energy mechanic from Kaladesh. Gilded Goose will be the new Llanowar Elves even without decks that don’t make use of Food Tokens. Feasting Troll King cam be cheated out in combination with cards like Witch’s Oven. Golden Egg will also be a quintessential card (similar to Chromatic Sphere) that brings these decks together in terms of consistency.
This card is good even just as its Adventure spell and fills the gaps of black decks to deal with both creatures and planeswalkers quite nicely. Being a creature as well is just icing on the cake. On the same note, there are a lot of other good Knights in the set and they look to be quite pushed – like Fervent Champion and Acclaimed Contender. With Witch’s Vengeance in the same set, we will have to find out whether they can be just as good as the dominant Vampires from the previous Standard.
Irencrag Pyromancer is enabled by a lot of cards. Opt, The Royal Scions, Thrill of Possibility, and others to add the Lightning Bolt effect to those cards. 0/4 is also a big body. Improbable Alliance is also another one worth mentioning. Similar to Saheeli, Master Artificer, except it is a little bit more flexible and difficult to remove. I think these Izzet-related cards will play a big role in the new Standard format.
Continuing on from War of the Spark, we still have a bunch of broken Planeswalkers in Standard (Teferi, Time Raveler and Narset, Parter of Veils) and we are set to add more (namely Oko, Thief of Crowns). These two creatures are efficient, full of value and a beating, but good especially because they can deal with the above mentioned Planeswalkers effectively. They are also generic enough to be included in many decks.
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Our last card of noteworthy mention has a lot of abilities, is an evasive creature with haste. It seems to fit best in a midrange deck that aims to outvalue your opponent. On a similar note, Stormfist Crusader is also an interesting card that affects both players, and is a Knight to boot.
Building Your Throne of Eldraine Standard Deck
The New Manabase
With only access to the new Fabled Passage, Temples and the Shocklands for our mana, three colors is going to be harder to come by more consistently without lands coming into play tapped or having to pay 2 life. We mentioned in the previous Standard 2020 guide that this will have a big impact on Standard decks going forward. This is why we feel mono or two colored decks will perform the best in the new Standard, especially with the utility lands such as Castle Vantress.
If you need further help choosing the right amount of lands in your deck if it has a more complicated mana base, check out Frank Karsten’s signature article on this topic.
Best-of-one matches will naturally favor aggro, combo or more linear decks that do their own thing. Without a sideboard it is harder to prepare against them, especially for control decks that require a variety of answers to threats.
Mono Red Aggro has been the king of best-of-one queues and it looks to be getting stronger in this Standard. It is one of the best decks to choose especially in a new metagame, as players experiment with new cards.
Our Throne of Eldraine Standard Decklist Choices
Here are the cream of the crop decks we want to test out for the event. They account for the cards we mentioned above, and are diverse enough to find out what cards might over and under-perform before we dive in and craft them with Wildcards. There are obvious more we want to play, but being restricted to 12 games means that we want to quickly try and find decks that would be more refined for the next event.
What better way to test the new cards than to try an alternate win condition? This deck is originally by AliEldrazi, creator unique brews and such as ones based around Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. Leyline of Anticipation is a really interesting inclusion as it allows you to resolve Happily Ever After at end of your opponent’s turn, and if you have a Teferi, Time Raveler on your side then it’s game over (provided you meet the conditions).
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 1 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238 2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 1 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32 2 Drawn from Dreams (M20) 56 4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244 4 Fae of Wishes (ELD) 44 2 Forest (ELD) 266 2 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178 4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251 3 Happily Ever After (ELD) 16 4 Island (ELD) 254 4 Leyline of Anticipation (M20) 64 3 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61 2 Plains (ELD) 250 3 Planewide Celebration (WAR) 172 4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221 4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258 2 Time Wipe (WAR) 223 4 Wilderness Reclamation (RNA) 149 1 Absorb (RNA) 151 1 Devious Cover-Up (GRN) 35 1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193 1 Happily Ever After (ELD) 16 1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries (WAR) 54 1 Mass Manipulation (RNA) 42 1 Once and Future (ELD) 168 1 Planar Cleansing (M20) 33 1 Planewide Celebration (WAR) 172 1 Precognitive Perception (RNA) 45 1 Prison Realm (WAR) 26 1 Root Snare (RNA) 137 1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220 1 Time Wipe (WAR) 223 1 Veil of Summer (M20) 198
This is a deck by Andrew Cuneo and also adopted by Ondrej Strasky to play the attrition game with Doom Foretold and get back your sacrificed artifacts and enchantments with Dance of the Manse. This deck is well suited for this event as these are very specific rares you don’t want to risk your Wildcards on.
1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 3 Dance of the Manse (ELD) 186 3 Doom Foretold (ELD) 187 1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193 3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244 4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248 4 Golden Egg (ELD) 220 4 Guild Globe (WAR) 239 4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251 1 Island (ELD) 254 4 Kaya's Wrath (RNA) 187 1 Legion's End (M20) 106 2 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97 4 Oath of Kaya (WAR) 209 2 Plains (ELD) 250 1 Planar Cleansing (M20) 33 2 Swamp (ELD) 258 4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221 4 Temple of Silence (M20) 256 3 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206 4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259 1 Wishclaw Talisman (ELD) 110 2 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228 1 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70 2 Disenchant (M20) 14 1 Disfigure (M20) 95 2 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193 2 Duress (XLN) 105 1 Legion's End (M20) 106 1 Realm-Cloaked Giant (ELD) 26 2 The Elderspell (WAR) 89 1 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212
This is a deck by K/DA renji that exploits the interaction between Stormfist Crusader and Irencrag Pyromancer. There are even more ways to draw your second card, like Foulmire Knight, Midnight Reaper and Rankle, Master of Pranks. This deck will make a good opportunity to try a linear aggro deck that includes a lot of the new cards.
2 Foulmire Knight (ELD) 90 8 Mountain (ANA) 64 4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105 2 Shock (M20) 160 8 Swamp (ANA) 63 4 Rix Maadi Reveler (RNA) 109 4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194 4 Stormfist Crusader (ELD) 203 3 Midnight Reaper (GRN) 77 4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97 4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115 3 Irencrag Pyromancer (ELD) 128 3 Rankle, Master of Pranks (ELD) 101 2 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241 1 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239 4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
This is a deck by KanyeBest, an up and coming MTG Arena streamer and player. This deck is Jeskai Superfriends in its core, and makes use of the new Fae of Wishes to fetch silver bullet cards from the sideboard and Fires of Invention to cast two spells every turn. The deck looks to be well-positioned even against aggro decks with incidental lifegain via Interplanar Beacon, Fae of Wishes as a good blocker and Deafening Clarion to wipe the board.
4 Fae of Wishes (ELD) 44 4 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61 4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221 2 The Royal Scions (ELD) 199 1 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor (WAR) 56 3 Sarkhan the Masterless (WAR) 143 1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127 1 Ugin, the Ineffable (WAR) 2 4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125 2 Shock (M19) 156 2 Justice Strike (GRN) 182 1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244 4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251 4 Interplanar Beacon (WAR) 247 2 Island (XLN) 265 2 Mountain (XLN) 273 1 Plains (XLN) 261 4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 1 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253 1 Temple of Triumph (M20) 257 1 Time Wipe (WAR) 223 4 Deafening Clarion (GRN) 165 1 Devout Decree (M20) 13 1 Disenchant (M20) 14 1 Sarkhan the Masterless (WAR) 143 1 Time Wipe (WAR) 223 1 Dawn of Hope (GRN) 8 1 Command the Dreadhorde (WAR) 82 1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193 1 Prison Realm (WAR) 26 1 Pulse of Murasa (M20) 189 1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220 1 The Elderspell (WAR) 89 1 Sky Tether (RNA) 21 1 Enter the God-Eternals (WAR) 196 1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127 1 Casualties of War (WAR) 187
2 Deputy of Detention (RNA) 165 1 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39 3 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183 4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178 4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160 4 Charming Prince (ELD) 8 4 Risen Reef (M20) 217 1 Trostani Discordant (GRN) 208 1 Harmonious Archon (ELD) 17 1 Finale of Glory (WAR) 12 3 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169 4 Oko, Thief of Crowns (ELD) 197 4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221 4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 4 Forest (XLN) 277 4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251 1 Plains (XLN) 261 1 Island (XLN) 265 1 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240 1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258 4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255
Make use of the key new cards added to blue and red in this archetype.
1 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239 1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 2 Radical Idea (GRN) 52 1 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32 2 Merchant of the Vale (ELD) 131 4 Crackling Drake (GRN) 163 4 Arclight Phoenix (GRN) 91 3 Improbable Alliance (ELD) 193 4 Irencrag Pyromancer (ELD) 128 6 Island (XLN) 265 6 Mountain (XLN) 273 4 Opt (XLN) 65 1 Scorching Dragonfire (ELD) 139 1 Beacon Bolt (GRN) 154 4 Shock (M19) 156 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253 4 The Royal Scions (ELD) 199 4 Thrill of Possibility (ELD) 146
This deck goes all-in on Food token synergies. Another possible inclusion is Savvy Hunter if you want to make the deck a little bit less reliant on them.
2 Assassin's Trophy (GRN) 152 4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 3 Feasting Troll King (ELD) 152 3 Forest (XLN) 277 4 Giant Opportunity (ELD) 159 4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160 1 Island (XLN) 265 4 Oko, Thief of Crowns (ELD) 197 4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253 4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171 1 Swamp (XLN) 269 4 Temple of Malady (M20) 254 4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255 3 Vraska, Golgari Queen (GRN) 213 3 Watery Grave (GRN) 259 4 Wicked Wolf (ELD) 181 4 Witch's Oven (ELD) 237 4 Cauldron Familiar (ELD) 81
2 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240 6 Forest (XLN) 277 4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105 4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97 4 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169 4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253 4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171 4 Pelt Collector (GRN) 141 3 Questing Beast (ELD) 171 3 Rankle, Master of Pranks (ELD) 101 4 Rotting Regisaur (M20) 111 4 Spawn of Mayhem (RNA) 85 7 Swamp (XLN) 269 4 Temple of Malady (M20) 254 3 The Great Henge (ELD) 161
We are curious to see how this deck will play out without the Experimental Frenzy and Runaway Steam-Kin combo, or Cavalcade of Calamity. This deck gives us a chance to test out the new red cards, and has a slightly higher curve.
4 Fervent Champion (ELD) 124 4 Scorch Spitter (M20) 159 4 Tin Street Dodger (RNA) 120 4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138 4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115 4 Shock (M19) 156 4 Slaying Fire (ELD) 143 4 Skewer the Critics (RNA) 115 4 Light Up the Stage (RNA) 107 3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell (ELD) 147 17 Mountain (XLN) 273 4 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
Why not try all the new different Knights in Standard? Each color has its own Knight that feels amiss if we only pick two colors. The deck can fold hard to Witch’s Vengeance, so play around cards like that and try not to vomit your hand all at once!
4 Venerable Knight (ELD) 35 4 Fervent Champion (ELD) 124 4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105 4 Worthy Knight (ELD) 36 4 Stormfist Crusader (ELD) 203 4 Inspiring Veteran (ELD) 194 3 Order of Midnight (ELD) 99 4 Smitten Swordmaster (ELD) 105 1 Embercleave (ELD) 120 2 Conclave Tribunal (GRN) 6 2 The Circle of Loyalty (ELD) 9 2 Icon of Ancestry (M20) 229 4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254 4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248 4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245 1 Temple of Silence (M20) 256 1 Temple of Triumph (M20) 257 2 Plains (XLN) 261 2 Swamp (XLN) 269 4 Tournament Grounds (ELD) 248
I am dubious about Wildborn Preserver as it does not do too much other than being potentially a bigger creature – but it’s worth trying, at least. Once Upon a Time is a potential inclusion if we cut some counterspells and add another creature suite.
4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76 4 Brineborn Cutthroat (M20) 50 4 Wildborn Preserver (ELD) 182 4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39 4 Nightpack Ambusher (M20) 185 4 Frilled Mystic (RNA) 174 4 Opt (XLN) 65 4 Quench (RNA) 48 4 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54 8 Island (XLN) 265 6 Forest (XLN) 277 4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255 2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242
We also have a bunch of theorycraft articles for each color and a few color combinations that you might enjoy.
More Pre-meta Decklists
- Early Access Streamer Event Decklists: For about 24 hours, various players have showcased the huge variety of decks – streamers and pro players alike. They will be our go-to for tournament worthy decklists, so make sure to check them out.
- Standard 2020 Decklists: Check out our Standard 2020 page for inspiration if you prefer to build your own decks – you can use the core of the deck and improve them with Throne of Eldraine cards.
- Fandom Legends Week 25 Decklists: This week tournament will host the first Standard event between 16 players – pretty much as soon as Throne of Eldraine releases. Decklists are now up and the tournament is currently in progress!
So this is all you need to know to prepare for the new Standard. Experiment with the new cards as much as you can in this event, and bring your A game for the next part of the event. The Win Every Card Challenge arrives October 5, 2019 @ 8:00 PM PST so we will post our thoughts and reviews right before that date. Of course, we will also keep this guide updated if any interesting decks appear.