Selesnya Yorion Standard Deck Guide: The Creature Deck Crusher

elspeth-conquers-death-art

Hello everyone! Historic is still the format that is the most relevant with the MCQW coming in January, however, the next set of SCG tournaments are all Standard, and I’ve been asked on what decks I like for that. GW Yorion isn’t a new archetype, but it came into prominence right before UW Yorion came by to send it back to the shadow realm.

Despite most players completely giving up on the archetype, I still felt like the deck may have something to offer, so I gave it a go. Although I’ve been playing it over the course of a few days, I still have yet to lose with it on the ladder. Am I saying this deck is unbeatable? Obviously not, my sample size is really small, around 10 matches, but I can say for sure that this deck is excellent at grinding out other creature decks. Let’s take a look at the list.

Suffice to say I came prepared to deal with creatures which seems like a strong option in this creature dominated metagame. I would even argue that this deck would perform even better in Bo1 then it would on Bo3 ladder as creature decks are significantly more prevalent there, but I’m confident in this list no matter which you choose to do. Since this is functionally pre-boarded for creature matchups, I have no substitutions to make for Best of One play. Let’s talk about card choices.

CARD CHOICES

gilded-goose-eld-mtg-art-lindsey-look
Gilded Goose (ELD) Art by Lindsey Look

1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate

Admittedly this isn’t the best Vivien deck as we only have 22 creatures to potentially cast off of the top, but making a creature every turn or tutoring out a situationally powerful creature is still a great effect to have. This deck is really good at grinding late into the game, so having a threat like Vivien that can make an insurmountable advantage is valuable. 

4 Gilded Goose

Whether you’re ramping, gaining life, or making resources for Trail of Crumbs and Wicked Wolf, this Goose is anything but loose. Generally you want to save the Food to use as a resource later, but if you need to use it earlier, that’s no problem.

1 Charming Prince

This list is a little light on early, proactive cards and Charming Prince serves that role well. With his range of strong abilities, drawing him early or late is generally quite good, but he really hits his stride when blinking Yorion.

1 Scavenging Ooze

I wanted another proactive 2 drop that you don’t mind playing early and is also a great draw late in the game. Mostly for Rogues, but can also be useful against Gruul later in the game when a lot of creatures are in the graveyard.

4 Llanowar Visionary

Visionary draws a card, ramps you into Yorion or ECD, then you can blink/recur it to draw another card! Value!

4 Skyclave Apparition 

If you’re playing White, you’re playing Skyclave. Skyclave is good in functionally every matchup and has the added benefit of having great synergy with Yorion, doubly so if you have a Glass Casket out.

4 Wicked Wolf

One of your 2 Food payoffs. This card is amazing in all creature matchups and still solid even if you don’t get to fight something when it comes down. Since it’s an ETB creature, you can also get additional value if you blink it with Yorion.

4 Yorion, Sky Nomad

The namesake and best card in the deck by a mile. Your general game plan is to assemble a board with enough value permanents that casting your first Yorion is just going to be lethal, and this deck is very good at accomplishing that. In that vein, try to cast this when you are blinking 2+ permanents, but if you need to play it earlier, this list plays 4 for a reason.

4 Emeria’s Call

Broodmate Dragon or Plains. No thought for including this here in a deck looking to go late.

4 Glass Casket

Glassket is great right now since nearly every deck is playing small creatures. Eat them early, blink this later with a Skyclave Apparition out for maximum value.

4 Trail of Crumbs

The second food payoff in the deck. Your best starts generally involve going Gilded Goose into Trail of Crumbs, but if you can’t do that, this deck is so durdly that cracking food later in the game to find more stuff to do is perfectly acceptable most of the time.

4 Elspeth Conquers Death

If your opponent plays anything that can’t be Glass Casketed, Skyclaved, or Wicked Wolfed, they’re cheating. So to stop them from cheating, we have this insanely powerful exile effect that’s amazing value with Yorion or threatens to get a great permanent back a few turns later.

21 Lands + 4 Emeria’s Call

SIDEBOARD

2 Chainweb Aracnir

This itsy bitsy spider realistically isn’t that great against Rogues, but it’s the best option we have in Selesnya colors. If you nab a flier this card feels great, and thinning your graveyard is still very good against Rogues.

3 Giant Killer

Giant Killer is great at making your Gruul/Temur opponents question all of their life decisions. 

2 Scavenging Ooze

Another creature to help out the Rogues matchup. Rogues pilots are unlikely to keep in their Bloodchief’s Thirst so this can be surprisingly hard to kill from their end.

1 Wilt

Naturalize is good in a Henge/Embercleave metagame.

1 Thrashing Brontodon

This is a slightly more versatile, but more expensive Wilt. If you need to blow something up it feels worse, but it being a 3/4 body that can tussle can be relevant.

2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate

When you are facing decks that the Plan A of creature removal is not cutting it and you need high impact permanents to grind with.

2 Kogla, the Titan Ape

Kogla is king in any creature matchups as it will always kill their best creature, then threaten to kill any nice permanents like The Great Henge, Embercleave, or Trail of Crumbs if it didn’t die in the exchange. Doubly insane if you get this and Charming Prince or Giant Killer.

2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

This seems counterintuitive in a deck that wants to build a board up, but sometimes you need to go bigger than your opponent.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

Kogla, The Titan Ape Art by Chris Rahn
Kogla, The Titan Ape Art by Chris Rahn

GRUUL

INOUT
+3 Giant Killer-1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
+1 Wilt-4 Llanowar Visionary
+1 Thrashing Brontodon-1 Trail of Crumbs
+2 Kogla, the Titan Ape-1 Charming Prince

If you want to beat up on Gruul, you play this deck. All you have to do is not lose since you will eventually overwhelm them with all of your removal and value cards. In the postboard games, make sure you don’t keep land light hands as we no longer have Visionary to help smooth out your curve. It’s not like Visionary is bad, but it generally gets it’s bones crushed or it just isn’t a relevant body.

ROGUES

INOUT
+2 Chainweb Aracnir-1 Charming Prince
+2 Scavenging Ooze-1 Yorion, Sky Nomad
+2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate-4 Elspeth Conquers Death

This matchup can be challenging if they have a fast Into the Story, but this deck is really good at keeping their creatures off the board with all of our removal. Prioritize keeping your graveyard as small as possible when possible, and if it isn’t, focus on resolving a Vivien or a high impact Yorion.

FOOD

INOUT
+1 Wilt-1 Charming Prince
+1 Thrashing Brontodon-1 Scavenging Ooze
+2 Kogla, the Titan Ape-4 Glass Casket
+2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

This matchup is going to be a grindfest, but unfortunately for Food, our permanents are much higher value than theirs. Keep their high value permanents off of the board then roll them over with a Yorion or an Ugin in the post board games.

TEMUR

INOUT
+3 Giant Killer-1 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
+1 Wilt-1 Charming Prince
+1 Thrashing Brontodon-1 Scavenging Ooze
+2 Kogla, the Titan Ape-2 Llanowar Visionary
+2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon-4 Glass Casket

This matchup can be challenging if they draw a bunch of Ultimatums or have an unanswered Terror of the Peaks, but our ability to grind can match theirs. Keep Edgewall and Terror off the board and pray they can’t kill you with an amazing Ultimatum.

YORION DECKS

INOUT
+2 Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate-4 Glass Casket
+2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

If you’re facing either Doom or UB, the board plan remains the same. The name of the game is to grind better than they can, a task that can be relatively difficult depending on each player’s draw. Do your best to draw out counterspells early or to force them to tap out so you can slam a high impact permanent. Ugin may seem weird as they are both likely to have something like Negate, but this can win the game by itself if it resolves and it’s very unlikely that they will play around this. There is a consideration to bring in Kogla against Esper Doom as each attack could kill an artifact or enchantment, but I think Kogla won’t be good often enough to justify it.

Thank you for reading! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8, has 3-0d 3 professional draft pods, and loves writing and teaching!

2 Responses

  1. Zed Zed says:

    I think this deck badly needs The Great Henge for the lifegain and card draw and ability to win stalls. I think it’s just strictly a better grindy card than Vivien in this deck. We won’t be playing it on turn 4 in most scenarios, but Wicked Wolf and Yorion are enough to enable it, especially since both creatures tend to live for a turn after being played.

    I suggest -1 Elspeth Conquers Death, -1 Vivien, +2 The Great Henge.

    • Zed Zed says:

      Oh, and The Great Henge also extremely helps the deck’s huge weakness to Ugin, as this is a deck that’s slow to win and has nothing else to survive an Ugin wipe (which is also why I agree with playing 2 Ugins in the side).

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