Standard 2022 Selesnya Magecraft Guide: The Fastest Deck in 2022

Mavinda, Students' Advocate Art by Wesley Burt
Mavinda, Students' Advocate Art by Wesley Burt

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to go over a long time favorite of mine and what I believe to be the fastest deck in 2022: Selesnya Magecraft.

The philosophy behind the deck is that you want to get a creature or two on board, cast a bunch of spells to pump them up or accrue advantages, then steamroll the opponent.

Since I used to be a huge Modern Infect and Standard Heroic junkie, this style of game play really appeals to me. Back when 2022 first started, I didn’t even have this deck on my radar until someone on Twitch was just talking in a chat about this deck that he was cruising into Mythic with. Curious, I checked it out and this was the base list.

2022 GW Magecraft v1 

Creatures (22)
4
Clever Lumimancer
4
Monk of the Open Hand
4
Clarion Spirit
4
Dragonsguard Elite
4
Leonin Lightscribe
2
Mavinda, Students' Advocate
Spells (18)
2
Blizzard Brawl
4
Charge Through
4
Guiding Voice
4
Snakeskin Veil
2
Show of Confidence
2
Mage Duel
Lands (20)
4
Arctic Treeline
4
Branchloft Pathway
2
Hall of Oracles
4
Snow-Covered Forest
6
Snow-Covered Plains
Cards (60)
Sideboard (7)
1
Environmental Sciences
1
Basic Conjuration
1
Containment Breach
1
Expanded Anatomy
1
Inkling Summoning
1
Pest Summoning
1
Mascot Exhibition

Immediately, I was in love. This seemed extremely reminiscent of Heroic with it’s signature creatures into pump spells game plan, but I was skeptical. I felt that on first inspection, the deck looked extremely weak to spot removal. This was always a problem in Heroic, but seems to be significantly worse here as beyond Dragonsguard Elite, none of the creatures actually grow.

Furthermore, drawing the wrong ratio of creatures, spells, and lands was also an issue for these style of decks. Nevertheless, I decided I had to give it a try.

I won’t say my fears were unfounded, but they were definitely not as bad as I suspected they may have been. The deck performed very well overall, being blisteringly fast in most matchups and reasonably interactive in the creature matchups. The Control matchups were unsurprisingly not very good, but even those were not as bad as I expected them to be.

For a first draft of a deck, I thought it was really well constructed. However, I still felt it could be improved further so I decided to spruce it up a bit. Here’s what I came up with.

2022 GW Magecraft v2 

Creatures (21)
2
Clever Lumimancer
4
Monk of the Open Hand
4
Clarion Spirit
4
Dragonsguard Elite
4
Leonin Lightscribe
3
Mavinda, Students' Advocate
Spells (19)
4
Blizzard Brawl
4
Charge Through
4
Guiding Voice
4
Snakeskin Veil
1
Wild Shape
2
Show of Confidence
Lands (20)
4
Arctic Treeline
4
Branchloft Pathway
2
Hall of Oracles
4
Snow-Covered Forest
6
Snow-Covered Plains
Cards (60)
Sideboard (7)
1
Academic Probation
1
Environmental Sciences
1
Basic Conjuration
1
Containment Breach
1
Expanded Anatomy
1
Inkling Summoning
1
Mascot Exhibition

It was a great base so it required very few alterations, but I believe the things that were changed are quite important.

Let’s break down the card choices.

CARD CHOICES

Dragonsguard Elite Art by David Rapoza
Dragonsguard Elite Art by David Rapoza

Clever Lumimancer

The first half of our one drops. In theory, Lumimancer is excellent in this deck as it starts us off turn 1 and can grow extremely quickly. Those are both true, but it does come with a major problem. Unless you cast a spell, it can’t really do anything on board. Not having any base power makes it much more liable to do nothing which is a big concern in a deck that can run out of gas quickly. I still think you want 2 copies as the upside is still there, but it’s definitely not always the best.

Monk of the Open Hand

The second half of the 1 drop crew. Although Monk doesn’t have any inherent synergy with instants or sorceries, it does work well in a deck where you’re trying to cast a lot of cheap spells in general. Monk can very easily become a 1 mana 2/2 and if you get to grow it more than that, it becomes extremely potent.

Clarion Spirit

Similar to Monk of the Open Hand, Clarion Spirit doesn’t care about instants or sorceries, but likes seeing a lot of cheap spells. The best part about Clarion Spirit is that it’s a removal magnet that can generally accrue value regardless. If you cast Spirit and a spell and they remove it, you’re still left with a 1/1 that can be extremely relevant and they’re way less likely to have another removal spell for your more threatening creatures.

Dragonsguard Elite

The best individual threat in the deck. Since we have so many cheap spells, Elite can very quickly grow out of control and well above anything else on board. Most of the time this can only be answered by hard removal, or will need to be chumped forever for the opponent to not get run down. Lastly, it does have the 6 mana ability to double counters which I have admittedly never used, but can likely be relevant some percentage of the time.

Leonin Lightscribe

Although not as threatening as Dragonsguard Elite by itself, this is definitely the scariest threat in the deck. If you have any board state at all, you can very easily create a functional Overrun by casting a few spells.

Mavinda, Students' Advocate

There were initially 2 copies of Mavinda, presumably because it can be a little bit clunky, but it has consistently overperformed for me. Being able to rebuy any of your spells once is an insanely powerful ability and if you can play Mavinda with a Snakeskin Veil or Wild Shape in the hand or graveyard, it makes it extremely difficult to kill.

Blizzard Brawl

The best fight spell available to us. The main appeal of Brawl is when you have the 3 snow lands out you can have some absolutely crazy turns with removing a creature and getting massive damage in. I know it seems concerning when you don’t have the 3 snow lands yet, but that’s actually rarely an issue. For the most part it’s really easy for your creatures to outsize the opponents which still makes Brawl a slightly better Prey Upon at the worst of times.

Guiding Voice

Guiding Voice is our Defiant Strike surrogate, but instead of a random card, you get a specifically decent one and instead of a temporary buff you get a permanent one! Can’t ask for much more in a deck like this.

Charge Through

One of the most important spells in the deck. Magecraft can struggle against waves of chump blockers so you really need ways to break through. Furthermore, you can use this as a functional cycle spell in a pinch.

Snakeskin Veil

Your main means of protecting your creatures. For one mana you can counter a removal spell and permanently grow one of your creatures; talk about value!

Wild Shape

It is just a 1 of, but it does have a lot of utility. This can function as a worse, but 5th copy of Snakeskin Veil or Charge Through which is a nice offering for a 1 mana spell.

Show of Confidence

This is the deck’s “top end” card. If you play this with a Leonin Lightscribe out, you can produce astronomical amounts of damage while making a large vigilant board. Although it can be hard to cast multiple spells before this, even getting this for 2 can be really powerful a good amount of the time.

Hall of Oracles

This deck can operate on pretty few lands so having access to utility lands is really helpful. Although we don’t want to be playing Unknown Shores, having a land that can grow our creatures is extremely powerful and has been relevant way more often than you might think. There have been so many games I just barely hit them for lethal because of this.

LESSON BOARD

Academic Probation Art by Cristi Balanescu
Academic Probation Art by Cristi Balanescu

Environmental Sciences

If you need an extra land or a cheap spell, this is your hit. This will also be your most common grab.

Academic Probation

Probation can be really helpful mostly as a tool to lock down a creature for a turn. However, you could also name a card that will kill you if you need just one more turn to win the game.

Basic Conjuration

It doesn’t come up often, but sometimes you’ll really need more creatures after casting a Guiding Voice, so you can grab this in a pinch.

Containment Breach

If you really need to Naturalize something.

Expanded Anatomy

A nice pump spell to have access to and Vigilance is extremely relevant in a lot of matchups.

Inkling Summoning

This is relatively weak, but if you need a 2/1 flier, here you are.

Mascot Exhibition

It’s rare that games will ever go long enough for this to be relevant, but when they do, Exhibition is one of your best hits.

NOTABLE EXCLUSIONS / POTENTIAL INCLUSIONS

Wings of the Cosmos Art by Ilse Gort
Wings of the Cosmos Art by Ilse Gort

Codespell Cleric

Although this card is solid in something like Monowhite, we’re generally not going as wide making this a lot less effective.

Wings of the Cosmos

This is actually pretty solid as an offensive tool to go over an opponent’s board or a defensive tool to ambush a creature in combat. Definitely wouldn’t hate a 1 of in the deck.

You're Ambushed on the Road

Although this does have some utility, I think this is pretty weak and worse than something like a Wild Shape

Divine Gambit

This may seem silly to even mention, but Gambit can be a potent 1 of in the late game. Most of the time your opponent’s will be out of gas and this will just be a hard removal spell, but I still think it’s a little too risky and too bad in the early game to consider.

Kabira Takedown

A strong card, but we don’t go wide enough to make great use of it.

Luminarch Aspirant

Although a powerful card, it doesn’t fit in the deck’s plan at all.

Professor of Symbology

A very solid card that gives us further access to the Lesson board, but is pretty weak by itself otherwise.

Sejiri Shelter

It’s a bit clunky for a protection spell, but it could be a fine one of.

Vastwood Fortification

A pretty medium spell on a meh land, pass.

Inscription of Abundance

A relatively versatile spell that could be a solid one of. I think it’s a bit too expensive, but it’s far from unreasonable.

Rabid Bite

A decent removal spell, I think you have better options.

Mage Duel

The initial list played Mage Duel, but I decided to cut it. The card was pretty solid and I’m assuming it was initially split between Brawl and Duel since the original pilot thought Brawl needed to be active to be good, but I disagree with that.

As I said before, Brawl is still great even when you don’t have the Snow requirement and although Mage Duel was solid for me, I found it being 3 mana to be a rather large detriment.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Wild Shape Art by Sam Guay
Wild Shape Art by Sam Guay

If you have to choose between casting Clever Lumimancer or Monk of the Open Hand on turn 1, alway start with Monk.

Generally you want to prioritize Clarion Spirit tokens over growing Monk of the Open Hand.

I like playing out Clarion Spirit first as it tends to be your lowest impact threat. You really don’t want Dragonsguard Elite to be tagged by removal and Leonin Lightscribe is at it’s best in the late game.

Mavinda, Students' Advocate can be activated on both players turns, not just your own.

Although in theory you’d want to cast Guiding Voice as late as possible to get the most of your lesson, I found just casting it early and getting something to set you up later in the game like Academic Probation has generally been better.

Try to save your Charge Through as late as possible. I only cast them early if I’m desperate, can trigger Clarion Spirit, or you need to push damage.

It’s ok to play creatures off curve to protect them with Snakeskin Veil.

Wild Shape‘s Elephant mode works best on creatures that accrue counters like Dragonsguard Elite or Clever Lumimancer since it has 0 base power.

Show of Confidence is meant to be a late game finisher, but casting it earlier can be a surprisingly effective push as well.

Thank you for reading!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on Twitch and Discord.

16 Responses

  1. Gabriele says:

    Have you seen this version of the deck?
    https://mtgmelee.com/Decklist/View/152649
    What do you think about werewolf pack leader in it?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Definitely don’t hate this take on it. I would go way lighter on White and probably cut the Lumimancer for something else so we can play fewer Plains. Werewolf Pack Leader is pretty nuts so I never mind trying to jam that card where I can. That being said, I don’t see what this would realistically have over Monogreen so it’s hard to say if this version is good.

  2. Kalessin#33378 says:

    Looks a lot like your budget monowhite pre-22, but with a little less learn-lesson package and few airborne attacks. I’ll surely try it!

  3. Derek says:

    Thanks for this! I had a mono white magecraft that was too inconsistent. This list is much, much better! Just ranked up from Gold to Platinum in one evening.

  4. Camilot says:

    How do you feel about Lair of the Hydra instead of the oracles? I honestly find this decks biggest problem is sweepers, and that is pretty much the decks only response to a full sweeper

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Extremely reasonable option imo, may even be better

      • Camilot says:

        Cheers! Also you might be interested to know that this deck gets put up against significantly jankier decks then the werewolf pack leader version listed above, while not being much weaker. I’m shocked how easy climbing the ladder is with this version, having played both. The werewolf one kept having the matchmaker put me against control blood on the snow

        • DoggertQBones says:

          That’s interesting as I definitely faced a good amount of Control decks on my climb. Nevertheless, glad it’s working well for you!

  5. Lady Luck Needed says:

    Tried it, there is no way this is the fastest deck lol it’s slow as fuck and rely on lady luck

  6. Cody Mann says:

    Would you prefer the hydra man land or the frost dragon cave land as a two of instead of oracle?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      I think they’re relatively comparably. Both are utility lands but Hall does come into play untapped and gets to use it’s ability for way cheaper. The others are colored which is nice, but they cost way more to activate and can come into play untapped. It really comes down to what you prioritize.

      • Cody Mann says:

        Sorry, I think my question was misleading. I meant which of the two man lands would you use over oracle, not oracle versus the two. Hydra is more versatile with its activation cost but the cave is a flyer, which seems relevant. But higher activation cost too. As someone who has played this deck a ton, which would you pick of the two man lands?

  7. Nicol Bolas says:

    Just hit my first ever Mythic with this deck! The only changes I have made are swapping two monks for werewolf pack leaders and Lair of the Hyrda for Hall of Oracles. My worst matchups have been against golgari and boros decks. Thank you OP for putting this deck together along with the guide!