Standard Cascade – FNM at Home Event Guide and Decklists
Have you been looking at Standard’s recent power creep and thinking to yourself “this just isn’t enough; I miss the days when I could do brain-burstingly busted things every single turn. They really need to let me play Dredge on Arena already”? Is constructing ludicrous swings where your opponents go from scarily far ahead to having no chance to win whatsoever, in just one turn, your favourite? Are you no ordinary Timmy but “Tsar Timothy the Terrifying, Titan Among Men”? Well, have I got news for you!
Please tell me in the comments if you have actually thought the words “They really need to let me play Dredge on Arena already” before this day, because I am both scared of and scared for you.
The special FNM at Home event is back on Arena for the next 24 hours, with a code for an Arena FNM Promo Pack from your local games store up for grabs. This week’s format is Standard Cascade, where all of your cards are insane 2-for-1s and it’s ridiculously easy to set up combos and synergies! Read on for more information and for decklists you can use in the event.
Until 2019, Cascade was widely considered one of the most busted mechanics in history, and the strongest card with it, one that single-handedly reshaped formats, was a 3/2 haste for 4… so what happens when you put Cascade on the best cards in Standard? Well, let’s just say, “fair”and “balanced” have long ceased to be concepts that apply here.
This week: Cascade. Bring your 60-card Standard deck. The first time you cast a spell each turn, you’ll get to cast another card without paying its mana cost from your library with a lower converted mana cost.
You can receive a code for an Arena FNM Promo Pack containing two cosmetic items when you share your results with your local game store. Find out how HERE.
*Note: While supplies last. Not all stores are participating.
In addition to the normal Standard banned list, the following cards are banned:
Whenever you cast your first spell each turn, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card with converted mana cost less than that spell’s. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Then put the exiled cards that weren’t cast this way on the bottom of that library in a random order.
- Duration: May 29, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT – May 30, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT
- Format: Cascade
- Entry Fee: Free
- Ends After: You can play as much as you like for the duration of the event.
- Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)
- 1 Win: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
- 2 Wins: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
You can also redeem one code for a MTG Arena Promo Pack every week, which will reward you with two in-game cosmetic items from the 36 available (the Ajani sleeve will be temporarily unavailable as it was recently featured as a separate reward). There are sleeves on offer featuring the Japanese Planeswalker alternate art, new Guild themed sleeves, Ikoria card styles, the Tamiyo player avatar, and more. The code is obtained from your local game store’s online community, as outlined in the Wizard’s official article:
HOW TO GET A REWARD CODE FROM YOUR STORE
Some stores have robust online communities, and others will be forming them for the first time. If you’re already part of such a community, great! Check with them and get connected.
If you aren’t part of a local game store’s online community, or if they don’t have one set up, there are a couple ways you can get connected. One is to simply reach out to your store and ask (give them a little bit of time—many of them are getting this information today as well). Another is to head to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website. Not every store has a website on there right now, but our teams here are reaching out to our stores to help them set up options and connect them to our store locator. Many of them will be setting up online communities through Discord, WhatsApp, and Facebook, so you may have to join or download one of those applications.
Step-by-step, here’s how it works:
- Play in the event (win or lose as much as you want)
- Take a screenshot of your event page
- Go to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website
- Join their social media channel
- Share your screenshot with a nice message on their channel
- The store will message you a code* back.
*Note: While supplies last. Not all stores are participating. Limit one code per account. Sharing a screenshot with your local game store does not guarantee you will receive a code.
- Unfortunately Cascade doesn’t work well with two of Ikoria’s set mechanics: building around Cycling or Mutate is not a good idea for this event, since Cycling doesn’t trigger Cascade, and you can’t Mutate off Cascade triggers (they’re both alternate costs, and you can only apply one).
- Fires of Invention is terrible in this event – the Cascade trigger still counts as casting a spell, so you’re limited to just one spell per turn with Fires out (and can’t immediately cast another spell after you play Fires).
- You want to limit the number of 1 drops you play in this event as they are terrible draws, but you still want them to cascade into off 2 drops – I’ve tried to keep it around 4, except for in the Mono Red deck since they’re worth it there
- Curve construction is, in general, incredibly important – the name of the game is maximising the power of your Cascades.
- Control decks are far weaker in this event – when all spells are worth double and counterspells are useless (they don’t prevent the cascade trigger), you really must be proactive because you’ll be racing to regain parity with reactive cards, not pushing an advantage. I suspect Control decks will get run over repeatedly and quickly. Even Mystical Dispute will be too awful when you can’t cast it for 1 (in a format that will be fairly aggressive and not especially Blue-oriented) to be worth playing, I think.
We’ll add the occasional new deck as the event goes on, so check back in every so often!
If you’re just looking to win fast, this is the deck for you! Electrostatic Field is busted in this event since Cascade generates a second burn trigger, and the Spectacle spells can be cast for 1 mana and still net you 2 drops – their converted mana cost doesn’t change. This means you can rapidly overwhelm your opponents and gain an immense tempo advantage by double-spelling early on.
The Fervent Champions are nuts in this deck, providing more 1 drops to fetch up with all the 2 drop spells, and being easy to tutor up multiples of for some crazy starts. Runaway Steam-Kin too benefits immensely from double spells, turning on his Black Lotus form in just two casts. All in all, I suspect this is one of the best things you can do in the event and the other decks will have to tech hard against this kind of strategy, though many of our creatures dodge Flame Sweep and there are still plenty that survive Deafening Clarion!
As the first of two sweet Lukka decks I theorycrafted for this event, this one is using Lukka in a more fair value-oriented way (yes, the + ability is actually good here!) alongside being able to convert any of your 4 drops into End-Raze Forerunners or Yidaro. Lukka is especially busted when he immediately comes with tokens stapled to him, which cascade will often enable…
The other half of the deck is one of the old Gruul Adventures shells; many of you will remember them from Eldraine – being able to tutor up Edgewall Innkeeper with any 2-drop is a huge boon for this strategy. I considered having Obosh in this deck, but I felt that eschewing 4 drops in a format where they’re all Bloodbraid Elves was always going to be wrong; Companions are less important when all of your cards are 2-for-1s anyway.
The joke here is that you play a 5 drop and immediately cascade into a token generator to go off! There’s a focus on planewalkers because they provide a delayed trigger for Divine Visitation – you can cascade into Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis and immediately make two Angels or Dovin for one, whereas if you cascade into Raise the Alarm, the tokens will come in first and not trigger Visitation. The planeswalkers also leave you with something in play they must kill or you’re threatening to get more tokens for your payoffs.
This deck has a focused and powerful gameplan, and Divine Visitation -> Elspeth repeatedly is capable of grinding through really a ton of stuff! Early-game, the tokens should buy a ton of time and be really threatening to aggro decks. As long as Divine Visitation is in play, so many of your cards improve dramatically that it’s difficult to imagine any opponent being able to go over the top. Yes, yes, I know Agent of Treachery sucks, but it was the best secondary tokens payoff, and this deck is still sweet! Don’t shoot the deckbuilder!
With all your 2 drops tutoring up 1 drops, it’s easier to assemble the Cat Oven combo in this event than ever before! In fact, I don’t think you even need to run the full 4 of each – the chances are you’ll either draw one or tutor one up with all your 2 drops, and drawing too many 1 drops can be very costly in this event, since those don’t cascade. To best leverage Cat Oven into a fast kill, we have Ayaras and 2 drops, all of which drain your opponents. At the top end, we have a Mono Black shell with a lot of Spectacle cards (which the cat is only too happy to enable!), since they’re busted in this event – you get to cast them cheaply but they retain their converted mana costs and give you potentially big cascades. Originally, I wanted to run Blade Juggler, but I felt like that was possibly taking things too far!
I’ve tried to keep legendary counts fairly low, since you’re tutoring them up in this Event and you never want to cascade into a second copy. I suspect this deck is a good way to fight the more aggressive decks, with good old Gary as a trump card and just having a lot of blockers to stave them off.
These are our Cascade decks from November 2019 from the Festival of the Fae event. They’re here so you can reference them, take a stroll through memory lane, and then perhaps do some brewing with the ones which haven’t been updated yourself!
Our site provides decks for almost every Arena event, so just check back whenever you need them! I’ve had far more late-night brewing sessions at this point than I’d recommend to anyone sane… check out my decks for the old FNM at Home events for some inspirational jank!
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