This week we travel to the plane of Dominaria for the fourth MTG Arena Plane-cation Chronicles event! The Standard Shakeup format bans popular cards in the current Standard metagame – read on for event details, rewards, tips, strategies, and decks you could be playing.
- Duration: August 18 2019 to August 21 2019
- Start: August 18 2019 8 AM PT (15:00 UTC)
- Sign up End: August 21 2019 8 AM PT (15:00 UTC)
- End: August 21 2019 11 AM PT (18:00 UTC)
- Note: Plane-cation Chronicles event duration has now been extended for 24 hours!
- Format: Standard Shakeup
- Cost: Free
- Match Structure: Single matches (BO1)
- Rewards: New Basic Land Art that can be used in any of your decks for cumulative wins (up to 6) throughout the event duration as below:
|1||Swamp (MI) 0||1000 Mastery XP|
|2||Mountain (MI) 0|
|3||Forest (MI) 0|
|4||Plains (MI) 0|
|5||Island (MI) 0|
|6||Island (ANA) 057|
Note: Even if you do happen to miss these Plane-cation events, it will still be possible to purchase these after the event ends. Further details (date of availability and cost) are to be announced.
What is Standard Shakeup?
Now this is the place where legends are born! If you want to make a name for yourself in the multiverse, Dominaria is definitely the place to start. Or destroy. Either way, your visit here is promised to be one for the history books!
For this event, we are playing best-of-one Standard with the following cards banned from the event. The list is a little bit different from the one previously announced, as the meta has changed slightly since then:
- Benalish Marshal
- History of Benalia
- Curious Obsession
- Brineborn Cutthroat
- Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord (newly added)
- Arclight Phoenix
- Goblin Chainwhirler
- Light Up the Stage
- Rekindling Phoenix
- Runaway Steam-Kin
- Nissa, Who Shakes the World
- Wildgrowth Walker
- Field of the Dead (newly added)
- Teferi, Hero of Dominara
- Teferi, Time Raveler
- Thought Erasure
- Feather, the Redeemed
- Hydroid Krasis
- Risen Reef
It has also been confirmed that cards that are already banned from best-of-one Standard are staying banned for the event:
- Rampaging Ferocidon
- Nexus of Fate
This event is giving the current top Standard decks a “plane-cation” to encourage players to brew and experiment with interesting off-meta decks. The MTG Arena team is emphasizing that “this is not an indication of any pending banned or restricted announcement … we’ve decided to ban some of the current Standard staples for this event, and this event only“.
Building Your Standard Shakeup Deck – Tips and Strategies
1. Decks that become Weaker
Let’s first analyze the banlist, to see which popular decks we can rule out for the event. The following deck archetypes got hit:
- Mono Red Aggro: They definitely wanted to rule this deck out for this event. Three key cards are banned (Goblin Chainwhirler, Light Up the Stage, Runaway Steam-Kin), and will render the deck as it is unplayable. If you still insist, you could try a Cavalcade of Calamity varitation or a Goblin based build with Goblin Ringleader.
- Esper Decks: Both Teferi cards which warp the meta in one way or another, is gone – also the #1 card that induces video game rage – Thought Erasure is gone.
- Simic, Elementals and Ramp Decks: No chance for the value generating Simic decks here. Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Hydroid Krasis, Risen Reef and even Wildgrowth Walker are all banned. Elemental decks without Risen Reef might also be a bit sketchy.
- Scapeshift Decks: Field of the Dead has newly been added to the list due to its dominance in the current meta. Would someone like to experiment with Dread Presence?
- Vampire Decks: Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord is also another new addition, which is a core part of the Vampire deck but could still be playable if you modify it to become a more aggro-based deck.
- Numerous others: Izzet Phoenix, Boros Feather, Mono Blue Tempo and Mono White Aggro are also neutered for the event.
2. Decks that become Stronger
- Control Decks: The current rendition of Esper got hit, but the traditional control decks that utilize instants like counterspells and draw spells are viable again due to the banning of Teferi, Time Raveler. On a related note, even though Brineborn Cutthroat is banned, Simic Flash could be better than ever.
- Jund Dinosaurs: The deck remains untouched for this event, and it is one of the top Standard archetypes presently. The relative strength of this deck would depend on the number of control decks present in the meta.
- Creature based Aggro decks: Goblin Chainwhirler is feared by all the one-toughness creatures, so the world can be a little bit safer for creatures like Paradise Druid and Skymarcher Aspirant.
3. Matches are Best-of-One
One thing to consider for this event is that the matches are best-of-one. This will bode well for combo decks or linear decks that try do their own thing, as your opponents will not know what to expect or is able to sideboard in answers against you.
In addition, there are mechanisms in place for you to find the right starting hand for your combo deck:
- The London Mulligan rule
- MTG Arena hand algorithm for BO1 matches
Our Top Standard Shakeup Decklist Choices
Here are some quick decks you can use for this event if you are not a brewer yourself. These don’t necessarily try to think too much outside the box (some tier 2 decks that avoid the banlist) so many players should also have access to the cards in these decks.
We are looking for some decks to feature here – send us your decklists for this event!
Mono Red Cavalcade – Standard Shakeup
This is the obligatory – if you want to get your 6 wins as quickly as possible and get out of Dominaria – this will be your deck. The deck loses Light Up the Stage, but we still have access to powerful card advantage spells in Experimental Frenzy and Risk Factor, albeit slower.
4 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126 4 Chandra's Spitfire (M20) 132 4 Fanatical Firebrand (RIX) 101 4 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109 2 Scampering Scorcher (M20) 158 4 Scorch Spitter (M20) 159 2 Tin Street Dodger (RNA) 120 4 Lightning Strike (XLN) 149 4 Shock (M19) 156 4 Cavalcade of Calamity (RNA) 95 20 Mountain (XLN) 273 2 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99 2 Risk Factor (GRN) 113
Mardu Aristocrats – Standard Shakeup
This deck was sent to us by user Alex Scott. It’s simple and to the point.
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105 5 Mountain (ANA) 64 4 Footlight Fiend (RNA) 216 4 Tibalt's Rager (WAR) 147 3 Swamp (ANA) 63 4 Cruel Celebrant (WAR) 188 4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194 4 Heartfire (WAR) 131 3 Mask of Immolation (M20) 151 4 Judith, the Scourge Diva (RNA) 185 4 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator (WAR) 146 3 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126 4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248 4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245 2 Dragonskull Summit (XLN) 252 4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
Jund Dinosaurs – Standard Shakeup
Standard has not been shaken up too much by Jund Dinosaurs, which has not been affected in anyway for this event. This version includes Thud, which will be better in this format as it can kill the opponent out of nowhere.
4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168 4 Marauding Raptor (M20) 150 2 Otepec Huntmaster (XLN) 153 3 Regisaur Alpha (XLN) 227 4 Ripjaw Raptor (XLN) 203 4 Rotting Regisaur (M20) 111 4 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194 3 Ghalta, Primal Hunger (RIX) 130 1 Domri, Anarch of Bolas (WAR) 191 3 Forest (XLN) 277 3 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245 3 Dragonskull Summit (XLN) 252 4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253 2 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256 4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259 4 Unclaimed Territory (XLN) 258 2 Collision // Colossus (RNA) 223 4 Commune with Dinosaurs (XLN) 181 2 Thud (M19) 163
Sultai Flash – Standard Shakeup
The deck loses Brineborn Cutthroat but it can run more freely without Teferi, Time Raveler. The Sultai version allows it to run Dire Fleet Poisoner, which is the next best flash creature. The downside is that it costs 4 rare Wildcards if you don’t have them already and the mana base can be shaky with all the double costed cards.
4 Merfolk Trickster (DAR) 56 4 Dire Fleet Poisoner (RIX) 68 4 Frilled Mystic (RNA) 174 4 Nightpack Ambusher (M20) 185 4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76 2 Assassin's Trophy (GRN) 152 2 Cast Down (DAR) 81 3 Essence Scatter (M19) 54 4 Lookout's Dispersal (XLN) 62 1 Negate (RIX) 44 2 Syncopate (DAR) 67 2 Tyrant's Scorn (WAR) 225 4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253 4 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240 1 Island (XLN) 265 4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253 4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259 3 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248
Izzet Wizards – Standard Shakeup
This aggro-spell deck is quite fast, and is the next best thing since Arclight Phoenix is banned. It’s also relatively cheap to craft!
4 Burning Prophet (WAR) 117 4 Dreadhorde Arcanist (WAR) 125 4 Ghitu Lavarunner (DAR) 127 4 Lightning Stormkin (M20) 213 2 Adeliz, the Cinder Wind (DAR) 190 2 Lightning Strike (M19) 152 4 Opt (DAR) 60 4 Shock (M20) 160 2 Spell Pierce (XLN) 81 2 Unsummon (M20) 78 4 Wizard's Lightning (DAR) 152 2 Crash Through (M19) 133 2 Warlord's Fury (DAR) 151 5 Island (GRN) 261 7 Mountain (GRN) 263 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247
Golgari Midrange – Standard Shakeup
We will never let go of a Golgari deck in our featured decklists – this time, we don’t have Wildgrowth Walker so we won’t use Command the Dreadhorde. We still have the basic shell that still makes this archetype a powerful and versatile one. You can include other cards such as Vraska, Relic Seeker and Carnage Tyrant depending on what you have available.
1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General (WAR) 97 2 Cavalier of Thorns (M20) 167 4 Jadelight Ranger (RIX) 136 4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168 4 Merfolk Branchwalker (XLN) 197 2 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171 2 Ravenous Chupacabra (RIX) 82 4 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194 3 Casualties of War (WAR) 187 2 Find // Finality (GRN) 225 3 Assassin's Trophy (GRN) 152 2 Cast Down (DAR) 81 4 Field of Ruin (XLN) 254 8 Forest (XLN) 277 4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253 2 Swamp (XLN) 269 2 Temple of Malady (M20) 254 4 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248 2 Vraska, Golgari Queen (GRN) 213 1 Vraska's Contempt (XLN) 129
Grixis Control – Standard Shakeup
This deck archetype only really loses Thought Erasure, and the colors do not need any Teferi. Here is a modified, more streamlined version suitable for this event.
2 God-Eternal Kefnet (WAR) 53 3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager (M19) 218 4 Bedevil (RNA) 157 2 Angrath's Rampage (WAR) 185 2 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70 2 Discovery // Dispersal (GRN) 223 2 Ritual of Soot (GRN) 84 2 Duress (M20) 97 1 Enter the God-Eternals (WAR) 196 2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74 2 Cast Down (DAR) 81 2 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127 3 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61 4 Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God (WAR) 207 4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245 3 Bloodfell Caves (M20) 242 1 Dragonskull Summit (XLN) 252 4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253 1 Interplanar Beacon (WAR) 247 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 3 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247 1 Swamp (GRN) 262 4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259 2 Hostage Taker (XLN) 223
Azorius Flyers – Standard Shakeup
This is another cheap, effective deck that has seem glimpses in normal Standard. It can be even better without Goblin Chainwhirler running around. We are using the version with Sephara, Sky’s Blade here as she can finish games fast. This deck should also get your 6 wins pretty quickly.
4 Healer's Hawk (GRN) 14 4 Rustwing Falcon (M19) 36 4 Siren Stormtamer (XLN) 79 4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76 2 Conclave Tribunal (GRN) 6 4 Favorable Winds (XLN) 56 3 Hanged Executioner (M20) 22 4 Empyrean Eagle (M20) 208 2 Winged Words (M20) 80 4 Faerie Miscreant (M20) 58 4 Sephara, Sky's Blade (M20) 36 5 Plains (XLN) 261 8 Island (XLN) 265 4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255 4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
Ral Expansion Combo – Standard Shakeup
This is a fairly well known combo deck that could be fun to play in a field with no Teferi, Time Raveler. Read this reddit thread here if you want to learn how it works and how to play it if you are interested!
4 Chandra's Triumph (WAR) 121 2 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32 4 Expansion // Explosion (GRN) 224 4 Ionize (GRN) 179 2 Niv-Mizzet, Parun (GRN) 192 4 Opt (DAR) 60 4 Shock (M20) 160 1 Spell Pierce (XLN) 81 2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74 1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127 2 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61 4 Ral, Storm Conduit (WAR) 211 2 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer (WAR) 234 7 Island (GRN) 261 7 Mountain (GRN) 263 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247 2 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253
Temur Reclamation – Standard Shakeup
This is similar to the above deck, except it uses the power of Wilderness Reclamation which gets more powerful in this format.
4 Opt (XLN) 65 2 Island (RNA) 261 4 Shock (M20) 160 1 Blink of an Eye (DAR) 46 1 Jaya's Greeting (WAR) 136 4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178 4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 2 Flame Sweep (M20) 139 2 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32 4 Wilderness Reclamation (RNA) 149 3 Ral, Storm Conduit (WAR) 211 4 Ral's Outburst (WAR) 212 4 Expansion // Explosion (GRN) 224 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247 3 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256 4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259 1 Blast Zone (WAR) 244 3 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240 2 Mountain (WAR) 259
4 Color Gates – Standard Shakeup
This is another fairly linear deck that I believe will face well in this event – there’s no other ramp decks without Nissa Who Shakes the World, and you can do your own thing by building up your land count and defeat your opponent with a big Gatebreaker Ram or one of the X spells.
4 Gate Colossus (RNA) 232 4 Gatebreaker Ram (RNA) 126 2 Archway Angel (RNA) 3 4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178 4 Circuitous Route (GRN) 125 1 Entrancing Melody (XLN) 55 4 Gates Ablaze (RNA) 102 4 Guild Summit (GRN) 41 2 Ixalan's Binding (XLN) 17 2 Expansion // Explosion (GRN) 224 4 Forest (GRN) 264 1 Island (GRN) 261 1 Mountain (GRN) 263 2 Azorius Guildgate (RNA) 243 1 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246 2 Gateway Plaza (WAR) 246 3 Gruul Guildgate (RNA) 249 4 Izzet Guildgate (GRN) 251 4 Plaza of Harmony (RNA) 254 1 Selesnya Guildgate (GRN) 255 4 Simic Guildgate (WAR) 274 1 Mass Manipulation (RNA) 42 1 Banefire (M19) 130
We hope to see some creative minds brew some awesome decks for this event! As always, you can contact us on our social channels on Discord or Twitter, or leave a comment below if you have any feedback, and deck any ideas.
Next week marks the final Plane-cation event starting August 25, running to August 28. The last plane we will visit is Zendikar – which means the format is most likely going to be the new Landfall one to go with the theme rather than Pauper.
Finally, if you are playing in the Mythic Championship Qualifier weekend, good luck!