Standard Simic Midrange Deck Guide: The Best Wrenn Deck is Here!

Wrenn and Seven Art by Heonhwa Choe
Wrenn and Seven Art by Heonhwa Choe

A couple of weeks have passed since the new Standard arrived. It was just a matter of time until people started realizing the power of one Innistrad: Midnight Hunt card that at first might have been unclear.

simic midrange
61.54% global win rate
0.10% metagame share
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The first big tournaments have taken place and Wrenn and Seven has proven its value. A lot of decks are trying to take advantage of this 5 mana Planeswalker. Something you should have in mind while playing Standard: play 4 copies of Wrenn and Seven or you have answers for it.

This could sound like a big statement, but trust me, there’s proof behind it. An incredible amount of Malevolent Hermit or even main boarded Burning Hands are just the start of it. Even Gruul Werewolves and Mono Green are playing a full set of Wrenn. Not to mention Sultai Festival, Jund Treasures… 

Now we have to answer a big question. What’s the best shell for it? After research and testing, I found a Simic list in the Hooglandia Standard Open (5-2) that looked really interesting and had some benefits over other approaches:

Doug’s list is something that could tackle the current state of the metagame really well. Playing blue opens up our options for Memory Deluge and Malevolent Hermit, another one of the best cards in MID, and some of the best cards in the current Standard like Alrund’s Epiphany.

Many games and a few tweaks later, I present to you, the best Wrenn deck in the current Standard:

Simic Midrange by Bohe
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
8 mythic
20 rare
16 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
4
Wrenn and Seven
$199.96
Instants (6)
4
Decisive Denial
$1.00
2
Memory Deluge
$13.98
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (4)
Lands (24)
8
Forest
$2.00
8
Island
$2.00
60 Cards
$395.88
Sideboard
2
Dragon Turtle
$0.50
2
Froghemoth
$2.58
2
Mind Flayer
$1.58
2
Tangletrap
$0.50
2
Test of Talents
$1.98
1
Pithing Needle
$1.99
15 Cards
$36.89

Card Selection

Tangled Florahedron Art by Randy Vargas
Tangled Florahedron Art by Randy Vargas

A Ramp deck accelerates the ability to play high impact, high cost spells early in the game. A Midrange deck has an early game plan of ramp and control, but begins to play threats once it reaches 4+ mana. Simic -Simic: Blue/Green combination- is a perfect color pair in the current standard for our game plan.

A full set of Tangled Florahedron and Rootcoil Creeper help us skip one turn in our curve. While Tangled Florahedron is also a land and helps us mulligan less and have more consistent opening hands, Rootcoil Creeper lets us accelerate graveyard spells like Benevolent Geist or Memory Deluge.

Maybe you are wondering where Prosperous Innkeeper is. Even if it is a good option for us, we need mana dorks -Mana dork: A creature that taps or produces mana- instead of our old trusty friend. One treasure could do the trick of ramping us, but if we need to play 4+ mana spells each turn, having the possibility of using our ramp more than once is preferred (the amount of life Prosperous Innkeeper gives us could be relevant if the meta shifts to aggro).

Our last two mana creature is Malevolent Hermit, one of the overperformers and more underrated cards of MID. If you played a long time ago you should remember Voidmage Prodigy, Kai Budde itself. Both are 2/1 for one mana, but Malevolent Hermit costs 1U instead of UU, making it easier to play it in a two colored deck. While Kai does a hard counter for two, the one mana ability of Malevolent Hermit tends to be enough for solving our problems for a minor investment. The best way to look at this double faced card is as a squire for Wrenn. Having one in the battlefield before attempting to play one of our win conditions is enough to seal many games. Furthermore, it trades amazingly well against aggro being a 2/1 for 2 and a 2/2 Flying for 3. Finally, making our non-creature spells uncounterable while it’s on the table, Benevolent Hermit form is extremely good against certain matchups. With all this in mind, we even play two more on our sideboard.

We play only one two mana spell that isn’t a creature. Decisive Denial started as a two off, but after playing the deck for a while and remembering how good it is, we upped the number to four. If this card is good enough to be played in our Historic Merfolk list, it deserves a spot on our Standard Simic list without a doubt. I know that it’s not Drown in the Loch, but in this kind of deck it surely resembles it.

Most of the time, thanks to our mana dorks, we are going to skip our turn three play. For the times we don’t, we play Briarbridge Tracker, a kind of Tireless Tracker but with bigger immediate impact. 4/3 Vigilance for 3 lets us exert pressure when needed against slower decks, and give our aggro opponents a hard time while trying to attack us. Leaving a clue lets us find our important cards faster, and because of our ramp fashion, investing two mana for drawing is not a big deal.

If we play a mana dork on turn 2 and it survives, turn 3 is when the fun begins. We have really good options depending on the situation with our four mana spells. Quandrix Cultivator fulfills two functions: stopping early aggression with its 3/4 body, and ramping, assuring us our mana flow for hitting more expensive spells. Besides Esika’s Chariot being a good card per se, this vehicle is key in our plan of exploiting Wrenn and Seven’s capabilities. When Esika’s Chariot attacks, we can create a copy of a token we control… If we have Seven (Wrenn and Seven’s Treefolk token) we can copy it and have two 5/5 in a single turn, which are going to continue growing with each land we play, a powerplay that could seal many games on its own.

The final of the four mana spells is Memory Deluge. I know that I tend to refer to old Magic cards a lot… but when a new card looks like a really good old one, it is a clear sign to play it. In this case, Memory Deluge looks like Dig Through Time, a Modern and Legacy banned card. Yes, Dig could be played for UU in the best scenario, but the Memory Deluge is very efficient when played for four, and having Flashback could be useful in late game situations when we need to find answers (Rootcoil Creeper helps in casting this expensive alternative cost, and lets us recover the card in certain situations).

Last but not least, our win conditions (besides Esika’s Chariot, that takes many games on its own). Wrenn and Seven is the main reason for playing Green nowadays. Since spoiler season, many people have asked me during my streams what I think about it. Most of the time my answer is clear, “In the proper deck it would be really really good”. That takes us to this moment of the metagame, where a lot of us are trying to find the best deck for it. Lucky for us, we have the answer. Creating a Treefolk token is something that in combination with many of our cards could be a game changer. It gives +2/0 to Briarbridge Tracker if we already cracked the clue, we could copy it with Esika’s Chariot, use it for fighting with Decisive Denial removing almost any opposing creature, but one of the bigger reasons of playing blue shines here: Alrund’s Epiphany. Getting this token onto our battlefield usually ends the game.

Koma, Cosmos Serpent is the top of our curve on our main board. In Standard 2022, a Turbo Koma deck was a thing. With many ramp resources, including this Legendary Serpent in the deck became more and more obvious the more games we put into it. It’s not our main plan, but in many situations playing a Koma could end the game as easily as Wrenn and Seven, reason why we end up playing two in our 75.

As far as lands matter, there’s nothing complicated here. A Couple of Lair of the Hydra, that could get enormous with all the mana we can generate, four Barkchannel Pathway/Tidechannel Pathway and a couple of Vineglimmer Snarl. Doug’s list has 3 manlands, but with two snarls, cutting one to add a Forest makes everything go smoothly.

Sideboard Guide

Test of Talent Art by Lie Setiawan
Test of Talent Art by Lie Setiawan

Just a few days have passed since my last column, but in the meantime big tournaments were played, showing us a more stable (but still varied) metagame. Izzet Dragons is back, claiming its place as a tier 1. Gruul Aggro/Midrange (with or without werewolves), Izzet Turns and Mono Green Aggro look like good companions for Dragons as tier 1 options. Sultai Festival, Selesnya Ramp, Jund Midrange (all Wrenn decks), Orzhov Midrange, Mono Black Control (Planeswalkers) and White Weenie/Boros Aggro, look like big contenders. So, with further ado, let’s break down our game plan against these archetypes.

Izzet Dragons

INOUT
+1 Disdainful Stroke-4 Quandrix Cultivator
+2 Malevolent Hermit-4 Decisive Denial
+2 Tangletrap
+2 Test of Talents
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

Decisive Denial is a good card for these kinds of matchups, nevertheless, we have extremely good sideboard alternatives to strengthen our game plan. Disdainful Stroke hits any attempt of a big play, from Goldspan Dragon to Alrund’s Epiphany. Test of Talents on the other hand serves well disarming our opponents attempts to gett card advantage or hand fixing. Try to catch Expressive Iteration with it.

Tangletrap can check any creature in Izzet Dragons, it doesn’t matter which one it is.

Malevolent Hermit is perfect for this kind of matchup. The more common version of the deck plays just 8 creatures, so Hermit has plenty of targets for its ability, and from time to time, is good for pressuring the early game, making our opponents make the first move and gets it ahead in tempo. Plus, Benevolent Spirit is amazingly good for letting us resolve Wrenn.

Finally, Koma is uncounterable, which is relevant in these kinds of matchups, so having one more copy of it lets us play a win condition that is going to be uncontested. Quandrix Cultivator goes out because we don’t need the 3/4 body for stopping early aggression, and the land it gives us tends to be good but not extremely relevant against Izzet.

Gruul

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+2 Dragon Turtle-2 Briarbridge Tracker
+2 Mind Flayer-1 Memory Deluge

Briarbridge Tracker is a good card overall, but we want good trades with Decisive Denial, that’s why we side in 2 Dragon Turtle. It not only serves well for fighting, but also gives us time by sleeping a creature. -Sleep: Tapping a creature making it doesn’t untap in their controler next untap step.- We take out Memory Deluge because we need immediate answers. Even if it could help against this kind of aggressive archetype, we prefer to stabilize earlier. Mind Flayer comes in for this reason too, it doesn’t matter how big the threat is, this Horror gives us enough time and tempo to let us reach the late game.

Pithing Needle goes in mainly because they have Wrenn and Seven, but keep in mind that they also play Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope. The Needle is extremely good in this kind of situation because most of the time our opponent doesn’t have a way of interacting with it, but be careful since it affects both sides.

Izzet Turns

INOUT
+1 Disdainful Stroke-4 Quandrix Cultivator
+2 Malevolent Hermit-4 Decisive Denial
+2 Froghemoth
+2 Test of Talents
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

We side out in the same way against Izzet Dragons, but our side-ins are slightly different. One of the main differences is Froghemoth. One of the main ways the opponent’s deck has to gain a great amount of advantage and snowball hard is by playing Galvanic Iteration. Having our opponent’s graveyard empty with the help of the Frog Horror lets us play without worrying about power plays.

Besides Expressive Iteration, the best targets for Test of Talents are Alrund’s Epiphany, Spikefield Hazard, Divide by Zero, and Memory Deluge. These cards tend to be the only ones they play with full sets most of the time. 

Mono Green Aggro

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+2 Dragon Turtle-2 Briarbridge Tracker
+2 Mind Flayer-1 Memory Deluge

Pretty much the same as our plan against Gruul, we aim to hold the game enough with the help of Dragon Turtle and Mind Flayer to win in the late game with our powerful spells. We have to remember that we have many possible targets for the Pithing Needle, not only Wrenn and Seven (it’s there from time to time): A Forest with the Old-Growth Troll ability, Esika’s Chariot (they can’t Crew), Ranger Class (they can’t level it up) and Faceless Haven.

Sultai Festival

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-1 Malevolent Hermit
+1 Disdainful Stroke-2 Decisive Denial
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

Sultai Festival is an iteration of the same archetype we are playing. A midrange/ramp deck that aims to win the game with Wrenn and other powerful spells. The main difference is that they play Lolth, Spider Queen, Iymrith, Desert Doom, Skullport Merchant, Binding the Old Gods, Storm the Festival, and Infernal Grasp.

With Pithing Needle we can target many cards and Disdainful Stroke has at least 10+ targets (something that makes me think that we could start playing 2 Disdainful Stroke on our sideboard). On the other hand, Koma, Cosmos Serpent serves as another win condition that is in this specific case, a card that they can’t deal with unless they have instant speed removal. If you have a wide variety of options to try and play a powerful spell, make Koma your main priority in this matchup.

Selesnya Ramp

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+1 Disdainful Stroke-1 Decisive Denial
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

The reason why we sideout similar to our matchup against Sultai Festival, but change the numbers between Malevolent Hermit and Decisive Denial is Scute Swarm. Dealing with the Insect is mandatory. Like almost any other Wrenn deck, Disdainful Stroke has a lot of targets.

Be careful, they have a way of dealing with Koma; Reduce to Memory, a card that exiles a permanent. Besides that single card in their sideboard (lesson board) Koma is going to stick and end the game really fast. If you bait Reduce to Memory and then play a Koma, it is gg. 

Jund Midrange

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+1 Disdainful Stroke-2 Decisive Denial
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent-1 Quandrix Cultivator
+2 Tangletrap

Another midrange Wrenn deck. Immersturm Predator is another card we could aim the Pithing Needle at, making it unable to become indestructible. They have tools that transform the Wrenn archetype into a more aggressive version, something in between Gruul and Sultai. Cards like Reckless Stormseeker, Goldspan Dragon, and the Jaspera Sentinel + Magda, Brazen Outlaw combo, make this deck one with really explosive hands.

Speaking of Goldspan Dragon, it and the aforementioned Immerstrum Predator are the reason behind Tangletrap. 

Orzhov Midrange

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+1 Disdainful Stroke-1 Decisive Denial
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

Something that we have to take into consideration is that in a blind Pithing Needle call, our option has to be Lolth, Spider Queen. The black Planeswalker is a constant in any Orzhov Midrange deck, while Kaya, the Inexorable is not. You can also turn down Skullport Merchant, an extremely good value engine in this archetype.

In the same way as Selesnya, they tend to have Reduce to Memory. Even with that sideboard card, Koma is an extremely good option for us. When you are playing against them remember they have Vanishing Verse, something that means that a lot of our cards could stick easily and grind more than in other matchups. Have this in mind when curving your spells. Playing our multicolored ones first could help get us in a stronger position.

Mono Black Control

INOUT
+1 Pithing Needle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+1 Disdainful Stroke-1 Decisive Denial
+1 Koma, Cosmos Serpent

Here we face a similar situation as against the white decks with a lesson board. Mono Black has Necrotic Fumes, a card that could exile our Koma, but besides the single copy of this spell they play, Koma is going to stick to the battlefield and let us win the game easily.

Important cards to have in consideration are Professor Onyx and Sedgemoor Witch, that for now are only in this archetype. Professor Onyx could be shut down with our Needle and Witch should be targeted asap with Decisive Denial.

White Weenie/Boros Aggro

INOUT
+2 Dragon Turtle-2 Malevolent Hermit
+2 Mind Flayer-2 Briarbridge Target

The reason I group these decks is that most of the time the 75 are almost the same besides 4 copies of Showdown of the Skalds.

Besides the other aggro archetypes covered in this sideboard guide, white based aggro decks doesn’t have targets for Pithing Needle. Just like in our other approaches against aggro decks, Dragon Turtle and Mind Flayer are here to let us stall the game enough and win with our powerful spells. Don’t hesitate to fight any potential good target with our Decisive Denial. Making them lose tempo in their aggressive plans gives us the upper hand. A turn 3 Quandrix Cultivator could be enough to give us the time we need.

Tips and Tricks

Koma, Cosmos Serpent Art by Jesper Ejsing
Koma, Cosmos Serpent Art by Jesper Ejsing

Even if we don’t play Storm the Festival, Rootcoil Creeper has synergy with Memory Deluge. This could give us the gas we need in extremely grindy attrition matches.

Speaking of Rootcoil Creeper, it can help us pay the Disturb cost of Malevolent Hermit too.

Briarbridge Tracker gets +2/+0 if we control any token, like a Treefolk token from Wrenn and Seven, a Serpent from Koma, Cosmos Serpent, a Bird from Alrund’s Epiphany or a Cat from Esika’s Chariot, not just if we have a Clue. Having this in mind lets us be more proactive when attacking and blocking with it (or getting a good trades with Decisive Denial.

If you have Tangled Florahedron and Rootcoil Creeper, think first of the archetype your opponent is playing. You could use Tangled Florahedron as a lightning rod for removals and play Rootcoil Creeper later. Or against aggressive strategies, you could play Rootcoil first to have the best body for trading.

Keep an eye out when you face opposing attempts of shutting down our Wrenn and Seven with Pithing Needle. Tangletrap does wonders against flying creatures but it’s a modal spell that could destroy an artifact too.

If you are facing aggressive decks that only have damage based removal, consider siding in Froghemoth even if they don’t have any graveyard interactions.

Most of the time, our auto play with Wrenn and Seven is putting the Treefolk token. Don’t hesitate to go for it. Even if you lose Wrenn, the token is a good play for 5 mana.

Speaking of Seven (the Treefolk token), it keeps growing with any land we put onto the battlefield even if Wrenn is not there.

Final Notes

A long time had passed since the last time I could play a Simic deck with this amount of good cards and an extremely powerful plan.

Wrenn and Seven made their way into competitive Standard in a very solid manner, and many archetypes are trying to get the most out of the Planeswalker. After a lot of work with this deck, I can say without fear that this variant of Wrenn deck is surely one of the best ways of getting good results with it.

I had a really good time playing with this deck. We have a solid plan, really good cards, and we can curve in very solid ways. If you decide to try this deck, please let me know in the comment section how it was. Without a doubt, you too are going to have a good time playing with it.

Until the next time, keep it safe and remember to smile.

Bohe

A full time MTG content creator. Started playing Magic in 99’ with the release of Urza’s Destiny, 3 times Grand Prix attendant (1 as a player ending #78 and 2 as a judge). Mexican, lover of coffee, Korean culture, languages and ex-LoL coach. Follow me on Instagram, Twitch, or Twitter.