Ledger Shredder Art by Mila Pesic

Three New Aggro Decks Made Competitive by Streets of New Capenna


Hello, dear readers. A new set arrives and bringing the old formula back is one of the best options for tackling the format most of the time.

For those who don’t know, the “old formula” is just the idea of playing aggressive and consistent decks while everyone is trying to figure out which are the best new cards or archetypes in a new format or when a new set brings new options for Standard.

Streets of New Capenna is without a doubt a very interesting set. Having the option of going three colors no matter the strategy is always tempting. Nevertheless, we have to think very carefully if this is worth it while playing aggro. Beating other players while they are figuring out if the new cards are worth it or not requires cohesive decks with linear plans and solid curves. Going for crazy shenanigans while new cards are around is definitely part of the fun, however, it’s also one of the best moments for climbing and grinding with firm and strong aggro decks.

Here I’ll share with you three ideas I assembled to tackle this new Standard just as hard as the best safety in NFL would tackle a player that tries to sneak up on the lines. Let’s do this in order; first mono-colored, then Azorius, and last but not least, Naya.


Mono Black Sacrifice Aggro

Tenacious Underdog Art by Zara Alfonso
Tenacious Underdog Art by Zara Alfonso
Mono Black Aggro – New Capenna Standard
by Bohe
Standard
best of 3
3 mythic
25 rare
6 uncommon
26 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (24)
4
Eyetwitch
$1.00
4
Shambling Ghast
$2.76
4
Skyclave Shade
$1.00
4
Shakedown Heavy
$1.56
Instants (5)
4
Deadly Dispute
$7.96
1
Hagra Mauling
$1.99
Sorceries (2)
Enchantments (7)
Lands (22)
14
Swamp
$3.50
60 Cards
$264.8
Sideboard
2
Soul Shatter
$2.98
3
Duress
$0.75
3
Go Blank
$5.97
1
Necrotic Fumes
$0.25
15 Cards
$36.93

Going for a mono colored strategy when everyone is trying to go wild with multicolored decks is a good choice most of the time. This mono black deck has two great advantages in comparison to the classic Mono White Aggro or any other renown aggressive strategy of the last standard: recursion and card draw. Let me explain further.

One of the best creatures in Streets of New Capenna is Tenacious Underdog. This solid two drop is amazing thanks to how it can come back thanks to the blitz ability, letting this human warrior come back in later stages of the game. The best part of this is that Tenacious Underdog is not removed from the game after doing this, letting us use his blitz ability not only once, but as many times as we want, drawing a card in the process every time we do.

Shakedown Heavy could be looked at as a midrange card, but let’s be honest, which aggro deck doesn’t like a 6/4 menace creature for just 3 mana? The “drawback” of this card is the fact that our opponents could remove this creature from the combat by letting us draw a card. This doesn’t seem so bad, right? In combination with Tenacious Underdog that is going to be drawing cards during the advanced stages of the game, we are going to have fuel to keep pressuring our opponents without much trouble, something that could be hard to accomplish for other aggro decks.

Now, having the chance of playing Tenacious Underdog from our graveyard is amazing, but how can we exploit this? Well, what about The Meathook Massacre. It could sound weird playing a sweeper like this in an aggro deck, but many decks in the last iteration of Standard showed us that a great way of finishing our opponents is pinging them to death while going for a board wipe. With this in mind, I added many creatures to the list that can give us some benefit when they die or have some kind of recursion.

Shambling Ghast and Eyetwitch are old acquaintances of every black deck. Both help us to establish our position on the board early while giving us something back if we go for The Meathook Massacre. On the other hand, Skyclave Shade can let us pressure the early game, and even if our opponents try to deal with this creature, its landfall ability can let us cast it again later.

One of the more important things to have in mind while playing this deck is that going for The Meathook Massacre for 0 just to start pinging is a good idea during the early game. In our sideboard we have tools against midrange and control decks like Duress and Go Blank, Soul Shatter against things like The Wandering Emperor, Hullbreaker Horror, Goldspan Dragon, Iymrith, desert Doom, etc., and some lessons for when our Eyetwitch lets us go to our sideboard for cards.

Potential Inclusions / Notable Exclusions

  • Blade of the Oni is very interesting in this deck. Its menace ability could be very helpful against other creatures decks while we are on the play. I prefer Skyclave Shade because our plan of recursion and The Meathook Massacre + the meta is going to be very crowded with midrange and control decks, just as it is right now.
  • Bloodvial Purveyor is extremely aggressive and could end the game very fast, but in our attempt of having a solid and low curve, I keep all the card under three mana.
  • Same goes for Infernal Grasp. I will probably end up running 2+ of this cards if the meta starts getting more creature dense, but for now, keeping our removal as cheap as possible by playing Bloodchief's Thirst seems the best way to go.
  • Playing Body Launderer seems good against slower decks, letting us draw some cards and giving us more recursion by letting us play creatures from our graveyard when itdies. Having deathtouch is also good against big creatures which is a plus. May be good enough to include.

Azorius Magecraft

Slip Out the Back Art by Zara Alfonso
Slip Out the Back Art by Zara Alfonso
Azorius Magecraft – New Capenna Standard
by Bohe
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
17 rare
25 uncommon
18 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (23)
3
Ledger Shredder
$80.97
4
Clarion Spirit
$1.00
Instants (9)
2
Sejiri Shelter
$2.58
Sorceries (8)
4
Guiding Voice
$1.00
Lands (20)
5
Island
$1.25
5
Plains
$1.25
4
Deserted Beach
$47.96
60 Cards
$225.36
15 Cards
$17.17

Magecraft was a solid option when Strixhaven arrived to Standard. Azorius and Selesnya were the most popular options for this archetype, while some Orzhov builds were here and there.

Why go for Magecraft and why in this pair of colors? Well, we have two main reasons. Connives is the main reason; this archetype tends to play 18-20 creatures most of the time, but here we play 23. Even if this could seem like our instants and sorceries aren’t enough, having the capability of looting cards with Illuminator Virtuoso and Ledger Shredder is incredible in this archetype.

Homestead Courage has flashback and Guiding Voice lets us learn giving us more spells, and both aforementioned creatures let us draw cards to find more spells.With this base, we can play 2-4 more creatures letting us put creatures on the battlefield without issue during the first turns, makes us less fragile if one of our creatures die, and makes our hands more consistent as the main reason this deck mulligans is not having a creature.

Another reason for going Azorius is that now we have a functional Snakeskin Veil in Blue thanks to Streets of New Capenna. Playing some protective spells for our creatures is mandatory in this kind of deck most of the time. One of the best options was You See a Guard Approach, but now Slip Out the Back is here. It not only lets us protect our creatures, it also puts a +1/+1 counter making this blue spell one of the best one mana “shields” for our creatures while playing blue as it can protect it from any type of removal spell or wrath.

With all this in mind, killing our opponents out of nowhere is very common. We not only get +2/+2 with Leonin Lightscribe; our new creatures with connive also get their own counters like Monk of the Open Hand. Clever Lumimancer also grows when playing spells and Clarion Spirit lets us go wide with spirit tokens for further pressure.

In our sideboard, we play An Offer You Can't Refuse. This card is a little bit controversial because of the two treasures it gives our opponent. If we put this new card on the balance opposite Spell Pierce, in this kind of deck where we want to stop our opponents key card while trying to kill them in the same turn, the Streets of New Capenna card seems like the way to go.

We round out our sideboard options with two more counters, Negate and Disdainful Stroke, one of each to solidify our defenses. Mavinda, Students' Advocate is a very good creature if we are going to face long matchups where we want to rebuy our spells from our graveyard making it a great board option..Finally, some lessons for Guiding Voice and Portable Hole against other creature decks.

Potential Inclusions / Notable Exclusions


Naya Aggro

Fleetfoot Dancer Art by Joshua Raphael
Fleetfoot Dancer Art by Joshua Raphael
Naya Aggro – New Cappena Standard
by Bohe
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
9 mythic
33 rare
6 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$275.66
15 Cards
$42.17

One of the first cards that called my attention while reviewing the set during my streams last week was Fleetfoot Dancer. The similarities with Lightning Angel, my favorite creature in MTG, made me immediately start brainstorming with it.

I know that this elf druid doesn’t cost three mana like Mantis Rider, but it does have a 4/4 body, making it the biggest of the three creatures in this comparison.

My first idea was to put it in a shell similar to the regular Naya Aggro we all know; an almost Mono White core with Halana and Alena, Partners. However, after tinkering for a while, I also realized that Temur is a force to be reckoned in the actual Standard and a Jaspera Sentinel + Magda, Brazen Outlaw plan goes better with a three colored deck. Furthermore, going heavier green lets us play the new Thragtusk: Workshop Warchief.

Speaking of this suited rhino, Workshop Warchief makes the idea of a Gruul centered Naya better than a Selesnya approach in my mind. We can draw cards if we use it’s blitz ability giving us more hasty creatures and making us more aggressive than humans (we also have Reckless Stormseeker, Fleetfoot Dancer and Goldspan Dragon for Haste.Finally, the 4/4 body that Workshop Warchief leaves behind gives us resilience when needed.

This build reminds me of Raph Levy’s old Gruul Aggro from back during Throne of Eldraine Standard. Without a doubt, one of the best decks in the last few years Standard formats.

We have a solid early game for letting us play all the big creatures. Having a turn one Jaspera is extremely powerful, but even if we don’t open with this elf, we have ten two mana creatures in form of 2 Tangled Florahedron, 4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw and 4 Prosperous Innkeeper. This almost assures us that all our four drops are going to hit the board on turn 3 without any problem (even if they need white mana, thanks to how many treasures we also make).

Another thing we have to notice is how good Moonveil Regent is in combination with three colored spells like Fleetfoot Dancer, another reason to prioritize Red in this deck over White.

In our sideboard we have Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, a card that is now renown as one of the best cards of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. I didn’t put this enchantment in the main board because it would slow our aggression a little bit and is probably better in that spot if we were to configure our plan to a more midrange idea. Nevertheless, having this enchantment in the sideboard is very good if we expect to face slower games. Can you imagine the mess it could make with Workshop Warchief?

Some removal in the form of Flame-Blassed Bolt, Burning Hands, and Tangletrap gives us against other creature decks while Snakeskin Veil protects our creatures against heavy removal strategies. Outland Liberator covers us against some artifacts and enchantments which are sure to be popular as well. It’s important to remember how good Burning Hands is going to be in this new Standard thanks to how color heavy the decks are going to be as far as multicolored creatures matter, so it’s very feasible that we will have more green creatures to target with this spell.

Potential Inclusions / Notable Exclusions

  • Fateful Absence is a better card than Dragon's Fire in a vacuum. However, putting four more white cards in our deck would make us have to reconfigure our mana base. We play just 8 white sources for Fleetfoot Dancer and even if we have Jetmir's Garden available, we want all our lands to come into play untapped. Playing some kind of Naya Midrange is also possible, but we have to reconfigure all the idea for a slower deck and succeed with it.
  • Cabaretti Charm is probably in the bottom 2 of the new Streets of New Capenna charms. We have a lot of creatures, but a conditional removal for three colored mana doesn’t seem too good. Same as the +1/+1 that could be good depending on the situation; and the tokens, well… two 1/1s for 3 mana is not our plan.
  • Jaxis, the Troublemaker is a very strong card. A midrange deck centered on this creature and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker + Workshop Warchief could be a good idea.
  • Professional Face-Breaker and Security Rhox seem like good options, but just like other cards we mentioned, these two ask for a treasure heavy core to have their best performance.
  • Torch Breath like all the other “hate spells” that were printed in New Capenna is good. It depends on how the metagame evolves if we want to play them or not.
  • Ognis, the Dragon's Lash could be played in mono red, Jund, Gruul, or even Rakdos. Its flexibility makes it an amazing option. However in this case, Ognis asks for a full hasty creature deck.

Round Up

Well, dear readers. This new iteration of Standard seems just like the one we had when Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was released. Full of new ideas, a lot of amazing cards to build around or to put in to proven archetypes.

Without a doubt these weeks are going to be packed with a lot of fun and the Standard environment is going to be as it has been the last few weeks, very healthy, with a lot of playable options and spicy new brews to keep things fresh.

Until next time, beat those midrange and control decks with these aggro archetypes for me. And remember, smile when you start your day; it makes a difference. ♥

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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.
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