Standard is the Magic format that uses the most recent set releases. Check out some of The Jankyard's fun Standard decks.
As soon as this card was previewed, I knew that I had to build a deck with Nine Lives. But the big question was: how do we make use of Nine Lives to keep us alive without it killing us?
Starting with a suggestion from one of our patrons on Patreon.com, the only real chance in Standard we have to give away Nine Lives is Role Reversal - a red blue sorcery that allows you to exchange control of two target permanents that share the same type.
Now, the issue is the fact that a lot of decks don't play enchantments - so it is harder to just give away Nine Lives with Role Reversal. So, we needed to find a way to ensure they had an enchantment for us to swap Nine Lives for using Role Reversal.
The answer lie in a three mana enchantment from Ravnica Allegiances. Eyes Everywhere, which has Scry 1 on your upkeep, also has an activated ability for six mana that allows you to exchange it for any nonland permanent an opponent controls. So you can make the exchange first to set up giving your opponent Nine Lives with Role Reversal.
Other than the three cards of this janky combo, the deck uses a lot of removal and board wipes to slow your opponent down.
The win condition lies in six creatures - three copies each of Dream Trawler and Sphinx of Foresight.
The deck works but it can be clunky and if you can't stabilize in time, Nine Lives may be too late. But we have made this deck work, getting a copy of both Dream Trawler and Sphinx on the board with Nine Lives already out. We then swapped Nine Lives for an enchantment they were playing when Nine Lives had seven counters on it. A swing from both flyers added the last two counters to Nine Lives and we won the game.
This is not an easy combo but no great combo is easy - that's what makes it glorious.
We will definitely be looking at different ways to make use of Nine Lives, so stayed for more decks in the future.
Everyone knows that JT's favourite archetype is big butts - decks that use certain cards to allow creature with low power and high toughness (big butts) to do combat damage with their toughness, instead of their power. The advantage to doing this is you turen one mana 0/4 and 0/5 creatures into 4/4 and 5/5. Plus, JT loves to use Tower Defense to give his entire team 0/5 until end of turn. Tower Defense is only used when the creatures can attack with their toughness, turning an 0/5 ostensibly into a 10/10.
In Modern, this deck was originally Abzan (White-Green-Black), before Blue was added to make it four-colour. In Standard, since the advent of Arcades, the Strategist in M19, JT has mainly used Bant (Green-White-Blue) or a two-colour variation with those colours (see below).
Something we have never done before is add Red to the mix. Until now.
With the arrival of M21, one card jumped out at JT as being an interesting addition to the deck. Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner allows you to spend one mana to permit a target creature with power two or less (which covers all of the big butts creatures) to attack unblocked. The second ability of Subira allows you to discard your hand for two and a red in exchange for drawing a card for each creature with power two or less that subsequently does combat damage to a player until end of turn.
Now, Subira's not a huge payoff but it's a little extra for that deck. Allowing one or more creatures to be unblocked is huge for the deck and is the one thing that has been missing since Tetsuko Umezawa rotated out of Standard last year.
The red also allows us to put some red board wipes in the wishboard to get with Fae of Wishes. Thanks to the suggestion of one our viewers, we put three copies of Solar Blaze in the sideboard.
We are still testing this deck but it has a lot of potential to get in those explosive hits for which the big butts decks are known. And since the two main enablers, Huatli and High Alert, are rotating out of Standard this fall, we might as well make the most of it. Now, the mana base is a bit questionable but Gilded Goose helps with the fixing. Check it out, give it a try and let us know what you think.
The new, four mana, green Garruk from Core Set 2021 is an incredibly powerful planeswalker that is very fun to build around. It is tough to accomplish, but if you can ultimate Garruk, Unleashed, it's hard to lose the game when you're searching your library for a creature and putting it straight onto the battlefield, on your end step, every turn. But while this is a powerful Garruk planeswalker, the black-green Garruk from Throne of Eldraine is also a very powerful planeswalker. And if the wolves that Garruk creates are ever killed, then all of your Garruks gain loyalty. Throw in some powerful creatures and Garruk is the glue to a powerful, janky deck.
Creatures with big butts are those that feature low power and high toughness (they have a bigger back end number - 0/3, 1/5 - meaning they have a big butt). The Butts decks use enablers such as High Alert and Huatli, the Sun's Heart to swing with a creature's toughness (its butt) rather than it's power. This version of Bant Butts was used most recently by JT of The Jankyard in The Arena Open on May 30, 2020.