Rotation Preparation: Temur and Other Adventures
- Rodrigo Martin
Standard rotation is just five weeks away, which will restart the format for good. When looking for decks to play, Adventure variants from Throne of Eldraine will remain largely intact, a Block Constructed shell that becomes tier one. Let's find out about the different versions available.
Although Zendikar Rising already looms large on the horizon, Wizards recently renewed Standard one more time, banning Wilderness Reclamation, Growth Spiral, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Cauldron Familiar. While Reclamation, Spiral, and Teferi were about to leave the format anyway, removing the Familiar is a decision with serious long-term impact. Otherwise, the Cat and Witch's Oven would have been available for another whole year. This gives us even more incentive and opportunity to start brewing for Standard — and for the future of Standard.
Temur Adventures and Adventure decks in general have a privileged starting position in the post-rotation metagame. Most of the cards that build the backbone of the strategy come from Throne of Eldraine, and none of them have suffered bans like the Food department for its multiple health violations. So, for today's menu, join me on this adventure where I will try to get lucky and find the best decks for Future Standard!
Missing the Forest for the Trees
There are obviously a few losses that Temur Adventures will suffer. For starters, the deck can no longer incorporate Nissa, Who Shakes the World, though she wasn't a mainstay in the archetype anyway. Indeed, the deck will benefit more from the fact that Nissa is no longer legal, since it's always been pretty hard to deal with her. Secondly, the mana base is going to become worse as all the the shock lands from Ravnica cycle won't be available anymore. That being said, we still have all the Temples, Ketria Triome, Fabled Passage, and Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps to tutor up basic lands. We also expect some new cycle to show up in Zendikar Rising. Overall, it seems we should be able to overcome the hits to the main deck without too much of a problem. After all, the rest of the decks and the format in general will slow down a bit too.
Looking at the sideboard, we see a slightly different picture. Fae of Wishes // Granted and its silver bullet selection has always been an important part of the strategy, and the losses are heavy: no more Aether Gust, Disdainful Stroke, Negate, Grafdigger's Cage, and Expansion // Explosion. Other minor wish targets that have appeared from time to time and now disappear are Domri's Ambush, Lava Coil, Flame Sweep, Unsummon, and Pulse of Murasa. Some can be replaced with similar effects, although rarely at similar efficiency. The remaining countermagic situation in particular looks dire, and no more Cage to stop Winota might be problematic.
Since we now know what's left to build, let's get to the brewing!
A Lucky Start
|The New Temur Adventures|
This is what Temur Adventures could look like in Future Standard discounting Zendikar Rising cards. In case you haven't seen it in action yet — which you should have by now — the basic game plan is pretty straightforward: try to grind out your opponents with the card advantage produced by either Lucky Clover or your Edgewall Innkeeper. Casting the Lucky Clover on turn two means double up on all your Adventure cards, and having it in multiples becomes such an advantaged position, you will end up with more cards in the adventure zone than in your hand.
Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire is your one-mana 1/1 token that later becomes a huge threat while Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp can either pick off an early creature or advance the opponent's life total in the right direction. Next on the list, Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft bounces opposing threats and later hits in the air. Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps is your mana ramp spell-slash-fatty to finish the game in one attack. Finally, Fae of Wishes // Granted gives you access to a sideboard full of silver bullets while also being able to come down early. Indeed, although your creatures can always be a two-for-one, there are some spots when you should forget the Adventure part and play them straight away, either for or against pressure. In that spot, having an Innkeeper allows you to cantrip every time you play your creatures, therefore finding more in the process.
However, it's not just about card advantage but also tempo. From a stable board position, a copied Petty Theft or two can easily allow you to attack for the win before your opponent gets to replay their permanents. Likewise, in some games you just need to stay alive and keep your Beanstalk Giant alive, until your copied wish for Double Vision and Fling has been granted. At least, this used to be a regular occurence with Expansion // Explosion instead of the enchantment. Requiring a five-mana rather than a two-mana piece now, it may not even be worth it. Other cards to consider for the sideboard include: Blazing Volley, Claim the Firstborn, Traitorous Greed, Of One Mind, Sorcerous Spyglass, another Escape to the Wilds, and Fabled Passage.
24 creatures, Clover, and 27 lands leaves room for five cards, at least two of which usually go to Escape to the Wilds, another Throne of Eldraine rough diamond at the top end of the curve that adds more fuel for the mid- to late game. I've filled the remaining slots with Adventurous Impulse in order to hit my creatures and lands early plus a copy of The Great Henge for later. I am a big fan of the legendary green tree since it's capable of turning games that are almost unwinnable into your favor within a couple of turns. The main downside is drawing it too soon, especially hitting it with Escape to the Wilds when uncastable. But it's worth the risk, especially since the life it provides every turn can save you from Monored and other aggro strategies.
Life Beyond Temur
Sadly, most of the cards they used to combine with the Adventure package leave us. So now, for rotating reasons, we once again need to rely almost exclusvely on Throne of Eldraine for a very pure breed:
|The New Golgari Adventures|
Being a two-color deck smooths the mana base a lot, so the shock lands are not as important as in the Temur version. Aside from that, the green Adventures are pretty much the same from the aforementioned so what does black bring to the mix?
For starters, Murderous Rider // Swift End is a flexible removal spell for creatures and planeswalkers on its own that can be double up to kill multiple targets with Lucky Clover and then, gain the life lost back as a 2/3 lifelinker. Foulmire Knight // Profane Insight sits at its side, draws you extra cards, and later becomes a great blocker for big creatures. Last but not least, Order of Midnight // Alter Fate helps to rebuy all your creatures from the graveyard.
On the non-Adventure side, Scavenging Ooze is the cleanest answer to keep Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath at bay, while Questing Beast is the only hasty threat to threaten opposing planeswalkers. Finally, we play some discard in the shape of Agonizing Remorse to deal with mass removal or escape cards by exiling them, as well as a single Reaper of Night // Harvest Fear to try out.
The sideboard needs some refining depending on the upcoming metagame and cards from Zendikar Rising, but for the first weeks when aggro usually dominates, Chevill, Bane of Monsters seems like a fine choice to improve those kind of matchups.
|The New Simic Adventures|
There are two main differences between this version and Temur: reliance on a simpler mana base allows the addition of some Castles as utility lands. And Bonecrusher Giant is somehow replaced by Merfolk Secretkeeper // Venture Deeper milling ourselves to enable Uro's escape while also acting as a decent blocker. The wish sideboard has pretty much the same previously mentioned targets discounting the red spells, plus a copy of Fabled Passage in case you are short on mana. Overall, there aren't any other reasons to choose Simic over Temur aside from the mana issues and the Uro upside, but who knows if within the next few sets this version will receive new toys to improve.
A New Adventure
If you've reached this point, thank you so much for reading;. It is exciting to think about Future Standard now that we have time to imagine how the format might be in a month or so, a brewer's paradise that hopefully doesn't go wrong again with the power creep of new cards. After a rough season with lots of banning announcements in Standard, I am optimistic the format will become healthier and we'll be able to enjoy the new mechanics along with the old — just like Adventures, one of the biggest hits from Wizards this past year.
As usual, feel free to leave your comments or questions below.
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