In this edition of MTG Standard Deck Spotlight, we take a serious look at a deck once considered to be little more than a novelty before making a number of deep runs in recent tournaments. This four, or sometimes even five, color deck that relies on Guildgate lands and their respective payoff cards has found a place at the top of the MTG standard deck hierarchy, ramping into devastating win conditions and taking advantage of the newly released cards from Ravnica Allegiance. Quirky, tricky, and fun to play, this deck offers a great MTG standard deck option to those looking to be creative and just enough off-meta to legitimately surprise their opponents with their decklist. Here are three reasons why the Guildgate deck of Ravnica Allegiance standard is one of the best competitive MTG decks for the current environment.
Although the scaffolding of the deck is predetermined by the motif itself, there is a great deal of variance in Guildgate decklists currently performing well in competitive play. Specifically, different players are utilizing a variety of win conditions in different lists, in addition to some players using multiple win conditions within the same list, plunging opponents into chaos as they attempt to discern the optimal line of play against an unknown decklist. There are Guildgate decks, for example, that win through Gatebreaker Ram, a creature that achieves an absurdly high power and toughness in the late-game, and a couple of enormous Gate Colossus. Other decks prefer to rely almost entirely on obscenely large Hydroid Krasis after removing all the threats from their opponent’s board. Others still abuse the unreasonable amount of mana generated through Wilderness Reclamation to cast a single, game-winning Explosion//Expansion. Whichever win condition, or combination thereof, you choose to sleeve up for your tournament, you can be sure that this top tier MTG standard deck list will keep your opponents guessing at your choice until it ends the game.
Room for Innovation
As previously mentioned, there are some cards this deck requires to properly function, such as Guild Summit and Circuitous Route. However, what makes this deck one of the best decks for MTG Arena Mythic Invitational grinds, especially in the best-of-one format, is the nearly endless potential for customization surrounding that core of cards. When utilizing four or five colors in Magic, almost every card in the format is at your disposal, and the normal restrictions on spell combinations are eroded, opening a path to some devastating, and sometimes humorous, additions. Successful lists have make use of Ixalan’s Binding, Thief of Sanity, Teferi, Carnage Tyrant, and Mass Manipulation, just to name a few, with plenty more innovations likely to appear in each subsequent iteration. If you’re looking to add your own idiosyncratic twist to a competitive deck, then the Guildgates list is your best bet.
Excessively Fun to Play
Magic is inherently enjoyable as a game, especially when participating in the rush of competition. However, few decks offer such a sense of satisfaction as the Guildgates list does, stemming from several of the oddities of this deck. First, the numbers involved in executing the deck are absurd, with creatures that can easily have over 20 power and toughness and so much life gain with Archway Angel that burn decks can quite literally deck themselves before winning. Additionally, Wilderness Reclamation can lead to Explosion//Expansion casts where X is 30 or 40, drawing the entire remainder of your deck and instantly killing your opponent. There is also the potential to include Nexus of Fate in the Guildgates list, allowing you to take infinite turns beginning with as few as four lands in play. Whichever way you end the game, you can be assured that it will not, as previous wisdom would argue, end with a whimper, but instead with a bang.
Nothing, they say, exceeds like excess, and there’s plenty of it in the Guildgates deck. From the crazy mana base, to the litany of potential playable cards, to the extremes that present themselves at every opportunity, this deck is wild, and definitely a joy to pilot. If you want to win MTG Arena ladder matches, but can’t bare the monotony of Burn or Azorious Aggro, this awesome Magic: The Gathering standard deck offers the opportunity for every game and every brew to be exciting and new.