The surprise ban announcement on Monday will shake-up standard for the last two months of Core Set 2021 season. My previous article looks at the cards that were banned. First, this article will look at mono colored aggro decks that had success against Wilderness Reclamation and Teferi, Time Raveler decks. Then I will discuss which is best placed to have the most impact on standard play.

The past three weekend featured several big standard tournaments. The results continue to show that Temur Reclamation and Bant Ramp remain the top decks in the format. What was interesting about these results was the success of a few aggro players. At the Redbull Untapped Qualifier III, Hoski Yuki won the event playing Mono-White Aggro. While at the SCG Online Tour Season One Championship, Robert Mckee finished second playing Mono-Red. Neither of these decks had performed well in Core Set 2021 season before these events.With Temur Reclamation and Bant Ramp dominating competitive play, these decks have shifted away from board wipes and spot removal towards cards that perform better in mirror matches or against the other deck. This set the stage for aggressive decks in the right hands to perform well. Below is a look at these decks along with a look at Mono-Green and Mono-Black. All four decks saw Top 16 finishes.

Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Fervent Champion
Robber of the Rich
Scorch Spitter
Tin Street Dodger
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Bolt Hound
Grim Initiate

Light Up the Stage
Claim the Firstborn


LANDS (22)
Castle Embereth
18 Mountain

Embereth Shieldbreaker
Bonecrusher Giant
Redcap Melee
Claim the Firstborn

For most of the past few years, Mono-Red has been at or near the Top of the Standard competitive ranks. Over the last two set releases, the deck has not received any real help, so it has seen less and less competitive play. Robert Mckee’s version of the deck uses all the best one drops in red and added Bolt Hound from Core Set 2021 to provide some additional damage. Red’s biggest problem has been finishing off opponents. Typically, Mono-Red can get an opponent’s life total to under 5, but because of board wipes, the life gain that Simic based decks have, and powerful planeswalkers it cannot finish off opponents. With the bans in place, I expect to see more Mono-Red as players try to figure out if it is still the best aggro deck in standard.

The breakout star of the past few weeks results was Mono-White Aggro. Hoski Yuki brought a deck to the Redbull Untapped International Qualifier III that had its way with Temur Reclamation and Bant Ramp.

Giant Killer
Hunted Witness
Selfless Savior
Garrison Cat
Venerated Loxodon
Seasoned Hallowblade

Basri’s Solidarity

Unbreakable Formation
Raise the Alarm

Glorious Anthem

LANDS (21)
Castle Ardenvale
17 Plains

Glass Casket
Bounty Agent
Devout Decree
Fight as One
Unbreakable Formation
Gideon Blackblade

What made this deck effective against Reclamation and Ramp was its ability to quickly poor one drops onto the battlefield that could protect themselves or other creatures and grow these creatures with +1/+1 counters or Glorious Anthem. The star card in the deck is Venerated Loxodon. It can easily get cast on turn three and built up the white weenie hoard for a decisive turn four or five attack. Yuki did this over and over to win the tournament in impressive fashion. After watching Yuki play the deck, I played the deck. Against Reclamation and Ramp it preformed well, but when it faced off against other aggro decks it did not as well. I expect that we will see more of the deck over the next few weeks as people try to figure out if the deck is competitive against a format with more aggressive strategies.

Mono-Green has been the most consistent aggro deck over the last few months. It has consistently placed in tournaments and has been able to compete with Temur Reclamation and Bant Ramp. The key addition to the deck from Core Set 2021 is the reprint Scavenging Ooze. Most version of the deck will play four copies to deal with cards in graveyards. It feels good to exile Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and give your Ooze a +1/+1 counter. Scavenging Ooze has given Green a way to hold off these decks in the mid game, if the aggro approach is not able to finish your opponent earlier.

Barkhide Troll
Kraul Harpooner
Lovestruck Beast
Pelt Collector
Questing Beast
Scavenging Ooze
Stonecoil Serpent

Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Primal Might

The Great Henge

LANDS (24)
Castle Garenbrig
22 Forest

Elder Gargaroth
Oakhame Adversary
Ram Through
Ranger’s Guile

The best finishing Mono-Green deck was by Stefano Calligaris in the Red Bull event. This version of the deck dropped Vivian, Arkbow Ranger in favor Nissa, Who Shakes the World. It also employees Primal Might over Ram Through. When the deck is at its best, it can win games as early as turn four against decks that do not have much early interaction.The deck did not perform as well as it had because Reclamation and Ramp are teched to fight against the green cards in these decks. This has made it more difficult for Mono-Green Aggro to compete. If these decks remain teched for each other, it will be more difficult for Mono-Green to perform well.

Our final aggro deck is Mono-Black. This has put up decent numbers and preforms well against other aggro decks making it possibly the best deck against other aggro strategies.

Knight of the Ebon Legion
Serrated Scorpion
Blacklance Paragon
Rotting Regisaur
Spawn of Mayhem
Rankle, Master of Pranks

Grasp of Darkness


Demonic Embrace

LANDS (24)
20 Swamp
Castle Locthwain

Grasp of Darkness
Noxious Grasp
Drill Bit
Grafdigger’s Cage

Black offers powerful creatures with quality removal. Core Set 2021 brings several cards to the deck that give the deck ways to quickly take down an opponent. The most important of these cards is Demonic Embrace. This enchantment gives a creature +3/+1 and flying. When it is attached to Rotting Regisaur, Reggie becomes a 10/8 flyer that can finish games in one shot. Rankle, Master of Pranks and Spawn of Mayhem offer two additional lethal threats.

Core Set 2021 also gave the deck Eliminate and Grasp of Darkness. These cards are quality spot removal for the deck that can deal with Uro and 4/4 creatures. Aggro decks are on the rise. The next few weeks will determine if any of these decks can reach the top Tier of competitive Magic. Once rotation occurs, expect Green, Red, and White aggro decks to remain a part of the format, but Black will need support from Zendikar to remain competitive because most of its best creatures will rotate out of standard.

What I expect over the next two months is Mono-Red to see a resurgence over the next few weeks. Then I expect it will lose popularity because I expect that more spot removal will be played in other decks. The other deck I expect to continue to see a lot of play is Mono-Green. This deck has already preformed well. I expect it to add more removal as the format moves towards more aggro and Mid-range decks. Mono-Black will be around to prey on decks that do not match-up well against the removal that Black has to offer. Mono-White is the weakest of these decks. It relies on quick play to win games and has some resilience, but as spot removal and board wipes return to standard it will be most harder for the deck to compete.Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!