As we sit at home during our physical distancing time because of the virus, looking forward to Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is one of the things we can look forward to during this time. To see all the previews, you can join the Win Condition Games discord channel. There is information on the site on how to join. There is a tab for previews in the discord.

Other writers and outlets will give you a card by card evaluation of the set, but what I want to do is look at cards that I expect to find their way into standard decks during Ikoria season During Eldraine and Theros seasons several decks that had success during the previous few seasons fell out of favor. A few might have a chance to return to competitive standard with new cards from Ikoria.

Theros: Beyond Death season saw a revitalized Mono-White deck around Heliod. The deck performed well early in Theros season, but as the season progressed it lost favor because of the power of Jeskai Fires, Rakdos Sacrifice, and Bant/Simic Ramp decks. I do see the deck occasionally on Arena, but not with the numbers it had. In day one of Ikoria previews, Luminous Broodmoth was introduced. While it does not have the flashiness of many of the monsters of Ikoria, it has an ability that might have a significant impact on the power of Mono-White.

Luminous Broodmoth’s ability returns to the battlefield any creature that dies without flying and gives it flying. One of the major vulnerabilities of Mono-White decks are the large numbers of board wipes that exists in the current standard. What Luminous Broodmoth does is give white decks its own Anax: Hardened in the Forge with the added advantage of returning the creature to the battlefield rather than just creating one or two tokens. Broodmoth also has implications for other decks. I can see it finding its way into the Jeskai Fires deck to provide it with greater reach and some creature protection.

Izzet Phoenix was very popular over the seasons on Ravnica but fell out of favor once Eldraine was released. The core of the Izzet Phoenix deck is still legal. Finding replacements for the cards lost with the previous rotation has been difficult. Ikoria just might have a few additions that can bring the deck back to life.

The first card I am interested in adding to the deck is Spirit Dragon.

What makes Spirit Dragon an important addition to the deck is its natural ability to take advantage of what the Izzet deck already does well. Each time you cast a noncreature spell Spirit Dragon gets a +1/+1 counter. The goal of the Phoenix deck is to cast three spells during your first main phase to bring back Arclight Phoenix from the graveyard. With Spirit Dragon on the battlefield, you get at least a 4/4 Spirit Dragon with haste when you bring Arclight Phoenix back from the graveyard. Together, the pair along with Crackling Drake gives the deck great offensive and defensive capabilities.

Another card that has a place in the deck is Rielle, the Everwise.

With Rielle on the battlefield, cards that require you to drop a card will now draw you that many cards the first time you discard a card on a turn. This will allow you to replenish the cards in your hand and push your game plan. In addition, Rielle will grow in power as you cast an instant or sorcery. Rielle’s power is equal to the number of instants and sorceries in your graveyard. Just like Crackling Drake. Together Rielle, the Everwise and Spirit Dragon may give Izzet Phoenix the boost it needs to return to competitive standard play.

Humans has been a mainstay in Modern for many years. Standard may see its own humans’ deck with the reveal of General Kudro of Drannith and General’s Enforcer.

I included General’s Enforcer here because it provides protect for General Kudro and any other legendary creatures that the deck might employ by giving them indestructible.

General Kudro has seen hype from many sources. My interest in Kudro is in a Mardu Knights deck. During Eldraine season, Rakdos Knights had a solid position in the metagame, but fell out of favor with the arrival of Theros: Beyond Death. One of the most interesting knights from Eldraine was Worthy Knight.

Her ability creates a 1/1 white human creature token when you cast another knight spell. This ability along with Kudro can create a 2/2 human army. Kudro’s colors suggest going with an Orhzov mana base, but the addition of red will increase the number of cheap knights available, gives the deck a second lord with Inspiring Veteran, and adds card advantage to the deck with Stormfist Crusader. It will be interesting to see what decks develop around General Kudro. I expect we will see other humans that could find their way into the deck as previews continue. I would like to see a few new knights, but so far, we have not gotten any in Ikoria.

Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!