September 17, 2015

Standard Mardu Dragons

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The Standard Super League came to a conclusion last week, and our winner was Magic streamer Gaby Spartz. Gaby piloted a Mardu Dragons deck through an extremely tough field that included Hall of Fame pros and longtime Magic players. You can check out what everyone brought to the tournament here, but in the meantime let's talk about Gaby's deck itself.

Mardu is the most aggressive color combination out of the five Khans of Tarkir wedges, and it's also one of the hardest archetypes to play. There are a lot of things to consider when playing this deck, such as the sequencing of your land plays and which of your threats to deploy first. Mardu has a tricky mana base, and many of its lands enter the battlefield tapped—so if you play the wrong land it can really cost you.

One of the advantages to playing Mardu is you have access to the best removal. Low-cost removal spells are hard to come by, but Mardu gives you everything you need. Murderous Cut, Magma Spray, and Draconic Roar are really important because of how efficient they are. These spells are (or can be cast for) less than two mana each, which allows you to cast one while still being able to play a Dragon. Draconic Roar gives you so much value. Not only does it kill a creature, it also deals 3 damage to your opponent. With the aggressive nature of Mardu, this is exactly the type of card you want in your deck.

The real reason to play Mardu, however, is for Crackling Doom. This is my vote for the best removal spell in Khans block. Like Draconic Roar, this spell kills a creature while dealing your opponent damage—but unlike Draconic Roar, Crackling Doom takes care of your opponent's biggest guy.

Although Mardu is a quick aggro deck, it also has an incredible late game. The Dragons hit hard and can win games out of nowhere. And let's not forget Goblin Rabblemaster, which is another creature that must be dealt with right away. This deck has so many creatures that can just take over a game if left unchecked.

Gaby Spartz's Mardu Dragons



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