Preparing for the worst: Updating your decks post Avacyn Restored (part 1)

For me, my next game will be on Friday at Friday Night Magic. It will be the first FNM where Avacyn cards will be legal in standard play. What can you expect? How did you change your own deck and what cards should you add? Should you change anything at all? In all likeliness, the metagame won’t change too much in the first week or two. Rather, what will happen is that people will take the good cards they got in Avacyn Restored and a) find a good spot for them in a current type of deck that’s popular in the metagame or b) they’ll force cards into decks that shouldn’t be there. Needless to say, this week will have a lot of growing pains.

I’m only planning on putting 3 cards into my UR Titan deck at the moment (which can be seen here ). I took out both of the Lantern Spirits, Koth of the Hammer, and Shrine of Burning Rage. Karn went to the sideboard, and a 3rd Chandra’s Phoenix came back main, while an Archwing Dragon took the spot of the other Lantern Spirit. I moved a Slagstorm into the sideboard as well. If I need the extra wipe, I’ll put it in, but otherwise I think it’s fine with Chandra’s -2 (double sorcery or instant) if I need more power. I also put 2 Thunderous Wrath into the main board, which I think will work great with my Ponders and Think Twices. I would have liked to have put more cards into my deck, but those are the only cars I pulled worth putting into the deck.

Now there are tons of cards from Avacyn Restored that I think people will use, but what I want to focus on today is what the popular decks in the metagame will probably be using. I’ll post the name of the deck with a short explanation of how it was played before Avacyn, and how I think people will play it with Avacyn cards.

First off, let me start with the deck I think is going to EXPLODE post Avacyn due to the high cost of awesome creatures:


I noticed that this deck was gaining in popularity lately, just because of how nasty it can get by turn 4. It uses Unburial Rites and Faithless Looting as their main cards, and quickly puts huge creatures into the graveyard. If you don’t counter the Unburial Rites or take it out of the game, but turn 4 cards like Elesh Norn, Wurmcoil Engine, or a Titan will be breathing down your neck. So why will this be dangerous post Avacyn? Where, here are a few reasons why.

Avacyn. Probability: Moderate

Possible 5th turn, attacking for 8, and it can’t be destroyed.

Griselbrand: Probability HIGH

This will definitely be in Frites decks. 7 damage on turn 5, pay life to draw cards and then discard more fodder for Unburial Rites. Plain nasty. I’d expect to see 2-3 in a Frites deck.

Gisela: Probability - moderate

Gisela would be a good candidate because her colors match Frites, and on the 5th turn she could be doing the MOST damage (1opts) while also halving all damage done to you which gives you more time to use Unburial Rites to get stuff into play. A 6th turn Elesh Norn would definitely end the game.

NOTE: There is another Human Based Frites idea going around, and it could be all the worst of Humans plus the worst of Frites. Check out Nurgleprobe’s idea on his website at

How to beat this: Be prepared with Surgical Extractions, Nihil Spellbombs, and counter spells. Obilvion Rings seem like a good way to stall them too, and Grafdigger’s Cage is a must!

Mono Red:

Another deck I think will be gaining in popularity is Mono-red. I saw it being used a little more recently with cards like Hellrider from Dark Acension. It hits hard and fast. There is a 1 mana card dropped every turn (Grim Lavamancer, Stromkirk Noble, Goblin Fireslinger), followed up with Stormblood Beserkers, Shocks, and Incinerates, and finishing the player off with a Hellrider on Turn 4.

How will this deck get stronger?

Thunderous Wrath probability: HIGH

This deck is running 4 Shocks/Galvanic Blasts usually. Why do 2 dmg when you can do 5 easily? This deck will always have mana floating around. Instead of dying on Turn 4, you’ll be dead on 3 now. Especially with the next card.

Vexing Devil probability: VERY HIGH

Mono red is all about one drops, and this is the king of them all. Automatic 4 damage on turn one. Playing 4 of these and 4 Thunderous Wrath will make quick work of the opponent. He’ll definitely be in this deck.

How to beat it: Life gain, control (blue, white, black), keeping those creatures off of the table so the player can’t do any damage is your main goal.


Well, not much will change with UB or Mono black Zombies, but I do think they’ll get a little more late game help in the form of one card. The deck is usually centered around a 1-3 Mana curve. Usually it will be a Turn 1 Gravecrawler, Turn 2 Mortorpod, Turn 3 Geralf’s Messenger, and then from then on out it’s shampoo, rinse, repeat. What kind of card would be nice in this deck?

Demonlord of Ashmouth probability: Moderate

5/4 for 4 mana, and you have to sacrifice a creature when he enters the battle field. You’ll have plenty of zombies in play by T4, and with Gravecrawlers there is no worry about having enough creatures to sacrifice. This guy is a great finisher for a zombie deck.

How to beat this deck: Just like with Frites, which is focused around the graveyard, cards that close it down like Nihil Spellbomb, Grafdigger’s Cage, and Surgical Extraction will work well. Countering Messenger will be important, and cards that exile will be useful as well.

Well, I’m only going to do 3 types of decks today, but I’ll be doing more before Friday if I have the time. I’ll be focusing on Human decks, GR Beatdown, Token, and other possibly new metagame decks in my next post. Thanks for reading, and if you think there are other cards that will be played in these decks, be sure to share them with us here!