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Benefits of cycling
MTG – Start Playing Standard for $100 with Cycling Drakes for Magic: The Gathering

MTG – Start Playing Standard for $100 with Cycling Drakes for Magic: The Gathering


(theme music plays) Now that Felidar Guardian has been banned, we can have fun with Standard again. And the perfect place to start is cycling drakes. Cycling drakes is an ideal deck for breaking into the Standard format, whether for the first time or as a returning player. While it might not win you a Pro Tour, the deck is tough enough to hold its own at Friday Night Magic and that’s no bluff. Best of all, the deck only costs $100, $80 of which is the mana base so compared to other Standard decks, it’s pretty affordable. Let’s take a look. The namesake of the deck is Drake Haven, an enchantment for 2 and a blue that reads: “Whenever you cycle or discard a card, you may pay 1. If you do, create a 2/2 blue Drake creature token with flying.” The deck obviously runs a lot of cyclers, a powerful ability on its own and the deck itself has two plans for success. The first strategy is to resolve a Drake Haven and cycle through your cards while using control spells to, surprise surprise, control the board. Or, aggressively cycle and, even without the Drake Haven, play an Enigma Drake for a giant, flying beatdown using Blossoming Defense to protect it. Enigma Drake is a flyer for 1 and a red and a blue, whose power is equal to the number of instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard. So by dumping tonnes of instants and sorceries into our graveyard through cycling we permanently pump up drake, who will be an early threat we can help defend with Blossoming Defense. The deck also runs Curator of Mysteries, a 4/4 flying sphinx for 2 and two blue that reads: “Whenever you cycle or discard another card, scry 1.” Believe it or not, we want the curator for its body second, as more often than not we cycle the Curator as its cycling cost is only one blue. We have it in here to cast as needed back-up, obviously a 4/4 flyer is still a decent threat. In terms of controlling the board, we’re going to run a full playset of Censor another cycler who can also counter target spell unless its controller pays 1. Sweltering Suns is not quite Anger of the Gods, but they are strongly irritated as it will do three damage to each creature, as well as cycle for 3. We’ll also run a full play set of Magma Spray to exile any creatures we kill with it for the low, low cost of only one red mana. We’re also playing green Shatter, which happens to cycle for one green in case we aren’t facing artifacts. The deck seeks to fix your mana with Attune with Aether, great since we’re in three colors. And finally we’re running Hieroglyphic Illumination, which either lets us cycle for one blue or draw two cards should we be that desperate and rich in mana late game. In terms of our mana base which, as usual, makes up the bulk cost of this deck we’ll be running a playset of Wandering Fumerole in case we’re up against heavy removal. This self-protecting creature land can also just be added late game beatdown. And obviously a full playset of Spirebluff Canal, Sheltered Thicket (which happens to cycle) and Botanical Sanctum, all of which is topped off by two Islands, two Mountains and two Forests. The sideboard that I’m about to go through comes with a warning, and the warning is this: Currently, as of the filming of this video, the meta is highly in flux. So this will be a very, very basic template until you can target new decks. That being said, I feel a playset of Dispel is probably always going to be included as well as an extra copy of Drake Haven for control matchups. As of now, I’d recommend a playset of Manglehorn, it’s just such a great card taking care of artifacts and adding creature presence alike. And finally Release the Gremlins and Harness Lightning for further removal. So for the cost of only about $100, this is a perfect way to get back into Standard play. It’s fun, fast and highly effective. And just one of the many new decks we will see emerge now that Saheeli/Cat combo has been sprayed with water. I hope very much this video has been of some help to you. What type of deck would you like to see a tech on next? Let me know in the comments below. And you can help me out by remembering to like, share, subscribe or just by leaving that comment. This program was made possible thanks to a sponsorship from Card Kingdom As well as the Patron support of viewers such as you. So, thank you. (background music plays) (theme music plays

100 comments on “MTG – Start Playing Standard for $100 with Cycling Drakes for Magic: The Gathering

  1. While i have never made any calculations whether it is competitive i would like to play naya extert with combat clebrant and ahn-crop champion.

  2. awesome Video thanks 😉
    is it podible that you can create an Cat Deck? 😅 with, for example Regal Caracat.

  3. Question, why do we only run 2 havens main board? If it's the lynchpin of the deck, shouldn't we want 3 so that we're more likely to see one each game?

  4. just built an enigma drake deck last night. I only went red/blue but I like the idea of adding green and luckily I already own most of the mana base so this is a great option. thanks Prof

  5. "Happy Cycling" , "Drake Stole My Bike" or "Drakes On A Bike"(we've got Snakes On A Plane/Plain) would be my choice for deck name.

  6. Prof ? Have you any Budget deck that could be nice for starting modern ? Or affordable, even if it's not really competitive ?

  7. hi professor are you going to do an amonkhet booster box game? i just pulled $700 in 1 box, force of will, liliana deaths grasp,gideon, all bicycle lands, and all gods except rhonas. kind of famous in australia atm lol

  8. I would spice up the deck with 1-2 blue gearhulks (maybe adjust with some instant spells), and sphinx of the final word in the side against another control deck, just a one of

  9. Currently enjoying my first ever draft (SOI). Would love a modern vampires deck tech. Thanks Prof, your vids have helped me so much in navigating MTG after a 15 year hiatus. Great to be back on the wagon.

  10. So nice to see you back into standard deck techs, Professor! I have been inspired into t2 by your Pummeler tech some months ago!
    Why not try to give that build an update? Control is a thing now and torrential gearhulks are taking over, I would love to see they getting pummeled! Thanks again!

  11. I don't really see the value of Attune here. Sure, it's a spell for Enigma Drake, but you could play, like, Traverse the Ulvenwald instead, since you don't use energy. I guess they cost more, but they are just better here. Even if you get delirium like 20% of the games, though with all the cycling, I'd imagine it's more common.

  12. Great video as always!

    Was wondering what you think is the best format for new/returning but inexperienced players. Modern seems super competitive and meta, standard has so many attributes I have no experience in and is costly, pauper seems the best fit but maybe would nerf learning with a lack of more complicated cards, and drafts/sealed seems fun but definitely has the most room to make embarrassing missteps or build a useless deck. Would love any feedback and apologies if this is a bad place for Qs

  13. With a few copies of Cathartic Reunion. It's a two cost, that allows you to make 2 drake tokens for 4 mana total.

  14. While i do like that the cat is banned (thus killing the 4color catlady combo) it also kind of kills my own Bant Energy Blink deck, it was so much fun to play and now i have to work around it somehow… FeelsBadMan

  15. Even though Felidar Guardian is going to be banned in Standard, can you do a Modern or Legacy Cat deck tech?

  16. I've been working on a Standard Stompy-ish deck. it's got the rampaging energy elephant, greenwheel liberator, and wants new cards like the anti-counter cat-snake–all about getting efficient creatures out. it's got a bit of an energy theme with the energy-eating just, plus I'm also using cards like aid of the cowl and Rashmi (and some other blue splashes) for a bit of card advantage.
    I'd love to see your ideas for that kind of a deck.

  17. +Tolarian Community College. I have created a 3D printed deckbox. I have printed it in white and blue so it matches the Tolarian school colors. Respond if you want to review it. It will be for sale soon.

  18. I love your channel keep up the good work. also I was wondering if you might be able to do a video on what you think a modern red-green aggro deck looks like.

  19. Mono red aggro?

    Maybe blue red prowess with dynavolt tower and the drake. Could include panharmonica combo for the luls

  20. Here's a crazy probably completely wrong thought: could Drake Haven ever work with Olivia, Mobilized for War? make them into 3/3 vampire drakes with haste? Or would that just never work… I'm trying for it.

  21. I love the Prof and I know he knows his stuff, but I don't really see the value in splashing green. Like he said, the deck is 80$ because of the manabase and that's only because its splashing green. I know people have a hard-on for blossoming defense, but I feel like blue should have other options for protection like counterspells instead of having to splash green.Attune with Aether is only relevant mana fixing because he's splashing green to fix the green and I didn't notice any synergy with energy counters. The other green cards are artifact control which you could do plenty fine with By Force and Release the Gremlins.The only real reason I can see is because there's some cheap cyclers in green, but I don't know if that's a good enough reason.I'm sure cycling drakes will see some play but I don't know about the green splash. Actually wouldn't surprise me to see this as the new Jeskai control since people already have the manabases now that the copycat got banned.

  22. Dunno if you'll see this, but since Felidar's banning, why not reconsider some themes from older sets to see if there's anything that's viable now in a post-Copy Cat meta? Maybe Revolt is possible now?

  23. i don't really see the purpose of "attune with aether" in this deck
    there surely is a card with a better ability… and what to do with energy counters?

  24. Amazing video professor!
    I would glad to see a competitive Mardu control deck in the next couple of weeks 🙂

  25. Funny story, I asked my friend "Do you want to go buy some packs and draft at MGaC (Madness Games and Comics)" and my friends mom thought I was encouraging him to buy packs of cigarettes and beer….facepalm

  26. I built this deck and got destroyed. I really like the idea of this deck so could someone suggest some upgrades i can try

  27. hey guys, get ready to piss on me. Has anyone else noticed cycling does indeed say discard? Well, wharf infiltrator can produce tokens as well as Drake Haven at the end of your opponents turn. 2 tokens for 3 generic Mana. Try adding this to sideboard as well as strong 1 cycle bears. Thank me later, it's even more competitive when you can sideboard in a completely different deck.

  28. Torrential Gearhulk would love this deck. Some of your cycling cards are at instant speed and at a 2-3 of give you another creature with flash that opponents may not see coming. The format is wide open and might as well add in cards to combo with the cycling mechanic and the Gearhulk can get them back from grave.

  29. Hello !
    I'm a french MTG player and I've been following you for a little while;
    I enjoy playing French commander and i like to see deck techs, so I was wondering if you were to make this kind of video but for commander (even though it would be much longer to review the deck list)
    Anyways I DO enjoy what you do so keep going ! =)

  30. With all the new zombie cards added, do you think zombie tribal could be near top meta for Standard?

  31. you can also ditch green and not play all those lands. i think green doesnt have a great place in this deck. maybe swap green for black.

  32. Be sure to watch An Introduction to Sealed Deck Construction: https://youtu.be/1wyncg5Xhmg
    Is it Worth It To Attend Prerelease: https://youtu.be/tQH6MI-46P0
    What's it like at an MTG prerelease: https://youtu.be/zG39FZgc0ik
    Prepare For Prerelease: https://youtu.be/fnaBOlE8ico

  33. played against this online and it was pretty easy to beat, trouble is it is way too slow, any negates just drag it into a crawl, and any removal it struggles to recover from. I played a list of Approach sun, just countered and set the sun for game

    seems ok but needs like 1 torrent at least, its too flimsy later on i feel when the draws and removal come into play

  34. Paying $100 dollars per rotation is not a good idea. If you end up playing for 3 or 4 rotations you can just buy a tier 1 Modern or commander deck for the same money

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