It’s time, once again, for us to take a minute to talk about something real. I’m talking about the daily Struggle // Survive that is being a member of the Dinosaur hype train as a Standard player.
Sure, we’ve got Carnage Tyrant, but in a Standard environment that seems to be a rock-paper-scissors match between Ramunap Red, Temur Energy, and UB Control. Sure, Burning Sun’s Avatar and Verdant Sun’s Avatar see play in a few fringe ramp lists, but all in all it seems to be that the general consensus is that Dinosaurs just don’t have the stuff to play on the same level as the bigger kids. That revelation put those of us on the hype train in some dire straights.
Enter Manuel De La Orden, who finished 7th at the 2017 Spain Nationals Weekend this past week with a Dinosaur tribal deck, complete with Unclaimed Territory.
‘That’s a statistical outlier!’ Decry the nay-sayers, ‘any deck can win with the right pilot and the right luck.’
‘Maybe,’ I respond. ‘But isn’t that what they said about Abzan tokens at first?’ In my head a punchy 80’s sound track kicks in. I raise my hands into the air and make pew pew sounds as I fire magical beam pistols (a.k.a. finger guns) into the air and moonwalk out of the room. It doesn’t usually go down this way, but as a Dinosaur hype train member I sometimes need a little excitement in my life. Plus my wife won’t let me shoot them in the house, and I’m really stoked about having a Reason // Believe in Dinosaurs for Standard again.
‘He didn’t use even use either of those cards.’ Say those same Naysayers from before, ‘and again, if you look at the numbers of all of the Nationals even-‘ I use my magical beam pistols to
disintegrate teleport them back to the dimension of metaphorical writing constructs, and proceed onward.
With just 13 support spells and 38 creatures in the Dinosaur Subtype, the first issue with playing Dinosaur Tribal right now is that there just aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to what to use for building a solid deck. Once we get to Rivals of Ixalan it’s easy to guess that the tribe will get stronger with more support. It may get even go on to receive further support in the not-too-distant Core Set Wizards has Foretold, but that’s only if Bolas doesn’t cause a Star of Extinction to wrap the up the tribe in a tidy (and conveniently rotation-friendly) package.
Let’s not try not think about what Bolas would choose, hype train members. Let’s look at Eduardo’s list instead.
1 Nissa, Steward of Elements
3 Essence Scatter
2 Magma Spray
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Vance’s Blasting Cannons
2 Fiery Cannonade