January 23, 2019

Image Credit:

Standard Deck Tech – Gruul Riot

This week I’ll be doing a Standard Deck Tech for each of the five guilds from Ravnica Allegiance. Today I’ll be continuing Standard Deck Tech week with a Gruul Standard deck! Gruul is known for its big creatures and trampling through to deal a lot of damage. I want to take advantage of all the Riot creatures from Ravnica Allegiance and overpower my opponent before they have a chance to react. Let’s see what I can come up with to beatdown with some Gruul creatures.

I first want to start off with a list of cards from Ravnica Allegiance that I believe could possibly be a good fit in the deck. These could include main deck cards and cards that would eventually end up in the sideboard.

Potential Ravnica Allegiance Cards for the deck

Now that I’ve pulled out the best from Ravnica Allegiance, I want to turn my attention to the card pool from the rest of Standard. There are plenty of cards to choose from, so let’s see what list I’ve come up with of potential cards to put in the deck.

Potential Existing Cards from Standard

Now that I have a list of cards to choose from to make the deck, it’s now time to decide what goes and what stays. What I like to do first is break them down by their casting cost with creatures and noncreature spells separated. Let’s see how that breakdown looks below.

1-Casting Cost Spells

Llanowar Elves are a necessity to make sure we can ramp into our 3-5 drop spells a turn earlier than expected. Pelt Collector just doesn’t make the cut for this deck, although it would get +1/+1 counters at a fast rate.

2-Casting Cost Spells

Growth-Chamber Guardian is great in combination with Rhythm of the Wild allowing you to instantly search for another copy of it by giving it a +1/+1 counter. When it comes to another mana producer I went with the sturdier body of the Druid of the Cowl over the Incubation Druid or the Drover of the Mighty. None of the other two-drop creatures make the cut as I want to make sure there are enough spots for the heavy hitters later in the curve. When it comes to the noncreatures spells, Cindervines seems like it would be great against control decks, so I’ve added that into my sideboard. I’ve done the same for Lava Coil to provide some removal against certain matchups.

3-Casting Cost Spells

One of the best creatures for this deck is the Gruul Spellbreaker. It’s great against aggro decks, especially Mono-Red, providing a 4/4 body and making sure they can’t cast any of their burn spells during your turn. For the other creature in the 3-drop slot I went with Jadelight Ranger. It provides a strong creature as well as helping us hit our lands on turns 4 or later. Rhythm of the Wild is a key card in the deck, allowing all our creatures to gain haste or get a +1/+1 counter. Both Fiery Cannonade and Fight with Fire are great options out of the sideboard to help with creature heavy decks.

4-Casting Cost Spells

There are 8 different options for creatures in the 4-drop mana slot but only 1 of the 8 ended up making the cut. Nullhide Ferox is amazing if you can give it Riot. Your opponent will have a hard time dealing with a 6/6 Hexproof creature with haste. The other spell in the 4-drop slot is of course Domri, Chaos Bringer. It helps your search to get more creatures to play while also being another outlet to give your creatures Riot as well.

5-Casting Cost Spells

The best creature of the three seen for this deck would be Skarrgan Hellkite. There are times that you will be able to give it both +1/+1 and haste if you have a Rhythm of the Wild on the battlefield. I decided to pass on Vivien Reid and instead put in more copies of Domri, Chaos Bringer in the deck.

6 or more Casting Cost Spells

I wanted to have a few heavy hitters in the deck, so I decided to put all the 6-drop creatures in the deck except for Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar. Etali, Primal Storm becomes a value train if you can give it haste and attack to potentially cast two free spells. Carnage Tyrant/c] with haste explains itself. If you can get a [c]Ravager Wurm with double riot you might be able to make it a 6/7. And finally, don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to have a Ghalta, Primal Hunger with haste. I decided not to play Thrash // Threat in favor of having more creatures in the deck.

Here are the lands that I could choose from for this deck.

Forest, Mountain, Stomping Ground, Rootbound Crag, Gruul Guildgate

Pretty simple mana base with the 8 dual lands and leaning towards more Forests than Mountains because of the double green casting cost spells in the deck.
Now that we’ve figured out what cards to use, its now time to build the deck! Here is what I came up with for quantities for the final deck list.

Gruul Riot

Creatures (29)
Llanowar Elves
Growth-Chamber Guardian
Druid of the Cowl
Jadelight Ranger
Gruul Spellbreaker
Nullhide Ferox
Skarrgan Hellkite
Ravager Wurm
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Etali, Primal Storm
Carnage Tyrant

Enchantments (4)
Rhythm of the Wild

Planeswalkers (3)
Domri, Chaos Bringer

Lands (24)
Forest
Mountain
Rootbound Crag
Stomping Ground

Sideboard (15)
Fiery Cannonade
Lava Coil
Fight with Fire
Cindervines
Carnage Tyrant
Beast Whisperer

Getting out Rhythm of the Wild will be a key to making this deck work. If you can get some early ramp going through your mana producers, it will allow you to put out your big threats earlier than expected. Thanks again for reading this Standard Deck Tech on Ravnica Allegiance deck tech week. Join me again tomorrow for a new guild and a new Standard deck.