Black-Green Explore in Standard (Videos)

Feature Article from Craig Wescoe
Craig Wescoe
10/13/2017 11:01:00 AM
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I wanted to explore everything Ixalan had to offer, so I built a deck that utilizes the new explore mechanic from Ixalan to great effect. Wildgrowth Walker gets big from all the exploring, while Winding Constrictor makes all the explorers extra big. Vizier of the Menagerie finally has a home too as it finds more explore creatures, which get lands off the top of the library with the ability in order to keep creatures on top to be played off the Vizier. It's a new twist on the old Black-Green Constrictor decks.

I played three matches with the first version of the deck, then made a few changes to play the remaining two rounds with the second version of the deck. I recommend playing the second version over the first, but they're pretty close.

I changed the sideboard a little and only a few cards from the main deck. I decided to slim down the non-creature count in order to allow us to hit creatures more reliably for our Vizier of the Menagerie. The downside is that we lose a potent one-mana spell in the form of Harsh Scrutiny. The upside is that we get Kitesail Freebooter.

The main idea of the deck is to play Wildgrowth Walker or Winding Constrictor and then start exploring. The explore mechanic is good at keeping the action cards coming, especially in conjunction with Vizier of the Menagerie, which is our primary card advantage engine.

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We also have the main ingredients of a typical Winding Constrictor shell. We can play a second-turn Winding Constrictor followed by third-turn Rishkar, Peema Renegade to make a 4/5 and 4/4 that each have the ability to tap for mana. Then we can play Walking Ballista for four mana to get three counters, and we can subsequently pay four mana to get two additional counters. We also have two copies of Verdurous Gearhulk to add a million counters onto every with a snek in play.

Out of the sideboard we get a few interesting options. Scrapheap Scrounger works great with the explore mechanic since you can choose to put it into the graveyard. It's also great in a deck that has upwards of 30 creatures. We bring it in against slower grindy decks, and sometimes against fast decks when we're on the play. Prowling Serpopard is another card that works great with all the creatures. We bring it in against decks with a lot of counter-magic such as Blue-Black Control.

We want Deathgorge Scavenger and extra Deadeye Trackers against decks that fill up their graveyard, especially ones that utilize their graveyard. Vraska's Contempt is good against the Gods and against planeswalkers. Appetite for the Unnatural and Fatal Push come in whenever there are good targets for each.

I don't see this deck as being the next best deck in the format or anything, but it's unique and can do some powerful things when it gets going. Vizier of the Menagerie is a pretty sick Magic card in this deck!

Craig Wescoe
@Brimaz4Life




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