Sultai Snakes in Standard (Videos)
Corey Baumeister

Hello and welcome, everybody! Today I am going to be walking you through one of the most explosive and dominant decks in Standard. Sultai Snake is a deck that has been seeing a lot more play in response to all The Scarab God decks. You wouldn't think that a deck filled with removal and The Scarab God would have a bad matchup against a creature-based deck – and historically you would be correct. These days the new technology in the form of a Bristling Hydra plus Hadana's Climb is simply too much for a lot of decks to deal with right now. In Standard, you really only have three things that you can be doing if you expect to win a tournament. First, going very hyper aggressive with red cards and Hazoret, The Fervent. Secondly, going way over the top with God-Pharaoh's Gift or Approach of the Second Sun. Or my personal favorite, attacking with Glint-Sleeve Siphoner. This card is by far the best two-drop in Standard and I want to be playing four in any list running black. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is great in Blue-Black Midrange decks, but it truly finds its best home in this 75. Let's slither to the deck!

This list is inspired by _Batutinha_ going 7-1 in a Standard MOCS event. I changed one Lost Legacy to a Fatal Push. Moving forward after playing the games I would change the other Lost Legacy to a Dispossess. The Approach of the Second Sun matchup is just bad and Lost Legacy doesn't help very much anyways. I would also make a small change to the mana base – I don't think Foul Orchard should be in the deck. I would replace them with a basic Forest and a third Fetid Pool. I'm not going to sugarcoat this – even with the changes the mana base is not good. Without having enemy dual lands that come into play untapped we are forced to play four Blooming Marsh and four Botanical Sanctum. This leads to some tilting moments when you draw one on turn four, looking to play your Bristling Hydra.

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Beyond the changes, I do think this is the most powerful deck in Standard. I also think it is the most easily disrupted deck. Sultai Snake needs to snowball its creatures to make it a powerful deck. If you can do this without running into a lot of early fatal pushes or Abrades it is insanely difficult to beat. The interaction between Bristling Hydra and Hadana's Climb is a power level that can't be matched in Standard right now. Let's climb our way to the matchups!

Sideboard Guide

This matchup is not an easy one. In game one you have to hope that your Thrashing Brontodons can hold off God-Pharaoh's Gift long enough to get through enough damage. Postboard games get to be very interesting. Most lists bring in Angel of Sanctions and Fairgrounds Warden, which means we must leave in our Vraska's Contempts. If you see them make the switch to Fumigates instead, a couple Duress would be just fine.

I am a big fan of this matchup. Being able to sit back and control the game usually doesn't work against red, since you have to finish the game before they burn you out. With Hadana's Climb that equation is much different. We can sit back and defend until it is that time to attack for 20. After sideboard it gets even better! Ever strapped a Cartouche to a Hydra? Give it a shot, it's quite fun….. for us.

There is not much to say about this matchup. It is a very die roll and draw-dependent matchup. You can make this matchup better by adding more Fatal Pushes to the sideboard and cutting some of the protection elements from the main deck.

This is also a good matchup if you can manage to draw some Bristling Hydras. It is single-handedly the most important card in this matchup by a lot. Without them, they can just one-for-one you into oblivion. On the draw you can think about taking out the Rishkar, Peema Renegade for a couple of Duress.

This is in my opinion the worst matchup for us. They have so many more answers for Bristling Hydras; Counters are not a Hydra's best friend. We really have to try to get under them with a Gilt-Sleeve Siphoner protected by Duress and Blossoming Defense to really stand a chance.

These matchups are, well, I dont want to say unlosable, but it is darn close. Enjoy your creatures not being disrupted and picking which of three different ways you would like to win the game. Spoiler alert, Walking Ballista is the most demoralizing card for our token opponents.

I hope you all enjoyed the write up and I hope you enjoy the videos my friends! Enjoy putting an absurd amount of counters on your creatures, and I will see you all next week!

Corey Baumeister