This deck is planned for use from the 29th of September (when Ixilan releases), and will be updated with every Standard legal release until Amonkhet drops out because of the rotation, which will occur sometime in 2018.

So please keep in mind that the blocks "Battle for Zendikar" and "Shadows over Innistrad" are already ignored.

The general strategy is to inflict constant chip damage, which your opponent won't block, because of your attackers having Deathtouch. Additionaly, Destined / Lead (Lead) will give you the ability to finish off your opponent easily.

In what follows, I'll describe the use of every spell in this deck, arranged in order of CMC:


Festering Mummy functions as our early blocker. Your opponent probably won't attack, because blocking with the Festering Mummy means he'll weaken his creature, killing it if it's a 1/1. If you have Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons on the battlefield, you can put the -1/-1 counters you'll have to put on your own creatures on Festering Mummy to gain two snakes (One for the counter on Festering Mummy, and one for the counter you get to put on something because of Festering Mummy's death.).

Since we usually have the ability to kill one of our creatures with -1/-1 counters, Bone Picker can and should be cast for only one mana everytime. This is our only defense against flying, but since it has 3/2, poking is very rewarding, too. But you should be cautios with this, since Flying creatures in itself are always a threat your opponent wants to get rid of fast.

Prey Upon is our main removal spell. We don't need spells like Fatal Push because our creatures having Deathtouch. This way, Prey Upon can get rid of any creature at the cost of one snake.


Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons gives you a steady supply of 1/1 snakes with Deathtouch. They'll keep your opponent from attacking early, and since they are relatively expendable, you should always attack with at least some of them.

Gifted Aetherborn supports our strategy the same way our snakes do. But since he has Lifelink, he will pressure your opponent even more.

Channeler Initiate functions as another source of mana. It is advised to drop the -1/-1 counters you have to put on your own creatures on her, so that she doesn't run dry.

You can benefit from Exemplar of Strength in two ways: Try to drop your three -1/-1 counters on a Channeler Initiate that has run dry, and get a 4/4 for just two mana in return. Having a 4/4 on the battlefield will help us secure the win when we'll cast Destined / Lead (Lead).

Throne of the God-Pharaoh makes our general strategy much more viable, since it will increase our chip damage by the amount of attacking creatures. This way, even attacking with just two snakes will mean you decrease your opponents life by 4, which is quite well for just poking. Additionally, it decreases the amount of turns you'll have to wait before Destined / Lead (Lead) becomes a finisher.


Nest of Scarabs improves our board advantage even further, and they can be used to absorb some -1/-1 counters (e.g. if your Channeler Initiate is already full).But the primary benefit of having a lot of scarabs is that the combination of Destined / Lead (Lead) and Throne of the God-Pharaoh will reduce your opponent's life to zero quite reliably.

Splendid Agony should be used on two different creatures, since that'll gain you two snakes instead of one. But sure, if you have no other means to neutralize a threat quickly, go for it.

Destined / Lead is our main finisher. But you should keep in mind that you can use both halves of Destined / Lead in a single turn to kill two (snake), three (Gifted Aetherborn) or even four (Bone Picker) enemy creatures of your choice without sacrifings your own.To clarify how this works: If a creature has Deathtouch and doesn't get killed during the Combat Damage step, it will always inflict only one damage (since that is the lethal amount) and move on to the next blocker, until it used it's maximum amount of power.You should do this if there are big late-game threats which pressure you too much.

I try to update it regularly with every newly released set until Q4 2018, when the Kaladesh block gets kicked out of Standard.

PS: Since Bone Picker should always be played as a CMC-1 creature, and Destined / Lead should be seen as a CMC-3 spell ([2+4]/2) the average CMC of this deck is just 1.92 (not 2.47).


I adjusted the sideboard since enchantments like Drake Haven or Solemnity should be a much bigger threat than artifacts now, since Aetherworks Marvel is banned. But I'll still have to watch out regarding Vehicle decks.

Also, I put in one more land instead of one Throne of the God-Pharaoh to compensate the sideboard, which is a bit more mana intensive than the deck in general.


rockingcheerio says... #1

this was a SUUUUPER fun deck to play test against. +1 from me!

June 12, 2017 9:33 a.m.

Wow... Lead is incredible. You may enjoy the card Pathway Arrows to take out creatures that find a way around deathtouch (ie first strike creatures).

June 14, 2017 4:38 p.m.

Hey silastheguardian, unfortunately I already ignored the blocks "Zendikar" and "Shadows Over Innistrad", since they get kicked out in a few months. But if I didn't, I'd put in Pathway Arrows the moment I read your comment! Thanks for your help!

June 14, 2017 5:01 p.m.

Seifer267 says... #4

After rotation I'm so turning my hapatra counter deck into this. Just awesome!Gonna try destined to lead in my deck now!

June 15, 2017 9:33 a.m.

bluechandra says... #5

Nice deck MrGameAndScotch. +1 from me

June 22, 2017 7:34 a.m.

clayperce says... #6

Looks sweet!

Looking at your sideboard ...

  • I'm wondering if you need faster answers for Solemnity, especially if you're on the draw Game 2 (since Lost Legacy is useless if one is already on the board). Natural State was of course lousy against Marvel, but it might be exactly what the deck wants for HOU Standard.
  • Hour of Glory over Final Reward?

Draw well!

June 22, 2017 10:01 a.m.

It might be worth adding Driven to Despair. It can provide some much-needed card advantage for however many mana your deck has open and it keeps your average cmc low :)

June 22, 2017 2:10 p.m.

Side note: that isn't a t/o linked card so you need to click on the link to see it.

June 22, 2017 2:10 p.m.

Thank you jparker-sartori21, I'll definitely check that card out in some friendlies!

June 22, 2017 2:45 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 2 weeks
Last updated 8 hours

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.47
Tokens 1/1 Snake
Folders Hapatra Ideas, Standard Ideas., Too Build, Future Decks, Ideas, Deck Ideas, Cool Finds, Standard, Standard 2017, Testy, See all 13
Top rank #11 on 2017-06-23
Views 1639