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Judith, Ravnican Blood Artist! Mardu Aristocrats

Standard Aggro Aristocrats RBW (Mardu) Reanimator



Creature (1)

Hi all! This my Aristocrats deck in Standard. I absolutely love Aristocrats as an archetype. In general I am prone to playing highly synergistic decks, also tribal decks for that matter... in general decks that have complicate turns with 15 things happening all at once! :D

Aristocrats is an archetype that has ways to benefit from your creatures dying or being sacrificed, usually with a Blood Artist or alike, and creatures leave bodies behind or have powerful trigger when they die, such as Doomed Traveler or Mogg Fanatic . The name of the archetype comes from Cartel Aristocrat and Falkenrath Aristocrat which are fantastic sacrifice outlets!

The pre-Ravnica expansions had some pieces and some cards that pointed out to Aristocrats, but they lacked a good sacrifice outlet, or a Blood Artist effect. In Ravnica Allegiance there are Blood Artist effects such as Judith, the Scourge Diva (which by the way, it can ping creatures and Planeswalkers) and good sacrifice outlets such as Priest of Forgotten Gods which has a ton going on, or Pitiless Pontiff which is an excellent blocker to grind out the game! Very resilient to wraths too. There are also cheap creatures to sacrifice which are either recursive like Gutterbones or that are 2-for-1 like Hunted Witness . The latter is a more or less recent inclusion replacing Footlight Fiend thanks to one of the newest additions to the deck in Cruel Celebrant which is awesome! It is a 1/2 that comes down on turn 2, and it triggers upon creatures and planeswalkers dying! Another spicy include is God-Eternal Bontu which gives you a ton of value when it enters the battlefield. A line I like a lot with this God is to play it, and with the trigger on the stack you sacrifice itself to the Pontiff for instance, it dies, goes third from the top and you redraw it. If you sacrificed the Witness and Gutterbones to the first ETB trigger, the next turn you do the same with the same Gutterbones and the tokens that the Witness left, and you drain them for maybe 3 or 4 both turns!

More fodder to get sacrificed comes in Dreadhorde Invasion which produces one token a turn provided that you sac or trade once a turn. This spot in the deck used to be occupied by Hero of Precinct One which I realized it warps and limits a lot your deck building options and it is rare to make more than one token a turn. It's way more common not being able to play a multicolour spell, your opponent kills it, and you just played a bear that did nothing. Dreadhorde Invasion is almost guaranteed to give you one token by your next turn, and it's harder to remove in that's an enchantment.

In the card-draw department there are three Midnight Reaper . Previously I had Theater of Horrors which is nice, and triggered the Hero, but as it stands I think the deck prefers the Midnight Reaper is better.

There are a couple of Plaguecrafter in the maindeck, which are surprisingly good against Esper (forcing to sac a Planeswaker) or Izzet, basically decks that don't go wide. I also took out Revival / Revenge and I included Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord which is basially repeatable recursion, which also gains life. It's basically a better Revival/Revenge in this deck. Finally, beyond the creatures that force sacrificing, as the Crafter and the Priest, and the Judith triggers, there's also three Mortify in the Main Deck

I feel that this archetype is more or less favored against creature decks, and so, sideboard is more focused on beating Control or Control-oriented Midrange decks.

Against pure control such as Esper, there's a couple of Banefire and some Tithe Taker . I used to have Duress , but I think that Spectacle is fairly easy to enable in this deck, so I included Drill Bit which is much better than Duress against the Temur Reclamation decks.

There is a couple of Bedevil for the matchups where you need more removal like Gruul Stompy or even Esper against Planeswakers. Single spot removal is always good. Against Carnage Tyrant there's not Detection Tower because I don't think that's right to do in any three colour-deck. I do also have Consecrate / Consume in the Sideboard against Stompy. There is also Massacre Girl against Aggro in general, a really spicy new card that gets us a bunch of triggers and leave a 4/4 behind!

Finally, against Izzet, there's a couple cards to side in. I would side in the couple Bedevil in order to reliably remove Niv-Mizzet, Parun , as well as Ral, Izzet Viceroy . Another include is Kaya, Orzhov Usurper which might be good to exile Jump Start cards, or exile Arclight Phoenix if they're playing that one

Thanks to a fantastic feedback from all the comments, and some thought about the list itself, this list has changed quite a bunch until where it stands now.

  • Ravenous Chupacabra : a great creature, but it can't be easily recurred, and so, I decided to rely more in Plaguecrafter , as it doesn't target (good against Tyrant), and it's a sac outlet by itself.

  • Demon of Catastrophes : A huge undercosted threat with Flample! However, I think Elenda can deliver at least as much damage, by attacking, and sacrificing Elenda, and sacrificing the tokens... In general Elenda, the Dusk Rose has a lot more synergy, and she leaves a token or two behind if they remove it before you untap with it. If they kill the Demon, you 2-for-1 yourself :/

  • Fireblade Artist : this was also a consideration, but I see this card more on a Rakdos Aggro, giving reach to the small creatures when they can't attack profitably. Both the timing of the sacrifice and the fact that it's not repeatable in the same turn really put me off it. Now, here I see it as a really aggressive card in a deck that wants to grind and get there a bit more slowly. Summarizing, I'm not sure it's consistent with the rest of the deck.

  • Seraph of the Scales : I took that card out and put Elenda, the Dusk Rose in for some time. I think Elenda can leave behind as much tokens as the Seraph, if not more, and is a Lifelink big creature against the Red decks.

  • Teysa Karlov : It's a great creature for Commander, but after playing it in standard, it's just like a "win more". It doesn't help if you're behind, and it doesn't make much difference in parity or winning.

  • Elenda, the Dusk Rose : I know, this card is amazing. But it's four mana, and in my meta there's a ton of control without many creatures, so Elenda doesn't get that many counters. Plus, I think the new Cruel Celebrant is a better payoff, that comes way earlier.

  • Hero of Precinct One : It got swapped for Dreadhorde Invasion because I think the Invasion can give tokens more reliably, and it doesn't force your deck building so much. Also harder to remove. I took out the Theater of Horrors for more Midnight Reaper for example.

I must add that this Previous Considerations are not out of the conversation. I'm not the best brewer, so my reasoning might be wrong. In general, feel free to bring these back to the conversation if you think I might be making a mistake

I don't know if you noticed by my abusive usage of exclamation marks but I absolutely love this deck in the new Standard! But I'm aware I'm by far not the best brewer in the world, so if you have any comment, suggestion, critic or anything to say about the deck, please feel free to do so! Any feedback is more than welcome!!! :D


Updates Add

Hi all! After the WAR Standard was released, I did a bunch of testing with some of the new cards. I was excited for Dreadhorde Invasion , but after some testing I went back to play Hero of Precinct One . The reason being that Invasion gives you one token a turn, very useful with Pitiless Pontiff , but the Hero can deliver several tokens on the same turn, which helps a bunch having multiple blockers or more fodder to Priest of Forgotten Gods . The floor for the Hero is much lower, but the ceiling for that card apparently is way higher as well! Also I moved Command the Dreadhorde to the sideboard. It's great against control, but it's abhorrent against Aggro, specially Mono-Red


39% Casual

61% Competitive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #2 position overall 8 months ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Standard 6 months ago
Date added 9 months
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.34
Tokens 1/1 Human
Folders Uncategorized, RNA Theory, Ideas, standard, standard, Standard, Want to builf, Standard, Check out, cool stuff, See all 18
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