With Oko set to dominate Magic: the Gathering for the time being, players are turning to less interactive strategies to win games in Standard. Temur Reclamation, a deck that initially hit with the release of Ravnice Allegiance, is now the go-to deck for Combo deck for players to turn to. Let’s break it down.
An explosive finish
The core enabler for Temur Reclamation, as its name implies, is Wilderness Reclamation. This simple enchantment allows players to double their mana during their end step and it even stacks if you have multiple copies of Reclamation in play. (Arena players: Make sure to set a stop for your end step!)
What do you do with all that mana? Well, you blow up your opponent’s face with Explosion.
With enough lands, you can easily cast Explosion for x=20 or more! Alternatively, if your opponent has gained too much life to bother burning them to death, you can just have them draw their entire library and win that way. This flexible and powerful win condition is fun to watch on Arena, and even better, isn’t neutralized by Oko.
With a surefire win condition, the difficulty in playing this deck lies in surviving until you can reach a big Explosion. Temur Reclamation, thankfully, comes with a large variety of tools to stall out the game and interrupt your opponent’s game plan.
These tools come in three main flavors. The first is burn: red damage spells that kill opponents’ creatures or just drop their life total to a more manageable Explosion finish. Shock and Bonecrusher Giant’s adventure (Stomp) are the prime options here. Flame Sweep is also useful against aggro and go-wide decks.
Temur Reclamation also has a bevy of beaters. These solid creatures can put in hits early, or even outright win the game if needed. They also can lay down a roadblock against aggro decks. Bonecrusher Giant (the creature) is a great option here, joined by Brazer Borrower and Nightpack Alpha. These latter creatures, which you can play on an opponent’s end step, are a great way to draw counterspells from a Control opponent.
Finally, Reclamation has a few tempo plays that can throw off opponents. Brazen Borrower’s adventure is one of the primary ways – just bounce their best thing (as a note here: Petty Theft is one of the only ways to slow down a Fires of Invention deck). Another option is Niv-Mizzet, Parun, a value engine that can take over the game unless dealt with immediately.
Round out the deck with value and ramp
Survival is fine, but you also want to get ahead. Reclamation allows for lots of fun stuff even before you get Explosion (and, in many cases, you’ll want to use that stuff to find Explosion). To help you get there, use value plays like Opt and Chemister’s Insight to dig through your deck. The latter is also a great play against Control decks, as you can play it again even if they counter it the first time.
You can also get there with ramp like Growth Spiral and Escape to the Wilds. Playing additional lands feeds into the strength of Reclamation, and the extra card draw can quickly overwhelm any opponent.
Reclamation is also a great deck to play alongside utility lands – you get to activate them multiple times a turn! Castle Vantress is currently the best one to utilize, as it gives you the ability to set up draws and get to the combo cards you need.
Ultimately, this deck is all about landing a Reclamation or two and throwing down a gigantic Explosion. The flexibility in the rest of the build, however, is what sets this combo deck apart. With so many tools, it’s hard to see this deck going anywhere, or warping itself to fit any Standard meta until the next rotation.