This being the first week of Theros available for standard innovation and new deck archetypes are wide open. My initial attempt in Theros at constructing a cheap and effective standard deck looks something like this:


Creatures (22)
Akroan Crusader
Solder of the Pantheon
Phalanx Leader
Rakdos Cackler
Boros Reckoner
Young Pyromancer

Spells (20)
Titan’s Strength
Ordeal of Purphoros
Coordinated Assault
Boros Charm
Martial Glory
Lands (18)
Sacred Foundry
Temple of Triumph

Sideboard (15)
Lightning Strike
Cavalry Pegasus
Legion Loyalist
Legion’s Initiative
Imposing Sovereign
Soldier of the Pantheon

Now after looking the deck over it may appear a bit underpowered, I remember thinking the same thing years ago when the first white weenie decks came around until I played them, honestly if you don’t have board sweepers, the table gets out of control for most decks to handle in short order. The keys to the deck are: Akroan Crusader, Young Pyromancer and especially Phalanx Leader. These 3 cards allow many creatures to hit the board, and the Leader makes them all a problem. The deck runs extremely smoothly on nearly no mana as it is primarily 1 drops, that you use a bunch of combat tricks on as your sources of creature removal and pumps for each creature. The deck was designed initially with the forethought of making a cheap deck, I wanted to test the Theros waters with an aggressive deck but not to spend a significant amount of money and this is the current product. I played the deck at an FNM last night and across 4 rounds went 3-1. The match ups for those interested were something like this:

Round 1: Therbos Vs. B/G
The opponents list was similar to the B/G list Grant posted earlier in the week, powerful spells but had an issue keeping up with the speed of the deck. I won 2-0

Round 2: Therbos Vs. 4 Color Fatties
The opponents list was a homebrew from the looks of it, all the best creatures slammed into the same deck with a bunch of mana generators to pump out huge spells, like overpowering Mizzium Mortars, with early defense from Voice of Resurgence and Loxodon Smiter. Oddly enough even with the creatures being extremely more powerful and board sweeps still got there. The single game lose was from a Mizzium Mortars in game 2, in game 3 I recovered from an early Anger of the Gods, which only delayed the inevitable. I win 2-1, but much closer as the opponent had a solid package of board sweeps.

Round 3: Therbos vs. RUG Flash
This deck was by far the most challenging to play against, my deck runs very little removal relying mostly on combat tricks to get problem creatures out of the way. The entire point of the enemy deck is to create a situation to make large sums of mana and cast Prophet of Kruphix. At this point creatures large nasty creatures pour onto the battlefield often with extra tokens thanks to master biomancer, so even mana generating creatures are threatening. The deck is slow enough that winning the roll or a slightly above average draw will win the day. I lost 1-2. After the tournament was over, we played 6-8 more games to talk about strategy and ways to improve each other’s deck. In this current match up it feels like a coin flip and if either decks mana is interrupted in any way it is a major deficit. I found not getting double white when needed especially against this match up to be critical.

Round 4: Therbos vs. Dimir Control
This round was what I might expect of a typical control match-up; Sphinx Revelations, wrath effects and Ghost council as a win condition. The star players in this match were clearly Mutavault as well as Soldier of the Pantheon was a beating. Game 1 was just a blitz, game 2 had more revelations and drew out much longer, but the ability to cast just 1 creature, use some pump effects and pour out a couple more 1/1 gives the deck some reach, I found I just had to play a bit more cautiously but could still punish my opponent each turn. I won 2-0.

So at the end of a 4 round tournament, top 4 (which I was one of) split and my record with the deck is 7-3 with a deck I had never played before that day. The lessons I learned from playing it were that although Reckoner is a great card, often he does not apply enough pressure early, and for this build he could probably be moved to the sideboard or not played to keep the deck even cheaper. Soldier of Pantheon is absolutely amazing in the current format, there was no time I played him that either my opponent didn’t take notice, or they immediately used a burn spell to remove him if possible. Double white is an issue sometime, so I may even out the mana to be 4 mountain 4 plains instead of 5/3. Also Ordeal of Purphoros on cackler or with a Phalanx Leader is amazing. All in all I expect the deck to continue doing well for at least a four weeks then it may move into a more midrange style deck. Depending on the speed of the meta-game at that point, I feel that this deck is currently faster and more reliable then a mono red deck and may be one of the fastest around at the moment.

For those interested the price of the deck is under $200. If you take out the Reckoners, which I feel may be moving to the board or getting cut entirely and you want the deck to be even more cost effective, just running Boros guild gates instead of Temple of Triumphs also shaves another $20. So you can realistically play this deck for around $125 if you needed to buy every card. As I play the deck more and tune it for tournament play I will provide more in depth tournament info and tips/tricks on how to play. Thanks for reading, good hunting!