Magic: the Gathering

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Starting Ikoria's Standard with the Boros Cycling deck

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In a metagame dominated by Yorions and Kerugas, we are seeing an extremely budget deck gaining space: cycling decks.

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The new edition Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has been released a few weeks from now and with that we can start to see the metagame being formed. Dominated by Yorions and Kerugas, we are seeing an extremely budget deck gaining space: cycling decks.

If we add all the versions of cycling decks, we are seeing something around 8% of the metagamelink outside website, in addition we recently saw a list in the Top 8 of MagicFest Online. This remains constant whether we analyze 7 days or 15 days. But the great advantage of the cycling deck is not in its participation in the Standard metagame, but the fact that it is budget by nature. The deck has around 30 uncommons, 10 rares and 0 mythic rare. The rare ones are only lands.


Playing a deck with Cycling is, in my view, one of the best ways to start in Ikoria Standard. The deck is mostly made from Ikoria cards, so when playing a lot of Ikoria draft you should have enough to build the deck. Also, because it is Boros or Jeskai, when building the deck, you are building the mana base for the strongest decks of the format: all jeskai fires.

So, shall we go to the Cycling versions?

BOROS CYCLINGlink outside website

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The deck has cards of all colors, but it is only boros. The idea of ​​the other cards is to always have a cost 1 cycling in the restriction that Lurrus of the Dream-Den applies. The ideal hand is to have Flourishing Fox to play in turn one, make the creature huge through cycling and then give it trample with Footfall Crater. Zenith Flare keeps you alive in a Tempo fight while serving as a removal or finisher.

Some versions use Savai Triome in the list to be able to add black mana. Black mana allows you to cast Memory Leak which is great against controls or decks that depend on a specific card.

If you hate Lurrus, you can maindeck Imposing Vantasaur, which can be cast as a last resort. But Lurrus of the Dream-Den fits like a glove in this deck since the threats are low cost and they all go to the graveyard. With an empty graveyard, you can still cycle a card and then cast it with Lurrus.

JESKAI CYCLINGlink outside website

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The Jeskai version seeks to give significance to the blue spells on the deck, transforming them into something beyond pure cycling. Cards like Startling Development look weak, but they mean +3/+3 for Flourishing Fox in addition to protecting from removals. Frostveil Ambush can be the finisher for you to attack with your entire team.

In short, what changes most is the mana base. You take more damage, but allow blue cards to be used when needed. The deck needs a lot of mana that doesn't enter tap, so it's hard to say whether this version is actually better or worse than the other.

In addition to mana, cards like Pteramander can be added, which can quickly become a 5/5 flying creature as several instants go to the graveyard with cycling.

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Another option is to play the Improbable Alliance enchantment that will give you a 1/1 creature with flying every turn, even your opponents', as long as you have cycling cards in hand.


If we analyze the price, both in the Arena and IRL, and compare the results, Jeskai Cycling and Boros Cycling are the best decks for those who want to start in the new Standard.