Arashin Cleric Just Isn’t Good Enough

Arashin Cleric
Arashin Cleric just isn’t good enough.

As a plan… Arashin Cleric isn’t a plan.

In the past, Arashin Cleric could be a bridge… A tool that you could use to get you from the pressure of the first turns to a card like Siege Rhino (which might incidentally get you even more life)… But as a plan? It’s not going to be able to win a game by itself.

What’s the problem with Arashin Cleric these days?

This, dear listeners, is the hot new deck:

Atarka Red, by Brian Demars

4 Atarka’s Command

3 Become Immense

4 Abbot of Keral Keep
2 Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh
4 Dragon Fodder
2 Lightning Berserker
1 Makindi Sliderunner
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Temur Battle Rage
4 Titan’s Strength
4 Wild Slash
4 Zurgo Bellstriker

4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Cinder Glade
1 Forest
8 Mountain
2 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard
4 Hangarback Walker
3 Arc Lightning
2 Fiery Impulse
2 Goblin Heelcutter
2 Roast
2 Thunderbreak Regent

The Demars take on Atarka Red is ultimately a combo deck, not a straight beatdown deck. As a beatdown deck it is actually kind of mediocre. But as a deck that uses Bloodstained Mire, Windswept Heath, and Wooded Foothills to fill its graveyard so that it can land a super quick Become Immense (and maybe lethal Temur Battle Rage)?

… Now that is a plan that Demars can get behind!

But because the deck isn’t about playing fair; not largely about trading burn spells for creatures, Arashin Cleric is much less effective than it has been against other Red Decks in other contexts.

That is not to say that Arashin Cleric is somehow bad… You just can’t rely on it 100% to win sideboard games for you… The way Demars actually landed on this deck is that he got beat up in testing, even in the games he had Arashin Cleric sided in!

Patrick and Michael talk about most of the new Battle for Zendikar Standard strategies, but mostly Atarka Red; and largely about how Arashin Cleric isn’t enough.

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