Taking Temur Reclamation To The Top Of The Ladder

In my last article, I talked about how the power of Golos centers around its mana engine. The core of that engine is Growth Spiral and Arboreal Grazer, two cards that are responsible for accelerating the deck’s Fundamental Turn ahead of everything else. If this format is given time to develop as is, it would become clear the accelerants are what’s pushing these decks over the edge. With that in mind it shouldn’t be a surprise that the deck I want to talk about today uses Growth Spiral to put an engine in play ahead of schedule.

Temur Reclamation

4 Bonecrusher Giant 

4 Brazen Borrower 

4 Improbable Alliance 

4 Wilderness Reclamation

4 Expansion // Explosion 

4 Growth Spiral 

2 Flame Sweep

4 Chemister’s Insight 

4 Opt 

2 Forest

3 Island 

1 Mountain 

4 Breeding Pool 

4 Steam Vents 

4 Stomping Ground 

2 Castle Vantress 

4 Fabled Passage 

2 Temple of Epiphany

Sideboard

3 Mystical Dispute 

4 Disdainful Stroke 

2 Flame Sweep 

4 Aether Gust 

2 Veil of Summer 

Wilderness Reclamation is not a new thing. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that Wilderness Reclamation was the target of ire, similar to how Golos is now. Teferi, Time Raveler has gone a long way toward keeping Wilderness Reclamation in check, but this new iteration is more resilient.

The most important part of this equation is Improbable Alliance.

One of the weaknesses of previous Wilderness Reclamation decks was that they were creatureless, rendering them incapable of pressuring planeswalkers. Improbable Alliance allows us to incidentally creature pressure while also retaining the deck’s resilience to spot removal. It also has the benefit of being an additional manasink for Wilderness Reclamation that is not inhibited by Teferi. I was honestly surprised by how well the card worked in the deck when I first tried it, as it seemed to fix all of the deck’s pre-existing problems by itself. 

Another common problem in old Reclamation decks was the fail rate. Sometimes you’d spend your time drawing cards but be unable to find your key cards, like Wilderness Reclamation or Explosion, and would just lose. With Improbably Alliance, that digging will be converted into creatures that can chump block or pressure your opponent. 

The adventure creatures, like Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant, also provide some much needed flexibility. You used to have to play removal spells like Shock or Lava Coil, which didn’t contribute to your overall game plan, but did help you stay alive. Now you have a similar amount of interaction with pressure on the backend. While Bonecrusher Giant’s 4/3 body hasn’t mattered much in a few matchups, it does give you a reliable answer to Questing Beast. 

Castle Vantress is the other new addition from Throne of Eldraine. Vantress pairs well with Reclamation and helps find your key cards when you don’t have access to Chemister’s Insight. 

Overall, the addition of a few new cards has been able to completely revitalize this archetype. Wilderness Reclamation decks are now far more flexible and resilient than they used to be. Standard has also become a format where you don’t mind maindecking Flame Sweep, especially in a deck like this where its one-sided.

Despite the deck having beautiful synergy, that doesn’t mean I think it’s perfect. This preliminary build can certainly be improved upon, even though I’ve been having success with it. There are so many potential additions that I haven’t been able to try them all. However, there are two cards that stand out as potential inclusions, although it would require a complete overhaul of the deck.

I’m very interested to move in a direction that includes Arboreal Grazer over Bonecrusher Giant. The idea of making the deck faster to try and beat aggro instead of relying on spot removal is something I want to try. It would require some alterations to the manabase to play Grazer on Turn 1 consistently, but it’s honestly fine to deploy on Turn 2 when your most important card costs four mana. 

Oko, Thief of Crowns is an appealing addition if we add Arboreal Grazer. My initial inclination was that Oko wouldn’t be as powerful in a deck that wasn’t loaded with creatures, but that’s not the case here. We can protect Oko with Improbable Alliance, upgrade our Faeries into 3/3s, or invalidate creatures that could attack past our 1/1s. This deck could also use some lifegain and Food tokens do have text (unlike everything else Oko interacts with).

This is the next iteration of the deck that I’m going to try.

Temur Reclamation

3 Arboreal Grazer 

3 Brazen Borrower 

3 Improbable Alliance 

3 Oko, Thief of Crowns 

4 Expansion // Explosion 

4 Wilderness Reclamation 

4 Growth Spiral 

2 Flame Sweep 

4 Chemister’s Insight 

4 Opt 

4 Breeding Pool

4 Steam Vents 

4 Stomping Ground 

1 Castle Vantress 

4 Fabled Passage 

2 Temple of Epiphany 

4 Forest 

2 Island 

1 Mountain 

Sideboard

3 Mystical Dispute 

3 Disdainful Stroke 

1 Flame Sweep 

3 Aether Gust 

2 Veil of Summer 

3 Irencrag Pyromancer 

This version had a slightly altered manabase and shaved some ancillary cards to make room for Grazer and Oko. These additions should give the deck a stronger proactive focus while still retaining enough interactivity to compete. I also wanted to try Irencrag Pyromancer in the sideboard for aggressive matchups. This deck enables it well and it can block or kill anything we’ve turned into an Elk.

I generally don’t adhere to concrete sideboard plans, but there are a few heuristics I use for this deck that should help you out.

  • Never cut the cantrips, it erodes your deck’s consistency and makes your Alliances and Pyromancers worse. 
  • Brazen Borrower comes out whenever you’re not the beatdown
  • Arboreal Grazer comes out whenever you’re bringing in efficient interaction and the matchup no longer is about speed
  • Swap Improbably Alliance for Irencrag Pyromancer against aggressive creature decks
  • I generally keep in at least 2 Flame Sweeps against Golos decks
  • Always keep at least 2 Chemister’s Insights in your deck, you just lose too much velocity without them

Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of how to go about sideboarding with this deck.

Things in Standard seem bleak right now with all of us struggling to beat back Golos’ Zombie horde, but if we use the same principles that make their deck powerful, we can create new decks to compete with it. If you have any thoughts about where to take the deck or questions about how to play it feel free to stop by my stream where I’ll be working on this deck every weekday. 

Have fun! 

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