Now you’re cooking with Gates

There’s currently thousands of ways to play with Gates in standard, because it has so many colours, we have so many options to choose from and today we’re going to look at what our options are. Using the compare decks tool on MTGTOP8 (something I use often) We’re easily able to identify cards that are staples in the deck archetype, as they are cards that show up as a 4 of in every list. Those cards are:

  • Plaza of Harmony
  • Gruul Guildgate
  • Simic Guildgate
  • Izzet Guildgate
  • Hydroid Krasis
  • Circuitous Route
  • Gates Ablaze
  • Growth Spiral
  • Guild Summit

This gives us 36 of our 60 card deck. And 16 of our 24-27 lands. This automatically puts us in Temur Colours, and most gate decks splash white for Archway Angel. So let’s first look at a landbase:

4x Plaze of Harmony

4x Gruul Guildgate

4x Simic Guildgate

4x Izzet Guildgate

1x Forest

1x Island

3x Azorius Guildgate

1x Boros Guildgate

2x Selesnya Guildgate

2x Breeding Pool

This is a pretty standard 26, and we can fit most things around this. Next up is the non-land staples.

4x Gates Ablaze

4x Growth Spiral

4x Circuitous Route

4x Guild Summit

This 16 is all about stabilizing a board state, with consistent card draw and lands. Now we also see 4 Hydroid Krasis in the staples list, as it’s more of a bomb, but it also stabilizes and draws us cards so let’s just tack in 4 of them. Now we have 46 cards that looks like this:

4x Plaza of Harmony

4x Gruul Guildgate

4x Simic Guildgate

4x Izzet Guildgate

1x Forest

1x Island

3x Azorius Guildgate

1x Boros Guildgate

2x Selesnya Guildgate

2x Breeding Pool

4x Gates Ablaze

4x Growth Spiral

4x Circuitous Route

4x Guild Summit

4x Hydroid Krasis

Now we’ve got 14 card slots for solving unique problems or scary threats. In this slot we see the following kinds of cards:

  • Gatebreaker Ram
  • Nexus of Fate
  • Niv-Mizzet
  • Expansion//Explosion
  • Mass Manipulation
  • Deafening Clarion
  • Extra Card Draw (Chemister’s insight, shimmer of possibility, Precognitive perception)
  • Counter Spells (Spell pierce, Negate, Syncopate)
  • Gate Colosus
  • Archway Angel

And probably lots of other weird jank things. What we’re going to do here is stack together a series of 14 card sets that let us make a completely unique Gates deck with a different play style every time. First up is Nexus of Gates:

Our 14 cards for this are:

4x Nexus of Fate

2x Search for Azcanta

3x Wilderness Reclamation

2x Precognitive Perception

3x Absorb

This list plays out to stabilize by turn 5, play a Reclamation, and cast Nexus in the end step. Using it’s extra card draw (Plus guild summit draw, and reclamation to untap tapped gates) the deck plans to get a bunch of extra turns, then make a big krasis with an extra turn on the stack and beat down their opponent. Fun stuff, but what else can we do?

Our 14 cards here are:

2x Thousand-Year Storm

4x Pirate’s Pillage

4x Shock

4x Lightning strike

This is keeping close to the original Thousand year storm list, where you cast Thousand-year storm, and then get enough spell’s cast to shock someone 10 times. We get some cool synergies with Growth Spiral and Storm, as well as using guild summit is less likely to accidentally mill you out when casting pirate’s pillage with a storm count of 10. This seems less efficient, but still fun. Let’s go for something wackier:

Our 14 cards are:

4x Truefire captain

4x Star of Extinction

4x Rubble Reading

2x Demolish

We play our regular stabilizing cards + Ramp, as well as destroying our opponent’s lands, slowing them down, until we hit them with the finisher of Truefire captain + Star of Extinction a silly combo that does 20 to our opponent’s face.

Our 14 cards here are:

4x Niv-Mizzet, Parun

4x Expansion//explosion

3x Spell pierce

3x Negate

Our game plan here is to stabilize, then Cast Niv-Mizzet (Successfully) untap with Niv, and draw a hundred cards with Expansion Explosion, Hydroid Krasis, or Growth spiral + Guild Summit, to machine gun our opponent to death. This is a version I’ve built and played on arena, and do actually enjoy playing.

Our 14 cards here are:

4x Emergency Powers

4x Induced Amnesia

4x Release to the Wind

2x Blink of an Eye

Now unfortunately Emergency Powers doesn’t combo with Krasis, but this deck is a Combo-Mill deck. The combo works something like this: cast Emergency powers to get 7 cards in your opponents hand, cast Induced Amnesia to exile them and draw your opponent 7 new cards. Here’s the trick, Induced Amnesia only returns the exiled cards if it hits a graveyard, so if you flicker / bounce it with Blink of an Eye, or Release to the Wind, you can exile a stack of cards off the top of their deck. Meanwhile Emergency powers is dropping gates / Guild summits for you to consistently untap with a stack of cards and lands to continuously drop the combo.

Here’s the first gates list that I brewed with (minus the stock cards from above)

Our 14 unique cards are:

4x Commune with dinosaurs

2x Zacama, Primal Calamity

4x Gatebreaker Ram

3x Rhythm of the Wild

1x Archway Angel

Commune with Dinosaurs is amazing as it gets us early land consistency, and also late game helps us get Zacama’s (which does everything when you have a tonne of lands.) Rhythm of the Wild + Ram and ZCP and Krasis, means you can literally Cast ZCP untap and cast Xx Rams or a 7/7 Krasis all with Haste, and beat your opponent to death. Which I’m a big fan of.

This is already a lot of ideas for you to get started on brewing your own gates list, as there’s so many options. Just don’t let me catch you playing black.