Low Standard for a Friday Night 2: Staff of Nin


By Joseph Cain

After receiving many great deck suggestions, I decided on a combination of the suggestions put forth by Brannon and Aaron last week for an Artifacts/Control deck with Staff of Nin and Keyrunes as the win conditions. For your review and discussion, here is the decklist I’m proposing to use at the next FNM I participate in:

Lands (25)

4 Blood Crypt

17 Swamp

4 Watery Grave

Creatures (6)

3 Haunted Guardian

3 Phylactery Lich

Spells (29)

4 Barter in Blood

4 Dimir Keyrune

2 Liliana of the Dark Realms

3 Murder

4 Mutilate

4 Rakdos Keyrune

4 Staff of Nin

4 Trading Post

Sideboard (15)

2 Crypt Incursion

1 Dead Weight

2 Devour Flesh

1 Dreadbore

2 Illness in the Ranks

1 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

2 Pithing Needle

2 Sever the Bloodline

2 Slaughter Games

Basically the game plan is to wipe the board while leaving your keyrunes and Staff of Nin intact to activate and deal lethal damage. Haunted Guardian and Phylactery Lich get in the way early and force your opponent to overcommit. I played a few kitchen table games with the deck and while it struggles against hyper aggro, it does pretty well when it gets a board set up. Trading Post helps you dig and keeps you in games and Lily can give you a win out of nowhere with her minus three on a Dimir Keyrune.

As far as sideboarding goes, we have a nice removal suite we can customize depending on what our opponent is playing. Pithing Needle, Slaughter Games and Nicky Bolas are for control match ups and Crypt Incursion for reanimator/rites.


This Card is BS.

I will probably play Tuesday night this week at a local game and maybe Friday night as well. This week is the M14 prerelease of course and I may be getting ready for that event. Regardless if it is this Friday or next I will report the detailed results this deck has. In the meantime, what changes would you recommend to the list above? Am I leaving anything out? I’m aiming for a top 4 finish here! We want prizes and promos, right?

If you shop around and make some smart trades, you shouldn’t have any trouble putting this list together for under $100. I’d like to keep it that way. So as much as I think a playset of Lily of the Veil would be sweet, it would blow out our budget. Please keep that in mind when making suggestions.

Keep the suggestions and challenges coming on future decks for me to build! What do you guys want to see me build and pilot after this one? Please email your suggested improvements to the list in this article or suggestions and challenges for future decks to josephcain1981@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below (preferred).


2 thoughts on “Low Standard for a Friday Night 2: Staff of Nin

  1. I would swap rakdos charm for crypt incursion and add a rakdos’s return in place of deadweight.

    Decent deck though. Well done, sir!

  2. Played a sanctioned event last night with this deck. I went 3-1 going into the finals. Round 1 I played against a great player playing Azorius Aggro and went 2-1. His deck was full of fast fragile fliers so once I got a Staff on board it was pretty much over. Round 2 I played against another great player piloting Bant Auras and went 2-0. It was all about drawing a couple of sweeps early. I lost Round 3 to Rites. Rites is a tough match up for this deck with Acidic Slime and Blood Baron. You are pretty much toast if you don’t draw Mutilates and sideboard in Crypt Incursion. Round 4 I beat Jund Aggro. This is a match up you have to play very carefully and hold on to your instant speed removal for their hasty guys.

    I finished top 4 and in the first round of the finals I was paired against Naya Midrange and lost a close 1-2 round. I got game 1 and he boarded in Domri and my deck just couldn’t answer him. Game 3 I board in my Pithing Needles but it doesn’t matter as he plays threat after threat including a Hellkite and two Sigardas.

    Overall, very happy with how this deck performed and I’m happy to see how it plays Friday. If anyone has any suggestions before then, I’d really appreciate it! I’m thinking of working in a Rakdos’s Return or two.

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