Selesnya is my favorite guild. I love ramping my mana. I love the synergy between token generators + anthem effects. I love midrange and archetypes centered around synergy and value. As you can imagine, my eyes lit up during GRN spoiler season and seeing what Selesnya had to offer.
The current Standard format so far has shown us a wide variety of ways to build Selesnya. Obviously, there are many overlapping similarities and recurring themes among these lists, but they are different enough that when you play a tapped Temple Garden on turn 1, your opponent still doesn’t know what to expect.
Here’s a post featuring the many different ways to build Selesnya.
Which one(s) are you currently piloting? What are your experiences with playing Selesnya in the current format? Any new tech you’d like to share?
A classic, well-known, tried-and-true strategy that has worked in Standard seasons past. The premise of the deck is to simply go wide with token generators like Saproling Migration, March of the Multitudes, and History of Benalia. Then grow the tokens via Trostani, Shalai, or Venerated Loxodon.
This strategy can overwhelm opponents with more creatures they can block, renders single-target removal ineffective, packs enough punch to pressure control decks while providing blockers and life gain to stifle aggro decks.
The deck is naturally soft to board sweepers, like Deafening Clarion or Ritual of Soot.
There are a few different variations of the list. Some include Benalish Marshal for an extra anthem effect. Others include Hunted Witness and Adanto Vanguard for more resilience to sweepers.
A simpler, more streamlined version of Selesnya. The deck invests less into a go-wide tokens strategy and more into aggressive and resilient attackers like Adanto Vanguard, Thorn Lieutenant, and History of Benalia.
Some parts of the token strategy still remain, with Trostani and sometimes March of the Multitudes, but the deck typically sticks to threats that are good on their own.
Because the deck is less reliant on synergy, it has a lot of flexibility in the decklists. Some use Planeswalkers like Ajani, to beef up their army. Others instead use The Immortal Sun as an all-purpose late game power card.
The lack of powerful synergies weaken the deck in the mid and late game, but is also less vulnerable to cards that can disrupt and break apart these synergies.
A Selesnya take on a commonly Boros strategy. This deck employs a mixture of aggressive ground beaters in the early game, an armada of midrange flying Angels all bolstered by Lyra Dawnbringer, backed up by Planeswalkers.
The deck attacks from several different angles. Early threats like Adanto Vanguard and History of Benalia are particularly effective against control decks. The big bodies and lifegain on the angels crushes aggro. Tocatli Honor Guard shuts off the plethora of ETB triggers from the ubiquitous Golgari midrange decks.
Compared to the Boros version, Selesyna Angels loses out on Aurelia, red’s removal spells, and Deafening Clarion . However, it gains the pump ability on Shalai and one of the strongest Planeswalkers in the meta, Vivien Reid, and a few strong sideboard options like Carnage Tyrant.
This is a more unorthodox approach that has been picking up steam lately. This deck features hard-to-remove creatures like Adanto Vanguard, Vine Mare, and Carnage Tyrant, and threatens to enchant one with On Serra’s Wings and run away with the game.
The deck is naturally mana hungry, using Llanowar Elves and Druid of the Cowl to propel itself into the mid-game where it can enact its strategy. Planeswalkers like Karn and Vivien Reid gives the deck more late-game power and value. The deck can also go wide with March of the Multitudes, combined with Flourish.
The deck is capable of going over the top of other midrange decks. However, with the growing popularity of Carnage Tyrant, control players are responding with more ways to answer Hexproof creatures.
A different version of the tokens deck, combining the tokens strategy with a heavy investment into the Explore mechanic. The package of Merfolk Branchwalker, Jadelight Ranger, and Wildgrowth Walker give the deck consistency, value, and lifegain. Path of Discovery takes that to a whole new level, often pumping Wildgrowth Walker into double-digit power/toughness.
Token generators like Trostani, March of the Multitudes, and Memorial to Glory give multiple Explore triggers at once, growing the tokens while allowing you to dig through your deck. The Immortal Sun further grows your army while shutting down opposing Planeswalkers, and drawing you extra cards.
Because the deck relies on multiple layers of synergy, it often results in awkward opening draws. Also, with the huge target on Golgari Midrange’s back, this deck does suffer from splash damage from white decks packing Tocatli Honor Guard to combat the popular Golgari deck.