Standard – Lurrus Aristocrats

The companions are pretty overpowered, eh? Lurrus is certainly one of our favorites, because this deck is a blast to play.

Orzhov Lurrus Aristocrats Decklist (Standard)

1 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
4 Hunted Witness
4 Gutterbones
3 Call of the Death-Dweller
4 Cauldron Familiar
4 Priest of Forgotten Gods
1 Lampad of Death's Vigil
4 Whisper Squad
4 Cruel Celebrant
4 Fiend Artisan
1 Lurrus of the Dream Den
4 Witch's Oven
2 Castle Locthwain
4 Fabled Passage
4 Godless Shrine
2 Temple of Silence
4 Plains (331)
8 Swamp (339)

Lurrus of the Dream-Den

The deckbuilding restriction on Lurrus is hardly a drawback for this archetype. Sure, we can't run cards like Ayara, First of Locthwain or Midnight Reaper, but Ikoria has given us access to some new tools to round out the decklist anyway. Starting with a guaranteed extra card in our hand that is always going to be easy to cast and get us value (and then is still a "must-kill" right away even after getting us immediate value) is always going to be a huge advantage.

Fiend Artisan

Fiend Artisan is the coolest new creature from Ikoria. In a weird crossover between Tarmogoyf and Birthing Pod, Fiend Artisan will always be great at whichever phase the game you're in. For three mana it can tutor out any creature in your deck (most commonly Cruel Celebrant or Priest of Forgotten Gods), and later it can simply beat down as a massive creature.

Cruel CelebrantLampad of Death's Vigil

This deck is really just a mono black deck, but we can then splash either white or red. The red version might play some of the Rakdos sacrifice shell such as Claim the Firstborn, Blood Aspirant, or Dreadhorde Butcher, but we've opted for the power of Cruel Celebrant. Similar to the Ayara decks that we used to love working on, Cruel Celebrant in this build gives us a ton of reach and combo potential. Including a single copy of Lampad of Death's Vigil (with Fiend Artisan to find it) allows us to further increase our combo kill potential.

Call of the Death-Dweller

Call of the Death-Dweller is perhaps one of our favorite new cards from Ikoria. It would be embarassing to admit how many times we tried to cram Revival // Revenge into decks we were brewing and ultimately kept realizing it didn't make the cut. However, Call of the Death-Dweller is on an entirely different power level for this effect. For one, we're already embracing the deckbuilding restriction that makes this more powerful. It can either bring back a powerful two-drop and some 1-drop fodder to fuel the two-drop, or it can just bring back a Fiend Artisan with menace for the beatdowns and a random 1-drop with deathtouch to trade up. If we've already cashed in on our Lurrus, we can create a reanimated companion and then just cast whatever else we want from the graveyard anyway.

That's the deck! The list posted above is a bit light on interaction, though we would likely not stray too far from this build and just include the necessary interaction in the sideboard. We can't run some cards such as Murderous Rider, but any non-permanent spells are fine and we could consider enchantment-based removal like Dead Weight and Mire's Grasp as removal that can be reused with Lurrus. Actually, that idea has us wanting to brew something with Hateful Eidolon….stay tuned for that!

Check here for a video of us piloting the deck through a few game:

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Michael Schuller