Introduction to Singleton

Introduction


Singleton has almost been out for a week and there’s still another week left to go. I’ve been having a blast playing this with some crazy swings in a lot of games.

So why should you play Singleton?

  • - You enjoy playing big flashy spells
  • - You want to play spells you couldn’t normally play in Standard
  • - You like trying new things
  • - You like seeing silly board states and interactions
  • - You don’t mind a “bit” of variance


As for what to play? Choose something you like and just build around it, that’s why we play Magic right? Pretty much everything can be viable if tuned, from 5 colour super friends to the standard Blue control with 20 counter spells and Mono-Red Aggro all the way to Rat Colony Memes!



While Singleton consists of 60 cards with no duplicates other than basic lands, there are things that we should expect out of each colour with a bit of consistency. This can even help us on colours that we might want to play if we’re looking for something specific.

White - Versatility in dealing with threats, though this comes at the cost of speed. Seal Away, Thopter Arrest, and Fairgrounds Warden exile creatures and Cast Out, Ixalan’s Binding, and Angel of Sanctions deal with non-land permanents on top of that.

Blue - Ability to answer almost any threat if they have at least 2 or 3 mana up with all their Cancel variants. Also ability to draw lots of cards to be able to spend mana during the later stages of the game. Counterspell variants such as Disallow, Admiral’s Order, Wizard’s Retort, Disappearing Act, Failed Inspection, and Spell Swindle are all generic Cancel variants, you might think that some of these are a bit weak or unplayable, but I have been hit by all of these at least once during singleton!

Black - If you like killing things on the battlefield this is the colour, loaded with removal with all sorts of variants. Fatal Push is great for interacting early and it synergizes well with Cast Down, Never//Return, and Vraska’s Contempt. Ravenous Chupacabra and Noxious Gearhulk are powerful creature variants with a way to kill creatures.

Red - Removal spells in the form of dealing damage, also known as “burn” is aplenty in this format as well as hasty creatures that can quickly surprise and pressure people. Starting with the lowly Shock, we move up to Lightning Strike, Wizard’s Lightning, Open Fire, Trial of Zeal, Hungry Flames, and Repeating Barrage. Apparently dealing 3 for 3 is the big standard for Red.

Green - Ramp and lots of it to get to those big creatures we want to play. We start with Llanowar Elves, but we get a lot of 2 mana creature accelerants starting at Channeler Initiate, Drover of the Mighty, Druid of the Cowl, Elfhame Druid, Naga Vitalist, and Servant of the Conduit we move up to 3 mana non-creature accelerants in form of Grow from the Ashes, Thunderherd Migration, Beneath the Sands, and Spring//Mind.



Singleton Metagame


Before we load up all of our favourite cards, here's 3 decks we should be wary of before we start building, Magic is a 2 player game and if possible, we always want to include interaction with our opponent to effectively deal with these types of decks.
Blue based control - UW/UB/UXX variants
When I say blue based control, I refer to decks that load up on counterspells and reaction based removal with finishers. I think two colours is more consistent on the mana base but I’ve seen more colours in order to play more powerful cards and go over the top of other people by playing big flashy cards. Either way if our deck is a bit slow or doesn’t apply any pressure, even a five colour deck will assemble what it does and eventually play all of its spells, remember “Cancel” is only 3 mana and there's still a lot of them!.

Tip - The general rule would be to not load up on too many expensive spells and also try to have some instants to do things during our opponent's turn.
The Mono-Red Aggro deck
Yes, it’s back from Standard! It even brings the horrors of Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon as well, It can be a little underpowered at times, but don’t underestimate the ability for it to play a 2 drop, 3 drop and maybe even a 4 drop all on curve with perfect lands as well. One thing to note though is they are a lot slower and some of their cards can be quite average in comparison to what you’re normally seeing, although we can expect most of their 2 drops to have 2 power and 3 drops to have 3 power. Like the control deck, speed is also of importance, but defence is the key here rather than offence. Also due to only having 1 Chainwhirler and 1 Ferocidon, playing a wide strategy isn’t as punished. Another note is that the deck loads up on 3 mana deal 3 spells so if we’re very worried about this deck I wouldn’t play too many creatures that have only 3 toughness unless they have a good reason to be in.

Tip - Try to have some reasonable defensive cards and some lifegain cards that can help slow them down and even Planeswalkers as a meatshield to absorb some damage. Green/White/Black all have some life gain on some spells and Aethersphere Harvester is a great inclusion in any decks that can fit it.
Rat Colony
The Meme deck! What’s to say? While it is consistent, I’m not quite convinced that it’s a good deck. I wouldn’t call it very powerful. What it does have is consistency and it does punishe any deck that stumbles a bit - whether it be playing a tapped land and missing a play for that turn or missing a land drop and missing plays for the next few turns. It kills very fast and is very brutal. However it has no reach and the Red matchup is almost unwinnable.

Tip - Don’t get Meme’d! In all honesty though, speed is once again the key. Have something to do on turns 2 and 3 and be prepared to trade unless skipping a turn to deal with the rats later is more beneficial.

My personal list.


I’ve made a few lists so far but this is one I enjoy playing the most. I started with the idea of playing a token theme deck and basically added nearly all the viable token creators that existed. I was pushed towards a Green White version because I really wanted to try playing Green but I was disappointed that Green was a bit weak in Standard and I also wanted to try out some of the Planeswalkers in the combination.

I then added the mana accelerators that existed, found some utility and removal spells I liked, and finished with some payoffs and bombs that I wanted to be playing. I ended up cutting a lot more token makers than I would have liked but I did end up liking the deck and what it was doing.


Spells
1 Blossoming Defense
1 Thopter Arrest
1 Anointed Procession
1 Sram's Expertise
1 Slice in Twain
1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
1 Saproling Migration
1 Desert's Hold
1 Attune with Aether
1 Treasure Map
1 Rishkar's Expertise
1 Song of Freyalise
1 Oath of Ajani
1 Seal Away
1 Cast Out
1 Mouth // Feed

Planeswalkers
1 Ajani Unyielding
1 Karn, Scion of Urza
1 Huatli, Radiant Champion
1 Gideon of the Trials
1 Nissa, Vital Force

: 9     : 16     : 19     : 8    






Removal and Utility
A card that’s impressed me is Slice in Twain, with a lot of powerful artifacts and enchantments running around, I’ve been happy to play a Naturalize that draws me a card allowing me to get some value for a nice two for one.


Accelerators
I ended up not playing Druid of the Cowl and Drover of the Mighty. I can’t exactly remember why I ended up cutting these two but I might put the Drover back in later to take out the Elfhame because I really want the ability to make white mana from my mana accelerators rather than the small upside of kicking Saproling Migration. Other than that I just found that I didn’t have enough room to fit all the accelerators in.


Token Generators
I originally had cards like Pride Sovereign and Tendershoot Dryad but I was finding them to be a bit slow so I ended up cutting them. I even had cards like Servo Exhibition but I was finding them to be a bit low in power level compared to what everyone else was using. I’ve still got Saproling Migration but that has the bonus of being able to be kicked for four tokens instead. As you can see this section contains six cards but there are other token makers I will talk about later. Overall I’ve been impressed with the ones that I’ve kept and especially with Sram’s Expertise which always feels good to cast additional spells off.


Angels and the Hulk
As you can see it’s mostly all Angels. Angel of Invention has impressed me as well being a token maker and a payoff in one.


Token Pay-off
Rishkar’s Expertise is a new addition to the deck that I wanted to try recently but the other cards I’ve generally been impressed with… except Song of Freyalise, I think nearly all the Settle the Wreckages that have been hit on me are after I’ve resolved a level three Song, attacked for lethal and turned all my creatures into basic lands and lost. I think I’m cursed with this card, oh well.


Planeswalkers
I’m playing all the non-planeswalker deck ones that I can and I’ve generally been happy with most of them. Karn has been a bit weaker than I thought due to the fact that I really need to protect him because any of the cards that I don’t get that have silver counters stay removed if he ever dies. Karn has made up for it with the ability to make tokens that synergize with the original token idea that I had, as a bonus I’ve got some artifacts as well to pump them up a bit. Huatli has also impressed me when I’ve got any type of board presence, jumping up tons of loyalty to get to the ultimate and fire off the emblem or pumping up fliers to quickly kill my opponent in board stalls.


Land Base
I’m playing as many on-colour dual and utility lands as possible and some additional utility desert lands to use with the Hashep Oasis and Shefet Dunes as a bonus as well as extra utility that I wanted. I haven't been too impressed with Arch of Orazca and Hostile Desert as of yet so I may end up cutting them to make the mana a little better.

One thing I really enjoy is the tuning, after finishing a queue i'm constantly changing bits and pieces that I might want to try or think are a little underpowered.


As a last bonus I’ll leave a picture of the craziness of Singleton that I enjoy.


TDA is a writer for Compleat and a Master Tier MTGA player. You can find him on Twitch and our Discord:



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