Omnath, Locus of Creation, Lucky Clover, and Escape to the Wilds have all been banned in Standard, leaving the format wide open for new decks and innovations. While many people flew to new strategies such as Dimir Rogues, I looked back once again to see if Golgari Adventures, my deck from Mythic Championship VII, was playable again.

Grzegorz Kowalski summed up his thoughts on the Standard metagame and deck tier list in this tweet:

tweet:1316767863034851332

I am clearly not the only one finding success in Golgari Adventures, and I've started to see many different lists appear all over social media. Today I'm going to talk about my deck, the card choices, why Golgari Adventures is even playable right now, and of course a sideboard guide.

The Deck

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Golgari Adventures by Ally Warfield

'Golgari Adventures' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Ally Warfield

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $205.05

Cards

Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196478_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Elder Gargaroth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $12.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215477_200w.jpg

Vigilance, reach, trample
Whenever Elder Gargaroth attacks or blocks, choose one —
• Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token.
• You gain 3 life.
• Draw a card.

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Hagra Mauling

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222096_200w.jpg

This spell costs {1} less to cast if an opponent controls no basic lands.
Destroy target creature.

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Kazandu Mammoth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222154_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, Kazandu Mammoth gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

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Order of Midnight // Alter Fate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198405_200w.jpg

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Scavenging Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215695_200w.jpg

{G}: Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, put a +1/+1 counter on Scavenging Ooze and you gain 1 life.

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Vivien, Monsters' Advocate

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $4.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/211993_200w.jpg

You may look at the top card of your library any time.
You may cast creature spells from the top of your library.
+1: Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token. Put your choice of a vigilance counter, a reach counter, or a trample counter on it.
−2: When you cast your next creature spell this turn, search your library for a creature card with lesser mana value, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Indatha Triome

Color Identity:B,G,W

Market Price: $7.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212689_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}, {B}, or {G}.)
Indatha Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Temple of Malady

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236590_200w.jpg

Temple of Malady enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malady enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {B} or {G}.

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Chainweb Aracnir

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206802_200w.jpg

Reach
When Chainweb Aracnir enters the battlefield, it deals damage equal to its power to target creature with flying an opponent controls.
Escape—{3}{G}{G}, Exile four other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Chainweb Aracnir escapes with three +1/+1 counters on it.

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Erebos's Intervention

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206806_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. You gain X life.
• Exile up to twice X target cards from graveyards.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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The Great Henge

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $42.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199361_200w.jpg

This spell costs {X} less to cast, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control.
{T}: Add {G}{G}. You gain 2 life.
Whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on it and draw a card.

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Murderous Rider // Swift End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198749_200w.jpg

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Edgewall Innkeeper

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198999_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a creature spell that has an Adventure, draw a card. (It doesn't need to have gone on the adventure first.)

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Polukranos, Unchained

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $1.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206691_200w.jpg

Polukranos enters the battlefield with six +1/+1 counters on it. It escapes with twelve +1/+1 counters on it instead.
If damage would be dealt to Polukranos while it has a +1/+1 counter on it, prevent that damage and remove that many +1/+1 counters from it.
{1}{B}{G}: Polukranos fights another target creature.
Escape—{4}{B}{G}, Exile six other cards from your graveyard.

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Garruk's Harbinger

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215616_200w.jpg

Hexproof from black
Whenever Garruk's Harbinger deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, look at that many cards from the top of your library. You may reveal a creature card or Garruk planeswalker card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Foulmire Knight // Profane Insight

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198404_200w.jpg

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198578_200w.jpg

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248314_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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The deck revolves around generating a card advantage over your opponents with Edgewall Innkeeper plus your Adventure creatures, The Great Henge, and Vivien, Monsters' Advocate. You get to the point in most matches where they cannot come back from how many cards you're drawing and how many creatures you're playing in a single turn.There are additional cards to help you grind out matches like Order of Midnight and Polukranos, Unchained.

In addition to all the creatures, you also rely on the rest of the deck being a pile of removal spells. Black removal spells are much more powerful in the new format because everyone is playing fair creature decks with creatures that don't replace themselves when they enter the battlefield like Omnath, Locus of Creation did.

Why Is Golgari Adventures Playable Again?

Omnath, Locus of Creation was the most powerful thing to be doing in Standard before it was banned, making almost every other choice "unplayable." However outside of that, the blue and red Adventure cards such as Bonecrusher Giant and Fae of Wishes were much more powerful than Murderous Rider and Foulmire Knight, so everyone drifted toward Temur Adventures.

The banning of both Lucky Clover and Escape to the Wilds left Temur Adventures all but unplayable. So I shifted my gaze to Golgari Adventures once more.

Clearly without Lucky Clover, the deck has to stray away from my MCVII list which included some Knights synergies with Smitten Swordmaster.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Golgari Adventure by Ally Warfield

'Golgari Adventure' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Ally Warfield

Event: Mythic Championship VII - 12/06/2019

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $109.51

Cards

Order of Midnight // Alter Fate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198405_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/order-of-midnight

Epic Downfall

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198972_200w.jpg

Exile target creature with mana value 3 or greater.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/198972/magic-throne-of-eldraine-epic-downfall

Shifting Ceratops

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192635_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Protection from blue (This creature can't be blocked, targeted, dealt damage, enchanted, or equipped by anything blue.)
{G}: Shifting Ceratops gains your choice of reach, trample, or haste until end of turn.

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Midnight Reaper

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248756_200w.jpg

Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, Midnight Reaper deals 1 damage to you and you draw a card.

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Murderous Rider // Swift End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198749_200w.jpg

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Disfigure

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192506_200w.jpg

Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Smitten Swordmaster // Curry Favor

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198401_200w.jpg

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Overgrown Tomb

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $12.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175196_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {G}.)
As Overgrown Tomb enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Casualties of War

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231199_200w.jpg

Choose one or more —
• Destroy target artifact.
• Destroy target creature.
• Destroy target enchantment.
• Destroy target land.
• Destroy target planeswalker.

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Edgewall Innkeeper

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198999_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a creature spell that has an Adventure, draw a card. (It doesn't need to have gone on the adventure first.)

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Noxious Grasp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192688_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker that's green or white. You gain 1 life.

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Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198578_200w.jpg

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196478_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248314_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Temple of Malady

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236590_200w.jpg

Temple of Malady enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malady enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {B} or {G}.

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Foulmire Knight // Profane Insight

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198404_200w.jpg

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Assassin's Trophy

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $11.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175575_200w.jpg

Destroy target permanent an opponent controls. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Massacre Girl

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188199_200w.jpg

Menace
When Massacre Girl enters the battlefield, each other creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Whenever a creature dies this turn, each creature other than Massacre Girl gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

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Lucky Clover

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199342_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast an Adventure instant or sorcery spell, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

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Vraska, Golgari Queen

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $3.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176436_200w.jpg

+2: You may sacrifice another permanent. If you do, you gain 1 life and draw a card.
−3: Destroy target nonland permanent with mana value 3 or less.
−9: You get an emblem with "Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game."

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Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222668_200w.jpg

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Reaper of Night // Harvest Fear

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199528_200w.jpg

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However, looking back to the same event, Chris Kvartek and Jordan Cairns played a variant of Golgari Adventures that relied on cards like Questing Beast and Rankle, Master of Pranks in place of Lucky Clover and Smitten Swordmaster. This was good news for Golgari Adventures fans in a new world without Lucky Clover.

No Omnath, Locus of Creation or Temur Adventures is a start to Golgari Adventure's success, but that's only part of the picture. I mentioned earlier how much better black removal spells have gotten in Standard. If we specifically look at some of the top decks in Standard so far, they are mostly all midrange or fair creature decks. Previously, Temur Clover and Omnath decks operated in such a way that invalidated spot removal. Now, this spot removal is really good, especially against Rakdos Midrange and Dimir Rogues.

With most decks having a midrangey feeling, card advantage is one of the most important ways to grind out the matches. When playing against Rakdos Midrange, Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger looks a lot less powerful when you've just drawn seven cards and have a handful of options to discard. The current Standard format has been about one-for-oneing each other with removal, discard, or countermagic—so it makes sense any amount of card advantage would be successful in this format.

My Card Choices

I am not a huge fan of this card, however it seems like a necessary evil right now. Dimir Rogues has been extremely prevalent on the Arena ladder, and Polukranos, Unchained helps a lot against them in game one. Additionally, Polukranos is also good against spot removal because you can recur it continuously. Polukranos being good against both of these things has solidified its spot in the deck, at least for now.

Honestly, I hate this card in the deck, but it is mostly better than a forest. We don't have a black-green double-faced dual land yet, but I anticipate playing that in place of Kazandu Mammoth when it releases in Kaldheim next year.

This card seems like an auto-include in any black deck with a lot of creatures in it. I've mentioned several times that the state of Standard is pretty grindy and centered around midrange, therefore returning multiple creatures that were killed by spot removal is a powerful way to swing the game in your favor—especially if you've run your opponent out of cards in hand. Agadeem's Awakening is also much better than a Swamp here.

Sideboard slots

My sideboard aggressively targets Dimir Rogues and Rakdos Midrange. Even if I keep beating Dimir Rogues, the mill aspect of the deck is frustrating to me, so I wanted to punish that game plan with four Chainweb Aracnir on top of the maindeck Polukranos, Unchained. Garruk's Harbinger has also been an all-star against Rogues, Rakdos, and the mirror. Elder Gargaroth and Erebos's Intervention have been my favorites against aggro decks, but Elder Gargaroth can also be powerful against the mirror and Rakdos as well. I added Duress for the handful of times I've played against Dimir Control or other spell-heavy decks on the Arena ladder.

Matchups and Sideboarding

Remember that sideboarding is contextual, and it's important to pay attention to how your opponent is playing and what they are sideboarding in the post-board games!

Vs. Rakdos

Playing against Rakdos feels like a typical midrange match of trading one-for-ones with your opponent until you can set up your card advantage engines. Keeping an Edgewall Innkeeper alive or resolving The Great Henge typically lets you run away with the game.

+2 Elder Gargaroth
+2 Erebos's Intervention
+4 Garruk's Harbinger

-1 Order of Midnight
-2 Kazandu Mammoth
-1 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
-2 Lovestruck Beast
-2 Foulmire Knight

Vs. Dimir Rogues

Rogues is more like a tempo deck than a midrange deck, but you can still find yourself in a removal matchup. I like playing as much removal here as possible, as well as setting up turns to play multiple spells in one turn to play around countermagic. All of your escape cards are fantastic in this matchup.

+4 Chainweb Aracnir
+2 Duress
+2 Erebos's Intervention

-2 Kazandu Mammoth
-1 The Great Henge
-2 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
-3 Lovestruck Beast

Vs. Mono-Green Aggro

Even the Mono-Green Aggro deck feels very midrangey again in this Standard format, however it can be aggressive and harder to beat than Gruul Aggro because Lovestruck Beast isn't as effective against the big Mono-Green Aggro creatures.

+2 Elder Gargaroth
+2 Erebos's Intervention

-1 Order of Midnight
-1 Scavenging Ooze
-1 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
-1 Kazandu Mammoth

Vs. Gruul Aggro

Unlike Mono-Green Aggro, Gruul Aggro is much easier to stabilize against because they tend to struggle in the late game if they don't kill you quickly enough. More removal and Elder Gargaroth are key here.

+2 Elder Gargaroth
+2 Erebos's Intervention

-2 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
-1 Foulmire Knight
-1 Scavenging Ooze

Vs. Golgari Adventures (The Mirror)

This is the most grindy matchup the deck can face, because you're facing the same thing you've been out-grinding all of your opponents with. Garruk's Harbinger and Elder Gargaroth are my favorite sideboard options for this matchup, but additional removal is also a consideration based on how your opponent is playing and what they side in.

+4 Garruk's Harbinger
+2 Elder Gargaroth

-1 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
-1 Order of Midnight
-1 Polukranos, Unchained
-2 Kazandu Mammoth
-1 Foulmire Knight

* * *

Overall, I have been extremely impressed with Golgari Adventures in the metagame currently. It's my first choice in the format, followed by Rakdos Midrange. I think it's increasingly important to be able to play out of your graveyard and also be able to grind out your opponent.

New Standard is only a week old, but I am confident in Golgari Adventures and its new place in the Standard metagame once again.