Hey folks, I've been playing Magic for a pretty long time but up until recently entirely kitchen table. For the past couple months I've begun playing standard at FNM and this is currently my most successful deck. It's ultra-budget friendly so I figured I'd write up a little bit on it and share it to see what kinda feedback I get.
Main deck list:
3 Resolute Survivors
4 Honored Crop-Captain
4 Bloodlust Inciter
4 Rigging Runner
1 Combat Celebrant
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
2 Sacred Cat
3 Adorned Pouncer
2 Oketra the True
3 Glory-bound Initiate
4 Vizier of the True
2 Gideon, Martial Paragon
2 Gideon's Resolve
4 Shefet Dunes
3 Ramunap Ruins
3 Inspiring Vantage
4 Stone Quarry
This deck is pretty straight forward aggressive, it runs nearly entirely creatures. The win condition is (“beat your opponent with creatures”) not in the least subtle. Sometimes, however, it pays to be reserved with this deck though as synergies can be stronger than the sum of its parts. The current standard meta at the shop I play at is very heavy on cheap creature removal which this deck is exceptionally vulnerable to with most of the creatures (and most of the deck) being in the kill range for everything from duel shot to fatal push. But, as mentioned… this deck is mostly creatures (many of them cheap) so it's unlikely your opponent will be able to deal with your volume of creatures with normal removal. Once you start filling up the board, take note of what your opponent is playing. If there is at all a chance they might be able to play a board-wipe (and there probably is) be sure to hold back some creatures in case this happens.
As with all decks this is a work in progress, I've experimented a good deal with it, sometimes I'll run 3 Oketra's and cut out the Combat Celebrant, sometimes I'll play with 3 Gideon's Resolve and 1 Gideon (if I know they can't exile Plainswalkers). I've played with it being more exert heavy, cat heavy and a number of other variants but currently this seems to me to be the most generally useful arrangement. I've also experimented with lands a bit. If you're concerned about hitting every land drop (which is a good thing) swapping in another land or two won't hurt but there are enough low cost creatures that missing a land drop or two will most likely leave you with good options.
A quarter of the cards (almost 40% of non land cards) in this deck ( exert and about (little more than) half of those that do directly disable opponent's blockers with the Vizier triggering a tap every time one of your guys exert and the Ahn-Crop crasher preventing a block per exert), about half of these trigger every time any of your creatures exert (Vizier of the True will be tapping your opponent's creatures and Resolute Survivors will be triggering lil' bits o' direct damage to your opponents and bits of life gain for you even if they're tapped if you're exerting anything), the glory-bound initiate is a great value attacker which brings a decent chunk o' lifelink, and with a really wide range of potential board states Combat Celebrant could win you the game.
While it can function without it, The Vizier of the True is really a cornerstone of this deck turning all of your exerted creatures into tapped opponent's creatures opening the way for all your guys to hit your opponent without much (or any) resistance. While not quite a combo this works really with with Ahn-Crop Crashers, with a Vizier on board (even if its tapped) exerting a Crasher will disable two of your opponents blockers.
Oketra and her cats (2 Sacred Cats, 3 Adorned Pouncers) fill a smaller but no less important role than the exerting creatures. Each of these guys are a bit harder to keep off the board than the rest of the deck (with Embalm, Eternalize and Indestructible) and have useful combat abilities which get even more useful with some buffs (lifelink, double strike) and Oketra's ability to make tokens; the role of this crew is to help anchor yourself. The Sacred cat is cheap and comes back cheap (and lifelink doesn't suck), the Pouncer comes back as a 4/4 double strikin' beast so your opponent might think twice about killing it the first time even if they can, and Oketra can survive and help repopulate your board after a wipe (on top of that sweet, sweet double strike) .
Bloodlust Inciter is there to give things haste, because haste is a wonderful thing... which only the Crashers have naturally, it's a one drop that can give it to any of your guys.
The Rigging Runner is all value, he'll serve as a turn one, one-drop 1/1 with first strike but being able to get him out with his raid trigger will make it one red mana really well spent and worth holding onto if you've got a Sacred Cat or Bloodlust Inciter to throw down on turn one instead.
Honored Crop-Capitan is an all-star in this deck. A 3/2 for 2 is pretty good and so is the +1 for all attacking creatures but a lot of the creatures have abilities (first strike, double strike, lifelink) which take that bonus the extra mile.
Gideon's Resolve has a hefty cost but I think it's worth it in this deck, giving all your guys +1/1 can mean a lot and Gideon, Martial Paragon fits into this deck very nicely, the +2 ability helps untap creatures that might not untap otherwise and gives your troops +1/1 his + 0 can help make Oketra active sooner after a board wipe and his -10 can win you the game (or set you up for a trap if you go all in and opponent has a board wipe).
Lands: The Stone Quarry's are cheap (monetarily) and while a bit slow, help provide some flex room and the Inspiring Vantages may be slow if they come out later but could also offer you a great deal of quick flexibility early on. There is a bit of life gaining ability in the deck (lifelink for Glory-bound Initiate and Sacred cats as well as the Resolute Survivors exert trigger) which makes spending some life for a colored mana (if you need to) a bit more palatable and the sacrifice effects of either these deserts can be the thing(s) that push your opponent over the edge.
My sideboard really varies so I left it intentionally blank. There's a lot of off the wall brewing at my FNM so I try to just kinda feel where the local meta is going and take it from there any given and that is my advice here for anyone trying this deck out. There are a lot of great red and white cards which do a pretty wide range of things. Use your own discretion.
Anyhow… This has been my first deck write up and as mentioned I'm pretty new to non-kitchen table Magic (but have been playing off and on since unlimited). Useful input on any level is appreciated.
*edited to link the decklist*