The first deck I want to talk about is RG aggro. Right now, the deck is one of the top tier decks of the format. Avacyn restored offers a few new options for the deck.
Pillar of Flame, Thunderbolt: RG aggro has mixed up it's removal suite in the past, and getting two additional cards means there is even more options. I think thunderbolt likely won't be good enough, but it is worth noting that it kills a flipped delver and helps deal with planeswalkers. Pillar on the other hand I expect to be really good. Right now my current R/G list is playing 1 Galvanic Blast, 2 Arc Trail, and 2 Brimstone Volley. After AVR is released, I will be trying out 3 pillar, 2 volley.
Zealous Conscripts: With the printing of Cavern of Souls, there is a lot of hype around Primeval Titan decks. It sucks that you can't GSZ for this guy, but he is still really good. I think I will want 1-2 copies in my main deck, because even if there isn't a titan, he still can clear out a blocker, steal a planeswalker for a turn, and is decent even as just a 3/3 haster. At the very least, this guy will be in a lot of sideboards.
Ulvenwald Tracker: It might be worth exploring this guy as a one of to GSZ for, turning your GSZ'z into a kind of slow removal spell. Strangleroot Geist fighting a Delver seems pretty good to me. Having to wait a turn after you GSZ might make this just too slow, but still worth a try.
Wolfir Avenger: I think this card will see play somewhere, and RG might be the place for it. It is very aggressively costed, and is good against both creature and control strategies. Being able to flash him in EOT then have untapped mana on turn 4 to regen if they DOJ is a pretty strong play. Especially after a turn 2 strangleroot geist.
Wolfir Silverheart: This is another card that makes a pretty sweet GSZ target. I have been playing with this guy in block constructed, and let me tell you, he is a huge threat. Half of him essentially has haste because if you have any other creature, the +4/+4 is immediately relevant. I am pretty excited about soulbonding with some birds of paradise.
Cavern of Souls: I'm not sure if the deck can support it, but making all of your huntmasters uncounterable is pretty good against delver. If the mana can support 1-2 of these, I think the deck can benefit from it in the right matchups.
Delver will still be the number one deck post avr for at least a few weeks. The deck will need to adapt to fight cavern of souls though, whether that means playing more removals, ghost quarters, or being more aggressive I'm not sure. Here are a few cards that delver might be able to make use of.
Righteous Blow: I'm not super excited about this one, but cheap removal will always play well with snapcaster, so it may worth looking into. I don't think this will be a main deck card, but it is a decent option against opposing Delver of Secrets, most of the threats out of Zombies, and a few of the threats out of R/G aggro.
Misthollow Griffin: Another card that doesn't immediately seem good, but the synergy with moorland haunt is certainly worth noting. At the end of the day, this is probably just worse than Dungeon Geist though.
Peel From Reality: I am pretty excited about this card with snapcaster mage. I wouldn't go overboard with these, but I will certainly be wanting to try out one or two. Being able to cast this to bounce their guy and your Snapcaster, then recast Snapcaster to do it again the next turn, and still end with a Snapcaster Mage in hand is a pretty absurd series of plays and I fell like that alone makes this worth at least considering.
Wolf Run Ramp
Ramp is being talked about a lot due to the printing of cavern of souls. I expect the deck to be really popular in the first few weeks of AVR. Some possible cards to consider if you are going to be playing ramp;
Pillar of Flame: Pillar is a huge upgrade to Galvanic Blast. While losing the ability to kill inkmoth nexus, it deals with all of the threats that slagstorm is awkward against, including Strangleroot Geist, Gravecrawler, and Geralf's Messenger.
Zealous Conscripts: While I think the conscripts will be a great addition to RG aggro, I think that in ramp you are better off sticking with act of aggression for your threaten effect. The deck can't really get too much value out of a random 3/3, so the two additional mana, and sorcery speed restriction is likely not worth it.
Somberwald Sage: While very fragile, Somberwald Sage gives you another way to cast a turn 4 titan, and it doesn't even require that you have a ramp effect on turn two. If the format isn't full of aggressive decks with a lot of cheap removal, I think Somberwald Sage might be a good addition.
And the big one, Cavern of Souls: I won't go on for too long about this card, as it has been talked about a lot recently. Obviously this will be a pretty big addition to any ramp deck. A cavern naming giant will make it very, very difficult for your delver opponent to win. While still good against other counterspell decks, decks like blue black control or esper control aren't in quite as bad shape against the land. They don't necessarily need to counterspell your titan when they can just Doom Blade or Go for the Throat it; especially if they have a curse of death's hold in play to stop any inkmoth nexus attacks. I expect people to start changing the way they approach the ramp matchup. Either by being more aggressive with the countermagic they play, counterspelling your rampant growths and sphere of the suns, or by playing less counter magic and more hard removal.
If you have been following standard lately, you will know that solar flare has made a bit of a resurgence lately. Solar flare gains some new tools to work with as well with AVR.
Entreat the Angels: Sometimes entreat will be in your opening hand, or you will draw it on turn 3, but if you ever draw it when you have 4 or more mana in play, it will more than likely have a huge impact on the game. Entreat fits into solar flare especially well because the deck is designed to be a tap out control deck. Most main decks already have zero countermagic in them, they are all about killing all your opponents guys, then doing something they can't handle. Making 4 angels is pretty hard to handle...
Terminus: I don't expect terminus to be played over Day of Judgement initially, or perhaps at all, but if the format starts to become dominated by Strangelroot Geists, Gravecrawlers, Geralf's Messengers, Thruns, or Wolfir Avengers, Terminus may become the new go to wrath effect.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage: Tamiyo is probably at her best in a UG aggro/tempo deck, but I think she will also be decent here. As I was saying before, the deck is designed to just tap out every turn with powerful threats. A turn 4 DoJ followed by a turn 5 Tamiyo is going to be pretty tough to beat for any deck trying to attack you.
Unhallowed Pact: The child in me really wants to put this onto a Sun titan, but I am skeptical that it will actually be that good. The synergy is at least worth noting though.
Bone Splinters: The deck may not want any additional removal, or different removal than the burn spells at the moment, but if the format becomes dominated by Primeval Titan, the burn spells may not cut it any more. Even if that happens, you would still need a reason not to play this over Doom Blade or Go for the Throat. The drawback on this is very much mitigated by GraveCrawler and Geralf's Messenger though, that if there are an abundance of artifact creatures, and black creatures we want to kill, bone splinters will do the job.
Demonic Taskmaster: Taskmaster is a very efficient, evasive, and hard to deal with threat. A four power flier for 3 mana is unheard of. This along with fact that he doesn't die to doom blade or pillar of flame makes me think that the taskmaster will be very good. His "drawback" is very easily paid for in this deck.
Demonlord of Ashmouth: I have been playing with this guy in a block constructed version of the zombie deck. He is a huge threat. If they do not have essentially two answers for him, he will kill them very quickly. Once again, his drawback is easily paid for in a deck full of cheap creatures, Gravecrawlers, and Geralf's Messengers.
I'm sure in the weeks following the release of Avacyn Restored, new archetypes will emerge. Until then, have fun at the prereleases, and thanks for reading.
Until next time,