Supreme Phantom has been quite the printing for the Spirits tribe. It has revolutionized the Spirits archetype and has allowed tons of different decks to be made viable because of it. But in Standard, this card has had 0 impact whatsoever. This is understandable, not very many good spirit cards have been printed in the last few sets to really give Supreme a chance, but as a spirits connoisseur, I have made it my mission to try as many builds of spirits as possible. And surprisingly enough, I think that there is something here.
Orzhov in Ravnica Allegiance had a very good mechanic for the spirits tribe in Afterlife. This mechanic is very reminiscent of Lingering Souls and gives many creatures a second chance as a 1/1. In our deck, however, that 1/1 becomes a real threat when you stack a bunch of lord effects and make it a huge flyer. Tithe Taker is a card that has seen some Modern experimentation in Spirits lists but didn’t quite make the cut. In Standard, Tithe Taker is very good against decks like Esper Control and Mono-Blue Tempo, taxing their counterspells and Siren Stormtamers. Seraph of the Scales is another afterlife creature which we can take full advantage of. 2 spirit tokens mean that your opponent does not want this creature to die as it is much scarier than death than in life. And out of the sideboard, we have Orzhov Enforcer which is probably the best blocker in the format.
To make those spirit tokens swole, we need lord effects. Thanks to Ixalan we do have versatile lords in the form of Radiant Destiny and Vanquisher’s Banner. Radiant Destiny is especially great in this deck as vigilance on flyers is really powerful, and lets this deck play a very effective aggressive and defensive game. Vanquisher’s Banner is also an amazing finisher and the card draw can keep you in the game with control decks. 5 mana is a lot, however, so we only play 2 copies of the banner.
Besides afterlife, we need more spirits to fill in the ranks of this deck. Fortunately for us, we have the strongest card ever printed in Yargle, Gluton of Urborg! A 5 mana 9/3 is a steal, and it’s a frog to boot. Toss in a couple of lords and your opponent is dealing with a 10/4, can’t Lightning Strike that! In all seriousness, Yargle is a fun card to play but is not optimal. A 9/3 is actually pretty scary to face when you are on the offensive and it can let a lot of your creatures get in attacks that they otherwise wouldn’t when they are forced to block Yargle. If you want to play a more competitive version of the deck, I would recommend subbing in more interaction in place of Yargle.
Basilica Bell-Haunt is another spirit that actually sees a lot of play. This card has game against all sorts of decks, especially against any aggro deck. Combine this with Forbidding Spirit and you can tax your way through all sorts of aggression. After you’ve stopped all of their creatures, you can then crack in with 5/5’s and 5/6’s. Remorseful Cleric is another spirit that sees lots of play in the Modern decks but hasn’t made too much of an impact in Standard. In our deck, we are leaning heavily on the fact that it is a 2/1 flyer with a relevant creature type although there are many instances where having a way to exile graveyards is incredibly useful.
Standard Spirits is by no means a tier one deck. However, when I first set out to build spirit tribal in Standard I did not expect to get a playable deck. With the addition of Ravnica Allegiance, Spirits has gotten enough toys to actually have a chance to go toe to toe with some of the best decks in the format. If you love spirits as much as I do, then this deck is perfect for you. If not, I hope you can still have fun with a very underrepresented tribe in Standard. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!