May 23, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Historically, two mana anthem or buff enchantments like Legion’s Initiative have been pretty good in Standard. For example, Honor of the Pure from M12 was a staple in the popular Blue/White Humans deck in a past season.
However, while Honor of the Pure increases the power and toughness of all your white creatures, Legion’s Initiative has a more conditional buff requirement. To get the power and toughness buff, your creatures must be both red and white. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be enough good creatures that are both red and white.
May 22, 2013 | Posted by Dee
With the addition of Ral Zarek, the new planeswalker from Dragon’s Maze, Nightshade Peddler decks have had a small resurgence in Standard. The deck posted a top 16 and a top 25 finish in Starcitygames Standard Opens. Also, it got three top four finishes in the Spring States tournaments run by TCGplayer.
Ral Zarek’s untap ability is excellent with Izzet Staticaster and it gives you mana ramp to cast Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius on turn five or even turn four with the help of Farseek.
May 21, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Most players probably think The Aristocrats is the premier Black/Red/White (B/R/W) deck in Standard. However, B/R/W Midrange actually surpassed The Aristocrats on Magic Online as the best performing B/R/W deck.
In my metagame calculations, B/R/W Midrange is ranked sixth with 4.4% metagame share while The Aristocrats is seventh with 3.6%.
There are a couple reasons why this shift happened. Here are three of them.
May 20, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Today on Starcitygames, Dayv Doberne pointed us to a sweet Standard rogue deck featuring Immortal Servitude. It was played by Elliot Smith at the Starcitygames Classic tournament in Pittsburgh two weekends ago. He finished second out of 168 players.
The deck is Green/White/Black (G/W/B), or Junk, and it uses a bunch of powerful two-drops to fuel the Orzhov X-spell.
You’ve got Voice of Resurgence and Strangleroot Geist. They give you a lot of value after they die, which makes them great against removal cards like Abrupt Decay and Searing Spear and board wipe spells like Supreme Verdict and Bonfire of the Damned.
May 19, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Because Voice of Resurgence, Unflinching Courage, and Advent of the Wurm have become popular cards, the hyper aggro decks with Burning-Tree Emissary have lost some value. Those three green/white cards from Dragon’s Maze are pretty good against super fast decks.
This development has opened up the metagame for Zombies. Diregraf Ghoul and Geralf’s Messenger are not very good against fast aggro because they enter the battlefield tapped so they can’t block right away. Gravecrawler can’t block at all.
But with less Burning-Tree Emissaries in the format, the Zombie tribe looks like a decent deck choice again.
May 17, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Bant Hexproof, or Bant Auras, is a great example of The 13% Rule of Deck Building. It got two powerful cards from Dragon’s Maze, Unflinching Courage and Voice of Resurgence, and it’s done well in the first couple of high-profile tournaments of the new Standard season.
There have been three high profile tournaments so far and the deck has finished seven times in the top 16 including a top 4 finish in each tournament. Bant Hexproof was easily the best performing deck out of the ones that didn’t see much play in Gatecrash Standard.
May 15, 2013 | Posted by Dee
Ever since Return to Ravnica became legal for Standard, it’s been unfortunate that two of the best token cards, Lingering Souls and Intangible Virtue, do not play that well with the Selesnya populate mechanic.
Casting Rootborn Defenses to get a 1/1 flyer is okay but it’s not that powerful. I’d much rather populate a 3/3 Centaur or Beast token. However, Intangible Virtue is better with the multiple Spirit tokens from Lingering Souls than the one 3/3 you get from Call of the Conclave.
May 13, 2013 | Posted by Dee
One of the interesting developments in these early days of Dragon’s Maze Standard is the emergence of Bant Flash and the disappearance of Blue/White/Red (U/W/R) Flash.
It seems like Flash players are moving to the version with green instead of red. Two weekends ago at the first big tournament of Dragon’s Maze, there was a Bant Flash deck in the top 16 and a U/W/R Flash deck in the top 25.
But this past weekend, U/W/R Flash didn’t show up at all in the top 16 of the two high-profile Standard tournaments, the Starcitygames Open in Charlotte and TCG Player’s 5K in Austin.
May 7, 2013 | Posted by Dee
The first high-profile Standard tournament with Dragon’s Maze, the Starcitygames Open in Somerset, happened this past weekend so we can get a good look of what the new metagame looks like.
Here’s a link to the top 25 decklists. Note that the 15th place deck was incorrectly labeled. It should be Dark Naya instead of Jund.
Based on those 25 decks, the metagame looks pretty diverse. I created a table and pie chart to make the metagame more clear.
May 4, 2013 | Posted by Dee
One of the surprise decks from Gatecrash Standard on Magic Online is Black/Green (B/G) Control. In the past seven days, it was one of the top 10 performing decks.
I did some digging on the card choices to see why the deck did well. It turns out cards like Desecration Demon, Mutilate, and Liliana of the Veil are pretty good against the metagame.
By splashing green, you gain access to Thragtusk, one of the best cards in the format, and you can play Abrupt Decay, a solid creature removal spell that also hits Detention Sphere and opposing Lilianas.