If there's one thing I know about Standard, it's that The Scarab God's terrorizing Magic tournaments all over the world. It's influence on the format has been greater than any other card. If you're not playing it, you best have a great strategy to beat it, because it's not going anywhere. I took the lesson "if you can't beat'em, join'em" to heart, and I choose to join them!
Over the last few months we've started to see a shift in our Standard metagame. Grixis Energy has been on the rise, and Blue-Black Midrange has seen a decline. I think this is completely wrong, and people who are heading to the side of the powerful planeswalker Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and "better" removal are going to miss the sweet feeling of consistency. While I do believe wholeheartedly that Chandra, Torch of Defiance is one of the best things you can be doing in the current metagame, I sadly think the price is just too high. Grixis Energy must play so many more lands that enter the battlefield tapped than the two-color The Scarab God decks does – it's just the price you pay for power in your decklist. Having to play your threats a turn later better come with a gigantic jump in power level, and I don't believe it really does. In fact, it's possible to argue that the deck isn't even more powerful, but let's not ruffle too many feathers today. Anyway, here's what we're playing today!
Initially this might look like a very random collection of blue and black cards, but I promise they serve a purpose. The first thing I realized was Gifted Aetherborn is getting much worse. Grixis Energy, blue-black mirrors, Blue-Black Control and Ramp decks love to see that card against them. It is just underpowered in those matchups as it's not a part of the "card advantage" game plan you need. I started with cutting them altogether, but I was finding I was losing the matchups that usually are easy to me, like Vampires, Green-White Aggro and Mono-Red. Another point in their favor is the increasing amount of Sultai Snake. A lot of players seem to be picking it up, which is a smart decision as I think that deck's great! The addition of Gifted Aetherborn and Doomfall have both swung that matchup back into my favor.
Blue-Black Midrange really gives you a chance to win every single match you play, and that's what I I love that about the deck. Champion of Wits smooths out your draws while at the same time giving you a huge lategame play; the card really does it all. Looking at the list you see one Ravenous Chupacabra, one Gonti Lord of Luxury, and one Torrential Gearhulk and ask yourself "why?" Why wouldn't you play more copies of the best cards? Think of this deck as a toolbox deck. The games are usually so in-depth and complicated that games go long and being able to have different options in your graveyard to return with The Scarab God or Liliana, Death's Majesty really gives you an edge in many situations. Check out these games, and then go out and get yourself some wins with the best deck in Standard!
- Corey Baumeister