Hello and welcome to another addition of Droppin' Baums! This week we are going to take a break from tier one decks and show you a spicy Mono-Blue Aggro list that performed quite nicely at Grand Prix Pittsburgh in the hands of Stephan Laikin. I think this deck has some serious potential to be a heavy hitter – the only thing that is holding the deck back would be the mono-red menace. Glorybringer and Goblin Chainwhirler do not treat this deck well.

This is a classic strategy that hasn't seen to much play in our standard metagame since White-Blue Flash was in Standard. That strategy is TEMPO, ladies and gentlemen! That's right, I didn't forget about tempo and tempo hasn't forgotten about me! For quite some time tempo is just something that hasn't been able to work out because all of these decks just have far too much power to be tempo'ed out. Pretty tough to get a tempo swing going with Glorybringer and Hazoret the Fervent, am I right? Let's get to this list!

I won't lie, I was very skeptical at first before I played the games. After going through a league where I felt like I actually got unlucky to lose the one time I did, I am now a believer. This deck absolutely crushes control decks by being able to stick a Shadowmage Infiltrator style of creature – thanks to Curious Obsession – while simultaneously being able to back it up with counters. This is so difficult to deal with on a one-for-one basis from a control deck. Mono-Blue also has a very strong matchup against green decks. Being able to gain card advantage with Curious Obsession and really threaten their life total with Tempest Djinn is the name of the game. These types of threats are very hard to deal with from the green decks. They really have to depend on being able to overpower us as fast as possible. If we can even just slow them down a little bit it is usually enough to win the game. Unsummon is responsible for that "little bit."

The true problem that we run into is against red decks. That does make things difficult since this is the most popular deck in standard right now. Red Aggro just gets to put on so much pressure while simultaneously dealing with our threats in a cheap and effective manner. That said, it isn't unwinnable. Tempest Djinn is still very hard to kill in the early turns. Once we get past turn four though, the threat of Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance becomes a very real and scary threat. Let's check out the sideboard guide!

Sideboard Guide

Vs. Goblin Chainwhirler Decks

This matchup all comes down to being able to set up a turn where you can protect either a Tempest Djinn or a creature with a Curious Obsession on it. If you can't do that in time before your opponents creatures start to snowball, it is very tough to recover with.

Vs. U/B Midrange, W/U Control, & Esper Control

It may seem crazy to group three full decks into one general sideboarding method but they all play out the same way. You really want to just protect one or two threats at all time and try to gain card advantage with Curious Obsession. Blue-Black is a bit of a tougher matchup because of Fatal Push. One mana removal that is both efficient and cheap makes it much more difficult to dance around. One more point to make known, Siren Stormtamer can counter Settle the Wreckage since it targets an opponent.

Vs. W/U God-Pharaoh's Gift

This matchup feels especially good. When your opponent doesn't really interact with you and taps out on their turn almost every time, it sets up for a lot of one-sided games.

Vs. Llanowar Elves Decks

The name of the game is stick as many threats as possible then start proving why they call this deck a tempo deck. Deep Freeze is actually unreal good in this matchup as well.

It is so nice to be able to play a tempo deck again. Being able to play a strategy that Mono-Red Aggro has kind of put a stop to is quite refreshing. I highly recommend this deck as a competitive deck and something to just have some fun with. This will be a strategy that will have my attention when the new set comes out.

Next week we will focus our attention on Modern!

See you next time,

Corey Baumeister