Last week I had told everyone that I would try to work on some new brews so that I could showcase you some new decks. Well, I didn't come through. I just couldn't find a good brew that performed well. Instead I've still been playing Naya Eldrazi and Five-Color Control. Five-Color Control still proves to be a very strong contender but half the battle is building the best manabase and that's incredibly difficult at the moment. I don't think it's ever been harder to build the "perfect" mana base for any deck than it is right now in Standard, especially a five-color deck. But I digress. Sorry about that!
Now where were we? Oh yes! I may not have brought my own brews to the table but I have scoured the internet for some pretty spicy decks that I think you'll enjoy. I'm going to list some of the decks that stood out most to me as I looked for new things and give a brief description on each one. We have a good handful to go through so let's get started!
Brian Feister played his Four-Color Ramp deck at States this past weekend. He went undefeated in the Swiss rounds but lost in the quarterfinals due to a sideboard error and ended up getting fifth place. His deck is running no ramp creatures but instead he is going for the control route by packing the full play set of Radiant Flames to buy him time. Feister decided to ramp with spells in the form of Nissa's Pilgrimage, From Beyond, Hedron Archive, Explosive Vegetation, and Oblivion Sower. I'm sure Sagu Mauler was an unexpected surprise when it was unmorphed. Most players expect a Rattleclaw Mystic or even possibly a Den Protector. Not many would see a Sagu Mauler coming. I'm sure he caught many people off guard when they blocked or tried to Remove his morph creature.
Overall I like most of the choices Feister made in his list. The only things that don't look too appealing are the play set of Pilgrimages with only five forests. I understand he really wants a turn three Pilgrimage but I don't think I could run four. Instead I'd probably opt to run a Nissa, Vastwood Seer over one of the them. Roast also doesn't look to appealing. You already have the ground covered with Radiant Flames, Oblivion Sowers, Fathom Feeder and Sagu Maulers. Personally I'd rather have a second Fathom Feeder over the Roast so if I top deck it it's not the worst thing ever.
This next list is a five-color deck. Not one that I would play, but any five-color deck pulls at the strings of my heart.
Caupolican Lopez took his five-color Collected Company deck to a second place finish at the SCG IQ in Brooklyn. It appears that he lost to Jeskai Black in the finals. It's unfortunate because this deck looks really sweet! Not only can you hit Mantis Rider and Savage Knuckleblade off Collected Company, but you can also hit some very spicy creatures! Hitting Liliana, Heretical Healer after attacks have been declared could lead to you getting a planeswalker. Imagine this other scenario. Your opponent taps out to cast Siege Rhino. You respond by tapping out to play Collected Company hitting Silumgar's Sorcerer and Liliana Heretical Healer. When the Sorcerer comes into play you sacrifice your Hangarback Walker to counter the Siege Rhino, flip your Liliana, get a 2/2 zombie, and get a planeswalker for when you untap. The fact that this is a possibility is really gross and awesome! The tricks don't end there! You also can company into Harbinger of the Tides or Heir of the Wilds for some other powerful combat tricks.
The sideboard is very spicy too. Control might see Mastery of the Unseen coming, but they'll never see Sphinx's Tutelage coming from this deck. That's some next level Mind Games right there and I wholeheartedly approve!
This next list I found through Magic Online. It's another ramp deck but this time it utilizes many colorless lands by sticking to mono-green!
Snake Pliskan went 7-1 in the MOCS with this deck. When you think of Standard ramp, Sylvan Scrying isn't really something that comes to mind. Pliskan however ran three of the card. Early on it ensures you hit your land drops. Mid game you can get a Blighted Woodland or Shrine of the Forsaken Gods for some extra ramping. Against aggressive decks Tomb of the Spirit Dragon can gain you some much needed life, especially if you have Thopters lying around from a dead Hangarback Walker. Late game you can tutor up a Sanctum of Ugin so your next big colorless spell will get you an Ulamog. You can also just get a Haven of the Spirit Dragon and buyback that Ugin in your graveyard. This deck can pretty easily chain Ulamogs with Sanctum of Ugin. It's all-in on the ramp plan and I can get behind that.
The sideboard seems to have mostly control or midrange hate in the form of From Beyond, Reclaiming Vines, Whisperwood Elemental and Void Winnower. Not entirely sure if you'd bring in Reclaiming Vines against four- or five-color decks that play no enchantments. Otherwise I see the card coming in against any decks with a lot of enchantments where you can possibly blow up a land if they have no other targets and you want to slow them down. The only anti-aggro card is Winds of Qal Sisma and possibly Whisperwood Elemental? That's surprisingly not that many cards for the aggro matchup. No Jaddi Offshoot or Retreat to Kazandu here.
So if this deck went 7-1 in the MOCS, then what went 8-0?
Bant tokens of course! This deck has been getting a lot of whispers here and there about how good it actually is and it just put up another strong finish. Right2Rule made some of his own tweaks to the list in the form of Knight of the White Orchid, which can be an extremely powerful card. I haven't played this deck at all so I can't speak about the cards too much in this list. However I can tell you this is not an Abzan, Atarka Red, or Jeskai Black deck that is on the up-and-up to becoming tier one very soon. I know if you are anything like me when a different deck does well other than the current big three it's a nice breath of fresh air. If playing strong decks and/or tokens is your thing then you owe it to yourself to sleeve this bad boy up and give it a run!
I know you may be tired of ramp decks but this one is a little different. It's playing See the Unwritten with Kiora and mana dorks. How could I pass this one up?
Kenneth finished in the Top 8 of his State Championship in Nevada with this sweet list. I had a shell very similar to this when Battle for Zendikar first came out. Except I was running Bane of Bala Ged alongside Surrak and I had previously deemed Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger too hard to cast in this type of deck. Well Kenneth proved me wrong and is playing said Ulamog as a singleton. I really like the inclusion of Whisperwood Elemental. That card dominated Standard for a while and now it seems to have fallen off a bit. Well Kenneth is bringing it back! Another peculiar card is Embodiment of Spring. Man how the mighty have fallen. The things we will do for a Rampant Growth apparently. I'm not sold on this card since you really want it turn one so you can crack it turn two. However I won't judge too much before trying it out. I also really like the Dragons in Kenneth's list. I feel like you have to have four Atarkas and the rest can be whatever. Ojutai works very well with Kiora, Master of the Depths, all the while refueling your hand. If See the Unwritten is your thing I'd give this one a go.
This next list took a first place finish at the TCGplayer Sate Championships in New Jersey! People have wondered what has happened to Sphinx's tutelage. Well...wonder no more.
Adam Schorr took the old archetype and improved on it. He has added a third color in the form of white for Jeskai Ascendancy and added a couple of wraths in End Hostilities. In case you're unaware on how this deck works, it wants to resolve as many Sphinx's Tutelages as it can so it can mill the opponent's library out as soon as possible. The deck has a lot of filtering in Magmatic Insight and Tormenting Voice which synergizes well with your Treasure Cruises, making them much cheaper to cast. Jeskai Ascendancy can turbo charge your Sphinx's Tutelage the same way an Alhammarret's Archive or Pyromancer's Goggles would. God Forbid you get all three in play at the same time. End Hostilities, Send to Sleep, Radiant Flames, and Fiery Impulse are all here to buy you time so you can set up your combo and mill them out.
The sideboard looks pretty normal except for Citadel Siege and Dampening Pulse. Dampening Pulse seems pretty decent against token decks where Citadel Siege is the opposite and is good against the decks that go all-in on one creature. Not really a better way to tie up a Dromoka, Atarka, or Ulamog then Citadel Siege.
As I write this I see that a ramp deck Top 4'd the GP in Quebec City. Sorry, I'm obligated to show it.
This list has some similarities to the MOCS mono-green list in Sylvan Scrying. However it also has other off-the-radar cards. Jake is playing no removal. Instead it seems he has opted to rely on Jaddi Offshoot for some incremental life gain and Hangarback Walker as a road block against the aggressive decks. The card that sticks out the most? Map the Wastes. At first glance it looks pretty crappy but the more you think about it, the better it gets. It's pretty powerful to curve from Hangarback Walker into Map the Wastes. Not only ramping you but also growing the Hangarback Walker which can get out of hand pretty quickly if left unchecked. Growing your Jaddi Offshoot probably isn't the worst thing either. I was not a believer in Sylvan Scrying but it appears I am wrong. Both these ramp decks are playing it and it has allowed them to run a fewer land count and not miss land drops. All the while, during the mid-to-late game they can get threat lands in the form of Haven of the Spirit Dragon and Sanctum of Ugin. These guys are onto something here when it comes to ramp, it appears they've made some great strides. I'll be checking out Sylvan Scrying in my next ramp deck.
Well that's all I got for now ladies and gentlemen. I hope this has been a decent enough breather from all the Jeskai Black and Abzan decks.
No promises but next week I will try to do a video, we'll see how that goes. Until then make sure to check out Freshly Brewed, my podcast with Frank Lepore where we discuss all things Magic with fun banter in between.
Please Crush those Abzan and Jeskai Black decks,
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