If you were looking at Eldritch Moon from afar, curious of just which archetypes would get the biggest boost with its release, Spirits had to be somewhere on your short list. Delirium obviously got a big spike and Vampires received enough toys to at least be in the conversation, but W/U Spirits got some of the strongest cards in the set.
As we look through these, keep in mind that white/blue spirits plays as an aggro-control deck, utilizing tempo heavily. Strategically, it plays out closest to something like Faeries (although admittedly, Faeries had more individually powerful cards and a higher overall power level).
One of the best cards in Standard and a great gift to a white/blue deck that can even take advantage of its creature type. Spell Queller in a Collected Company deck may be annoying, but try dealing with one protected by a Rattlechains!
Another heavy hitter out of the set and a card most just see as Collected Company fodder. Again the spirit synergies here are huge; being able to cast Selfless Spirit at instant speed via Rattlechains is great. As a two-drop, it also works well with Ojutai's Command.
A direct reward for spirit tribal, but it's fine even as a plain ol' Judge's Familiar. This attacks for two on turn two often, works great with Rattlechains, not to mention the rest of the deck.
Remand is unlikely to come back to Standard again, but Unsubstantiate works well in a deck with a lot of flash creatures and reasonable pressure. Imagine if Faeries had had access to Remand back in the day. Again, while this isn't exactly Faeries, it feels like one of the best possible homes for such a tempo-oriented card.
This is probably the weakest of the constructed-playable spirits, but it is playable nonetheless. The closest fae comparion point for Nebelgast Herald is probably Pestermite; while it won't tap a land and potentially Time Walk an opponent, it does clear up combat for you and rewards you for every spirit beyond the first.
The cast of existing spirits is not too difficult to fit this new cast of characters into. There are already a few strong multicolor blue/white cards, such as Reflector Mage, which make a lot of sense. Existing spirits like Rattlechains and Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit make for a great base to add these new cards to. Round things out with powerful cards like Always Watching and build a straightforward manabase and you are most of the way there.
Being that I am me, however, I wanted to explore a little further in terms of spice. Enter Thunderclap Wyvern.
One fact I loved about Faeries was just how quickly it could kill you out of seemingly nowhere. You would often be at like 12 or 14 life, facing down just a single 1/1 flier and a Mutavault and then BOOM: Mistbind Clique steals your mana. Scion of Oona as a follow up. You're dead. Thanks for playing. Spirits can mimic this play pattern to a certain degree. Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit and Always Watching make for solid anthems, but Thunderclap Wyvern adds to that redundancy while providing a reasonable flying threat on its own. The ability to play it at instant speed is really what sets it apart though. Most of the deck operates on its opponent's turn, but the anthems are an exception to that rule. Thunderclap Wyvern breaks this rule and as a surprise anthem while allowing the deck to also represent countermagic and other tricks.
This deck is interesting to play, as it has a lot of different lines available to you and a lot of tricks you need to be familiar with to play it at full potential. I was sure to get a few games of practice in before the videos and still found myself making a few mistakes due to inexperience with the shell. As a result, I highly recommend getting some games in with this list before showing up to your tournament ready to battle.
That said, I played against a pretty decent range of opponents with successful results, so definitely check out the deck tech and gameplay. Until next week, thanks for watching!