I begged Stybs and Corbin to let me take the reins for this week's installment of Corbin's infrequent Solving Standard video series because I have loved this deck for a looooooong, long time.

Conley's been streaming with this deck for a while, iterating on it all the while. His latest version's rocking Spell Swindle, Brass's Bounty, and a singleton Revel in Riches to go with his Marionette Masters. But I've never been able to get past Treasure Map, Hidden Stockpile, and Tezzeret the Schemer.

For the past three years or so, it's been correct to play midrange in Standard more often than it's been wrong. Sure—sometimes Rally the Ancestors or Felidar Guardian or some other card came along to enable a combo to render midrange pointless, but for the most part, midrange has been the way to go if you want to win games of Standard.

I dislike midrange quite a bit. This nine-year old Luis Scott-Vargas piece really holds up, perfectly in illuminating my frustration with midrange as an idea. The theory is that midrange does everything well—the reality is that it does nothing well.

That theory is the underlying reason I stay away from midrange until it is absolutely agreed upon that some midrange shell, be it Siege Rhinos and Thoughtseizes or Rogue Refiners and Whirler Virtuosos, is the best deck. Until that point, I look to linear strategies, and this puppet deck is one that has a lot of potential in a wide-open Standard.

In the recorded videos, the only match I wish I could get back is the one against U/B Control. I think I made some judgment errors in the post-sideboard games that cost me the match. That matchup feels close on paper. I'd love to get a better understanding of it; the only chance I've gotten to play this deck are weekly paper events, and you don't run into a bunch of U/B Control in those.

Let me know what you thought of the deck and my plays (please try and be nice), and I'll see you next time.

Jon Corpora
(pronounced ca-pora)