Ready for something new to try in Standard?

I have just the ticket.

Personally I want to play a consistent two color deck in Shadows over Innistrad Standard, as there are plenty of powerful cards to choose from across each color. Counterspells have been making their return to the various blue/red decks in the format, but there is actually a lot of unexplored territory in the blue/green color combination. This deck is a mix between W/G Tokens and Bant Company, with some of the most impressive elements out of both of those decks.

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There are some high-powered creatures here that are synergistic with what the deck is trying to accomplish. A classic tempo-based deck is able to stick one threat and use that momentum to take control of the rest of the game, staying one step ahead of the opposition. This deck does that by landing a flip creature on turn two, and then wants to do nothing on turn three in order to flip it. The two-drops here have already been proven successful in this format — it is the other threats that may raise some eyebrows. This deck wants to be holding up countermagic so a flash threat gels perfectly with that plan, and being able to tap an opposing creature with Bounding Krasis is one of the best ways to get through a big attack or take down an opposing Planeswalker.

On turn four there are two big haymakers that you want to be playing while a bit ahead of your opponent. If Surrak, the Hunt Caller comes down uncontested it will almost always give itself haste and result in a massive swing in life totals. Surrak, the Hunt Caller is a card that hasn't seen the amount of play it deserves, and this is the exact type of deck that really wants to be playing him. The other four mana creature does literally everything the deck could ever ask for. Whirler Rogue provides both flying defense and offense, while also helping your creatures be able to get through. The deck needs a way to push the last few points of damage across, and this is it.

The matches Magic Online show just how important counterspells are to this deck. In fact there are four different counterspells in the maindeck! This is a format full of midrange decks, and it is pretty easy to set up a turn where you can get a threat into play while holding up countermagic. While the games against ramp were fairly uneventful, the ability to counter either a key threat or ramp spell can make it so that deck's entire game plan legitimately falls apart. We are playing a deck that also presents a fast clock so being able to counter the opponent's development is key.

Against the blue/red-based decks that also play counterspells, the games can be tricky, and so timing becomes even more important when deciding when to play a threat or leave open mana for a counter.

The sideboard is almost a continuation of the maindeck, as there are additional counterspells and Planeswalkers that can come in against control decks. In fact pretty much all control decks are easy matchups for this deck because of the mix of difficult-to-answer threats, card advantage, and countermagic. The aggressive decks are a bit more troublesome but we are able to have access to some bounce and removal spells that the opponent will not be expecting after sideboard. This is a deck that I have been working on by myself in a similar way to the White/Black Control deck from Grand Prix New York. There is definitely something here, and it is refreshing to be playing something completely off the radar at the moment in Standard.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield