Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the article, it's worth mentioning that our good friend Joakim and his eleven-year-old Magic-playing daughter Mia are visiting us until Sunday. (You can see Mia cosplaying as Liliana the Healer over on the official MTG Twitter here.) As such, I was able to get Mia to help me out through the deckbuilding process of today's article along with helping me commentate on the first video. Hopefully you'll think it's as entertaining as I did.
About a week ago Sam Stoddard of Magic R&D published an article about the Future Future League for Dragons of Tarkir. For those that don't know, the Future Future League is an internal "league" at Wizards of the Coast that focuses on playing formats far in the future. For example, they might currently be playing with cards two or three blocks ahead (depending on how far into development they are) to see how the cards are working and to see what potential metagames might look like.
Sam's article contained numerous decklists that they were playing with internally to test the Dragons of Tarkir Standard format. This was one such deck.
Narset Transcendent? Ugin, the Spirit Dragon? Sarkhan Unbroken? Well, I immediately loved it. But it didn't have a sideboard. Mia and I threw one together and tried the deck out. We lost the first match, but learned a good deal. We made a ton of changes to the list and this is where we ended up before playing my matches.
Let's see how the new and improved version fares, and after that, we'll go over the changes I made, and what changes I think the deck may still need.
4C Superfriends vs. Monogreen Collected Company
4C Superfriends vs. RG Midrange
4C Superfriends vs. 5C Dragon Control
4C Superfriends vs. Sultai Control
To begin, I'm thrilled to have found a fun deck containing both planeswalkers from Dragons of Tarkir - Narset Transcendent and Sarkhan Unbroken - even if it was only tested in an undeveloped environment. These were both immensely fun to play and Narset is actually amazing in a deck centered on planeswalkers because all of a sudden she lets us draw extra threats. She's also pretty decent with scry lands and Courser of Kruphix, so you always know if you're going to hit. I mean, to be fair, Courser doesn't necessarily help us hit with Narset if we have something like a creature on top, but it lets us know before we make any decisions. Unfortunately we lost one match to our opponent stealing our own Narset Transcendent on nine, then living the dream and ultimating us. Unlike most decks, Narset's ultimate against our deck is pretty back breaking.
As you can see we made some changes from the initial list. We removed the Suspension Field for Silk Wrap. We had some trouble in the early game with things like Fleecemane Lion or Boon Satyr and Silk Wraps helps that. The bigger creatures didn't concern us as much simply because we have three End Hostilities and a few Disdainful Strokes in the deck. I'm not even a huge fan of Silk Wrap after trying them due to things like Dromoka's Command being so prevalent and I would probably switch them out for something else that fulfills a similar role.
Reclamation Sage should also probably be relegated to the sideboard. It's great at hitting a ton of permanents right now - Perilous Vault, Boon Satyr, Outpost Siege, etc. - but it can be dead in certain matchups as well. I think something like Dissolve would be great since the deck tends to hit a point where we have a ton of mana and planeswalkers, but no real way to protect them. As you could see in the Sultai match, our opponent was able to sneak in an Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and we had no recourse. We basically lost on the spot, but a card like Dissolve would be excellent in the late game as insurance when we're ahead. Disdainful Stroke fills this role somewhat, but it can't counter two things: small threats and opposing Counterspells.-->
I wasn't sold on the Dromoka Monument at first, but it did manage to win us a game or two, and it does help up with some of the double white cards or ramping us to five or six mana, depending on whether or not we also have a Sylvan Caryatid. Currently I think they're just fine in the deck.
One thing I was thrilled about having in the sideboard, though, was the Gainsay. Gainsay was huge back when Monoblue Devotion and UW Control were the decks to beat. Now that decks like both Esper Control and 5C Dragon Control are running around, Gainsay counters practically every relevant spell: Dragonlord Ojutai, Dragonlord Silumgar, Silumgar's Scorn, Dissolve, Dig Through Time, Silumgar, the Drifting Death...the list goes on.
I think this deck has the potential to be a really strong control deck. It's like the opposite of the Flores deck where, instead of multicolor dragons, we have a bunch of multicolor planeswalkers. The deck definitely feels like it's missing something but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm going to keep working on this list and I'll try to take it to FNM this week at Mox Boarding house with Joakim and Mia. If I make any changes to it (which I most certainly will), I'll let you guys know next week.
I also like the idea of covering decks from these types of articles in the future. I might even try out another one for next week, since I think they have a lot of good ideas with a lot of potential, that might not have even been tried in a live environment. We'll see. Either way, thanks for reading and I'll catch you on Monday!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV, streaming Monday - Thursday afternoons