Earlier this week our own Seth Manfield wrote about a BW Constellation deck that he just nearly took to Grand prix Miami. While he was mostly discussing an alternate deck than GW Devotion with Mastery of the Unseen in it, he reassured us that the deck was indeed very solid. This was the list he was referring to…
One of the best parts about Standard (and being a guy that loves a rogue strategy or card) is that seeing a deck like this is pure bliss. Underworld Coinsmith? Citadel Siege? Mastery of the Unseen? This is like the island of misfit Limited all-stars over here. Despite Mastery of the Unseen being on my Top 10 Fate Reforged sleepers list, most of the time my choices are looked at as fairly obscure and I'm never positive that they'll actually catch on. Who would have thought that Citadel Siege would actually see Constructed play? How about Lightform? And yet here we are, with multiple Pro Tour Top 8 competitors giving their endorsements.
Anyway, seeing as I love an underdog, I couldn't wait to try some of these cards out. Lightform into Citadel Siege is basically Baneslayer Angel, right? It's close. Let's see just how close though.
BW Constellation vs. BR Aggro
BW Constellation vs. Temur Midrange
BW Constellation vs. UR Ensoul Artifact
BW Constellation vs. RG Aggro
So it seems to me that some of the aggressive decks can be just a little too fast for us at times. It feels like we want something like Bile Blight somewhere, but I'm not sure where it would fit. Other than that though, we have a surprising eleven two-drops, so we should be able to out-aggro our opponents every now and then. I just worry about the times where they have multiple 3/3s, or Goblin Rabblemasters, or Shamans of the Great Hunt, coupled with efficient burn spells. So basically red-based decks.
The one card I was never that impressed with during my games was Athreos, God of Passage. It may be that we simply didn't get into situations where he would be good, but he always just sat there and looked pretty for me. I'm willing to concede that it was perhaps a timing issue and I would always draw Athreos, God of Passage when I didn't have creatures, or after my opponents had already used their removal, but if those are the situations that are coming up, is he really the correct card for the job? I would actually consider trying to swap the two Athreos for something like two Suspension Field or two Bile Blight. While Bile Blight is more versatile, I think Suspension Field is also going to end up dealing with the creatures we'd have a problem with (Fanatic of Xenagos, large UW Heroic guys, Siege Rhino, etc.) while also supporting our enchantment theme.
While Seth mentioned that the deck was amazing at gaining life through Mastery of the Unseen, I was never able to take advantage of this; we never ended up playing against any of the slow control decks where the card truly shines. It's fine for triggering prowess or gaining some life with Coinsmith, but I always felt like we had other things to do rather than make a 2/2 since we're not the kind of deck that can make a ton of mana like GW Devotion.
The one Thoughtseize in the maindeck is interesting and I'm not really sold on it. I could see moving it to the sideboard and adding another two or three-drop to the main like a third Lightform (yes, I was very impressed with the card). I felt like we were never going to draw it in the matchups we would want a one mana discard spell, or we would draw it too late when the opponent was already out of threats.
The interesting about the BW Constellation archetype is that we have a ton of options to try out in those colors, like Eidolon of Countless Battles, Nyx-Fleece Ram, Brain Maggot, Spear of Heliod, Whip of Erebos...the list goes on. There is no shortage of playable enchantments in Standard right now in those two colors. I would even be tempted to try something like Dictate of Erebos actually, especially with the ability to make tokens and what not.
The sideboard was basically fine. In a perfect world I would find room for a third End Hostilities and I would put the maindeck Thoughtseize in the sideboard, as I mentioned, but I'm not sure what I would cut for those changes. Truth be told, like all sideboards, you're going to (and should) customize it for your own local metagame, so the exact numbers aren't going to matter too much.
Overall I was really impressed with the deck, but I knew once Seth said that the deck was very good, he wasn't kidding; Seth is an incredible player and he doesn't just make claims for no reason. The deck was also super fun to play. There's nothing more appealing in Magic than playing a 2/2 creature and having it become an 8/8 over a couple of turns with a broken Limited rare, especially if the creature has lifelink. I might even give the deck a few more tries on my daily stream today at 2 pm PST. We'll see. Until then, thanks for reading and I'll see you on Monday with some more Modern!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV, streaming Monday - Friday, starting at 2 pm PST