(Hey guys. The Magic Online Community Cup is upon us again and they're currently accepting nominations. If you believe I would be worthy of representing you guys, direct your browsers here and do me the favor of nominating me for your representative at the Community Cup.
In the subject field, simply type "Frank Lepore." In the question field, type anything your heart desires and let them know that you want to nominate me for the Community Cup and why. That's all it takes. I would be honored to represent the community that has become such a large part of my life and I appreciate any help you guys could provide to get me there. Thank you so much for your consideration. -Frank)
This past weekend I was in Rhode Island and there just so happened to be an SCG Open in Providence. Always one to enjoy some competitive Magic, Melissa and I decided to make an appearance at the event and play some Standard (something I haven't done in some time outside of Magic Online).
I didn't know what deck I wanted to play, but I knew I wanted to play something with Sphinx's Revelation; it was a card that I felt powerless against every time it was cast. I also knew that Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict were two of the other best cards in the format, so I should include those as well. At this point it would seem like I was leaning toward Azorius Control, right?
Well, it should surprise no one that I chose something with a twist. I also think that Courser of Kruphix and Sylvan Caryatid are two of the best green creatures in the format. If I could somehow justify playing these guys alongside Supreme Verdict, I think it would be quite a powerful deck. I would get the defense and acceleration of a green deck and still have the card advantage and control aspects of a UW deck. All I would have to sacrifice was an occasional creature or two if I wanted to Supreme Verdict. I think I could live with that.
This was the list I found:
It had everything I wanted. The oft ignored Advent of the Wurm. The newly minted Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. And four copies of all the things that make UW so powerful. Except Detention Sphere that is; of that we had three copies, supported by two additional copies of Banishing Light.
I was super excited for the deck. Let me show you some of the games I played with it at the event and maybe you can see why.
SCG Open Providence - Feature Match Round 6 vs. Max Tietze
SCG Open Providence - Feature Match Round 8 vs. Harry Corvese
Yes, that's correct. In Round 8 they cut to our game mid-match, and the game ended with me at 240 life. I ultimated Ajani twice in a feature match. Patrick Sullivan also said of the Advent of the Wurm against Max Tietze, "It was basically the best Advent of the Wurm of all time." I ended up starting off 6-1-1 and lost my final two rounds due to Stormbreath Dragon and Obzedat, Ghost Council.
After the event, I knew I wanted to make a couple changes to the deck. I liked the Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, but he didn't really affect the board in a very noticeable way. I also wanted a way to close out games a little more reliable, and I wanted a way to deal with things like Polukranos, World Eater or Obzedat, Ghost Council if I didn't happen to have an enchantment. I made the following changes before playing the deck on Magic Online:
Maindeck-2 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes-1 Supreme Verdict
+1 AEtherling+2 Selesnya Charm
Sideboard-1 Rest in Peace
+1 Jace, Memory Adept
Let's see how the changes turned out.
Bant Superfriends vs. Naya Auras
Bant Superfriends vs. Monogreen Devotion
Bant Superfriends vs. American Midrange
Okay, the deck played mostly fine, but there are two things I want to address. I think that Obzedat, Ghost Council is a real threat for the deck, but the other main problem is AEtherling and Stormbreath Dragon. I tried to avoid it for the longest time, but I think two Dissolve or two Syncopate in the maindeck are going to be a necessity. Most likely over the Selesnya Charm. Unfortunately there aren't really any cards that take care of all three threats - Obzedat, Ghost Council, Stormbreath Dragon, and AEtherling - other than Counterspells. I also like the idea of Pithing Needle, because while we have ways of dealing with them, Xenagos, the Reveler, and Domri Rade can also be problematic. Ultimately we will find room for some number of Pithing Needle in the sideboard and Dissolve in the maindeck.
One nice fact is that we also have Cyclonic Rift to bounce any problematic permanents that slipped through the cracks. Cyclonic Rift is also a nice reset button for an alpha strike or just a way to put us ahead in a game.
As you can see, the Advent of the Wurms were awesome every time. I played a game against Gruul where the opponent tapped out to Overload a Mizzium Mortars against us. We negated us then played an Advent of the Wurm mid-combat to block his Courser of Kruphix. Then we swung back and killed his Xenagos, the Reveler. Advent of the Wurm is a great surprise answer to a planeswalker when the opponent thinks the coast is clear, so that's another way we can combat them. It can also surprise block Blood Baron of Vizkopa and doesn't get taken with a Lifebane Zombie, so those are also some net positives.
I hate to be bold, but I can honestly say the deck has few shortcomings other than the one's I mentioned. We want ways to deal with planeswalkers, AEtherling, Stormbreath Dragon, and Obzedat, Ghost Council. Those are the threats we had the hardest time with this weekend. If I had to play the deck again, say at this weekend's upcoming TCGplayer Diamond Opens in Orlando, FL and Madison, WI, I would probably go with the following configuration:
Now I haven't tested this configuration out, but I do think it could shore up some of the holes the deck was having problems with. Additionally it gives us maindeck answers to cards like Sphinx's Revelation as well. We removed one of the added Jace, Memory Adepts from the sideboard because we should have some pretty solid game against control already, especially if we're adding Dissolve and Pithing Needle.
Anyway, that's about all I have for today. If you have any questions about the deck or suggestions, feel free to let me know. I picked up the deck before the event and hadn't played a game with it before round one, so you can definitely see that it has a few things going right with it. I was really impressed with the inclusion of Advent of the Wurm, and I also liked playing a deck that had access to both Courser of Kruphix and Sphinx's Revelation. If you're looking for something that isn't quite midrange, but has a lot more flexibility than control, I would highly recommend giving it a try.
Thanks for reading and I'll catch you on Monday.
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV