All this past week I've been in Honolulu, Hawaii with Melissa for the Pro Tour. During this time, Team Revolution - consisting of Brad Nelson, Joel Larsson, Raphael Levy, Samuele Estratti (who could not make this Pro Tour), Patrick Dickmann, Roberto Gonzales, Jeremy Dezani, Denniz Rachid, Pierre Dagen, Manu Vernay, and Timothee Simonot - has been testing various decks for the main event.
One of the decks that the team was onto early on was a RW tokens list that was able to play all roles very well: aggro, midrange, and control. While a lot of the team ended up playing a Madu Control list, Brad was still very high on this deck and it ended up being his choice at the event where he went 7-3 with it.
Take a look...
It seems a little odd calling this deck "Tokens," because it only has two cards in the maindeck that actually produce tokens, but it seems better than the other boring options of "Boros Midrange" or similar. As I mentioned, the deck also doesn't fall under any particular archetype, so...tokens, I guess. We were also contemplating calling the deck variations of A, M, and C, like AMC (for aggro, midrange, and control). You might have even noticed that Brad referred to the deck as Boros MAC in the coverage.
Either way, all of the team members that played the deck did pretty well with it, and I really liked the "pecking" nature of the deck (where we have somewhat tiny creatures and increments of damage and are just pecking away at the opponent's life total) so I decided to give it a try.
Boros Tokens vs. Abzan Midrange
Boros Tokens vs. Mardu(?) Control
Boros Tokens vs. Sultai Dredge
As you can see I only included three videos this week because it's a little harder to produce and record them when I'm mobile. That is, while I'm using my laptop and have to depend on public WiFi for keeping a connection to Magic Online and uploading large files.
As you can also see, I made some misplays, but as I often mention, this is what happens when it's your first time playing with new cards, let alone playing a new deck in a brand new format, against other brand new cards. So try and ignore them and take comfort in the fact that I saw the correct plays eventually. Seeing the new cards in action and interacting together should also help you guys out.
This deck is actually pretty sweet and I could definitely see it becoming the default "Boros" list in the format. Brad took the deck to an event in Hawaii on Sunday after the Pro Tour (yesterday) and he posted to our team group that the changes he made took the deck to the next level...he just hasn't yet mentioned what those changes are! He ended up losing in the finals of that event, which makes the deck seem even stronger - not weaker - in my opinion.
One thing his original list had was three Deflecting Palm in the maindeck but he removed those. I really liked them at first (prevent four damage from Stormbreath Dragon, shoot you for four; prevent five damage from Polukranos, World Eater, shoot you for five), but he made the good point that sometimes the card is just dead, and it can be quite easy to play around once the opponent knows to.
The deck has a very effective way of morphing into a control deck after sideboarding, what with the Elspeth, Sun's Champion and End Hostilities and the defensive auras (Banishing Light and Suspension Field). The deck switches gears very effectively and we can take out cards like Monastery Swiftspear and Hordeling Outburst for the planeswalkers, the enchantments, and the extra land. It's actually a strategy that most opponents won't expect and it helps to "dead" the cards they bring in, like Drown in Sorrow and spot removal.
We were at Starbucks last night doing a Khans draft on Magic Online and Brad comes over and says, "We completely missed one of the best cards! Fated Conflagration!" I actually couldn't agree more. I was adding this card to blue/red and white/red decks back when Return to Ravnica was legal. I referred to the card as a red Hero's Downfall; sure, it can't hit players, but neither can Hero's Downfall! As most planeswalkers start or end up with five or less loyalty after their first activation, the Conflagration allows us to often kill a planeswalker or a creature. Furthermore, with two prowess creatures in the deck, we actually want to cast it during our own turn, helping us net that important scry two.
As you can see I decided to cover a Standard deck today, what with the Pro Tour taking place this past weekend and a ton of new decks on display. I feel like this is initially going to be one of the more underrepresented options in the format simply because it didn't hit the Top 8. I'm sure once the "Top Decks" get posted people might pick up on it however, because the deck has a ton of potential and it's very fun to play. Main goblins and casting Goblin Rabblemasters can be very rewarding. And there's always the potential to just burn an opponent out, which is a very real threat.
Well, that's about all I have for this week. I'll be back on Thursday with more Standard videos, because hey, the format is fresh again and there's a lot to go over! Thanks for reading and I'll catch ya then!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV