Before we get started, you guys should make sure to catch my daily stream at http://www.twitch.tv/franklepore, Monday through Friday, starting at 2 pm PST! We've been playing Standard, Modern, and Fate Reforged drafts. It's been good times!
Now back to the matter at hand! Ah, Temur Midrange again. The first deck I played after Khans of Tarkir entered the format and the first deck I'm trying again after Fate Reforged changes things. This could actually be considered more of an aggro deck, but once a deck starts adding four and five-drops (of which this only has the former), I begin to classify it as a midrange deck. After all, a traditional aggro deck like Zoo would never play a four mana card. While it's impossible to come up with a naming system that everyone will agree on, I try to be as descriptive as possible when naming decks, without potentially alienating someone new to Magic.
All that being said, feel free to call the deck we're trying out today Temur Aggro if you'd like; I won't mind. Because we sure do have a lot of creatures with haste and four power...
When I first saw this deck, I just thought it had added some Shaman of the Great Hunt to the existing Temur frame. But then I realized that there were also Frost Walkers, which I wasn't even sure would see play! Then I realized there was a playset of Flamewake Phoenix. Then I noticed the pair of Wild Slash in the deck. Needless to say, Jacob managed to pack a ton of new Fate Reforged into this Temur list, and I think they all add something to it.
I played two matches with the deck before recording my games, and I won both of them, so I knew the deck had something going for it. I'm not sure it's perfect, but it does have a good feel to it. Let's take a look at what I mean.
Temur Midrange vs. UW Heroic
Temur Midrange vs. Heroic Red
Temur Midrange vs. UB Control
Temur Midrange vs. RW Midrange
Sorry about those last two matches. The UB Control match was actually fine, it just felt a little one-sided which is actually how it's supposed to play out for UB. The deck is actually pretty oppressive when it comes to opposing creature decks, and I'm not actually sure if we can win that matchup. I'd have to do a little more testing against it.
And that last match...meh. I think you guys get the idea of how the deck works and plays out. It's unfortunate that my opponent mulled to five and kept an unkeepable hand, but the second game was a good example of what we want to be doing: burning out the important creatures and attacking with creatures that are too large to be dealt with.
Frost Walker is super sweet. In fact the deck has an incredibly high number of four power creatures now thanks to Fate Reforged which all trigger Flamewake Phoenix. While Frost Walker is super sensitive and runs away at the slightest gust of wind, the fact is that any spell in Standard that targets him to begin with, was likely going to kill him anyway. No one is packing Twiddle in Standard, and the best part is that targeting a Frost Walker with something like a Bile Blight actually lets your other Frost Walkers live, because it dies as a result of the targeting, and the second part of Bile Blight never takes place. So yeah, this guy was pretty great. The other benefit was that playing this guy on turn two meant you could Crater's Claws for four damage on turn three, which was huge when you want to deal with something like a Fleecemane Lion, or an Anafenza, the Foremost.
Shaman of the Great Hunt...wow. I had this card in my list of Top 10 Sleepers from Fate Reforged, but I didn't think he would be this good. The first time I cast him (in Limited) I even forgot he had haste. Haste, people! He's so fast… I unfortunately never got to use his second ability in the games we played, and this was because we either won too quickly or he never resolved. But I resolved it in Limited a couple times, drawing me no less than two cards per iteration, and it was glorious. The fact that he puts counters on everything from Elvish Mystics to Flamewake Phoenixes, to himself is actually amazing. It's like your own person Glorious Anthem that can also attack, and draw you cards. And four mana?! And only one red symbol in his casting cost?! Just get outta town here.
Wild Slash is pretty much just better than Magma Spray. While Magma Spray exile the creature, which could be relevant in older formats with things like Kitchen Finks Running around, Wild Slash is actually able to go straight to the face, which is huge. When this card was first spoiled, before I was able to read it I was actually afraid the ferocious benefit was going to cause it to deal four damage. Can you imagine? Play Savage Knuckleblade, give it haste, you take four, Wild Slash you twice. You're at eight life. Yeesh. Probably a little too good that way.
This deck was amazingly consistent, and the only real issue I felt I had was with my mana base. There were times when I couldn't draw the correct color, as the deck has some very specific requirements. But I still managed to go 5-1 with the deck, so I'd consider it a success. Next Monday I should have a new Modern list for you and it might be Elves, so don't miss it. Thanks for reading and I'll see ya then!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV, streaming Monday-Friday, 2 pm PST