If you thought that you had the Standard meta figured out, think again! In the last three weeks of Magic we’ve gotten a ton of data through deck lists and only one thing can be concluded: almost any deck can take down a tournament. I believe we’ve gotten to a point where the Standard format is starting to mimic the variety that we see in the Modern and Legacy formats. Today we’re going to take a look at the successful decks that have fared well over the past few weeks. First, we’ll start off with the usual suspects and then look into some of the more uncommon choices that you’ll see.
To begin we’ll check out the new innovations of U/W Delver that took four members of SCG Blue to the top eight of SCG Nashville this past weekend.
New tech comes in the form of Restoration Angel being a creature that you can flash in at the end of turn for more damage, use to save another creature from removal or to re-buy a Snapcaster Mage. Bringing back the Sword of Feast and Famine over Runechanter’s Pike is due to the amount of the R/G Aggro decks that many players seem to have moved to. A few obscure cards making it back into the deck again are Dismember and Divine Offering. Again, both giving way to the R/G Aggro decks that have been smattering the tournament scene lately.
Next, let’s check out the R/G deck.
There really isn’t much in terms of new tech to be added to these decks. This particular list was one of the top eight decks from SCG Orlando so it’s technically a few weeks outdated. Most people have chosen to cut Hellrider from the deck in favor of more burn or Wolfir Silverheart. You can be sure that this deck will remain a contender in the format for sometime until rotation in the fall.
We now move from R/G Aggro to the other R/G deck in the format: Wolf Run Ramp.
We see this particular list cutting Inferno Titan, Whipflare and Galvanic Blast from the main and streamlining the deck to deal with more R/G Aggro lists. The inclusion of four Green Sun’s Zenith allows the player to have access to eight Primeval Titan, seven Huntmaster of the Fells and greater consistency when getting the end game. Pillar of Flame gets rid of that pesky Stangleroot Geist and any other undying cards. Beast Within coupled with Slagstorm allows you deal with creatures and spells and not really have to worry about the downside of a 3/3 on your opponents side of the board. The newest innovations to come about are Glimmerpost and Cavern of Souls in the manabase allowing you gain a ton of life in a pinch situation OR make sure that your next Primeval or Huntmaster will stick when you cast it.
These are basically the “Big Three” decks that most people are playing in the format at the moment. Now we’ll take a look at the other decks that you’re likely to see in the field.
This is the newest deck to the format developed by Nick Spagnolo and piloted by Brad Nelson and Lewis Laskin to great success a few weeks ago.
This deck was built to play against all the R/G Aggro and large creature decks in the format, allowing you play off your opponents’ men that they typically themselves cannot handle until you’re able to drop a Wurmcoil and copy that a million times with all the clone effects. Even though this deck is only a few weeks old, Brad Nelson has already stated that the deck’s shelf life is probably already up since most people already know how to beat it. Nick Spagnolo is not so pessimistic about the deck and just states that it needs to adapt its game to the hate that comes with playing the deck. The upcoming weeks leading to the SCG Invitational will tell the story of this deck.
The other “new” deck to come out of GP Minneapolis was the winning list piloted by Christian Calcano U/R Delver.
[deck/]4 Delver of Secrets
1 Dungeon Geists
2 Invisible Stalker
1 Phantasmal Image
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Devil’s Play
1 Galvanic Blast
4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Pillar of Flame
2 Runechanter’s Pike
4 Thought Scour
3 Vapor Snag
1 Desolate Lighthouse
3 Sulfur Falls[/deck]
This deck has a lot of things going for it. You have access to a plethora of removal to clear the way for your men to get through or just finish off your opponent after they’ve taken a ton of damage from Delver. You have all the draw/filtering you need to find these cards, couple that with Runechanter’s Pike and any guy you play turns into an instant threat. The deck is very reminiscent of the RUG Delver deck that gets played in the Legacy format with the amount of tempo elements incorporated into the deck.
The next list is almost a direct port from Innistrad block W/R Humans.
This is basically your straight forward attack deck. The adapts to the “power” of the format by cutting some of the one-drops that you would typically see in the deck to add cards like Lightning Mauler to give the deck more punch. Hero of Oxid Ridge is a pretty good addition to the deck with mana dorks and Lingering Souls tokens floating around still.
Zombies is a deck that we saw come into existence at SCG Cincinatti and has had success on and off. It seems to be at its best when people start to move Celestial Purge out of their sideboards. It had two decks make the top eight in Nashville, but both are quite different. The one that I show preference to, however, is this one.
Now I don’t necessarily endorse this exact list, but I do like Blood Artist and Mortarpod being in the deck. I would probably cut the Skirsdag High Priest and Cemetery Reaper from the deck in favor of another Captain and more Blood Artist. I do also like the idea of Killing Wave that people have been using lately.
This is only the beginning of the variety of decks that are available, but are the more popular that you will see in upcoming tournaments. There are many other decks out there such as Frites, Naya Pod, U/W and R/W/U Miracle, Esper Control, B/W Tokens and Junk Walkers. So as you can see there are numerous decks that be played in the Standard format, and, given the right match ups, are all solid choices to play. The only question you need to ask yourself is which is positioned to do well in your area? Personally, I’m a fan of the Wolf Run Ramp decks along with the white variants as they have the control elements needed to handle most of the aggressive decks while maintaining their own game plan. My second choice for a deck to play would probably be a Delver list of some sort. I’m not too sure that I like the U/W lists that SCG Blue played this past weekend, but something similar to that is definitely in my wheelhouse. Stay tuned over the month of June as Team MythicMtG.com will be traveling the SCG circuit in the Midwest and sharing deck lists, stories and strategy from their experiences.
As always, thanks for reading!
myk in the forums
mtabler1983 at gmail dot com