Raise Your Standards – Beating the Status Quo

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Another week of tournaments have gone by and the same three decks keep coming out on top.  If you’re not playing a version of the B/G deck (using Winding Constrictor), Mardu Vehicles, or a version of the Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo, you probably didn’t end up in first place.

But, just because these are the three dominant archetypes of the current Standard format, it doesn’t mean that these are the only decks worth playing.  Today, we’ll take a look at a few different decks that came up a little short this past weekend, but have a lot of potential to do well in the future.

First, lets take a look at a deck that’s similar to one that beat my B/G deck last week at Friday Night Magic.  I present to you, U/R Dynavolt Tower.

 

U/R Dynavolt Tower – (by hadesblade)

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As you can see, this deck does one thing very well, over and over again.  This deck is all about getting a Dynavolt Tower on the battlefield (or as many as possible), and then casting instants and sorceries to gain energy which can be spent to either kill an annoying creature you might have or deal three points of damage straight to your dome.  It’s not so bad if they only get one tower online, but once the second one comes down, you’re in for a world of hurt.

Another deck I like that looks like it has a lot of potential is B/W Midrange.

 

B/W Midrange – (by Patrick Porter) – 5th Place at SCG Invitational Qualifier on 2/18/2017

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This deck looks like it would be pretty good if your local metagame doesn’t have much Saheeli Combo decks and is mostly comprised of creature-based decks.  I think a good foil to this deck would be one that is primarily based on Planeswalkers, a.k.a. Super Friends.

Another deck that looks like it could have some explosive power is Temur Aetherworks.

 

Temur Aetherworks – (by egadd2894)

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This deck plays some of the usual suspects you’d expect to see in an Aetherworks Marvel deck (yeah, I’m looking at you Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger), while also playing some cards like Elder Deep-Fiend which is great when played via the Marvel, but can also be easily cast from your hand thatnks to Emurge, should you happen to draw it.

The last deck I’d like to show you this week took 7th Place at SCG Invitational Qualifier on 2/18/2017.

 

Four-Color Graveyard – (by Justin Gilley) – 7th Place at SCG Invitational Qualifier on 2/18/2017

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Oh, Wizards, if you refuse to give us graveyard hate, we’ll find a way to take advantage of that.  This deck does that well by using cards like Cathartic Reunion and Tormenting Voice to place our big gearhulks into our graveyard so we can use cards like Refurbish to play them for  a reduced cost.  It’s just like using a coupon when you go shopping to get extra value.

So, there you have a few examples of decks that are poised to be competitive during this time of Rock / Paper / Scissors that we call Standard.

Thoughts on the Return of the Standard Showdown

Finally, I’d like to express a little disappointment at the return of the Standard Showdown.  While I’m a huge fan of Standard play and loved the initial trial of the Standard Showdown, the main draw for me was the potential of getting a Masterpiece or Expedition from one of these prize packs.  With these new prize packs being comprised of four cards (2 Rare’s or Mythic Rares from a current Standard set, 1 premium foil card from a current Standard set, and 1 full art Amonkhet land card), it’s still a nice bonus for playing in a Standard event, but it lacks some of the excitement that occurred in the initial outing of the Standard Showdown packs knowing that there’s no chance of a Masterpiece or Expedition (as spoiled by Blake Rasmussen in the February 20th, 2017 Update.  I’ll still plan to play in as many of these events as I can (in order to support my local shops), but I won’t feel like I’m missing out on something too special if I can’t make it to every one of them.

What do you think of the changes to the Standard Showdown prize support?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.  And be sure to join me again next week for another episode of Raise Your Standards where we’ll again delve into the Standard landscape in a search for innovative decks to play.  I’ll see you then.

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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