Raise Your Standards – Let the Revolt Begin!

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Now that we’ve had a couple of major tournaments post-banning and post-Aether Revolt, this week we’re going to take a look at the frontrunners of Standard.

Last weekend, Star City Games both the SCG Classic and the SCG Open, which are both Standard tournaments.  Both of these tournaments were won by Black / Green decks.  At the Open on 01/22/17, Brennan DeCandio took home the trophy with a deck he called B/G Delirium.  Let’s take a look at that deck.

 

B/G Delirium – (by Brennan DeCandio) – 1st Place – SCG Open (01/21/17)

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This deck takes what we’ve learned during the last Standard season and brings the G/B Delirium deck into the new Aether Revolt age.  Cards like Mindwrack Demon and Traverse the Ulvenwald are playable if you don’t have delirium, but they become so much better when you do have it.  This deck also utilizes some of the new tech from Aether Revolt by attempting to go bigger with +1/+1 counters.  Winding Constrictor is well on it’s way to being an all-star in Standard.

The next deck I’d like to talk about also utilizes Winding Constrictor to help pump out additional +1/+1 counters, but instead of going the delirium route, this G/B deck uses energy as a means to help take over games.

 

G/B Aggro – (by Daniel Guajardo) – 1st Place – SCG Classic (01/22/17)

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This deck uses many of the same cards as the B/G Delirium deck to get +1/+1 counters (Winding Constrictor, Walking Ballista, Verdurous Gearhulk, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade mainly).  This deck also harnesses the power of energy to use it on Bristling Hydra and Longtusk Cub to maximize and enhance the power of the +1/+1 counters they can make.

Those of you that know me or have read my articles probably know that I love +1/+1 counter strategies, so I’m looking forward to building these decks and trying them out for myself.

These two decks look like they were built without too much fear of the boogeyman in this new Standard format.  The Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo had a lot of people worried when the spoilers for Aether Revolt were released, and while the combo did land in the top 8 of both of these tournaments, it didn’t dominate as was feared.  Let’s take a look at one of the Jeskai Saheeli decks.

 

Jeskai Saheeli – (by William Aitken) – 3rd Place – SCG Classic (01/22/17)

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So, this deck attempts to assemble its combo as quickly as possible, but also acts as a pseudo-control deck to buy itself the time needed to find both of the combos components.  Dynavolt Tower can also act as a finisher in the event that the combo gets disrupted.  Also, Torrential Gearhulk can act as a back-up finisher in a pinch.

Another deck that did well while eschewing any of the new cards from Aether Revolt from the main 60 is the deck that landed in 2nd place at the SCG Classic, W/U Spirits.

 

W/U Spirits – (by Brian Feria) – 3rd Place – SCG Classic (01/22/17)

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Now that Smuggler’s Copter has been pushed out of the format, I think this W/B Spirits deck has become a lot better.  This is my style of ‘control’ deck, as it can counter things at times, but it also uses its creatures to tap down your opponents threats and attempts to use flash to hinder your opponents effectiveness during combat.

One final deck archetype that performed well this past weekend was Mardu Vehicles.  Let’s take a look at the 6th place finisher at the SCG Classic.

 

Mardu Vehicles – (by Tyler Echevarria) – 6th Place – SCG Classic (01/22/17)

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When the bannings were announced everyone wondered which vehicle would be the replacement for Smuggler’s Copter.  The spoilers for Aether Revolt seemed to indicate it would either be Heart of Kiran or Aethersphere Harvester, but nobody knew which one.  This deck attempts to hedge it’s bets and plays both.  And maybe that’s the best way to replace Smuggler’s Copter, not by playing either one or the other, but by playing a combination of both.

In Conclusion

Standard appears to be better off after the bannings and release of the new set.  Multiple types of decks made it to the top 8 of each of these tournaments, and I have a feeling we’ll see even more diversity in the upcoming weeks.  It’s a great time to be a deck brewer as there are a ton of cards worthy of brewing a deck around.

Which of these decks is your favorite?  Sound off in the comment section below.  That’s all I have for this week.  Be sure to join me again next week when we look at more innovative decks in Standard.  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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