Raise Your Standards – Pro Tour Amonkhet + MTGO Deck Review

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  The month after starting a new block is some of the most exciting time for a Magic player.  There are so many brand new decks popping up that it can be hard to choose what to play at your next tournament.  This week, we’re going to take a look back at some of the decks from the Pro Tour as well as some decks from MTGO to see what’s new and exciting.

We’ll start off by taking a look at Gerry Thompson’s Mono-Black Zombie deck.

 

Mono-Black Zombies – (by Gerry Thompson, 1st place at Pro Tour Amonkhet)

CreaturesDread Wanderer

Spells

LandsLiliana's Mastery

Sideboard

 

A zombie tribal deck is a deck that many people tried to build when the Shadows Over Innistrad block was released, but at that time there simply weren’t enough pieces for the deck to be viable.  Many people are saying that Dread Wanderer is the missing puzzle piece that was needed to complete the picture.  I’d also argue that the additional “lords” (Lord of the Accursed and Liliana’s Mastery) also were needed to allow this deck to compete with decks that have creatures larger than 2/2.

While Gerry Thompson opted to go mono-black with his Zombie deck, there are other options.  Many people have found success with W/B builds, and I’ve even seen some B/R Zombie decks doing well.  In a future article, I plan to take a look at these various builds and we’ll go over the pros and cons of each type.

Moving on to our next deck, let’s take a look at the 2nd place deck, Temur Marvel.

 

Temur Marvel – (by Yuuya Watanabe, 2nd place at Pro Tour Amonkhet)

CreaturesAetherworks Marvel

Spells

Lands

SideboardWhirler Virtuoso

 

With Felidar Guardian being forced to leave Standard, Aetherworks Marvel picked up the baton and ran with it to become the next deck to threaten a turn 4 kill.  While getting a “free” Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on turn 4 isn’t a guaranteed win, it’s pretty darn close.  The randomness of what will appear in the top 6 cards is what allows this combo deck to feel much less oppressive than the Copy Cat deck did, even though both of them have the potential to end the game on turn 4 effectively.  It’ll be interesting to see if Aetherworks Marvel will remain a competitive deck once Ulamog rotates with the release of Ixilan.

Next up, let’s take a look at B/G Energy.

 

B/G Energy – (by Ken Yukuhiro)

CreaturesLongtusk Cub

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

This deck is very reminiscent of the B/G Energy decks being played when Kaladesh released.  While it did pick up some sideboard tools from Amonkhet, the main deck only has one new card which is Bone Picker.  This is a great addition as it is a flying creature with deathtouch that has the capability of coming down for just 1 mana.  So, between Bone Picker and Hissing Quagmire, you never again have to worry about an opponent’s creature being too large to block effectively.

While this deck only had 1 card from Amonkhet in the main deck, our next deck has a lot more.  Let’s take a look at Jund Gods.

 

Jund Gods – (by Patrick Dickmann)

CreaturesHazoret the Fervent

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Here’s a spicy G/R deck that adds a bit of black for its powerful removal spells (and the potential recursion of Scrapheap Scrounger).  This deck looks to be a blast to play.  I especially like the way Hazoret the Fervent and Rhonas the Indomitable work well together.  If you manage to get them both onto the battlefield at the same time, Rhonas automatically gains the ability to attack and block.  My only wish is that there were a spot for Fling in the deck, as the ability to Fling Hazoret to finish off your opponent sounds amazing.

The next deck from the Pro Tour we’ll take a look at is a new and improved version of Mardu Vehicles.

 

Mardu Vehicles – (by Ryan Cubit)

CreaturesVeteran Motorist

Planeswalkers

Spells

Lands

SideboardHeart of Kiran

 

As you can see by the deck list, “new and improved” means basically the same as it has been.  Besides adding a couple of Canyon Sloughs to the mana base, the only other addition from Amonkhet is Cut // Ribbons.  This is a great addition because it allows you to close out the game even in the face of the additional hate cards that Amonkhet provided against this deck.

The next deck we’ll look at is called Sultai Marvel.

 

Sultai Marvel – (by William “Huey” Jensen)

CreaturesDemon of Dark Schemes

Planeswalkers

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

While this is called Sultai Marvel for clarity sake, a case could be made for adding the word Delirium to the title.  This deck is basically a mash-up of your typical Delirium deck with Aetherworks Marvel and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.  Two great tastes that taste great together.  I especially love that Liliana, Death’s Majesty can zombify any of the big creatures that have gone to your graveyard thanks to your delirium enablers.  This deck looks like it has the potential to be a big player if aggro decks can be held in check.

Speaking of holding aggro decks in check, our next deck looks to do just that.  It’s U/R Control.

 

U/R Control – (by Peter Vieren)

CreaturesTorrential Gearhulk

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Welcome back, Torrential Gearhulk.  If you’re looking to play a deck that’s as close to the Draw-Go control deck of the past, then this is the deck for you.  While the tools are very different, this deck is typically tapping its mana on the opponent’s turn.  I like the Glorybringer and Thing in the Ice in the sideboard so you don’t get blown out by Dispossess.

Our next deck looks to take advantage of making +1/+1 counters.  Let’s look at B/G Constrictor.

 

B/G Constrictor – (by Shaun McLaren)

CreaturesWinding Constrictor

Planeswalkers

SpellsWalking Ballista

Lands

SideboardNever // Return

 

Here’s a deck from the days right after Aether Revolt‘s release.  This is the version that utilizes a few cards with delirium to try to gain a slight advantage in the late game.  The addition of Dissenter’s Deliverance, which has cycling, and Never // Return, which provides two card types, means that you can have delirium fairly easily and with as few as two cards in your graveyard (provided those cards are Walking Ballista and Never // Return).

Earlier we looked at U/R Control.  Our next deck is also U/R, but it’s a bit more aggressive.  It’s called U/R Emerge.

 

U/R Emerge – (by Andrew Wolbers)

CreaturesElder Deep-Fiend

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Here’s another deck that’s basically a throwback to a past deck, but with a small change.  In this case, that change is Drake Haven.  It’s a great addition to this deck that utilizes madness to discard cards.

That’s all I have for you for decks from the Pro Tour, but before I wrap things up there were a couple of decks from MTGO this week that I’d like to share.  The first is U/W Midrange.

 

W/U Midrange – (by ghett_smart)

CreaturesArchangel Avacyn

Planeswalkers

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Do you want to play a control deck or a beatdown deck?  Why not play both!  This deck has the tools to cause a lot of damage on the battlefield, while still playing plenty of counter spells.  I really like the cards in the sideboard which allow you to either add additional creatures so you can be the aggressor in game 2 or more counters and sweepers to become more controlling instead.

The final deck we’ll take a look at is R/W Humans.

 

R/W Humans – (by AddledMind)

CreaturesGlory-Bound Initiate

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

This deck does exactly what you’d think a R/W deck would do.  It plays a lot of creatures, hits early and for a lot of damage, and tries to outrace your opponent to victory.  For me, a happy format is one where R/W has a good deck, and this deck makes me very happy.

Conclusion

That’s all the time I have for this week.  Did you have a favorite deck from Pro Tour Amonkhet?  Have you seen a great MTGO deck?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.  Amonkhet Game Day is this weekend, so hopefully one of these decks can bring you victory.  Let me know how your Game Day goes.  And, as always, join me again next week when we’ll take a look at the Standard decks tearing up the charts to find the most fun and innovative of the lot.  I’ll see you then.

Mike Likes

Comments

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

Comments are closed.