Deep Analysis – Bad Company


Our first standard format with Shadows over Innistrad starts with the SCG Open in Baltimore, MD.

Day 1 started with 624 players.
All players with at least 18 points (6-3 record) made Day 2 for a total of 134 players (21.5% of the original field)

SCG Baltimore Open

W/U Humans23
W/B Midrange15
Bant Company13
G/R Eldrazi11
W/B Eldrazi10
Esper Dragons7
W/G Humans7
R/W Eldrazi6
G/W Tokens5
Mono-Red Eldrazi4
G/B Tokens3
W/G Midrange3
G/B Delirium3
U/R Prowess2
B/G Company2
Mono-White Eldrazi2
Naya Midrange2
Jund Company2
Mono-White Humans2
U/R Control1
Esper Control1
W/U Tokens1
Abzan Midrange1
G/U Surge1
Jund Midrange1
G/B Midrange1
Atarka Red1
G/B Elves1
B/R Control1
Esper Demonic Pact1
Sultai Delirium1

A couple of weeks ago while going over some of the cards from SOI, I mentioned that Collected Company was the best thing to be doing in Standard:

Jim Davis
Bant Company
SCG Open Baltimore Winner

1 Fortified Village
1 Port Town
4 Prairie Stream
3 Canopy Vista
4 Lumbering Falls
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Forest
3 Plains
2 Island

4 Duskwatch Recruiter
2 Archangel Avacyn
2 Tireless Tracker
4 Reflector Mage
4 Sylvan Advocate
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
4 Bounding Krasis
1 Den Protector
1 Hidden Dragonslayer

3 Dromoka’s Command
1 Ojutai’s Command
4 Collected Company

1 Tireless Tracker
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Invocation of Saint Traft
2 Clip Wings
2 Lantern Scout
1 Den Protector
1 Ojutai’s Command
1 Hidden Dragonslayer
3 Negate

17 of the 134 decks on day 2 were Collected Company decks (12.7 %), including Jim Davis’s winning list.

Another prominent deck was W/x based Human Aggro decks (23.9 % of the field on day 2).  The deck came in 3 flavors: WU, WG, and mono-W:

Kellen Pastoredeclarationinstone
Mono White Humans
SCG Open Baltimore 2nd Place

3 Always Watching
4 Declaration in Stone
2 Stasis Snare
3 Gryff’s Boon

3 Hanweir Militia Captain
4 Thraben Inspector
3 Town Gossipmonger
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
2 Expedition Envoy
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 Consul’s Lieutenant
3 Dragon Hunter
4 Knight of the White Orchid

1 Westvale Abbey
19 Plains

2 Westvale Abbey
2 Felidar Cub
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Lantern Scout
1 Stasis Snare
1 Hallowed Moonlight
3 Secure the Wastes
2 Silkwrap

Collin Stiles
W/U Humans
SCG Open Baltimore 6th Place

4 Declaration in Stone
3 Always Watching

4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
2 Archangel Avacyn
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Reflector Mage
2 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
4 Archangel of Tithes
3 Consul’s Lieutenant
2 Dragonlord Ojutai
4 Knight of the White Orchid

2 Meandering River
2 Westvale Abbey
4 Prairie Stream
4 Port Town
12 Plains

3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Stasis Snare
1 Tragic Arrogance
2 Surge of Righteousness
2 Ojutai’s Command
1 Dragonlord Ojutai
1 Dispel
3 Negate

Dwayne Graham
W/G Humans
SCG Open Baltimore 8th Place

4 Declaration in Stone
4 Always Watching

4 Thraben Inspector
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Tireless Tracker
4 Consul’s Lieutenant
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
3 Archangel of Tithes
4 Dragon Hunter
4 Knight of the White Orchid

1 Westvale Abbey
4 Canopy Vista
4 Fortified Village
13 Plains

2 Clip Wings
2 Ulvenwald Mysteries
1 Westvale Abbey
2 Archangel Avacyn
3 Eerie Interlude
2 Evolutionary Leap
1 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Dromoka’s Command

These aren’t the same weenie decks of old.  These decks have a way to fight back in the midgame and can win some long games thanks to Clue tokens and card advantage provided by Knight of the White Orchid.

The field was very aggressive, which usually comes a no shock to those are used to a week 1 metagame in Magic. It is usually much easier to build linear based aggro decks for a new format rather than control strategies.  This is typically due to the fact that control decks need to know what the threats are before they can adapt.

Now some players were expecting a heavy aggro field and targeted what they though were the pillars of the metagame with a very well designed midrange / control deck:

Eric HymelArchangelAvacyn
W/B Eldrazi
SCG Open Baltimore 3th Place

2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

4 Declaration in Stone
2 Ultimate Price
2 Anguished Unmaking

4 Archangel Avacyn
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Thought-Knot Seer
3 Hedron Crawler
2 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
1 Matter Reshaper
4 Knight of the White Orchid

4 Shambling Vent
2 Blighted Fen
1 Foundry of the Consuls
3 Forsaken Sanctuary
2 Swamp
6 Plains
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Battlefield Forge

1 Anguished Unmaking
2 Reality Smasher
1 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Tragic Arrogance
2 Virulent Plague
2 Read the Bones
3 Duress

This WB deck mixes some of the power Eldrazi cards (Eldrazi Displacer, Thought-Knot Seer) with the best removal in the format in Declaration in Stone and Anguished Unmaking.  I admit I was wrong about Declaration in Stone.  Usually sorcery speed removal that comes with a drawback (in this case, Clue tokens) ends up being used sparsely or not at all.  In this case, the exile effect and the ability to take out more than 1 creature at a time coupled with the ability to hit tokens with no drawback, means that it is the best removal spell in the format.

So what are the pillars of the format?


They all seem to be in White.

Of the 134 decks on day 2, White was in the highest percentage of decks:

91 contained White cards (67.9 %)
58 contained Green cards (43.3 %)
51 contained Blue cards (38.1 %)
49 contained Black cards (36.6 %)
31 contained Red cards (23.1 %)

White was the most played color on Day 2 which is a testament to the power of the color.

So when was the last time that White was the best color in Magic?  You’d have to go way back to the Summer of 2000:

Rebel Alliance by Kai BuddeLS
1st Place
Pro Tour Chicago 2000

16  Plains
4  Rishadan Port
2  Dust Bowl

Defiant Falcon
Defiant Vanguard
Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
Longbow Archer
Ramosian Sergeant
Ramosian Sky Marshal
Rebel Informer
Steadfast Guard
Thermal Glider

Chimeric Idol
Parallax Wave
Wax // Wane


Defiant Vanguard
Mageta the Lion
Seal of Cleansing
Wrath of God

So how do we prepare for the Great White Hope?

  • Sweepers or spells that deal with multiple creatures at a time, preferably ones that deal with indestructibility via exiling or shrinking
  • Ways to deal with non creature permanents as well (enchantments and some planeswalkers to be exact)

Until next time,

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