Hello! Welcome back to Epiphany at the Drownyard! Last week I wrote about the two boogiemen of standard (which if you missed it you can find here). This week I would like to continue that discussion with possible answers to these two very prominent decks.
I give you Bant Midrange:
- 2 Selfless Spirit
- 3 Servant of the Conduit
- 3 Sylvan Advocate
- 3 Reflector Mage
- 4 Spell Queller
- 2 Archangel Avacyn
- 3 Verdurous Gearhulk
- 4 Aether Hub
- 2 Botanical Sanctum
- 3 Canopy Vista
- 4 Evolving Wilds
- 4 Forest
- 1 Fortified Village
- 1 Island
- 2 Lumbering Falls
- 3 Plains
- 1 Prairie Stream
- 1 Sylvan Advocate
- 1 Reflector Mage
- 1 Archangel Avacyn
- 2 Cataclysmic Gearhulk
- 1 Sigarda, Heron’s Grace
- 1 Verdurous Gearhulk
- 2 Blossoming Defense
- 3 Blessed Alliance
- 2 Declaration in Stone
- 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
Now at first glance this looks like U/W Flash with a green splash, however this deck is doing a few different things that gives it a slight edge against G/B Delirium and in the “mirror” of U/W. What makes this deck different is the vast amounts of card advantage you can generate with Smuggler’s Copter and Tamiyo, Field Researcher. Smuggler’s Copter brings the obvious card draw to the table. The ability to loot on both offense and defense make the card one of the best cards of the format. It lets the deck shape hands that were shaky at best. It creates a very hard to answer repeatable draw mechanic that every deck should be leery of. This card is coupled with the power of Tamiyo, Field Researcher‘s +1 ability to put an opponent of the game under sheer card advantage.Sylvan Advocate and Archangel Avacyn bring out the real shine on this ability by being able to potentially draw two cards each. Her ability to generate a potential four cards before the next draw phase means being aggressive with spells is more than okay. It also provides tricky combat situations for the opponent because her +1 ability can also be used on their creatures to draw cards for you, making the decision to attack into you much harder. Her -2 ability is also nothing to shy away from, this ability can turn a stalemate board state into a favorable attack with no risk to back swing, or being able to attack into B/G by tapping down Ishkanah, Grafwidow and a token to prevent them from stalling out. Tamiyo Field Researcher’s versatility is nothing short of great in this style of deck by providing all of the tools necessary to close out games. Green provides the deck with a lot of other versatility as well.
Green in this deck allows for other options like the aforementioned Sylvan Advocate, Verdurous Gearhulk, Natural State, and Servant of the Conduit. Sylvan Advocate provides a powerful two drop against U/W that allows you to reduce pressure from the semi-aggressive style. Verdurous Gearhulk gives a final closer and an edge on G/B that can make all the creatures just big enough to attack into them. Natural State brings an edge against Stasis Snare and Smuggler’s Copter, although if the meta shifts to a more dominant G/B Delirium meta then moving Blossoming Defense to the main deck and Natural State to sideboard is far superior. Servant of the Conduit provides fixing as well as aggressive turn 3 plays of Tamiyo, Field Researcher or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
The sideboard allows the deck to retain its strengths while removing some of the weaker cards depending on the match ups. Unfortunately at this time there is no true sideboard guide for the deck at this time but some general rules would be:
- Archangel Avacyn comes in against a heavy control match-up or when the deck needs to become a more control shell.
- Blessed Alliance comes in against very fast aggro decks such as Mardu Vehicles.
- Blossoming Defense comes in for decks with strong removal packages or where Natural State may be weak.
- Gideon, Ally of Zendikar comes in against stronger when sorcery speed removal is at play or it is necessary to gum up the ground with tokens.
- Cataclysmic Gearhulk answers U/W Flash’s many indestructible strategies, these come in for Archangel Avacyn or Verdurous Gearhulk depending on if the deck needs to go wide or over U/W.
- Sigarda, Heron’s Grace comes in against G/B Delirium or any other Emrakul, the Promised End decks.
- Declaration in Stone comes in if the deck needs to have more control aspects in the match up
- Sylvan Advocate is great against G/B Delirium and comes in for Spell Queller
- Reflector Mage slows down G/B Delirium and makes the deck better at pushing damage through, comes in for Spell Queller
All in all the deck is a work in progress however is very strong and has the ability to overcome the arguably two best decks in standard at this time. Some things to keep in mind are that the deck is not a tempo deck like U/W Flash and should not be played as such. Although the two decks are very similar in design they play very differently. The main difference is the amount of true card advantage the deck generates over U/W flash is the main reason to play this over U/W Flash. This deck utilizes the card advantage it makes to help in other match ups where U/W Flash may be less than favorable.
As always let me know what you guys think, if you have any suggestions or comments post them down below and feel free to post any information or insight you may have on standard as it currently is. I am going to continue testing this deck and I will let you know the results of my testing.
Keep the epiphanies coming everyone and I will see you next week!