Raise Your Standards – Black and White Answers

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.

After dominating the Pro Tour, I expected Ramunap Red to get taken down a notch, and it did by Steve Locke with his Mono-Black Zombies deck at Grand Prix Minneapolis.  Congratulations go out to Steve on his victory!  I could certainly go over his deck here with you and explain why it was good against the hasty red decks, but enough other writers have already done that.  Instead, let’s look at some other decks that did well at the GP and on MTGO that look promising and innovative.

The first deck I want to look at came in 9th place at the GP.  It’s called Eldrazi Vampires.

 

Eldrazi Vampires – (by Chris Botelho)

PlaneswalkersLiliana, the Last Hope

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Spells

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Sideboard

 

This deck utilizes the fairly common package of Eldrazi creatures (Matter Reshaper, Thought-Knot Seer, and Reality Smasher) and injects them into a black mid-range deck.  Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a card that can be so powerful.  It’s a shame she never got a real chance to shine in the time that she’s been in Standard.  Perhaps now is her chance.  The only thing I find awkward is how her ability interacts with Matter Reshaper.  Usually the plan when playing the Matter Reshaper is to hold it back as a blocker with the hope of chump blocking with it to trigger its effect.  While that can still be accomplished with this deck, if you have an attacking Drana, it seems like the better option would be to attack with the Matter Reshaper in order to push through more damage.

I also love how Drana and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet work together.  Imagine that both are attacking for the first time together.  If your opponent chump blocks Drana, her first strike ability will kill the smaller chump blocker and Kalitas’s ability will give you a 2/2 Zombie.  You can then pay 3 mana to activate Kalitas’s activated ability, which puts two +1/+1 counters on Kalitas.  Drana will also give Kalitas another +1/+1 counter before he deals his normal combat damage, which would make him a 6/7 creature with lifelink.  Granted, this is a best case scenario, but even without the chump block of Drana, if both Drana and Kalitas survive combat it equals a 10-point life swing (6 damage to the opponent and 4 life gained for you).  If that doesn’t sound like fun, I don’t know what does.

But the mono-black version of Eldrazi decks isn’t the only version that’s been doing well recently.  Today, I have another Eldrazi deck that’s a mono-white Eldrazi deck.  This deck recently went 5-0 in a league on MTGO.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

Mono-White Eldrazi – (by Mirhi)

PlaneswalkersGideon, Ally of Zendikar

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Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

While I’m not as high on this deck as I am the mono-black Eldrazi deck, there are a couple of things that I really like.  Ever since it came out, I’ve loved Eldrazi Displacer.  I wish there were more targets for it to abuse in this deck, but you can always displace an opponent’s blocker if you need to.  Another thing that it can be used for is flipping your Avacyn, the Purifier, during the upkeep that she transforms, back to the Archangel Avacyn side to deal 3 damage to all of your opponent’s creatures while making your creatures indestructible.

So, a few weeks ago I showed you a mono-red Eldrazi deck I dubbed Red-drazi.  This week I’ve given you the mono-black and mono-white Eldrazi decks.  Someone needs to brew up mono-green and mono-blue Eldrazi decks quickly, before the Eldrazi rotate out of Standard.

The final deck I’d like to show you today placed 26th at Grand Prix Minneapolis.  It fits in well with the other two decks I’ve shown you, as it is a black and white deck.  Let’s take a look at Zackary Van Pelt’s White-Black Control deck.

 

White-Black Control – (by Zackary Van Pelt)

PlaneswalkersOb Nixilis Reignited

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Kill everything your opponent plays, stick a planeswalker or big creature, and win the game.  That seems to be the plan with this deck.  As long as your local meta is playing creature-based decks, this deck could be a good choice for you.  Against a control deck, it could have a harder time winning since so many cards are dedicated to removing creatures your opponent controls.  Once you sideboard though, the playing field is evened up again.  Kambal, Consul of Allocation can make it very difficult for your opponent if they don’t happen to have a kill spell in hand.  He makes searching for one much more dangerous, as every Glimmer of Genius or Hieroglyphic Illumination becomes a Shock to the face for them and a 2 points of lifegain for you.  But since there are only two copies of Kambal in the sideboard, I still wouldn’t feel great playing this against a control-heavy metagame.

Wrap-Up

Which of the decks above is your favorite?  Have you seen a deck that uses some new tech that you think I should showcase here?  Let me know by leaving a comment below or by contacting me on Twitter @mikelikesmtg.  You can also send me an email directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.

This week there are 2 GP’s, Grand Prix Birmingham and Grand Prix Sao Paulo.  Since both of these GP’s are Modern events, so I’ll be looking elsewhere for new innovations in Standard.  Be sure to come back next Friday to see what I’ve discovered.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes

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Mike Likes

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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