Raise Your Standards – Aether Revolt Week 2, Electric Boogaloo


Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Last weekend was our second round of Star City Games Standard Open and Classic tournaments.  And surprise, surprise, the winning decks look very familiar to the decks from last week.  Let’s take a look at the deck that won the SCG Standard Open on 01/28/17.


Jeskai Saheeli – (by Dylan Donegan) – 1st Place – SCG Open (01/28/17)







So last week the Crazy Cat Lady deck couldn’t quite bring home the gold, but this week, after a bit of fine tuning, it did.  Our winning deck this week added 2 copies of Oath of Jace which helps dig through your deck very quickly to help find the missing pieces of your combo.  Also added was a copy of Nahiri, the Harbinger which can help you draw into your combo pieces, or help you get rid of those pesky Stasis Snares and Quarantine Fields that are enchanting your combo pieces.  It also added a couple of copies of Fumigate to help you stay alive while you’re looking for your combo pieces.  It certainly looks like the improvements made to the Copycat deck this past week have been successful.

In fact, Saheeli Rai decks did well in the Open putting four different builds in the top 8.  The remainder of the top 8 was made up of a Jeskai control deck and 3 Black/Green decks (2 of the Delirium variety and one Aggro).

It was a similar situation at the SCG Standard Classic on 01/29/17.  That tournament, however, only had 2 copies of Shaeeli decks make it to the top 8.  There were also 4 copies of different B/G (or G/B) decks that cracked the top 8, one of which was the eventual winner.  Let’s take a look at that winning deck.


B/G Delirium – (Todd Stevens) – 1st Place – SCG Classic (01/29/17)






This list is nearly identical to the list that Brennan DeCandio won the SCG Standard Open with on 01/22/17.  With only a couple of differences in the main deck and a few differences in the sideboard, it would seem that this is a very fine-tuned deck.

When looking at the breakdown of deck archetypes for each of these tournaments, it would seem that there’s a fair amount of variety.  For the Open, the top 32 consisted of 7 copies of Jeskai Saheeli, 6 copies each of B/G Delirium and G/B Aggro, 4 copies of Four-Color Saheeli, 3 copies of U/B Control. 2 copies of Jeskai Control, and 4 archetypes that only had a single representative (W/R Humans, B/R Zombies, Temur Eldrazi, and Esper Aggro).  In the Classic, the top 16 included 5 copies of B/G Delirium, 2 copies each of Jeskai Control, G/B Aggro, G/W Tokens, and Jeskai Saheeli, and 1 copy of Mardu Vehicles, Temur Energy, and Four-Color Saheeli.  So, even though B/G decks seem to be the frontrunner of this new Standard season, there’s still a good variety of decks being played and tuned to take on the challenge of dethroning the current champion.

This coming weekend we have Pro Tour Aether Revolt in Dublin.  If past Pro Tours have taught us anything, it’s that the decks that have performed well at the SCG tournaments since the release of the new set are not necessarily the same decks that win the PT.  And it’s not any surprise that this happens, as the pros usually spend a week or two preparing together, testing and training at every opportunity, while the people that win the SCG tournaments don’t have this luxury.

However, I think this Pro Tour might be the rare exception where we see a finely-tuned version of an SCG winning deck become the PT Champion.  At Pro Tour Aether Revolt, I predict that the winning deck will be some form of Black/Green deck, and while I’d love it to be of the Aggro style, I have a feeling it will be closer to the Delirium build that we’ve seen these past two weeks at the SCG events.  I believe that Walking Ballista will cement it’s place as one of the fundamental cards in this new Standard format.

I also think that the Copycat / Crazy Cat Lady decks that everyone was so worried about before the new set released will be played by some, but that the pro’s will have found answers that will help neutralize the lethal combination of Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian.  That being said, I predict there will still be at least 1 or 2 copies of the Saheeli Combo deck that reach the top 8, but I don’t think it will make it past 4th place.

I’m also hopeful that new archetypes are discovered by the pro’s.  I have a feeling that there’s a sweet White/Black deck out there just waiting to be discovered.  I have a feeling that we’ll see some sort of Emerge deck in the top 8 as well, and maybe a G/W Token deck.  Sadly, even though we got some sweet new vehicles in Aether Revolt, I don’t think we’ll see any dedicated vehicle decks crack the top 8.  I’m also doubtful that we’ll see any control decks , but that might just be my personal bias coming through since I do think there’s plenty of good cards available for a control shell.

I’m also interested to see which team ends up on top.  Genesis (comprised of Brad Nelson, Lukas Blohon, Seth Manfield, Michael Majors, Martin Dang, and Martin Müller) seems to be a strong team.  I also think Puzzle Quest (comprised of Reid Duke, Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen, Jon Finkel, Andrew Cuneo, and Paul Rietzl) and Top Level (comprised of Craig Wescoe, Raphaël Lévy, Patrick Chapin, Brian Braun-Duin, Mike Hron, and Dan Lanthier) will do well.  These would be my top 3 picks for teams, with Puzzle Quest coming in first, Genesis coming in second, and Top Level coming in third.  Good luck to all of the teams that are participating!  I’m excited to see how this changes the landscape of Professional Magic.

What are your thoughts on the tournaments from the past 2 weeks?  Do you have a favorite deck from the SCG tournaments?  What do you think will end up being the big winner from the Pro Tour?  Do you have a favorite team?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

And be sure to join me again next week where we’ll go over the happenings at the Pro Tour and look at the best and most innovative decks.  I’ll see you then!


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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