Raise Your Standards – My Ixalan Store Championship Experience

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This past week was the Ixalan Store Championship and since we’re in a bit of a lull period for Standard Tournaments I figured I’d recap my experience at my local store’s tournament.  I’ll go over the decklist that I played and I’ll offer my advice on sideboarding with the deck.  Let’s get started.

The Deck

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article where I listed a ton of decks that have all been doing well on MTGO lately.  It was my belief that any of those decks could have a decent chance of winning your local Ixalan Store Championship.  While writing that article, I was planning on sleeving up Temur Energy, simply because it’s thought of as being the best deck in the format.  Now, at my local shop there aren’t a lot of energy based decks that are played, and my plan was to practice with this deck on my own away from our local tournament scene.

Since I still needed a deck to play at Friday Night Magic, I sleeved up the Ramunap Red deck from that article.  My local metagame is comprised of a couple of control decks, a bunch of midrange decks, and a handful of aggro decks.  I wanted to see how the (possibly) most aggressive deck of the format would do against the local crowd.  To make a long story short, the deck exceeded my expectations.  I went undefeated that night and never lost a game.  It was at that point that I decided not to play the Temur Energy deck, but to play this deck instead.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

Ramunap Red – (by Mazuku94)

CreaturesRamunap Ruins

Spells

LandsHazoret the Fervent

Sideboard

 

I’ll fully admit, I’m an aggro player and proud of it.  It’s my favorite way to play, and this deck is full-on aggro.  With this deck, if your opponent stumbles in any way (too many lands, not enough lands, etc.), you’re able to take over the game and run away with the victory.  Also, it didn’t matter if I was on the play or on the draw.

At the Ixalan Store Championship tournament at my local game store (shout out to J&J Games in Marshfield, WI), this deck performed exactly as it did at FNM the week before.  I went undefeated, never losing a game.

With all of that being said, there are some things in the deck that I hope can change when Rivals of Ixalan comes out.  In my opinion, the weakest creature you have is Soul-Scar Mage.  I never had a situation where I was able to place -1/-1 counters on an opponent’s creature during any of my games.  That may be due to the decks being played in my local metagame more than a flaw of having the Soul-Scar Mage in the deck though.  I can certainly see how it could be useful against the indestructible Amonkhet gods, and having prowess helped add on more than a few points of damage during the tournament.

In my opinion, the MVP of this deck is Rampaging Ferocidon.  Even though I would usually end up taking a couple of points of damage after casting one due to casting other creatures, the damage it inflicts on an opponent who is already behind on the board-state is usually enough to put your opponent on tilt.  And having menace makes this card an absolute beast when attacking.

And maybe I need to search for sideboard guide for this version of Ramunap Red because I’m a little confused about the sideboard cards.  In each of my games, I sideboarded the exact same way, no matter what my opponent was playing.  I removed the 3 copies of Soul-Scar Mage and 1 copy of Abrade.  Taking their places were the 4 copies of Chandra, Torch of Defiance.  I would love to know when to bring in some of the other cards, but that’s difficult to do without playing the deck some more.

Wrapping-Up

I cannot heap enough praise on this deck, as I feel it is amazing.  I would love to hear from you regarding your experience at your own Ixalan Store Championship tournament.  Let me know what deck you played and how you did by leaving a comment below, or contact me on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  I’d love to hear how all of you did at these events.

Spoiler season for Rivals of Ixalan is now upon us, which is an exciting time for most Magic players.  Hopefully we’ll get some new tools to use to shake up Standard.  I won’t have a new Raise Your Standards next Friday because my Rivals of Ixalan Set Review will start next weekend.  Be sure to check back for the first part starting on Sunday, January 14th.  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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