Raise Your Standards – Nice To Meet You, Azor

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Two weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast’s creative team introduced the world to Azor, the Parun of the Azorius Senate on Ravnica.  When Rivals of Ixalan was released, we were introduced to Azor’s card, Azor, the Lawbringer.  Since Azor looks to be a pretty important character in the Magic lore, I figured I’d take this week to see what he and his followers are up to.  So, let’s take a look at some Blue-White decks in Standard.

U/W Decks

Let’s begin our journey by taking a look at a deck inspired by the deck played by Jim Davis at the SCG Classic on 01/21/2018.  Here’s a U/W Aura deck that’s recently gone 5-0 in a MTGO League.

 

U/W Auras – (by TheKG)

CreaturesAdanto Vanguard

Spells

LandsCartouche of Knowledge

Sideboard

 

Back during the Theros block, I played a U/W Heroic deck during a PPTQ.  That deck was a lot of fun to play, and this reminds me a lot of that deck.  The basic plan is to get a creature onto the battlefield, load it up with a bunch of auras, and swing for lots of damage.  There are also ways to protect your creature from removal, as well as ways to give it evasion.  Also, if you can start loading it up with the auras after you have Sram, Senior Edificer on the battlefield, you can make sure that the cards keep flowing.  And, if you’re able to, putting the auras on Adanto Vanguard gives you a way to protect your loaded-up creature since you can always make it indestructible.

The next deck we’ll take a look at attempts to control the battlefield on both the land and in the air.  It also went 5-0 on MTGO recently.  Let’s take a look at U/W Monument.

 

U/W Monument – (by SWPC)

CreaturesOketra's Monument

Spells

LandsSkymarcher Aspirant

Sideboard

 

This deck is all about creating a large horde of creatures that can be turned sideways during your combat phase to bring defeat to your opponent.  If that plan doesn’t come to fruition, most of your creatures have flying so that’s another way you can win.  This deck seems to be able to spit out creatures (including tokens) without much difficulty, so I think it will be pretty easy to get the City’s Blessing for that Skymarcher Aspirant to have flying.  That should also allow Oketra the True to be able to attack and block easily as well.  If you’re not afraid of the possibility of a messy looking battlefield, this could be the deck for you.

Moving on, the next deck I have for you went undefeated in a recent Hareruya tournament.  Let’s take a look at U/W God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

 

U/W God-Pharaoh’s Gift – (by Hashimoto Satoshi)

CreaturesGod-Pharaoh's Gift

Spells

LandsAngel of Invention

Sideboard

 

For me, this deck is a little too risky to play right now.  In my local meta, there are a lot of copies of Abrade, but if that’s not the case for you, you should consider playing this deck.  God-Pharaoh’s Gift is a powerful engine for your deck that can create a steady stream of powerful creatures for you that can quickly get out of hand for your opponent.  And since this deck plays 4 copies of God-Pharaoh’s Gift and Refurbish, in theory you should be able to fight through the artifact hate your opponent could be packing.

The next deck I have for you also comes from Hareruya and went undefeated in one of their recent tournaments.  Here’s U/W Cycling Control.

 

U/W Cycling Control – (by Yaguchi Hiroaki)

SpellsDrake Haven

Lands

Sideboard

 

So, in game 1 your main route to victory is by building up an army of Drake tokens with Drake Haven and cycling a bunch of cards.  After sideboarding, your opponent will likely sideboard out much of their creature removal spells, which is the perfect opportunity for you to sideboard in the few creatures available.  This deck looks like quite a challenge to play, and if you’re a newer player, I don’t recommend this for you.  Get a few games under your belt with a traditional midrange deck before giving this one a spin.  But if you’re an experienced player and want a challenge, this is a good choice for you to play.

So, there you have it.  These are four of the finest Azorious decks being played currently in Standard…  But what about a deck featuring Azor in the main deck and not just in the sideboard?  Fear not, dear readers, for I have just such a deck.  While it’s not an undefeated deck like the others I’ve shown you, it was still played in a large tournament to a good amount of success.  And while it’s not completely Blue-White, those colors are the main focus of the deck.  Let’s take a look at Esper Approach.

 

Esper Approach – (by KC Johnson)
22nd Place at StarCityGames.com Team Constructed Open on 1/20/2018

CreaturesAzor, the Lawbringer

Spells

LandsApproach of the Second Sun

Sideboard

 

Since this deck was played at a team event, there’s really no way of knowing how it would do in a regular Standard tournament.  As I mentioned earlier, there is a bit of Black in the deck, which is primarily used for removal spells.  There is the potential that the Black could be removed completely from the deck if a suitable replacement for Fatal Push could be found in either Blue or White.  So, for those of you who are deck tuners, there’s todays homework for you.  Now, while this decks main route to victory is Approach of the Second Sun, it does have both Azor, the Lawbringer and Torrential Gearhulk as a back-up way to win.  If you decide to play this at your local FNM or other tournament, I’d love to know what your results are.

Wrapping Up

That just about does it for this week.  As you can see, there are a lot of decks available as viable options to play if you’re a Blue-White lover.  For now, Standard still feels like a pretty open format, which is a breath of fresh air.  Let’s hope the feeling continues for a good, long while.

Do you have a favorite Blue-White deck?  If so, I’d love to know about it.  You can contact me by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

Be sure to join me back here next week for another installment of Raise Your Standards.  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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