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Decks of the Week - 4/26/16

The weekend was Pro Tour and States. I plan on doing a 2 parter this week. This article will cover the Pro Tour and other events (MTGO). Next one will cover States.



Standard

1) WG Tokens by Steve Rubin – 1st Place Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
Win a Pro Tour, get to be top deck of the week. And his plan to make many tokens and flip a [mtg_card]Westvale Abbey[/mtg_card]. This deck is very well designed. I have a few complaints about the sideboard, but the main 60 looks perfect to me.

2) Esper Control by Seth Manfield – 3rd/4th Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
A totally new breed of Esper Control. He only plays 2x copies of Jace. Oh wait, not [mtg_card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/mtg_card] but the new, shiny [mtg_card]Jace, Unraveler of Secrets[/mtg_card]. This is more of a tappout style control deck. Playing 3x [mtg_card]Narset Transcendent[/mtg_card] works out great as he can play more powerful sorcery spells. At the top of the curve is [mtg_card]Sphinx of the Final Word[/mtg_card]. Possibly the best of the pile of blue finishers in Standard. Nicely designed deck. Not sure Jace, Unraveler of Secrets is better than Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy in this deck.

3) Seasons Past Control by Jon Finkel – 5th/8th Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
Now here is a spicy deck. This deck caused a pretty sizable money spike to [mtg_card]Dark Petition[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Seasons Past[/mtg_card]. If you missed yesterday’s article, you can cast Dark Petition to get Seasons Past, then use Season Past to get Dark Petition and a pile of other spells. Eventually he can remove all of our deck’s creatures with[mtg_card] Infinite Obliteration[/mtg_card] or kill you with [mtg_card]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/mtg_card]. Look for Seasons Past to get a great deal more play in Standard.

4) Goggles Ramp by Brad Nelson – 5th/8th Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
Another [mtg_card]Pyromancer’s Goggles[/mtg_card] deck smashing face with [mtg_card]Fall of the Titans[/mtg_card]. This time the brew is a bit different, as it is built around a ramp style deck instead of a UR Control shell. This instantly looks much better to me than the classic ramp decks getting played before rotation. Often these decks end up either drawing for enough lands or drawing for enough threats to defeat its opponents. I don’t see this deck having that problem after Pyromancer’s Goggles resolves.

5) BG Aristocrats by Luis Scott-Vargas – 5th/8th Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
But this deck seemed to be the talk of the tournament. There were a handful of people at Pro Tour playing a similar deck, but Luis took it to top 8 finish, so he gets top honors here. Essentially this is a Rally deck, but it left [mtg_card]Rally the Ancestors[/mtg_card] at home. Instead, it uses [mtg_card]Cryptolith Rite[/mtg_card] with [mtg_card]Blisterpod[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Catacomb Sifter[/mtg_card] to generate a massive amount mana. That mana can go into a [mtg_card]Duskwatch Recruiter[/mtg_card] to keep throwing creatures onto the board. Eventually you either die by a transformed [mtg_card]Westvale Abbey[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Nantuko Husk[/mtg_card] sacrifice outlet to fuel death by [mtg_card]Zulaport Cutthroat[/mtg_card] trigger. Considering how popular Rally was before rotation, I suspect this may become one of the most popular decks in the land of Standard.

BONUS
So all of my top 5 decks where in the top 8 of Pro Tour. I dislike doing this, but all of these deck were very unique considering the directions the format was taking. Only one of these decks played [mtg_card]Archangel Avacyn[/mtg_card], near universally declared one of the best cards of the format. So I decided to add a few more decks that didn’t get as many page views as the top 8 in Pro Tour.

6) Naya Oaths by Wiza-Drye – MTGO 5-0 Standard League
If you play 13 planeswalkers, I will want to talk about you. I really don’t have much to say here. I suspect that [mtg_card]Oath of Nissa[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Oath of Gideon[/mtg_card] did some work here. I would recommend going the token route with this deck. Between [mtg_card]Sigarda, Heron’s Grace[/mtg_card], Oath of Gideon, [mtg_card]Arlinn Kord[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Gideon, Ally of Zendikar[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Nissa, Voice of Zendikar[/mtg_card], you should be playing [mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Westvale Abbey[/mtg_card]. This deck probably needs some fine tooling, but I suspect there is a legit deck here.

7) BR Midrange by Big_Game_Hunter – MTGO 5-0 Standard League
This looks like the [mtg_card]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/mtg_card] deck a friend of mine tried to build, but cut Olivia. But the logic of the deck feels pretty good. A fairly standard BR removal package with a bomby creature in [mtg_card]Mindwrack Demon[/mtg_card]. My only real complaint is that Mindwrack Demon might be a bit tricky to trigger. The deck only carries 5 card types and of the 60, only 3 are planeswalkers. It feels risky and [mtg_card]Thunderbreak Regent[/mtg_card] may be a safer pick in the 4CMC slot. Lastly, I’d play Olivia, Mobilized for War in this deck. Being able to attack with that Demon on T4 for 8 damage that turn feels devastating. [mtg_card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Sin Prodder[/mtg_card] feel good in this deck, as it play quite a few 3 mana spells to recast or make you opponent think really hard if the 3 damage is worth it. Lastly, I think [mtg_card]Chandra, Flamecaller[/mtg_card] isn’t great here. Just feels slow and plodding in a deck looking to take advantage of keeping the board clean on T5 and T6.

8) UG Crush by baronvonfonz – MTGO 5-0 Standard League
This is the most brewtastic deck I have seen in quite some time. I spent about 10-15 minutes trying to wrap my head around the maindeck. In the end, I decided that my thought here is that he is trying to keep [mtg_card]Crush of Tentacles[/mtg_card] going ham. In which, the easiest way to do so is to cast [mtg_card]Oath of Nissa[/mtg_card] and follow it up with Crush. You add [mtg_card]Den Protector[/mtg_card] into this, and what we have here is a combo to continually flip the board and keep an 8/8 in play. The rest of the deck seems built to both protect the combo and keep him alive long enough to build the combo. The 4x [mtg_card]Lumbering Falls[/mtg_card] really sells this plan. I don’t really know how to make this deck better as it attacks from such a unique angle. I’ll just bask in awe of the level of brew going on here.




Modern

1) Naya Humans by Magical Gatherings - MTGO 5-0 Modern League
So this deck is just Naya Blitz a few Standards ago. Deck has a Turn 3 win off [mtg_card]Burning-Tree Emissary[/mtg_card] chains into a [mtg_card]Lightning Mauler[/mtg_card]. A new card to the deck is [mtg_card]Thalia's Lieutenant[/mtg_card], which allows the deck to survive with a chance to win beyond 5-6 turns.

2) WB Hatebear/WB Eldrazi by Dr_Stein - MTGO 5-0 Modern League
I like to call this deck WB Eldrazi. I believe I showcased a version of this deck last week. Don't recall that version playing [mtg_card]Aether Vial[/mtg_card], which is a nice tough for the typically hard to cast [mtg_card]Thought-Knot Seer[/mtg_card].

3) Mono-Blue Delver by CharlesSnail - MTGO 5-0 Modern League
Spicy. The deck uses [mtg_card]Disrupting Shoal[/mtg_card] as a poor man's [mtg_card]Force of Will[/mtg_card] in a deck that try to balance the counts on cost effectively. Often this means many 2-drop spells. And [mtg_card]Ninja of the Deep Hours[/mtg_card] is awesome.

4) Jeskai Thopter Sword by WeGoingSizzler - MTGO 5-0 Modern League
So this deck is a fairly standard Jeskai Control deck in Modern that added in the [mtg_card]Thopter Foundry[/mtg_card] combo and a full set of [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card]. Both seem good. Also [mtg_card]Academy Ruins[/mtg_card] for just [mtg_card]Engineered Explosives[/mtg_card] is mean.

5) Hardened Scales by FMarti - MTGO 5-0 Modern League
I can't even. I refuse to believe that this deck exists. I'm going to walk away. It's like someone decided they didn't have enough money to get into Infect but still bought sets of [mtg_card]Windswept Heath[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Wooded Foothills[/mtg_card]. Or 2 [mtg_card]Misty Rainforest[/mtg_card].




Legacy

1) Eldrazi by _barook_ - MTGO 5-0 Legacy League
Very similar to the Eldrazi list on the last Legacy Decks of the Week.

2) Lands by PhReSHTinGZ - MTGO 5-0 Legacy League
This is more a [mtg_card]Life from the Loam[/mtg_card] deck that I'm not use to seeing in Lands. Other Lands decks I've seen [mtg_card]Punishing Fire[/mtg_card], which is not in this deck. Curious to see if the [mtg_card]Molten Vortex[/mtg_card] sticks as a win condition. I guess if it finished 5-0 it worked out.

3) Miracles by HeathatUK - MTGO 5-0 Legacy League
Maindeck [mtg_card]Vendilion Clique[/mtg_card] for the mirror. I like any Miracles decks that plays creatures.

4) Grixis Delver by homer1jay - MTGO 5-0 Legacy League
Pretty standard Grixis Delver list that plays a single not seen in long time [mtg_card]True-Name Nemesis[/mtg_card].

5) Abzan/Deathblade by powerhawk - MTGO 5-0 Legacy League
I'm not sure what to call this deck. It reminds of of the Deathblade decks that ruled the format when [mtg_card]Deathrite Shaman[/mtg_card] first came on the scene. But the numbers on the spells is just a little awkward with so much equipment and no [mtg_card]Batterskull[/mtg_card]. Not to mention the pink elephant that is the singleton [mtg_card]Garruk Relentless[/mtg_card].

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