Hello everyone! My name is Cody Johnson and I reside in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I am a History major at a wonderful university. I have been playing MTG for around eight years. I have no formal accomplishments like being a Pro, but I do have aspirations of such, one day at least. I have a vast array of interests in Magic: Standard Constructed, Modern Constructed, Limited, EDH, and I dabble in Legacy when I can. I also do a bit of speculation and have seen a good deal of success with that. This is the first Magic article I have ever written, but I am quite excited to spread some knowledge! (Side Note: I wrote this article before recent trends became more apparent. My “advice” seems to have been pretty well positioned. More people are playing midrange decks, often Jund Midrange at that.)

This is one of the fastest standard formats that I have ever seen. Most decks that are doing well at large scale tournaments are so blazingly fast, games can be over by turn 5. I personally do not think this is a super healthy environment for creativity because if an original deck can’t get past the turn 5 hurdle of losing, is it worth it? What about players like myself? Blue Is my favorite color to play with, and Blue tends to produce slower decks but more sturdy. Blue has historically produced some of the most broken decks of all time too, like Cawblade or Tolarian Academy, or more recently UWdelver. e. I’ve been asked by players around me why the format is in overdrive, and what would it take to slow the format down. I will try to answer that. The answer is not simple and it does not just involve playing just blue decks, but hey, it couldn’t hurt!

When the format changes, historically at rotations, decks are still tuning and aggressive decks are classic choices of solidarity in unsure times. Your plan is to attack them until their total has reached 0 or poison has reached 10+. As a format starts to develop itself, the format slows down, and there are clear definitions of what decks fit where in the format. Right now, if you were not aware, is dominated by aggro. Many are playing red, with a combination of green, white, or black.

Aggro decks like this are absolutely phenomenal. They are able to pull off shenanigans the likes we haven’t really seen before. However, these decks are not very stable and can be disrupted by simply missing a land drop, which is quite easy with some of these greedy mana bases with 20 lands. In my experience with aggro, I despise missing land drops and dudes just sit in my hand. Other people feel similarly, and build mid-range decks that supposedly can destroy the hyper aggressive decks. Once these midrange decks become the norm, control decks usually emerge because they simply out-tempo the other deck. The card advantage and power the control decks wield against midrange can be outrageous.

The ideal situation: where the format starts as aggressive, then mid-range emerges and becomes dominant, and then control emerges and becomes dominant. Then some players switch to hyper aggressive. It becomes a rock-paper-scissors game, that all depends on who you pair against in your tournament, as well as how well you prepared your main board and sideboard for not so good match ups. That’s REAL magic. A format where all deck styles are viable and people enjoy playing games. It becomes more than just a smash fest of who can turn more dudes sideways, faster. Of course, combo is it’s own beast and that has its own special place based on what decks are popular at the time. This is more difficult to categorize based past formats. RIght now, Unburial Rites decks are the combo deck of choice.

My solution is: play midrange/midrange-control decks if you can. It is entirely possible that you could reach more success than you currently are if you take advantage of the greedy players that want to beat you by turn 5. That is my goal. I enjoy playing all sorts of decks, from aggro to combo, but in a format like this, I want stability. Not sure where to start? Try this deck! This is the deck I am currently playing, albeit with a few minor tweaks off of Melissa DeTora’s build from ProTour GTC.

Ive seen quite a bit of success with this build, and actually stands a chance against control decks because of mainboard Geist of Saint WinCon. You get to play some of the best cards in standard without being too greedy. I absolutely love this deck.

Another deck to try would be this.

I do not have much in the way of experience with this deck but it functionally does what you would expect it to. It tries to take the gain from aggro through slower playing and card advantage if possible.

If you are looking for a change from just aggro vs. aggro matchups, play a midrange or control deck. If enough people make this change, we collectively can make a difference. And it may just pad our store credit accounts at the same time! Seems like a great deal right?

PS: I want to help people with their decks if possible. It doesn’t haven’t be standard but if you have an interesting idea you would like another set of eyes on, shoot ’em my way. I would like to do a deck article if there is enough interest in it. I am both a Johnny and a Spike, so I am very capable of helping out in this area.

PPS: I also am bit of a speculator and will try to include small speculations in each article from now on, especially if there is interest in it. If there were enough interest, I would do a full article on speculation. Oh joy, numbers!

Email me at keithcodyj@limitedmagic.com
Or Follow me on twitter @keithcodyj
I’m an avid twitter-er, and I deal in magic and non-magic related things. You can talk about whatever to me, even articles you would like to see. I am like the best and worst kind of DJ, I take many requests…as long as it isn’t Justin Beiber or One Direction.