Hello everyone, I hope you had a great Theros release weekend. Right now is a super exciting time in standard because of the rotation on Innistrad and the addition of a new set, Theros. On Sunday there was an SCG Open which was the first big tournament of the cycle. I want to talk about what decks did well, what people were playing, and what I will be playing.
As expected the results from Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze (Block Constructed) translate well to post-rotation standard.
In the top 8 there was W/U Control, Esper Control, Big Gruul, Selesnya Aggro, Naya, and Mono Red variants. The rest of the top 16 consisted of W/R Aggro, Mono White Aggro, Gruul Aggro, and Junk Midrange. That’s pretty awesome diversity! The two decks that made it into the finals were W/U control and Mono Red aggro.
I’d like to talk about the cards that performed as advertised as well as cards that some people were on the fence about.Fanatic Of Mogis is a fantastic aggressive card if you gear your deck towards it. The winner boosted his deck with creatures like Ash Zealot and Boros Reckoner because it adds more Devotion to red. Chandra’s Phoenix is also played and is a great addition to the deck that pumps devotion. Firefist Striker and Goblin Shortcutter are also excellent additions to the deck because they are decent attackers and they make blocking difficult for your enemy. Sometimes shutting down one blocker is all the red deck needs to do to get through its attackers. A new card from Theros, but with not an entirely new effect, is Firedrinker Satyr. Many red decks were playing this card because it fills the one-drop role red was missing. The previous iteration was Jackal Pup if anyone was curious. Stormbreath Dragon is looking like the next Thundermaw Hellkite. He fits nicely in that 5cmc spot. Sylvan Caryatid is good, like most assumed. A hexproof mana dork that can also block decently is likely to become a staple in midrange green decks in the near future.
A real shocker is Polukranos, World Eater. Many didn’t think it was constructed playable. However that was proven wrong. Deadbridge Goliath is an easy comparison, but the hydras’ ability is just stronger, and doesn’t require another card to be useful. He’s a bomb with removal attached!Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver was a card that many people thought was terrible. However it has proven to be quite good. In the control mirror it plays a similar role as Nephalia Drownyard did but even more devestating. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion is the real deal. She is insanely powerful. She comes down and immediately changes the board state into a race to kill you or her, while dealing with the tokens she puts out. Also she is almost better than AEtherling in some aspects because you don’t have to put any more mana into her to win the game, so you can spend your mana on protecting her or yourself while she generates advantage. Last Breath is also quite good. It deals with the early creatures efficiently for very little mana, and doesn’t allow Voice of Resurgence to create a token for doing so. Glare of Heresy is another card than can deal with Voice of Resurgence, but has the additional benefit of being a 1 mana solution to Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.
A really surprising but effective card is Divination. Right now, control needs cheap draw spells. With Think Twice gone, this will have to do. I know as a control player I’m really missing instant speed draw.
Last, but not least, is Yoked Ox. No really, this was actually played in control sideboards. It really likes locking down RDW creatures because they are smaller and cheap. They have a harder time getting through. If you look back on my white review, I totally called the Ox being awesome haha.
So, that concludes the breakdown of the beginning if the new standard format. There is much diversity in decks under the top 16 too. If you’re curious, you should go take a look and see what other decks people have been brewing and have been successful with.
As always, leave me a comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @keithcodyj.