Tier .999… Standard Decks, Part 1

Posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 by llarack
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Posted in mtg, serious business, strategy

Tier 0.999… Standard Decks (or not quite so 0.999…)!

For those of you who do not know, recently deckcheck.net has gone down. In its place, I hope to provide a reasonable summary of Standard decks (and perhaps other formats) for GoodGamery by presenting five decks per week, and possible variations of them.

From 10/24 MTGO Standard Daily Event 1690040, we spot this interesting deck:

Those of you who remember Naya before the rotation can see the resemblance to the old Naya list. New cards that have been added: Squadron Hawk (yeah, it’s in M11, but it wasn’t widely adopted), Molten-Tail Masticore (which is fantastic at giving any aggro deck reach), Sword of Body and Mind (an excellent card to have vs Elves and Eldrazi Ramp).

Things to dislike about this list: 24 lands only in a deck that is fairly manahungry, only 5 fetchlands for Lotus Cobra. Only 2 manlands to have access to vs control decks.

I would suggest adding at least 2 fetchlands and 2 more manlands in place of some of the basics if you were to try this out, and go up to a total of 25 lands, probably shaving 1 Llanowar Elves. His sideboard is typical, and seems reasonably tuned (1-ofs abound because of Fauna Shaman).

Another interesting deck:

This list should be a heavy favorite in the mirror since you can ramp to your big guys faster, and you have an “oops I win” spell. You are much weaker vs decks with heavy countermagic, however.

If you expect the field to be heavy ramp, I would suggest playing this list. Postboard you are ok vs ‘small’ aggro decks with Pyroclasm buying enough time to combo them out with Valakuts. You can also splash black for removal and Memoricide easily off 4 Verdant Catacombs and 2 Terramorphic Expanse as well as 4 Growth Spasm if you really wanted to.

Tulio_Jaudy (3-1) in a Daily Event

This is an interesting looking decklist. Clearly the goal is to setup fast Masticores/Wurmcoils off Grand Architect (consider turn 1 Hatchling, turn 2 Owl, turn 3 Architect, Engine).

I am not sold on Sleep, nor am I sold on the fact that it has to be mono-blue. 3 Mana Leak seems like an odd number which says to me, he’d like to draw it early, but he’d only like to draw one, which seems somewhat confusing.

Monored, Boros, or Elves don’t seem like very good matchups for this deck, but I do believe that Ramp and other blue decks are slightly behind here, especially after board when he gains access to the amazing Lodestone Golem.

The nut draw for this deck is something like, turn 1 Quest for the Holy Relic, Ornithopter, turn 2, Memnite, Ornithoper, Glint Hawk, Ornithopter, use Relic to find Argentum Armor and attach it to your original Ornithopter, swing, vindicate a land, have them take 6.

This happens often enough that you better have a plan to deal with it in postboard games.

It is worth noting they do not have to decide what to attach it to until you let them resolve the ability entirely, meaning you have no good time to respond with a Lightning Bolt or Burst Lightning. This is part of the reason why I think this deck is very well-positioned vs Ramp and Monored alike.

Postboard games vs decks with Pyroclasm seem a bit rougher but still winnable. Your plan of going for an Armor is still #1, but you also gain access to Kor Firewalker, Leonin Arbiter and Luminarch Ascensions vs ramp (Ascension is a fast clock).

I am not 100% sold on Tectonic Edge, and I think Brave the Elements is worth considering (possibly over Journey to Nowhere and Basilisk Collar).

Here’s a very different take on UB-Control. There’s actually quite a few variants around, and if you pay careful attention to what spells they play in game 1, it’ll give you more information as to what they could have in their sideboard.

This list eschews any sort of creature that is vulnerable to removal for Calcite Snappers and Sphinx of Jwar Isle. Snapper is a reasonably good blocker, and can go on offense quite easily in control mirrors. Sphinx is hard to deal since the primary win conditions nowadays tend to be ground-based.

I am not sold on Inquisition of Kozilek here but the deck is sort of lacking things to do on turn 1.

One non-Standard deck!:

I like where this decklist is positioned at the moment for the metagame. Your matchups in most game 1s are about 60% except vs Dredge and Goblins. Tight play is essential to this deck, since you don’t want to go around wasting your fetchlands and Brainstorms since they are a lot better once you have a Counterbalance in play.

Postboard especially vs Goblins, you get to answer their guys with a total of 6 sweepers as well as having access to Shackles if the game goes really long. Vs Dredge, you get essentially 6 graveyard hate spells, as well as the ability to sweep their board if they don’t have Flame-Kin Zealot on that turn.

I hope you find that this was a good start to this series of articles. Enjoy the decks!

Any commentary/suggestions are greatly appreciated, either in the forums or via PMing me.