Standard Considerations

April 23, 2015

Hey guys,
So today I want to talk about the hot topic of these days and that’s Standard.
Standard is the PTQ Format, it’s the WMCQ Format and it’s the WMC format, if you want to Q for a high level event you WILL play Standard so let’s see what decks I recommend and like in this format.
So first of all let’s see a list of cards from Dragon Maze that are already having a big impact on T2-
Voice of Resurgence
Advent of the Wurm
So basically GW got a lot of good stuff especially Voice of Resurgence
I was really surprised when they printed this card because 2mana creatures that have a bunch of abilities on them tend to be overpoweredinsane (Stoneforge Mystic?)
The other card I’m really excited about from Dragon Maze is Aetherling
This card is straight up unbeatable once it hits play with 1-2 blue mana open. You can’t just sit on that Nephalia Drownyard anymore and wait for them to get milled out because of this card so that’s sweet.
So tons of my friends all around asked me this simple question but yet so complicated – “If you were to play the WMCQ this weekend what would you play?”.
Jeez…never seen such a complicated yet so simple question…
This t2 format reminds me a lot of the old Ravnica t2 format where it was basically a bunch of good decks, around 4-5 “top decks” and then you still have 2-3 more that can easily win a tournament given the right timebuildplayer ect…
So my answer to that question is this – Pick a deck you like the most, play the hell out of it tune it to your stylelocal metagame and understand every situation that comes up while playing the deck so no surprises, oh and have a good sideboard, I find out that often, people underestimate how important the sideboard really is, remember, you are going to play more sideboarded games then game 1s, so know your sideboarding well, not just what to take out and bring in every match up because sometimes it’s going to change depends on their build for example, is that junk player running the Lingering SoulsCraterhoof Behemoth plan or just the straight up Fiend HunterAcidic SlimeSin Collector plan…that way you’ll know how good your Detention Sphere is going to be for example…
I do feel though that you need to have a good plan against these cards as they define the format quit a lot-
Burning Tree Emissary
Sphinx’s Revelation
So basically you need a plan against the fast aggressive decks, against the pure control decks that are going to kill your guysdraw a bunch of cards and probably today kill you with Aetherling (as I don’t see any reason to play any other kill card like Assemble the Legion) and the midrange decks that are going to gain a bunch of life with Thragtusk and grind you out slowly.
So now that I answered a little bit of how you should approach this format here are the decks I would myself consider running (and actually considering since I do need to play the PTQ as I’m not Q’d for Dublin) –

1. UWR Control –


4 Clifftop Retreat

4 Glacial Fortress

1 Moorland Haunt

4 Sulfur Falls

2 Island

4 Hallowed Fountain

1 Desolate Lighthouse

4 Steam Vents

2 Sacred Foundry


2 Aetherling

3 Snapcaster Mage

3 Restoration Angel

3 Augur of Bolas


2 Think Twice

4 Azorius Charm

2 Searing Spear

2 Turn-Burn

2 Supreme Verdict

2 Warleader’s Helix

1 Syncopate

1 Rewind

3 Sphinx’s Revelation

2 Dissipate

2 Pillar of Flame


2 Renounce the Guilds

2 Clone

1 Supreme Verdict

2 Dispel

2 Rest in Peace

2 Jace, Memory Adept

2 Negate

2 Pillar of Flame



I really like the UWR control deck more then esper now, because I think esper lost a lot when they printed Aetherling because the esper player can’t sit anymore and drown you slowly with their yards, and UWR got a lot of sweet cards from Dragon’s Maze in Turn//Burn and Warleader’s Helix a card I’m very impressed with so far as it kills a big variety of threats for example Hellrider, Sire of Insanity and Olivia Voldaren
2. Junk (big shocker right?)
You really need a junk reanimator list?…Doubt it…
I haven’t tried the “new” (hard to say new on this one) junk lists that are running around (mainly adding Sin Collector and Voice of Resurgence) but I do love to collect those sins so that should be sweet.
So junk also got some sweet new cards in Sin Collector and Voice of Resurgence to battle both control and aggressive decks, and Junk in general was always good against the midrange decks as it just fights that battle better due to Unburial Rites and Angel of Serenity
There might be a good bant deck with Advent of the Wurm like Team SCG played at Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze but I tried bant for a while and I think it’s not that good right now but if someone tunes and finds a good decklist out there I’ll be the first one to try it out .

Jund is also a good deck but totally off my style of play.
The problem that I have with the Standard Jund now is that it really depends which part of the deck you draw against which deck…for example if you just draw all those removals against control decks you’re going to have a hard battle against their Sphinx’s Revelation, but Sire of Insanity for sure gave the deck a huge boost.
Another card that I really like from Dragon’s Maze is Blood Baron of Vizkopa, I’m playing with him in my esper Block deck and boy is he a beater, hard to kill, totally destroys any aggressive deck out there and if he won’t shine now he’ll get his chance after the rotation for sure as the card is really good.

So there’s a little about my opinion on the Dragon’s Maze Standard format, but the best advice that I can give you is don’t mess around with too many decks, focus on 1-2 decks that you like(and are actually good) and play the hell out of them to know every out that you got in every situation because this format sure gives you a lot of different situations.

So until next time,

Niv Shmuely

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