With the first Mythic Championship over, and kudos to Autumn Burchett for a masterful piloting of Mono Blue Tempo, it’s time to go back to brewing. Personally, I like how diverse the meta is and I’m especially happy to see unconventional takes on certain archetypes that did fairly well in the tournament.
Raphael Levy played to a good solid finish with a long forgotten tribe from Ixalan… MERFOLK! According to him, the deck had great match-ups against the meta with a lot less Deafening Clarion. The Simic colors provided the versatility but did not disappoint in the power department.
Ryan Cubit also brought in an awesome ensemble with Mardu Aggro featuring Hero of Precinct One alongside many gold cards spread across curves 1 through 4. The sideboard I would say is also well built to combat the control match-ups.
If you’re not the Blood Crypt type and more of a Breeding Pool person, Joel Larsson put together a very cool looking Bant Midrange that still featured Hero of Precinct One but this time going towards a more go-wide strategy by merging the Selesnya token shell to really explode in value. I really hoped Joel had more screen time because this is by far my favorite Hero list. And this is why I’m building my own version of this list.
First let’s see how my list looks like.
Why did I change a list that already shown great results in a Mythic Championship? Well, because there are great insights we can get when we watch why the top 8 decks won and this didn’t. We’re not saying we’ve solved the variance issue but hear me out on my card choices.
I wanted to increase the density of gold cards to really get the most out of Hero and though we still have some of the token shell left, I feel that if going wide is your primary win condition, just play straight Selesnya tokens.
So why did I remove some of the gold cards if I wanted more of them? For Flower, we’re taking it out because we’re not playing any basic lands. With the decline of Field of Ruins, I think running shocks and checklands is not going to hurt us but will really help get us all 3 colors immediately. I also took out Incubation because I wanted to keep our actual creature count high and I decided to replace it with other split cards which helps us fight the long games.
To replace the good effects of Incubation I replaced it with Militia Bugler. It actually hits 25 out of 29 creatures we have. The only thing it won’t retrieve is the Venerated Loxodon and that’s totally fine. A 2/3 body is also great against aggressive decks and the vigilance is ‘sometimes’ relevant for racing or for casting March of the Multitudes in the mid through late game.
I also raised the copies of Knight of Autumn from 1 to 3 because it’s apparently very good against Mono Blue. Most of the time the MUT pilot would have a Dive Down or Spell Pierce to protect their curious creatures but playing KoA and targeting their Curious Obsession goes around Dive Down, and being a creature spell it also skips through Spell Pierce. I found this interaction pretty strong when tested in ranked games in Arena.
Against Mono Red, Izzet Drakes and WW, the 4 points of life gain is super relevant if you want to race since both decks will try to out-aggro the opponent. He who begins to block loses and KoA makes sure we’re ahead in life totals.
I spoke about changing the split cards in the deck and here are my card choices. Let me explain.
Revival // Revenge is a card I borrowed from Nick Price when I fought his Esper Hero deck in the Store Championship a few weeks back. Revival is such a high value card on its own, allowing us to reanimate 25 of our creatures. Being multicolored also makes it trigger Hero which is an added synergy. We won’t be casting Revenge in this deck and I don’t see any reason why we want to splash black for it anyway.
I was asked by Julio why play this and not Quasiduplicate for the added value. For one thing, double blue is not easy to come by often. And Repudiate is actually useful in some cases. You can use it to counter a Planeswalker going ultimate, counter an Azcanta or Treasure Map from flipping. Have you tried countering a mono red player attempting to blow up his Experimental Frenzy and thought he can unload his hand the next turn? SAVAGE!
Then Replicate serves as additional copies of Mirror Image but able to trigger Hero in the process. Together with Mirror Image, we potentially have 7-8 copies of any one card and my favorite creature to copy is Deputy of Detention hands down!
The one card which I think is still debatable is Depose // Deploy. This used to be a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria but drawing him felt weird. Depose is quite handy early when you tap an opposing Merfolk Trickster or Siren Stormtamer and prevent the MUT deck from attacking, causing the Curious Obsession to fall off. That’s priceless.
Deploy is also quite on-theme with the token strategy but if you do amass a definitive board state against an aggro player, casting Deploy can gain you a butt-load of life at instant speed. Doing this at end step gives you a life buffer to go on an alpha strike and not be afraid of the back swing.
The sideboard is somewhat customized to answer the new meta post-MC. Here’s why I chose the cards I did.
Lavinia comes in against Reclamation decks. Those cheating no-good Nexus decks should never be allowed to play Nexus of Fate by turn 4-5, or cast a huge Banefire or Explosion // Expansion. Though her application is quite limited now, if your meta is full of Reclamation decks then having Lavinia in the side will surely help with the match-up.
Disdainful Stroke and Negate shores up the control match-ups as well. What we’re trying to watch out for are blow out cards like Settle the Wreckage, Kaya’s Wrath, Cry of the Carnarium (not really a problem), Walkers and the likes. In general I think the deck is not badly positioned against control unless they begin using Deafening Clarion again.
Thorn Lieutenant has been a forgotten tech card people used to play against Mono Red back in Amonkhet. However his ability to replace itself when targeted, a 3-toughness for 2, and the ability to scale into a huge creature is indispensable against today’s red decks. He’s also fetchable with Bugler so that’s a plus.
Collision // Colossus was primarily splashed by red decks to kill opposing Lyra Dawnbringers or Drakes and with great effectiveness too. Our deck is not particular good at dealing with fliers so having a multicolored removal supports our Hero’s ability and solves a specific problem. We will see Arclight decks rise thanks to LSV’s stellar finish in the MC.
Lastly, Unbreakable Formation comes in against decks that plan to side in sweepers. The +1/+1 counter from Addendum is also helpful if you plan to get out of Carnarium range (or Clarion). Having the flexibility to deal lethal damage during the combat step, or giving our creatures an insurance policy cannot be discounted.
That’s it for now. I will test this further in Rank and let’s see if I can get out of Gold 🙂 Don’t hate, I haven’t played rank since the season restarted.