Wow. Wow. Woooow.
What happened to me?! I guess a lot because it has taken me away from my writing and deckbuilding. I’m still trying to get up to speed with the new standard, or what’s left of it until October. I tried playing in a tournament last weekend and really like how M19 cards like Scapeshift tearing down the tournament before it rotates. Before I even attempt to create decks that are rotation proof, I’d like to revisit some of the cards that will leave Standard soon and see how they fit in with the newer sets.
Among all the Finale cards, I like this one the most. I think it’s the most powerful and is the only stand-alone Finale card. I don’t need to destroy anything or have spells in the graveyard, or tutor big stuff from the library. If you can afford to pay 10 for its X cost, you will net 20-powers worth of 2/2 ground force, and 40-power in the air. It technically reads “if you can’t beat me on your turn, I win the game”.
Revisiting Dominaria we have very good mana rocks that add exponential mana. Coupled with M20’s Galvanic Key 2.0, we can essentially net even more mana by using the key to untap Shard or Lotus and generate even more mana.
When I played using a fun deck last weekend, I saw very aggressive decks like the Boros Feather Deck that killed me out of nowhere with Adanto Vanguard, Tenth District Legionnaire, and Dreadhorde Arcanist which combos really well with pump spells that draw cards and Feather’s replacement ability.
To counter the explosive starts of decks like these, I find sifting through “old but still great” cards in standard. Ixalan’s Binding and Baffling End still hits a lot of relevant targets and Prison Realm is a super addition.
To help us in the card advantage department, we apparently have colorless planeswalkers that provide some kind of card advantage. Since we’re not using blue, beggars can’t be choosers.
Karn, The Great Creator is great at fetching silver bullets from our sideboard, and can also fetch those exiled with a silver counter by his predecessor, the oldie but goodie, Karn, Scion of Urza. The same way Karn, TGC can also fetch the exiled or “manifested” artifact that Ugin creates. The discount benefit Ugin has is also an incidental synergy that ties the entire deck nicely.
In the lands department, we also try to squeeze as much card manipulation and card draw as we can. This is easy because we’re only playing one color so a mana base that consists of colorless lands won’t hurt us as much.
We’re playing a lot of planeswalkers so I thought about adding Interplanar Beacon as well to help gain us back some life especially while we wait to draw our Cleansing Novas or enchantment-based removals. Speaking of walkers, there’s one I really like toying with, and that’s Teyo.
Teyo is a great roadblock that helps us keep our life totals at a health level against Mono-Red, Mono White, Boros and Vampires. The bonus hexproof is also a great mainboard against Thought Erasures, Duress, Lightning Strike, or any targeting effects our opponents may have. He’s built to die so don’t be afraid of creating two 0/3 walls and let him die. His purpose is to get us to our end game.
Here’s the list I’m toying with. It’s very cheap and easy to make. A bonus feature is that we play the Great Parhelion II in the side!
The sideboard is a toolbox-ish of sorts. Fountain of Renewal is fetched against very aggressive decks. It helps us stay afloat and gain us back some life which is very important if we want to stay away from burn range.
Sorcerous Spyglass to combat Teferi, Vivien Reid, Sorin and other pesky activated abilities we don’t want getting used against us.
God-Pharoah Statue is one of our finishers with Karn, TGC. It’s a 6/6 that hits really hard and stops our opponent from casting multiple spells in one turn. Combo-ing with Helm of the Host, we can create an almost unlimited number of Statues that should stop our opponent from playing Magic altogether.
Meteor Golem is also a great target for Helm so you can blow up any nonland permanent turn after turn.
Lastly, my favorite sideboard card is Parhelion II. With Karn, TGC, an animated Parhelion is an 8/8 that creates two 4/4s that will hit a combined 16 damage. Now that’s a massive and flashy exhibition of power.
I was also very excited when I dug up some copies of Amulet of Safekeeping. It’s great against burn deck and hand disruption. It also shrinks the zombies created by Scapeshift decks. It’s a very narrow sideboard but it does serve its purpose pretty well. Mind you, it also shields us from planeswalker abilities (e.g. Ashiok) which is pretty good for 2 mana.
That’s it for now. I just wanted to try writing again amidst my busy schedule. I get prompted that someone, somewhere in this earth, has visited the Lab and I feel very touched that you guys still come by and say hello!