5 Decks You Can’t Miss This Week
We've got Golgari brews in Standard, a new take on Sword of Feast and Famine in Modern, and a Primeval Titan deck in Legacy. It's another week, and we've got five more unique brews for your consideration.Let's dive on in:
Devotion variants are dominating Standard, so where does that leave the players who don't want to play a mono-colored strategy? There are a couple of strategies that you can try, but Sneakattacksgames wants to combine the consistency of the devotion decks with the power and flexibility of the two-color decks. Here's his take on the green-based devotion deck:
Black-Green Devotion - Standard | Sneakattacksgames, 3rd Place MTGO Standard Event
Notice that the only Black card in the maindeck is Grisly Salvage. This is basically a Mono-Green deck splashing Black for Grisly Salvage and sideboard cards. The question is this: is that worth it? Consider that Grisly Salvage finds all of your most important cards. Nykthos. Polukranos. Even Nylea if you want to punch through damage. Whatever pieces you're missing, Grisly Salvage goes a long way towards helping you find them. Sure, you lose some of the explosiveness of the Red builds with Xenagos and Domri Rade, but you can execute the most powerful parts of your strategy much more consistently.
On top of that, you have incredible sideboard options against the controlling decks that tend to give these creature-based devotion decks trouble. You could choose to run Duress or Thoughtseize for Supreme Verdict. You've got removal for the aggressive matchups, Golgari Charm against White Weenie or Detention Spheres, and we're still just scratching the surface.
If you're uncomfortable playing a strategy as inconsistent as Mono-Green, maybe this is a variant you'd be more interested in. Less explosive, but more consistent and with an awesome set of sideboard options for good measure. We haven't seen a ton of Mono-Green recently, but maybe Grisly Salvage ups your threat count enough to help keep up against the Mono-Black removal decks.
Our second deck is also Black-Green and is also creature-based, but these two decks couldn't be much more different. The previous deck was a ramp deck, while funkalicious took a more aggressive approach. Let's take a look at his take on the deck popularized by Brian Kibler and Patrick Chapin:
Black-Green Aggro - Standard | funkalicious , 4th Place MTGO Standard Event
This deck tries to leverage Lotleth Troll to win free games against the decks that aren't prepared to interact profitably with a resilient two-drop. There's only really Detention Sphere and Devour Flesh, but control decks are on the decline, and edicts aren't especially good in Standard right now. You can power up your Zombie Troll with things like Boon Satyr, Dreg Mangler, and Varolz and force through a ton of damage.
This deck is well-positioned right now because many of your threats are resilient, must-answer threats. Boon Satyr, Varolz, Lotleth Troll, and Polukranos are all great exapmles of this. On top of that, you're also in the colors of the best reoval spells and Mistcutter Mydra, so you gain access to incredible sideboard cards against the format to make sure you can interact profitably with your opponent.
The real question is whether this has the power to keep up with cards like Nykthos and Master of Waves. Is Lotleth Troll good enough to give up on the payoffs that devotion provides? There's only one way to find out.
Since the inception of Modern, we've seen a couple of takes on Stoneforge Mystic decks without their namesake card. People try to use Squadron Hawk and Vendilion Clique instead of Jace, the Mind Sculptor; Steelshaper's Gift instead of Stoneforge Mystic, and even Mystical Teachings and Sphinx's Revelation. What happens when you try to go back to the original intent of the CawBlade decks? Grebyn90's new take on this shell focuses on power and tempo, and may be a great starting place for a new deck:
Esper Blade - Modern | grebyn90, 4th Place MTGO Modern Event
My favorite thing about this deck is that it overloads on powerful one- and two- drops. This means that you interact early and often, and have much control over how the first few turns of the game play out. These turns are critical in a format like Modern, and can frequently make the difference between winning and losing.
I really like that Grebyn has given up on Snapcaster Mage and Squadron Hawk in favor of Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant. This dynamic duo both threaten to take over games if your opponenets don't remove them promptly, and put you very far ahead if they live for many turns. I do wish there were a few Snapcaster Mages as way to fill in the curve, run additional copies of all of your disruption spells, and as additional bodies for your Swords.
Could this be the aggro control deck that Modern has been lacking? I don't know, but I'm certainly interested in finding out.
We've seen a few different takes on Verteran Explorer decks in the last few years, but it's been awhile since we've seen a Jund variant. Previous iterations have relied on Burning Wish and Scapeshift to finish games quickly, but osmanozguney has taken this deck in a diferent direction:
Jund Nic Fit - Legacy | osmanozguney, 3rd Place MTGO Legacy Event
This deck is built around a few different interactions, and I like the way that osmanozguney has tried to piece them all together. Fundamentally, this is a Veteran Explorer and Cabal Therapy deck. These give you disruption, ramp, and a stable mana base. This lets you accelerate into powerful four- and five-drops that most Legacy decks aren't prepared to fight against.
Green Sun's Zenith is the second reason that this deck works. If you decided to run a Dryad Arbor, Green Sun's Zenith becomes a mana creature, but it also fills in every other slot on your curve. You can get Veteran Explorer, could get Scavenging Ooze or Tarmogoy if you chose to run them, and then you can go straight up the curve with Eternal Witness, Huntmaster of the Fells, Thragtusk, and [card}Primeval Titan[/card]. Zenith is even a shuffle effect for your Sensei's Divining Top!
Finally, you get to use Primeval Titan to set up your Punishing Fire engine with Grove of the Burnwillows. This engine powers your [card]Liliana of the Veil[card]s and lets you power through opposing Planeswalkers.
The thing that surprises me the most about this deck is that there are zero copies of mana sink lands like Raging Ravine or Kessig Wolf Run so that your Primeval Titan doesn't look silly going up against Swords to Plowshares.
Last week we looked at an interesting take on Shattergang Brothers, and this week we're going to continue our Jund theme from last week by looking at the other new Jund commander: Prossh, Skyraider of Kher. This deck by D@N is all about giant monters, tons of tokens, and attacking for billions of damage:
Food Chain Prossh - Commander | D@N
This is fundamentally a token deck, and runs many of the thematic cards that are typical for that style like Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, andSkullclamp. The difference is that Prossh generates a ton of tokens on his own, every time you cast him. This means that you can use him to generate a ton of mana with cards like Mana Echoes, Earthcraft, Phyrexian Altar, and particularly Food Chain.
This deck utilizes a number of the big mana combos that Prossh enables to power out lethal Exsanguinates, infinite tokens, and other such nonsense. Beyond that, you've got some of the typical Jund flair. Value creatures like Sylvan Primordial, sweepers, and recursion. That means that you have plenty of interactive elements plus the ability to kill the table out of nowhere. Seems like a solid shell to me.
That said, there are a few additional cards I'd consider for this style of deck. Nim Deathmantle seems like a slam dunk in any deck where the Commander is a sacrifice outlet. Perilous Forays lets you ramp up even if you're not comboing. This deck may not have enough mana sinks to really leverage that into an advantage, but other builds might. Things like Purphoros, God of the Forge might give you mechanisms of combo-killing the table that are also helpful when you aren't on the combo plan. I'm also a little concerned at the lack of spot removal for creatures, and might look to add Terminate, Putrefy, Sever the Bloodline, or something similar.