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Turning Off the Generator

This week has flown by and it’s already Friday again. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of Temur and Ramunap Red. I just want to unplug the generator and stop providing everyone with energy! Tokens are cool, but the deck is just so time consuming to play in real life. Not only does the deck have a million triggers but you must flip through your stack of tokens to find the right token your making. Heaven forbid you don’t have tokens, then stuff gets really confusing and you can expect to go to time. I like the deck, I just can’t play it every time. So, I’ve found two sweet decklists for all of you in Standard. One is a Midrange Jund deck and the other is wu Cycle Control deck that is focused around Abandoned Sarcophagus, it looks sweet and is cheap to build. The last deck I’ll be talking about is one I’ve been waiting for to pop up. I’ve been waiting for someone to abuse the new Planeswalker legendary rule in Modern and we finally have the first one popping up. Of course, the one it is trying to abuse most is Gideon, whodathunk it?

I know we have people that love Jund in Modern but what about Jund in Standard? Let’s have a look at a decklist that went undefeated on MTGO in a competitive league.

Arguel's Blood Fast
Oh man, I am not a fan of midrange decks that just do midrange things and nothing else, like bg Snake. However, this deck is playing four great Planeswalkers and has is playing Arguel's Blood Fast. Just sign me up, I’m in love.

The deck has a ton of removal, huge threats, and even some ramp in the form of Ranging Raptors. It’s going to keep the battlefield clear until it can resolve a Planeswalker, Arguel's Blood Fast, or even Glorybringer to clean things up. While I’m not a fan of Bontu's Last Reckoning (I just hate the skipping untapping my lands clause) I understand that it can be important. It is great against Bristling Hydras, Hostage Taker, and decks playing Blossoming Defense. Since the deck has a lot of targeted removal, hexproof creatures can be difficult to remove. That’s why Bontu's Last Reckoning is played but the deck has another answer in Doomfall. You just must kill everything else first then you can make your opponent exile that hexproof threat.

brx control decks in the past refueled by playing Read the Bones and/or Outpost Siege. We have something like Outpost Siege in Chandra, Torch of Defiance. While we don’t have Read the Bones, Arguel's Blood Fast does an excellent Erebos, God of the Dead impersonation. Then we have Nissa, Vital Force, Glorybringer, and Vraska, Relic Seeker to provide more card advantage via removal, making creatures, or just regrowing threats from our graveyard. Apparently, this deck has a tough time dealing with Approach of the Second Sun decks, hence the complete playset of Lost Legacies in the Sideboard. We aren’t losing to Approach of the Second Sun today ladies and gentlemen!

If you’ve been itching to play some Jund in Standard, it looks like Rrozanski has got an excellent starting place if nothing else.

The next deck I want to talk about is a wu control deck. Instead of a ton of countermagic though, we are just cycling a ton of cards and replaying them. Let’s have a look.

Drake Haven
A similar list was floating around when Drake Haven and Abandoned Sarcophagus was spoiled but nothing really stuck. Kashmir has taken those two cards, a good amount of cycle cards and has made a deck that looks solid and fun to play. He also went undefeated in a competitive Magic Online league.

Djeru's Renunciation and Renewed Faith aren’t that great when you’re casting them, but cycling them to dig for cards and/or make 2/2 Drakes is okay. Pair that with Abandoned Sarcophagus and you’re really doing powerful things. It literally just turns the graveyard into your hand. You can even do silly things late game like cycle Hieroglyphic Illumination from your hand and then cast it from your graveyard with Abandoned Sarcophagus in play. Yes, it’s a lot of mana but it’s not something you have to do, just a powerful play you can make if the game is turning into a grind fest.

Cards like Search for Azcanta and even Ipnu Rivulet will can fuel you once you have Abandoned Sarcophagus in play. Speaking of Search for Azcanta, it transforms quickly in this deck because you can just cycle so many of your cards and get seven cards into your graveyard faster than most decks.

While I’m praising Abandoned Sarcophagus let me also warn you, don’t cast this card too early. It does have another clause that while it’s on the battlefield any card with cycling that would go to your graveyard that wasn’t cycled is exiled instead. It really wants you to cycle cards.

One card I’m interested in that apparently didn’t make the cut is New Perspectives. New Perspectives does cost six mana but it also draws you three cards, it can essentially be your Torrential Gearhulk finisher. I say this because it will allow you to make a ton of Drake Tokens at instant speed since all your cycling costs will be reduced to zero. You can also do some silly things like Cast Out your New Perspectives to just Cast Out your Cast Out which will draw you three more cards. Not an interaction that will come up often, but it will a non-zero amount of times.

A nice breath of fresh air from Energy and Ramunap Red. Both these decks look great and more importantly, they not only different, but they are competitive.

The last decklist I would like to visit is a Modern wb Planeswalker Control deck featuring your boy, Gideon.

Gideon of the Trials
WE DID IT! Three different Gideons in a single deck. The deck even tried to abuse the rule even a little further by playing a Liliana, the Last Hope. The deck really does look great against anything at all creature based and even against control decks. Against the midrange and creature decks you can buy time for yourself and your Planeswalkers with Damnation and Lingering Souls. Gideons can end the game if you just have a couple out, you can Damnation and then animate them to attack your opponent for half their life total. The following turn you’ll be able animate them again and either kill your opponent or force them to throw their creatures under the bus.

Typically, you’d think a deck like this has a tough time beating storm decks. I even thought that when first looking at the deck. After grabbing my monocle and inspecting further, I can see that I’m wrong. Thoughtseize and Collective Brutality are great ways to disrupt a storm player. Liliana of the Veil also does an excellent job at disrupting them. On top of all that you have Gideon of the Trials to give you an emblem which will make it harder for them to kill you. Gideon not only makes it harder for a Storm player to kill you, but it also provides a real fast clock. Taking a quarter of your opponent’s life total with each swing while tearing apart their hand is a solid strategy. It gets even better if you have it backed up with Relic of Progenitus. That will shut off their Past in Flames plan which they tend to rely on against a grindy matchup. If that matchup is worse than what I’m seeing, then you can still play something like Rule of Law in the sideboard to combat it.

The two oddities that I don’t quite understand are the singleton Fulminator Mage and Baneslayer Angel. I get that Fulminator works well with Liliana, the Last Hope since you can recur it, but if it works so well, why just one? A singleton to me is typically a card that has a ton of impact. I would think something like Sun Titan. It recurs both Lilianas, Gideon of the Trials, and even Tectonic Edge (though I’d be tempted to run some number of Ghost Quarters with Sun Titan.) Baneslayer Angel seems fine but again I can’t help but wonder if it’s the best option. Is it better than say something like Obzedat, Ghost Council, Noxious Gearhulk, Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Ob Nixilis Reignited? Maybe, maybe not. The only inclusion I’d make is Sun Titan. I think he’s earned his spot now with the Planeswalker rule change.

A great take with the new Planeswalker change on a sweet archetype. I’m all about midrange decks trying to be tier one in Modern!

Sadly, we’ve come to an end! Worry not though, this Friday came by quickly and I’m sure the next one will be here before you know it. Thank you for taking the time to read my articles, especially if you’re one of the people that just reads them every Friday. It really does mean a lot to me and makes me feel like I’m not just writing out into the void.

I appreciate you and you’re all great. Make sure to turn off your generators and give energy a break, at least for a day.

Catch you all next week!

Ali Aintrazi



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