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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Worlds Week is behind us, but there's still plenty of time to explore Magic 2014 before Theros takes us to a land of Heroes, Gods, and Monsters. What kind of awesome things has this new set brought? Let's take a look at some decks featuring Young Pyromancer, Haunted Platemail, and other sweet cards from Magic 2014!

If you ask people what cards they associate with Andrew Cuneo, you're going to get a lot of cards like Ratchet Bomb, Powder Keg, and Wrath of God. Andrew knows his way around Control decks like very few other players, and is a master of building sweeper-based decks. Consequently, it should be no surprise that he's built a Blue-White Control deck for this Standard format. Why is this a deck you don't want to miss? In a word: Trading Post:

This deck is looking to establish an unbeatable game state in the late game using a combination of Sphinx's Revelation and Trading Post. Trading Post awesome in a format full of [card]Sphinx's Revelation and Planeswalkers because it's a repeatable source of card advantage that can't be attacked. People aren't prepared to deal with artifact-based engines right now, and that's when Trading Post Shines.

One of the strangest cards in this deck is Codex Shredder, but even that has a very specific purpose. In conjunction with Trading Post, Codex Shredder is a repeatable Regrowth for cards like Supreme Verdict, Sphinx's Revelation, and Dissipate. It's entirely possible to completely lock your opponent out of the game by rebuying a Dissipate every turn once you've stabilized the board.

The last card I want to bring up is Haunted Plate Mail. This quirky card from Magic 2014 seemed like a mediocre limited card, but Andrew has turned it into a recursive win condition and awesome blocker that is resilient to your own sweepers and sorcery-speed removal. On top of that, it's both a Creature and an Aritfact for Trading Post! The haymakers in this format may be just a little too powerful for this deck right now, but this deck loses very little in rotation and may be a starting point for Theros Standard.

Our next deck is yet another take on Young Pyromancer, this time in Standard. During preview season, there was a lot of speculation that Pyromancer would make the Burn at the Stake combo deck much more powerful and consistent, but we haven't really seen that come to fruition just yet. Scrubbi is looking to change that with his take on the archetype:

With this deck, you spend your first few turns putting a mess of tokens into play using Young Pyromancer, Lingering Souls and Krenko's Command. In previous builds, once you'd amassed an army of tokens, you start casting Battle Hymns into Faithless Looting and try to combo off. Instead, Scrubbi has gone for a aggressive take on this archetype.

Instead of banking on Faithless Looting, Past in Flames, and Battle Hymn to generate the mana you need, Scrubbi just wants to put a pile of tokens into play and kill you with Hellrider and Intangible Virtue. If that doesn't work, then he'll slam an Ogre Battledriver and the flashback on his Lingering Souls will bring the hasty beats.

My biggest issue with this deck is that you don't really have a way to grind out games against the more explosive decks. Before, you'd have something like Vault of the Archangel or Path of Bravery to swing races in your favor. Instead, you're all in on Hellrider an [card[Intangible Virtue[/card] to make sure you come out ahead. This change does give you a more consistent, proactive game plan against control decks, but at the cost of shoring up more aggressive matchups.

Before Cloudpost was banned, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn was the most powerful thing you could be doing in Modern by a good margin. After Pro Tour Philadelphia, Cloudpost was banned, but people kept looking for ways to cheat Emrakul into play. One of the most interesting and innovative takes used hideaway lands from Lorwyn so that you even got the Time Walk trigger. These decks fell out of favor as Jund and its variants became more popular, but pmonsieurs hasn't given up on his Primeval Titans just yet:

This is one of the sweetest Knight of the Reliquary decks that we've seen in a long time. Your gameplan plays out in one of a few ways. You just just curve out mana creatures into Primeval Titan or Knight of the Reliquary, tutor up a hideaway land, and cheat in Emrakul.

Alternatively, you can just Summoning Trap or Through the Breach in a gigantic fatty or just kill them with Primeval Titan plus Kessig Wolf Run. This deck seems sweet because your giant creatures give you game against Jund while your Summoning Traps let you steal games against the UWR variants.

My biggest concern with this deck is that you're basically a combo deck that's a turn slower and slightly less resilient than most of the other combo in the format. That said, you're more resilient than something like the Goryo's Vengeance and Amulet of Vigor decks and have a solid backup plan like the Birthing Pod decks, so you've certainly got game.

Our next list is still another take on Young Pyromancer, this time for Modern. URx Delver decks dominated the format for the first few months until the format became more polarized and Jund became the midrange deck of choice. Young Pyromancer transforms those anemic Delver decks into tempo decks with aggressive starts besides turn one Delver. Once you get out ahead with a Young Pyromancer, it's very difficult for your opponent to catch up again. Let's take a look at DireNTropy's take from a recent Daily Event:

This is the first deck that we've seen in awhile that can reasonably run Spell Pierce. Most of the other Delver decks we've seen were actually midrange decks leaning on the power of Cryptic Command to close out games. This is an actual tempo deck; one that forces your opponents to play into your Mana Leaks and Spell Pierces, and that's a powerful place to be.

I'm especially excited about the maindeck Blood Moon and Magma Spray. There are a lot of decks that get completely turned off by Blood Moon. I'd like to see more of these, but a three drop that doesn't affect the board is not really where you want to be, so overloading on these is certainly bad. Magma Spray, however, is an awesome card to run a few copies of. While it can't go to the face, it's still an efficient answer to Deathrite Shaman, Dark Confidant while shutting off cards like Reveillark, Kitchen Finks, and Voice of Resurgence.

I love aggressive decks in Commander. People believe that Commander is a controlling format; that aggro decks can't compete with multiple opponents and the increased life total. There's nothing I like better than watching those people get smashed by Red-based aggressive decks. As such, it should be no surprised that I was super excited when CMDRDecks featured Karston of Top and Go Productions and his Zo-Zu, the Punisher Commander deck.

Recursive damage, haste, and being able to manipulate the combat step. These are all the compnents of a successful multiplayer aggro deck, and Karsten has them in spades. I'm a little bit leery of cards like Vedalken Orrery that don't deal damage. Flexibility is powerful, but you always have to weigh that against the potential damage output of the cards that could be in that slot.

Visit CoolStuffInc at Gen Con Indy 2013, August 15 through 18!