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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


With Grand Prix Richmond happening this weekend, Modern is still the format foremost in the minds of many Magic players. This week we're focusing on sixty card formats, with two takes on aggressive Naya decks in Standard, a pair of decks who couldn't possibly be more different in Modern, and an awesome midrange-combo deck in Legacy. We've got five sweet decks for this week, and I can't wait to get started.

Standard is stuck in a spiral of devotion-based midrangey creature decks featuring either Pack Rat or Master of Waves, combo-esque Nykthos decks, and Sphinx's Revelation decks. Is there anything that can break out of the cycle that we've been seeing since early this fall? Brad Nelson thinks this is the time for Naya aggro to break out, and he's got a sweet list to back it up.

What I like about this deck is that it is a truly aggressive deck in a format where everyone else is trying to out-midrange one another. This deck isn't messing around with Nykthos shenanigans or Fanatic of Mogis. There are no Tidebinder Mages and Frostburn Weirds taking up slot that should be creatures which can actually turn sideways and get some work done.

The creature base in this deck is the best aggressive creatures standard has to offer and is backed by an awesome suite of spells. Boros Charm and Brave the Elements are very powerful tools in a format defined by devotion decks and Supreme Verdict. The cards are really good against different decks, but very necessary in the current format. Selesnya Charm gives you game against the various gods running around Standard and also flash threats to fight against Sphinx's Revelation decks.

What I find most exciting is the combination of Boros Charm and pump spells to break board stalls. Ghor-Clan Rampager and Selesnya Charm can swing combats in your favor and can combo with Boros Charm for double-strike to steal games when your opponent tries to block with Elemental tokens. They can play around trample or Brave the Elements but not both.

What happens if you're not interested in playing a fair creature deck? If you want to crush all of the midrangey decks creature decks that Standard can't seem to get away from? That's the direction that _Marian_ is heading in, and he's got a really interesting new take on Hexproof:

This deck seems pretty well positioned right now. People are moving away from Devour Flesh in favor of Detention Sphere and other flexible spot removal spells. Supreme Verdict is the only sweeper you care about, and you have Boros Charm for that. When people are leaning too heavily on spot removal and midrangey haymakers, it's the perfect time for you to just get them by suiting up hexproof creatures.

I think this is especially good because very few people are playing Enchantment removal, which means that you're doubly resilient to most of the things that the rest of the metagame is trying to do.

With combo dominating Pro Tour Born of the Gods, there are bound to be huge shifts in Modern to account for the Pro Tour metagame. So what's a fair player to do if they don't want to join the ranks of the combo players and still want to put up a real fight? Just before Grand Prix Richmond, Patrick Chapin revisited a deck that Gabriel Nassif considered playing in the Pro Tour that not-so-aggressively attacks the unfair decks in the format:

Oh prison. This deck is very hateful towards the various Grapeshot, Griselbrand, and Splinter Twin combo decks. How do Scapeshift decks beat Runed Halo? How does Splinter Twin beat Ghostly Prison? How does Pyromancer Ascension storm beat Leyline of Sanctity? That's not even counting the three maindeck copies of Nevermore that this deck plays.

On top of all of that, you play a pile of sweepers and Gifts Ungiven for Unburial Rites and Elesh Norn to fight through the aggressive decks of the format. The real question is how you battle through the control decks of the format. This deck is designed to make it all but impossible for the unfair decks to execute their gameplan and to drag the game out as long as possible, but doesn't really have a plan to beat Path to Exile decks. Emeria, the Sky Ruin plus Iona is good enough against decks like Jund as long as you take the game long enough, but how do you beat UWx decks with Tectonic Edge and Path to Exile?

If you can solve that problem, then this may just be a deck that can take the metagame by storm.

Slowing the game down to a glacial pace is one approach to attacking a format defined by turn four combo decks. Or you could just go underneath and kill people on turn two. That's what Todd Anderson is considering heading into Grand Prix Richmond with this new take on Griselbrand:

If you just want to get people, this may be the deck to do it. People are prepared for Splinter Twin, for Storm, for Bogles. There are many fewer people who are prepared to fight with fast graveyard decks that can interact at instant speed or that has a real backup plan.

For anyone who is unfamiliar, your plan is to cheat Emrakul or Griselbrand into play utilizing either Faithless Looting plus Goryo's Vengeance or Through the Breach and Breaking // Entering. Then you just kill your opponent by chaining together enough Fury of the Hordes to lethal your opponent.

This deck is fast, resilient, and is under the radar for most people right now after underperforming at Pro Tour Born of the Gods. Is it time for this strategy to take the format by surprise?

Legacy has started to devolve into combo decks and True-Name Nemesis decks. If that's the case, why buy into the Stoneforge Mystic mirrors and hope not to just die to Nemesis plus Umezawa's Jitte? Why not play a disruptive deck that goes over the top of the True-Name Nemesis decks? That's what Nova485 is trying to do with this take on Nic Fit:

This deck is sweet, and it's one that I'm excited to see starting to show up online. You've got the mana engine of Veteran Explorer plus Cabal Therapy, which also lets you interact with the combo decks of the format. You've also got Green Sun's Zenith to give you additional redundancy and also give you access to powerful singletons in the midgame. It's easy to fight through Delver decks by Green Sun's Zenithing for Huntmaster of the Fells, Thragtusk, and Primeval Titan. How exactly are Delver decks supposed to power through something like Primeval Titan?

The really interesting thing about this deck is that you don't just durdle around and try to win with creatures. You're certainly capable of just valuing your opponent to death with powerful Green creatures, but Plan A is to find and resolve a Scapeshift or Burning Wish to just kill your opponent. This means that all of your ramp either lets you play a very fair game where you go over the top of your opponent, but also lets you just ramp into a combo kill that can race against most of the format.

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