Detective: L.A. Crimes Expansion
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To Smash or not to Smash


Right now Standard is all about Mardu Vehicles and Four-Color Saheeli Rai. These two decks are able to apply pressure to games in such efficient, unique, and resilient fashions that they’ve pushed most other decks out of the format. But, there are powerful midrange cards that can interact with these shells in an effective way while proactively preventing games from getting out of hand. When people are getting too cute, Moleria wants to remind them that Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher are still in the format:

Ruins of Oran-Rief
Typically, when pseudo-aggressive midrange decks are the dominant strategy of the format, the best thing to do is go a little bit bigger. When everyone’s playing 1-drops, you want to play 3-drops. If everyone’s on 3-drops, you want to go up to four and five. Moleria has managed to find a way to do that that’s particularly interesting in this format.

Unlicensed Disintegration and Walking Ballista help to ensure that you don’t just lose to Saheeli Rai tricks and that you can kill the large creatures that matter. Your goal is to utilize efficient removal to make sure you don’t fall behind, and your bigger removal spells to make sure you have the biggest threats on the table. Those threats? Reality Smasher and Thought-Knot Seer. These are cards that let you end games very quickly while preventing your opponent from interacting favorably.

Perhaps the most interesting card in this deck is the full four Ruins of Oran-Rief. While slow, this is a card that’s very important in winning a number of fights. First, it lets your Heart of Kiran trump opposing Heart of Kiran. Second, it grows your giant Eldrazi and speeds up the clock even further. Last, it pumps Walking Ballistas more efficiently than just spending mana. That kind of subtle versatility gives you more longevity in protracted midrange fights, which is exactly what you need when you’re looking to come out ahead in trades of removal spells and creatures.

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