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Stalemate

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It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen a dominant Jeskai deck outside of Miracles in Legacy. It used to be that various flavors of Jeskai featuring Stoneforge Mystic and Delver of Secrets were a defining force in the metagame. That particular deck may be dead, but that doesn’t mean variations on the theme aren’t viable. Given that the format is slower now than it was at that point, building the deck so that it has more card advantage and goes a little bigger seems like a good place to start:


On the surface, this might look like a Jeskai Control deck, and that’s certainly not wrong. However, notice that there’s no real engine to lock down a game as it goes longer. There’s no Counterbalance or Jace, the Mind Sculptor. There’s no Crucible of Worlds plus Wasteland combination. Instead, this is a deck that tries to resolve an early threat and then hide behind Standstill while chipping in for damage.

Grim Lavamancer and Stoneforge Mystic are the premier threats to lead off with, as they both let you chip in for real damage underneath a Standstill. Stoneforge Mystic in particular allows you to cheat in equipment without breaking your own Standstill. These cheap threats combine with Mishra's Factory to let you continue applying real pressure under a Standstill while your opponent tries to find a way to break it without giving up too much.

The rest of the deck is comprised of powerful instant-speed answers. Force of Will and Spellstutter Sprite let you counter key threats, while Swords to Plowshares and Lightning Bolt let you control the board. Snapcaster Mage and Vendilion Clique are flash threats with additional value tacked on so that you can pass with mana up without giving up the ability to apply pressure. This is particularly powerful given that you can follow up with Standstill on the subsequent turn.

If you’re looking for a deck that walks the line between Delver of Secrets and Jace, the Mind Sculptor, this might be a great place to start. It’s been a good while since we’ve last seen Stoneforge Mystic in Legacy, and I’m excited to see if the Kor Artificer can make a comeback.


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