facebook

CoolStuffInc.com

Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon bundle only $99.99
   Sign In
Create Account

5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week

Reddit

The Dragons are here, and it's time to see what they can do! This week we've got five awesome decks from across Standard, Modern, and Vintage featuring exciting new technology. Three decks are built featuring new cards and interactions from Dragons of Tarkir in Standard and Modern. Temur Superfriends and Heliod's Pilgrim control in Standard. Collected Company and Training Grounds in Modern. Lotus Cobra in Vintage. We've got plenty of awesome lists to take a look at, so let's go ahead and get started!


A new set, a new #SaitoWayfinder. With every new set, Tomoharu Saito shares upwards of ten decks featuring exciting new cards and interactions from the newest addition to Standard. This time, Saito runs down everything from five-color Dragons to various Mono-colored aggro decks. One of the more exciting decks this time is his take on Temur Superfriends featuring what may be the most exciting card out of Dragons of Tarkir: Sarkhan Unbroken.

This deck is trying to curve out mana creatures and ramp spells into giant Planeswalkers which can dominate the board, even in the face of powerful creatures like Siege Rhino and Goblin Rabblemaster. One of the most interesting things about this deck is how this combination of ramp spells allows you to curve out. Either Rattleclaw Mystic or Sylvan Caryatid allows you to cast Xenagos, Kiora, or Explosive Vegetation on turn three. Another two drop allows you to cast Roast and set up a turn four Sarkhan Unbroken.

What's especially interesting is that this deck plays a full six eight-drops in Ugin and Dragonlord Atarka. The density of ramp spells, as well as both Kiora and Xenagos contributing to generating additional mana sources gives you a more consistent, if less explosive, mechanism of getting up to those high-impact, game-ending spells.

What's more, this is a deck that is more than capable of actively defending its Planeswalkers with efficient blockers like Savage Knuckleblade and Courser of Kruphix. If your opponents are tapping out for Hero's Downfall and Stoke the Flames, you're pretty happy to have the extra time to develop your mana. If they aren't tapping out, you get to start accumulating small advantages that will quickly spiral out of control.


Dragons of Tarkir has more to offer than just splashy Planeswalkers. In his constructed set review, Patrick Chapin has broken down a number of interesting interactions and fringe strategies that may have found the tools they need to break out in the new Standard. One of the most interesting builds is a Heroic Control deck featuring Sage's Reverie.

At various points in this Standard, Blue-White Heroic has been a reasonable deck that attacks the format from a unique direction. One of the biggest strengths and weaknesses of that deck is that it largely tries to ignore what the other player is doing. Beyond interacting with Gods Willing and Valorous Stance, you're just looking build a Baneslayer Angel of sorts and smash your opponent with it.

Sage's Reverie opens up a new option. Being able to draw a card for each Aura you have attached to a Creature means that you can use Pacifism and Heliod's Pilgrim to play a more controlling route. Now you can effectively kill a creature or two early in the game, then Pigrim up a Sage's Reverie to refuel and make one of your heroes enormous.

With so many creatures in the format that generate additional bodies or have powerful Enters the Battlefield effects, it doesn't seem like Pacifism is especially well-positioned, but it may be that the Sage's Reverie engine is powerful enough to overcome that disadvantage, especially when you have the well-proven backup plan of just making a giant monster and crashing in.


There have been a few cards from Dragons of Tarkir that have generated some buzz in Modern. Narset. Atarka's Commander. Dromoka's Command. Carsten Kotter saw something different when he was scouring the spoiler. Carsten saw the makings of a new two-card combo featuring Collected Company to assemble a creature-based finisher. Let's take a look at Carsten's Abzan Collected Company deck.

The exciting new combination involves using Congregation at Dawn to set up your Collected Company to put a two-card combo into play. In this case, Carsten is able to set up a Congregation for Viscera Seer, Melira, Sylvok Outcast, and Kitchen Finks. You can draw Viscera Seer since it's the cheapest combo piece, then Collected Company the other pieces into play. Alternatively, if you already found one of them, you can find various combinations of hate bears and protection.

This combination of cards gives you Birthing Pod-esque access to powerful disruptive creatures like Spellskite and Sin Collector. Having to cast a three-mana instant is more flexible, if less powerful than the format-defining Artifact. Congregation at Dawn also gives you a strange kind of redundancy. Your opponent has to answer the Collected Company or let you get ahead on board and potentially combo. Even if they answer the Collected Company, you can just draw the combo pieces and force your opponent to have additional interaction.

This may not be the herald of the return of a Birthing Pod-style combo deck to the format, but it is an exciting and powerful new interaction with many of the same strengths. All of the pieces are reasonable on their own, and contribute to a flexible and proactive gameplan that just happens to have the ability to combo off when you are presented with an opening.


You Thoughtseize your opponent in Modern and they reveal a hand full of Sultai cards. What kind of effects are you expecting to see? Tarmogoyf and Snapcaster Mage? Sure. Discard and Abrupt Decay? Absolutely. Serum Visions and Tasigur? Fine. What about Training Grounds? This week, Gerry Thompson threw some of his Modern opponents for a loop with the one mana enchantment from Rise of the Eldrazi. Here's his list:

This deck is, in large part, a typical Sultai tempo deck. You fill your graveyard with cantrips and discard spells to jam early Tasigurs and Tarmogoyfs backed by Stubborn Denial to apply pressure while keeping up efficient disruption. One of the problems with these decks is that answers like Path to Exile and Abrupt Decay can easily maneuver around the interaction and give opponents time to get set up. The answer? Training Grounds.

Training Grounds does a lot of work in this deck in conjunction with Tasigur and Pack Rat. These interactions allow you to buy yourself a little bit of tempo with your cheap interactive spells and leverage that advantage very quickly to bury your opponent. With Training Groundss, Tasigur becomes a card advantage engine that is very difficult to beat. Tasigur also creates awkward positions for your opponent where they can give you Training Grounds back off of your first activation if they think they can win quickly. If they don't though, you'll be able to start restocking your hand, killing their stuff, and discarding their remaining cards.

Pack Rat, on the other hand, lets you just kill people. Pack Rat is particularly powerful in a format defined by efficient spot removal. Splinter Twin has the effect of pushing Modern decks to rely on Path to Exile and Abrupt Decay over sweepers like Anger of the Gods and Wrath of God. Don't underestimate how quickly Pack Rat can get out of control when his ability costs just one Black, even in the face of spot removal. It's very reasonable to spend your fourth turn playing Pack Rat, Training Grounds, and making another Rat. Then you can untap and easily make between two and four additional rats, while attacking for eight or more. Games can end very quickly, which is an enormous advantage in the current Modern format.


What can't Gush do? We've seen it as a value engine with Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer. We've seen it as an abusive tempo tool in Temur Delver decks. It's been a combo engine in all kinds of archetypes using Fastbond. This week, Luis Scott-Vargas takes the GushBond combo a step further by adding Monastery Mentor as a win condition and Lotus Cobra as a big mana engine. Is this combination too cute? Or do these new GushBond synergies create unique opportunities to overwhelm or outmaneuver his opponents? Luis took the deck through a Vintage Daily Event to find out.

The exciting thing about this deck is that you get extra angles of attack in a format that is becoming increasingly diverse. You can just grind people out with Monastery Mentor like the various Jeskai or Esper builds of this deck. You can also combo out with GushBond in a similar fashion to Doomsday. Lotus Cobra even makes your splashes into White and Black basically free.

The advantage to this style of Mentor deck over others is that you have the ability to combo off with Gushes instead of just drawing into more countermagic. Instead, you can chain cantrips into Time Walk and just kill your opponent by burying them in prowess triggers. If that doesn't work, you can Yawgmoth's Will and do it all over again.

The big question is whether adding these colors makes the deck more powerful or more vulnerable. You gain access to a number of super powerful cards, but in return your deck becomes more vulnerable to Lightning Bolts and Pyroclasms that are floating around to hate on Young Pyromancer. The good news is that you are less dependent on powerful artifacts and gain access to both Trygon Predator and Nature's Claim against Mishra's Workshop.

We may not know if this deck is the next big thing, but there is one thing that we can be certain of. There are very few things more fun than playing out big turns with Gush plus Fastbond. Adding Lotus Cobra to the mix is one of the very rare things that makes that even more exciting.


Order Dragons of Tarkir boxes and singles from CoolStuffInc.com today!