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Core 2021 Standard Set Review with Ali Aintrazi
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Failure is the Best Teacher

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You learn a lot more from failure than you do from success... which is good news for us today!

Last week I played my Esper Planeswalkers deck right here on CoolStuffInc.com, and I would take that deck into last Friday's Magic Online PTQ to do battle. While the deck felt fine we didn't win, but I played against McWinSauce (Tom White) who was playing a very similar list to mine with one big difference:

Felidar Guardian
Saheeli Rai

Rather than trying to win the game with Elspeth, Sun's Champion and a slow grind, Tom and just taken out the Elspeths and Jaces and played as a full combo control deck. As we've seen from Modern the best way to play Felidar Guardian and Saheeli is to make sure they have plenty of things to do when you aren't comboing and Felidar Guardian was naturally awesome in this deck! Flickering Narset, Parter of Veils, Teferi, Time Raveler, Oath of Kaya, or even Prophetic Prism was great, and while Saheeli wasn't as good she could still copy Prophetic Prism or scry in the meantime.

This gave us a powerful you win the game combo that worked great in our control deck, which felt like a natural fit. So I brewed up what I thought was a good version of the deck and got to work.

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:07:18

Match 2 - 00:23:58

Match 3 - 01:06:38

Match 4 - 01:28:43

Match 5 - 01:32:09


Yikes!

While we certainly hit the bad side of variance a number of times, our mana base was pretty rough. Dig Through Time underperformed because so many of our cards stay in play, and we often were unable to cast our spells. However the concept felt good, it just needs a serious tune up.

Nomad Outpost
Mystic Monastery

It is possible that trilands are the solution, as getting basic lands off of Fabled Passage just proved to be far too awkward. Coming into play tapped isn't great, but replacing the Fabled Passage and three of the basic lands gives us a whole bunch more of each colored source. Four color mana bases in Pioneer are going to need some work. It's also possible we just want to cut down one another one of the colors to a very light splash.

Tom posted this list on his twitter and apparently has been crushing it in the past few days, so there is certainly hope for the archetype:

Too often people look at failure as, well failure. But when you are learning a new format or preparing for an event, often failure is better than success because it gives you a chance to learn more and grow. Don't be discouraged and keep brewing!

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