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Adding Blue to Pioneer Sram Auras

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A few weeks ago I showed off a sweet Mono-White Sram Auras aggro deck I brewed up in the new Pioneer format, which was a surprisingly powerful and fun deck that preformed very well for us in the early stages of the format. When discussing possible additions to the deck, the color Blue was brought up as a way to add more power to the deck as well as a level of interaction that White couldn't bring by itself.

Curious Obsession
Stubborn Denial

Curious Obsession seemed to fit perfect into the theme of the deck. It's an aggressive one-mana aura that both draws cards and applies pressure, an almost strict upgrade to something like Cartouche of Solidarity. Sram Auras is certainly a deck that snowballs well and wants to see a critical mass of cards, and Curious Obsession fits right into that shell.

The bigger gain, however, was Stubborn Denial. While something like Brave the Elements or Gods Willing can help protect our creatures from harm, Stubborn Denial is an extremely powerful disruptive element when we've got ferocious, and with so much power pumping in the deck it's not hard to have ferocious as early as turn three with a mana open to counter whatever your opponent may have.

The mana wasn't perfect, but with our Stubborn Denials in tow we were ready to try out a new version of this exciting archetype:

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:08:16

Match 2 - 00:25:05

Match 3 - 00:44:38

Match 4 - 01:04:42

Match 5 - 01:18:46


Ouchie wowie.

That may have been one of the worst leagues I have ever played in my entire Magic career. Basically nothing went right and the deck felt a bit awkward. We played against decks were Stubborn Denial was almost exclusively bad and nothing came together.

Glacial Fortress
Mana Confluence

The biggest thing to note was how bad allied colored mana is in Pioneer. While enemy colored decks get access to fastlands (Spirebluff Canal) and painlands (Shivan Reef) for both colors of mana on turn one, we get stuck with Mana Confluence and Hallowed Fountain. Our only other option to make mana on turn one is Port Town, but there just aren't enough Plains in the deck to support it. This made our mana rather difficult at times and playing against all aggressive decks made Mana Confluence hurt.

I am dumbfounded how poorly this league went compared to how well I was doing with the Mono-White version of the deck, as I had very high expectations for the addition of Blue. While I still think Sram Auras is a sweet deck and that Blue should be good in the deck, more testing of the mana base will be needed as well as a better understanding of how the format shakes out and what kinds of interaction people are playing. If people aren't trying to interact, Curious Obsession may just be too slow to keep up.

I still have faith in the deck, but more work is certainly needed.