He opens on Thaumatic Compass.
What kind of nonsense is this? Did I build this deck or something? LOL.
He gets one swing with the Compass (for a basic Mountain to go with his assorted Sultai (!!!) dual lands) before I see his hand. Three - three (3!!!) - copies of Star of Extinction. I guess he was serious about that basic Mountain.
Okay: Evaluation time, hero. There is no real way to keep him off of Star of Extinction… Except keeping him off of Red mana. Sorcerous Spyglass is doing that for now; but unless Nissa kills him in a hurry he’s going to string together and five assorted somethings-else, right? Right. Do we have a strategy?
Well that’s awkward.
Absolutely nothing that costs a reasonable amount of mana.
And even though I’m totally down with a Compass here and a Star there AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, I’m not crazy enough to main deck four of them!
Absolutely no cards with lasting text against the Fun Police.
So… I have the option of casting or not casting the aforementioned Star of Extinction.
The downside of casting it is that I will blow up 1-2 of my own awakened Forests; you know, some friends of Nissa. I’ll lose a Llanowar Elves and two Planeswalkers. It will be a g-d bloodbath.
On the other hand, if I don’t cast the Star of Extinction he’s going to hit his seventh mana next turn and cast one of the three in hiis hand on me. This way I at least get to take out a land and his Gift.
Okay, so in exchange for a comical seven [out of his deck, not even his hand] and two permanents, I lose a stack of permanents, many of which are better than everything on his side of the ‘field (and probably in his deck).
But that’s okay!
My next trick is a Casualties of War for two or three.
But then a Finale of Revelation (obviously for zero).
You know how this probably goes. I rebuild a little; he gets a Casualties of War of his own, and it’s insane: taking out four permanents, including the Wand.
It all goes downhill from there.
Heroes put up a valiant fight but it’s not to be. We have no way of actually locking out the game in light of a four Star of Extinction / four Casualties of War opposition… And he pulls off the big Finale of Revelation with full regalia.
“Well, as long as you don’t care about the fun police!”
-A bitter loser
II. The Fun Police
Of course it was frustrating.
I picked up kind of early on that I wasn’t going to be winning that game. Even as I was getting two-for-one or better with Chaos Wand for like five consecutive turns I knew I was going to be behind.
All his stuff was awesome against a deck that plays creatures, artifacts, planeswalkers, and of course lands. No enchantments but… Four-for-one is a monster regardless.
Was this a crazy way to play?
I can’t imagine his deck has much game against Mono-Red, but Gift of Paradise has text, and there is obviously enough card advantage to exploit a slow Red Deck draw.
That Sultai-with-Mountains setup is a disaster for seemingly every other kind of deck. Casualties of War is absurd against the format’s high end; and Star of Extinction will often be better. Few Superfriends, Superheroes, or Mass Manipulation-type decks are going to be able to withstand, say, two copies of Star of Extinction as long as anything at all is backing them up.
It’s not that crazy. I mean, you can’t expect to ladder Arena best-of-one this way, but we were on MTGO.
III. Mono-Green Superfriends
Oh what was I playing?
I’m glad you asked!
Mono-Green Superfriends | War Standard | Michael Flores
This deck was inspired by Matt Koerbel’s Top 8 list from a recent Classic.
Most of my main-deck changes were to increase the deck’s early game velocity plus maximize its strongest draws.
I also changed some of the sideboard cards.
Koerbel originally had no Green cards in the sideboard; I figured that there are some Green cards you would actually want to play. For example Vivien Reid is an excellent card against Feather, the Redeemed or Crackling Drake; and is far, far cheaper than Meteor Golem.
This deck has good and bad things going for it.
On the good side, it is an absolute masterwork of synergy. One of the things you will have to learn to do is hold your Nissa's Triumphs. If you wait until you already have Nissa, Who Shakes the World on the battlefield, you can get multiple copies of Karn's Bastion.
Dependig on your mana situation you can play Karn's Bastion, use it, and potentially untap and use it again! It’s actually really easy to get Nissa to Ultimate limit break as long as you are strategic in using your Karn's Bastions.
Karn's Bastion interacts so widely here. Lands proliferate; Jadelight Ranger and Incubation Druid proliferate; all the planeswalkers, of course… and Blast Zone! It’s not just about getting your powerhouses to the max. Your lands all have vigilance; moreover, most of them tap for . So it’s often trivial to be attacking with one or more lands with the option of activating Karn's Bastion during combat.
This is either an on-table or a looming threat. A 3/3 is pretty big, relatively speaking, in Standard; but the prospect of either attacking or blocking (or attacking and blocking) and being able to buff your creatures +1/+1 after you’ve actually caught someone is glorious.
My deck has a little less offense on account of no Wayward Swordtooths; but it also sets up a little faster against Red Decks due to all four copies of Bond of Flourishing and Diamond Mare redundancy in the sideboard.
Speaking of Diamond Mare, I started with four copies and trimmed down to two. I found the card a little inconsistent because this deck actually has a ton of non-Green cards for being Mono-Green. I’ve actually experimented with getting Amulet of Safekeeping immediately just because it slows the opponent’s burn plan down in a pretty meaningful way. Also you get some splash damage on Legion Warboss and Tibalt, Rakish Instigator for a very small investment.
The biggest downside to this strategy is that it’s not the biggest bully in the playground. It’s just not. It’s smaller than Command the Dreadhorde and smaller still than Simic Mass Manipulation. That means that in a fair fight where both decks develop, Mono-Green is likely to be on the losing end of a very big spell. In medium cases the opponent will out-last your interaction and grind past you… In worse ones they’ll turn your own planeswalkers against you.
Other than Mono-Red (aka the Fun Police) this is mostly what I’m playing in Standard and it’s very fun.
But not ONLY! Behold:
IV: Another Perfectly Reasonable Way to Combat the Fun Police
Dimir Control | War Standard | Michael Flores
- Planeswalkers (4)
- 4 Narset, Parter of Veils
- Instants (16)
- 1 Blink of an Eye
- 1 Commence the Endgame
- 2 Cast Down
- 4 Opt
- 4 Radical Idea
- 4 Vraska's Contempt
- Enchantments (1)
- 1 Search for Azcanta
I know Dimir midrange isn’t exactly a groundbreaking new strategy, but I thought it would be a good way to approach the format from a different direction.
First of all - especially in games where you draw God-Eternal Kefnet - this deck is a terror for Mono-Red. Life gain removal plus a durable, flying, Erhnam Djinn make for a horrendous situation for the Red Deck.
I decided to play a bunch of Entrancing Melodies in my sideboard instead of Moment of Craving for a couple of reasons. First of all, you can get lucky and steal their Goblin Chainwhirler sometimes. But even when you can’t, you can get a lot of value with a cheap 1- or 2-casting cost steal.
I played the Narsets, Radical Ideas, and no copies of Chemister's Insight to maximize the God-Eternal and minimize possible interactions against an opposing Teferi, Time Raveler. The biggest downside I’ve seen with this kind of deck so far is just potential reliance on Blast Zone. Unlike a Green deck, Dimir doesn’t easily come back from setting itself back on mana.
But still? A very reasonable deck to play against both the Fun Police, and other