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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
May 01 2015 11:00am
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  It is strange writing about Standard again (I know I just did it last week but bear with me). About a month ago I sold all I had so I could focus on Modern and Legacy but things change. I decided I really want to focus on becoming a better player and getting somewhere with my game. My goal is to make it to the pro tour and I want to do all I can to do so. In paper I still play all formats but on MTGO I want to play events that I can do MOCS or PPTQs and PTQs. I will always play modern and I built a new deck that I am enjoying but I will be focusing on standard and hoping to break into draft as well. (chances are I will be talking to some of you drafters for tips and guidance)

    So if I want to focus on Standard now that means I want to build decks on MTGO that I can not only win with but that I will enjoy and hopefully have built in paper as well so my game will improve in both platforms. Now if only there was a large event where a ton of the greatest minds in magic played standard so that I could peruse some deck lists and figure what is best to play.... oh wait there was!

     The Pro Tour did not disappoint as far as interesting decks and cool matches to watch. Yes there were other things like some cheating, DQs, and high drama judge calls but I will not be focusing on those... I want to focus on the deck lists. There were new innovative lists, there were old archetypes that were just upgraded, and there were  the old standbys that were around since magic was created.

     Who would have thought that in the end it would be Red aggro against vs a Blue based control deck? That has been happening since the beginning and it will be happening for years to come. Aggro came out on top and of course that makes me happy but I will not be talking about that list today. I covered it last week and the splash of green was not much different than a list my buddy took to SCG Syracuse to get 10th place. The UB control list was a bit more interesting though.

UB Control
 
Creatures
0 cards

Other Spells
0 cards
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Dragonlord Silumgar
3 Icefall Regent
1 Silumgar, the Drifting Death
3 Crux of Fate
2 Thoughtseize
2 Bile Blight
3 Dig Through Time
2 Dissolve
2 Foul-Tongue Invocation
3 Hero's Downfall
3 Jace's Ingenuity
1 Murderous Cut
4 Silumgar's Scorn
2 Ultimate Price
1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon 2 Opulent Palace
18 cards
23 cards
18 cards
Lands
4 Dismal Backwater
4 Polluted Delta
4 Temple of Deceit
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
6 Island
3 Swamp
23 cards

Dissolve

     (Note: The Sideboard is missing 2 Stratus Dancer, 1 Virulent Plague, and 1 Dragonlord's Prerogative)

I actually really like this list. The dragons in it are sweet and serve dual purposes.

Dragonlord SilumgarIcefall RegentSilumgar, the Drifting Death

    Not only can they win you the game by just attacking, they also have very sweet abilities that makes things very difficult once they resolve. Old Silumgar having hexproof and the ability to wipe out x/1s is pretty sweet. Then the new Elder being a Control Magic on a stick also being pretty great. Then when you add in Icefall Regent it all just gets better. As if that wasn't enough they also turn on some pretty sweet spells.

Foul-Tongue InvocationSilumgar's ScornDragonlord's Prerogative

     I really like these series of spells. The if you reveal/have a dragon clause is pretty great and this deck takes full advantage of it with the 6 dragons. Foul-Tongue is pretty cool and the gaining life is very relevant with all of the aggro running around. With Scorn we finally have a solid 2 mana counterspell because even it being a Force Spike is pretty relevant when most players tap out to play their spells. The last one being a draw 4 that other control decks can't counter is almost a game winner in itself when in those mirrors card advantage is really key.

   Up next is a list that did not top 8 but I really enjoyed it mostly because I had something similar to it since RTR was legal.

Strength from the Fallen/Constellation
 
Creatures
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Eidolon of Blossoms
4 Boon Satyr
2 Nylea, God of the Hunt
26 cards

Other Spells
26 cards
4 Strength from the Fallen
4 Commune with the Gods
1 Chord of Calling
4 Den Protector
9 cards
21 cards
9 cards
Lands
1 Swamp
8 Forest
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Llanowar Wastes
4 Temple of Malady
21 cards
 
strength from the fallen

     Stephen Madden brought this to Pro Tour and this deck is really sweet. The black lands are for his sideboard which I was not able to find just yet. I know he brought in Thoughtseize and other cards just not sure exactly what. I first saw this in action on a feature match when he played against Owen Turtenwald. It quickly caught my attention when he forced Owen to Abzan Charm a Satyr Wayfinder just to stay alive. You can watch the deck tech here.

     Are there any decks that I would say are the best decks in the format? Honestly there are a few. I think that Abzan Aggro is pretty great and as long as it's mana cooperates. I am also a big fan of the G/R Dragons deck. There was 1 in the top 8 of the PT and Chris VanMeter also won SCG Syracuse with it. It just runs some of the best cards in the format and they are pretty powerful together. I also can't ignore the fact that R/g Aggro won the tour. The combination of cheap creatures and Atarka's command is something you will have to be prepared to beat or be prepared to get beat by it. If you hate aggro, then there are plenty of Mid-range and Control options to go with as well and I would start with an Abzan Control list or the UB list that got 2nd in Belgium.

     There are tons of other decks that performed very well in Belgium but I wanted to highlight these. Personally I am still playing Jeskai Tokens in paper and just built it on MTGO as well. I just love the synergies the deck has and am a big fan of Jeskai Ascendancy. There are plenty of good versions of that deck and currently I am just running 4 Seeker of the Way as my only creatures. I am leaning towards trying out Dragonlord Ojutai but he is pretty pricy. I do love some of the new cards that were added to the deck like Anticipate and Secure the Wastes. Having 2 more instants really makes this deck a lot better especially since one of them can help find the cards you need to get you out of a sticky situation. As for the board I lean toward the trans-formative one that goes heavy on control with counterspells and removal. I am also debating having Elspeth, Sun's Champion as well. There are just certain decks that cannot beat her and that is huge selling point.

     I am most likely going to build the Strength from the Fallen deck as well because I just feel like it will be a lot of fun to play. Though as I mentioned earlier I am most likely going to add a bit more black for things like Tasigur, the Golden Fang and possibly even Doomwake Giant if Red and Jeskai still continue to be popular. I am still tuning and testing the GW aggro deck that I posted last week as well and still feel like it can be a threat in the current meta mostly because if how sweet Dromoka's Command is. The creatures and other spells along with the mana base all need some work but that's what testing is for. Right now I am favoring only a few 1 drops in the form of (Warden of the  First Tree). I like that he gets bigger and can be a mana sink when you get to the late game. Other than that I am still a similar list to what I posted last week.

     I would love to hear your input. What did you think of the Tour? What Standard decks are you planning on sleeving or loading up? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a message anytime you see me online! Until then.

     P.S. I know I mentioned Modern as well and for the first time in a very long time I am not playing Aggro. I put together a UW Control list that I will be testing, tuning, and most likely doing some videos with to show all of you.