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By: kriskurse, Christian Gage Downs
Feb 12 2014 1:00pm
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Every time a new set is released, the first events following have the same trend. These events of course are more than just fun to some people, and they are looking to win rather than just have a good time. That being said; there is always a trend with these first events following release weekend that I've noticed. A few people are daring enough to try out the new cards from the set to see how they rack up against the decks that they've seen for a while. Others stay with what they know and wait to add anything new until they can get more testing in with those spells.

This week had a similar trend, but to be honest I saw a lot more Born of the Gods than I had expected. Everyone was excited to try out new removal spells, creatures and more. Every best deck before Born of the Gods released got a new toy to play with; All except Mono Blue. Ironically the deck without any toys actually won the event. 

1st Place

 

Mono Blue Devotion has been around for quite some time. In fact, it's actually been around longer than the typical Mono Black we see now. Unfortunately the release of Born of the Gods didn't give this deck a lot of new spells to work with, but Eric didn't let that stop him. With the typical list he took down everyone in his path with the goal of first.

A few cards speculated to do really good in MUD haven't shown up yet. Fated Infatuation and Thassa's Rebuff were both said to be good cards to include in the 75. I don't really think either of these spells are powerful enough to compare to any of the other cards included. Sure in certain situations Fated Infatuation can count for Master of Waves 5 through 8, but that's just the thing. It needs a creature to be effective. If you draw that late game after a boardwipe it is pretty much dead. Thassa's Rebuff isn't much different. If you have no devotion and draw it late game, it's a Syncopate for 0. 

I've always said as long as Mono Blue hits its numbers, it will be hard to stop. I watched him on camera multiple times do just that. Since it isn't too different from other MUD decks I've talked about, we won't linger too long here, so that we can check out new cards introduced to top archetypes. 

2nd Place

G/R Monsters
Kent Ketter 2nd
Creatures
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Stormbreath Dragon
3 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Courser of Kruphix
1 Xenagos, God of Revels
25 cards

Other Spells
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
4 Domri Rade
2 Xenagos, the Reveler
4 Mizzium Mortars
11 cards
Lands
7 Forest
6 Mountain
2 Mutavault
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple of Abandon
1 Temple of Malice
24 cards

Sideboard
2 Arbor Colossus
4 Mistcutter Hydra
2 Plummet
2 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
2 Bow of Nylea
1 Flesh//Blood
2 Unravel the Aether
12 cards
Xenagos, the Reveler

 

This is probably the deck I was most excited to talk about. This deck features the old archetype we are all used to, but with a bunch of new cards to consider for the future. This was the deck in the top 8 with the most Born of the Gods cards featured in it, and obviously it worked for a reason. 

  • The first Born of the Gods card that you would notice is Xenagos, God of Revels. Of course we are used to his planeswalker form causing a splash in old G/R Monsters, but this version of him features a whole new power. His ability makes any creature you want twice as strong, and if you needed give haste to something you need to attack with. Ghor-Clan Rampager and (Purphoros, World Eater) technically have haste with him on the battlefield, and without any more buffs they become a 8/8 and 10/10. 
  • The second card is Courser of Kruphix. Some people were skeptical about its strength because of having to reveal a card from your deck at all times it remains on the field. It kind of takes away the surprise factor from what you drew. I see his strength as being able to gain extra life from land drops. Also, if you find yourself with tons of lands on the top of your deck you can play them instead of any in your hand to insure that you aren't drawing lands turn after turn. 
  • Something else I found interesting was including four copies of Mizzium Mortars. Usually in a deck like this you would see 1 or 2 copies, but here Kent found that he needed the extra removal to push through. 

The sideboard for this deck is about what you would expect from a G/R list. Ranging from Mistcutter Hydra for control or Mono Blue, to Plummet for Desecration Demons he had thought out his sideboard well. A new Born of the Gods card I knew would be included in lists like this is Unravel the Aether. Having the ability to take an Enchantment or Artifact on the battlefield and just shuffle it back into the owners library is huge. Oh you've got a super powerful god that will kill me? Shuffle that in your library please. Detention Sphere my Xenagos? At the end of your turn shuffle that and give me my planeswalker. 

3rd Place

 

Looking at this deck you will notice one thing. It is pretty much Mono Black Devotion without the Devotion. Shedding the typical devotion theme, Dylan had the opportunity to branch out and add white. 

  • 4 Copies of Blood Baron? He is going deep on this one. Blood Baron in my opinion is one of the better creatures in standard. Unblockable to a lot of decks, and a nuisance to others; It shines here because of the amount of threats other than the Blood Barons in this deck. 
  • One of the greatest synergies with Whip of Erebos is included here as well. With an Obzedat in the graveyard, you can whip him back and he is back permanently. Obzedat, Ghost Council is a powerhouse by himself. Before Mono Black ruled the world he used to do tons of work, and I'm excited in the notion that he might be able to make a comeback. 
  • Bile Blight is another card from Born of the Gods I knew would make a huge appearance. Not only would it see play in MBD, but any deck that could afford to be casting double black spells. Pharika's Cure was huge because it could kill smaller creatures and Mutavaults. Bile Blight does a much better job at it. It makes activating more than one Mutavault at a time a risk. Same goes for playing more than one of the same creature. 

Honestly I was surprised to look at this list and not see any Revoke Existence anywhere in the 75. B/W Midrange opens up tons of power that regular Mono Black just can't touch, including Revoke Existence. I remember back in the day me and a good friend would mainboard Revoke because of the high number of artifacts from the scars block. I see a standard in the future that would accept mainboarding a few copies of the spell, because if you think about it almost every top tier deck has at least 1 enchantment to hate on. 

Honorable Mentions:

R/W Burn
Brad Nelson 185th
Creatures
4 Chandra's Phoenix
3 Young Pyromancer
4 Satyr Firedancer
11 cards

Other Spells
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
4 Searing Blood
4 Shock
3 Skullcrack
3 Warleader's Helix
26 cards

Lands
9 Mountain
3 Mutavault
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Temple of Silence
4 Temple of Triumph
1 Temple of Malice
23 cards

Lightning Strike

 

If you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr you know that I idolize Brad Nelson. One day I want to play Magic next to him, and others of his team. Every time he makes or plays a deck I usually pick it up to see if I can match his results and learn from what he learned from. This time would be no exception, if I hadn't already played the deck. A few months ago I played a similar list, but with obvious disadvantages that Born of the Gods gives us.

Satyr Firedancer is the creature this deck was needing. I found time and time again the big decision for the deck was whether to dome your opponent or to kill off a creature they control. He takes out that decision, with the ability to turn even a Boros Charm into a Mizzium Mortars

Another Born of the Gods card included in the 75 is Searing Blood. I go on and on about cards that kill Mutavault, and for good reasons. Mutavault is a 4 of in some decks. When I played Mono Black I even killed a few opponents on the back of just a few Mutavaults. They can be real troublesome and being able to deal with them can sometimes put an opponent off of their game plan. See Pack Rat for example. Pack Rat gets bigger with every activated Mutavault. That is reason enough to kill it in my opinion. 

Notable Cards of the Week:

How long will Brimaz, King of Oreskos keep his 40 dollar pricetag? I'm not sure, but this weekend definitely didn't help cheapen the king of cats. A lot of control decks where using him as a solid blocker or attacker in certain matchups, and I watched a control deck use him to power through a Desecration Demon. While we didn't see a whole lot of Weenie decks show up, I still feel that they are looming in the shadows waiting for their chance to shine. Brimaz is one of this week's Notable Cards because of how much work I saw him do on stream, and the potential power he has in other decks. 

The second Notable Card this week is Courser of Kruphix. My playgroup only saw him as another EDH card waiting to happen, but I was still hoping he would find a place. It looks like he will definitely be an inclusion. a 2/4 body is great against small creature decks, and can be a solid attacker coupled with cards like Xenagos, God of Revels and Ghor-Clan Rampager

Cards I expect to make an appearance:

There are a few cards I didn't see much of this weekend that I was kind of surprised not to. Born of the Gods gave us tons of powerful cards that we can tinker with, but only a few made it through this week. A few of those include cards like Eidolon of Countless Battles. I think he could honestly fit into some kind of Hexproof Shell. I'm working on a Junk version with him in it myself. Also, we did see a little bit of an appearance from Kiora and what she can really do. I'm sure someone will push her limits to the ceiling somehow, but I'm not sure the current version of Bant Walkers does that. I'm also looking for that rogue White Weenie deck to shine through, because Born really gave it a few tools that it can use. 

Revoke Existence and Unravel the Aether are both cards I expect to see more of. Every top deck that I can think of runs some kind of enchantment, and these are great ways to remove them. Not only that, but each has its own special way of getting rid of those pesky enchantments. Revoke Existence exiles, which means it will never come back. With Unravel the Aether, it shuffles the enchantment back into its owners library. You can use that as a way to throw off a little bit of their card advantage if they have scryed at all that turn.

As far as what Impacts this tournament will have online, I'm not too sure it will yet. This Friday we see the release of Born of the Gods online, and I think after that and after everyone gets the cards they want these tournaments will see impacts on the online meta. I believe Mono Black, Mono Blue, and R/G decks will still rule the dailies until the new set is released online. Until then, we wait to see what exactly Born of the Gods has in store for standard. Keep up with me weekly and follow me on Tumblr to see what crazy brews I come up with for this season! 

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MTGO Username: kriskurse

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2 Comments

I am so glad to read this. I by MichelleStroude at Wed, 02/12/2014 - 19:14
MichelleStroude's picture

I am so glad to read this. I need this one for a newbie like me. Good job on this. - Aldo Disorbo

Thanks! by kriskurse at Wed, 02/12/2014 - 23:06
kriskurse's picture

Thanks! I love to hear from people on whattheythin an it means a lot to me that you commented!