We are now going into the second week after the pro tour and it seems as though we have found the best avenues to victory in this current standard format. I would like to take some time and talk about the two decks that I would personally recommend to anyone asking me what to play.
I’ll start with my current pet deck and what I believe is a very broken deck: Infect. I mean G/R Pummeler.
For those of you who play Modern, you know that Infect is a very good deck. Even against strong hate the deck can persevere and win games. Little creatures and efficient pump spells go a long way to winning games. Now the difference is we have to use slightly bigger and more expensive creatures and less efficient pump spells. However, standard has even less efficient kill spells so we are at a huge advantage in that area. When you look at this deck it looks sort of like a green Stompy deck and Electrostatic Pummeler is probably not worth what we pay for it. However the deck has so much built in extra energy it’s not even hard to use Pummeler’s ability two to three times in a single attack even in the early turns. Its no secret that Pummeler is a must kill on sight creature, but the actual power in the deck lies in other cards. The most powerful card in the deck lies somewhere in between these two cards:
Blossoming Defense makes it so that when we go to kill someone they need multiple spells just to try to combat us and it really gives this deck a free win aspect. Bristling Hydra can just grind an opponent down before they can try turning corners. That was the biggest issue in the Jund vs. Infect matchup. If Jund had enough kill spells and a threat, Infect couldn’t keep a creature on the floor to win with. Now we have our own Thrun, the Last Troll. You can’t just be on the “kill everything in sight plan” if you’re playing the midrange deck. If we land a Hydra with three extra energy laying around then you’re in some trouble. Now one thing to note; you can respond to the enter the battlefield effect of the Hydra and kill it because the energy isn’t there for the player to use yet.
What I love about this deck is that it is fairly consistent, we have a very low land count, and get to basically play free spells in Attune with Aether that allow you to lower your land count and still hit all the land drops for you to have 5 mana for the most expensive combo kills.
Another part I love about this deck is your opponent really cannot afford to play the game hoping you don’t have it, because there are multiple card combinations that can take them from 20 to 0 with little to no effort.
Another build I am really fond of is the 4-5 color build with Woodland Wanderer and some sweet sideboard cards such as Fevered Visions and Ceremonious Rejection. If I had all of the lands and cards required for that it is the version I would play. But it would require a lot more time with the deck before you can play it optimally. With Reflector Mage on the uptick, it is hard to really sign off on playing a 4 mana threat that doesn’t affect the board when it is played. If the card doesn’t get maged then we are in business because the removal that deals with a threat like this is few and far between. If they do manage to get it off the floor then the Hydra comes down and they have no answer for that.
The second deck I would advocate that you play is W/U Flash/Midrange. The deck is very powerful at every point in the curve and plays multiple cards with an impossible to beat line of text: Flying. What makes the deck so much harder to play against is the Flash aspect of it. Trying to play turn after turn against a deck that always leaves their mana up is so much harder then an opponent who only has a few instant speed spells. The plus to being the person with all of their mana available every turn is your ability to bluff has been buffed.
It could be anything. It could even be a boat.
Luckily the boat doesn’t have flash, otherwise we would all be in trouble. Turn 5 would be the worst turn in history. Is it Archangel Avacyn or is it a boat??? It could be anything.
On top of all of this the deck plays the most powerful planeswalker in standard, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. It is very difficult to beat a deck that can play some cheap flying threats at instant speed, remove one of your threats, at instant speed, and then land a Planeswalker that can take over the game by himself.
The list for this deck is pretty common. You will have the same base with a few flex slot modifications, but here is Brad Carpenters Milwaukee Classic winning list:
Brad Carpenters winning deck
This deck is great. It is the level 1 deck that Bant Company was last format. It plays some of the best cards at any point in the mana curve. Efficient creatures and some removal to back them up. The sideboard being full of counter magic and more threats is great. You have the ability to change up the plan game two and three, and leave your opponent fighting the wrong deck. Blessed Alliance is a concession to the fact that G/R Pummeler is a real deck that people are trying to prepare for. If I was to attend a tournament I would bring one of these two decks. I might try to make a few changes depending on what metagame I believe I will see, but overall these lists are tuned and ready to take on any tournament you have in the near future.
Remember everyone, play tight, and it could even be a boat!
Thanks for reading!
Stay hungry and stay humble