Standard’s hidden Marvels

After the results from the last few GP’s and SCG’s you may be inclined to say this standard format is completely solved and there are only 2 real contenders: Blue/White Flash and Green/Black Delirium. Having played and been successful with both archetypes I was in that same camp until about a week ago. Around that time MTGO grinder, and legend “Jaberwocki” (twitch.tv/jaberwocki) was busy tuning the Green/Red Aetherworks Marvel deck for the standard championships, which he was able to take down handedly. Previous versions of this deck were more or less all in on the Aetherworks plan, and if that got disrupted you were dead in the water. This new version takes a more midrange approach and can easily play a fair game, while still having the potential to turn 4 “combo” and cheat out an Emrakul.

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As you can see by the decklist, this is a considerable detour from the original Temur version that was made popular at the pro tour. The main innovation to this list is the Inclusion of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Ishkana, Grafwidow in the main deck. Chandra really shines in this deck, and lives up to the hype she generated during spoilers. All 3 of her modes are extremely relevant at different stages of the game, but the most under-rated is the Rite of Flame ramp ability. This helps power out hard-cast Emrakuls or allows you to make multiple plays in one turn. It is also not trivial to ultimate her and generate an emblem, which usually ends the game on the spot. Lastly, her inclusion lets you attack opponents from another angle, diverting their resources while you set up your alternate win cons in Marvel and Emrakul. The fact she adds another card type to the graveyard is just an added bonus, making a hard cast Emrakul even more attainable. Ishkana is no slouch in this deck either. Not only does the legendary spider buy you a ton of time in the midgame, but often times is a big enough threat to just win on its own.

Interaction in the form of Kozilek’s Return and Harnessed Lightning are another feature of this list which really help to shore up the Blue/White Flash matchup, which was previously unwinnable. While it still isn’t my favorite deck to face, if they don’t have a perfect curve, our late game can steal wins. The added removal also does solid work against other creature decks like Vehicles and Red/Black Aggro.

Despite slowing down our “combo”, this list still has an insanely good matchup versus the Green/Black menace that has been dominating, and also just bully’s out the other fringe decks with our haymakers. The one archetype you really want to avoid with this deck is dedicated control. Counters are a nightmare to beat, but the saving grace is that post board we have a ton of must counter threats. You can put them to the test every turn making them have an answer, or potentially die. This style of deck is also not very popular at the moment, so that’s another point in our favor.

Now with such a straightforward game plan, I’m sure many of you are wondering how to sideboard without diluting our deck. Lucky for you I have compiled a sideboard guide for all of the popular matchups below.

U/W Flash

-2 Kozilek’s Return
-2 Tormenting Voice
-1 Emrakul, the Promised End
-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
-1 Aetherworks Marvel
-1 Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot

+2 Tears of Valakut
+2 Natural State
+3 Tireless Tracker
+1 World Breaker

B/G Delirium (on draw)

-2 Kozilek’s Return
-2 Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot
-1 Tormenting Voice

+3 Tireless Tracker
+1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
+1 Nissa, Vital Force

B/G Delirium (on play)

-2 Kozilek’s Return
-2 Harnessed Lightning
-1 Tormenting Voice

+3 Tireless Tracker
+1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
+1 Nissa, Vital Force

Mirror and Control

-4 Harnessed Lightning
-2 Kozilek’s Return
-2 Tormenting Voice

+4 Tireless Tracker
+1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
+1 Nissa, Vital Force
+1 World Breaker
+1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Mardu, R/W Vehicles

-1 Emrakul, The Promised End
-2 Tormenting Voice

+1 Kozilek’s Return
+2 Natural State

R/B Aggro

-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
-1 Emrakul, the Promised End
-2 Tormenting Voice

+2 Natural State
+2 Kozilek’s Return

U/R Fevered Visions

-2 Kozilek’s Return
-2 Tormenting Voice
-1 Emrakul, the Promised End

+2 Natural State
+1 Appetite for the Unnatural
+1 World Breaker
+1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Well that should just about cover every deck you would expect to face. When in doubt, keep sideboarding to a minimum against rogue strategies and just rely on your main plan. Hope this article was educational and inspired some of you to pick the deck up and give it a spin. Once again just want to give a shout out to Jaberwocki (twitch.tv/jaberwocki) for coming up with the list and for help on the sideboarding. I will catch you all next time!

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