I’m going to start us off with a poem.
This formats diverse
with counters, cars, and a cat
Cash me outside.
We all know the biggest joke in that poem was the first line. I saw a roses are red rhyme with that in it and I couldn’t resist. Sorry……. I digress.
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled program! I hope everyone had a great New Years and a fantastic Valentine’s Day!
I also want to take this time and give a shout out, and a great big thank you, to everyone involved in coverage for SCG Regionals. It was an amazing time working with great people. Also thanks to our viewers! We had great interactions in the chat and so many people watching. Thank you for joining us. Also shout out to the guys behind the scenes, you guys are great, and the backbone of all of it.
Today we are going to sit down and chat about some Standard. We’re sitting because there isn’t too much to be excited about currently. We have an official Rock, Paper, Scissors format. Rock relating to G/B, Paper relating to Copycat Combo decks, and Scissors relating to the Vehicles decks.
Currently the format is fast, not turn 4 fast, but players are generally doing something on all of their turns. If you’re not keeping up with that then its easy to fall behind. So either keeping up, or having a plan to catch up, is very important.
In vehicles you have Thraben Inspector, Toolcraft Exemplar, and Inventor’s Apprentice. On the second turn you can have efficient removal spells, Scrapheap Scrounger, and Heart of Kiran. All things that are easy to cast, hit very hard, and are hard to deal with. Making this deck low to the ground and very efficient.
In the green/black decks you have Winding Constrictor, Walking Ballista, Grim Flayer, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade. All of these cards battle extremely well early and have great value going into the late game. That is exactly what Rock style decks are looking for.
The Copycat decks have two styles they tend to use. They have a more controlling Jeskai version which loads up on removal and counter magic to help bridge to the late game. The other is a four color version which uses green filter spells and early creatures to help find and power out the combo, but they’re not simply contained to that. They have Elder Deep Fiends, Aetherworks Marvel, and other value creatures that can win the game by themselves.
These three decks have shown us exactly why they are the top of the format. An “oops, I win.” combo, a blistering fast optimal draw, and a consistent as consistent gets creature deck, but what else is left for us? Are there really no other angles to attack this format from? My confidence in that is not very high, but there is a person who strongly disagrees with me and has put up a result to back it up. That man is Jun Ishihara. He has taken a Sultai Delirium Control deck and been putting up very good results.
This is my revolt! This is where we take a stand and go against the grain.
The initial iteration of the deck was able to 5-0 a Magic Online League. A few weeks later we had an 8-2 record in Standard at Pro Tour Aether Revolt. A week after that two Magic Online users took the deck to a 6-2 finish in the Magic Online Championship Series and another 5-0 in a League. So I have a little bit to be excited about now. This deck hasn’t put up a large number of victories, but the ones that we have are all very good.
My current favorite version of this deck list is:
Sultai Delirium Control
What I love about this deck is that you have 11 things to do on turn 1. All of which either help you sculpt for later turns or Fatally Push something off the board. With most of your spells being instant, other than Traverse the Ulvenwald and Vessel of Nascency, you have a plethora of spells to recast with your Torrential Gearhulk. Not to mention this gives you a potential to bluff just about anything once you hit six mana. The three color mana base worries me a little bit, but with all of the search we have early it is manageable.
What this deck does well:
- Honestly everything.
- Great threats.
- Great removal spells.
- Great search/card draw.
Where this deck will stumble:
- The Mana. With a three color mana base, and the desire to hold up Murder and Disallow on the same turn, we are bound to stumble. We will have turns where we have Negate and Disallow in our hand, but only two blue sources and will get comboed through our counter magic. We will have hands with Negate, Fatal Push, and Grasp of Darkness, but only two black mana. One of them being our only blue source. There will also be draws that end up being three tapped lands in a row.
- Having the wrong cards for the wrong matchups. Negates vs Mardu and Fatal Pushes vs Copycat. Both have some application so they are not completely dead, but they are more narrow than we want.
This is a traditional Rock style deck where we have a 45% matchup versus every deck. If we draw dead cards then it will be a tough win. If we draw the relevant cards then we should have a good game. Games two and three are when we get to cut the dead cards for better sideboard cards and the percentage rises to 55-60%. The reason that I am attracted to decks like these is because we always have a chance to win, and a deck like this gives us different windows for victory. We sacrifice our ability to come to a tournament with a deck that attacks the meta well. One with a majority of 60-80% matchups and a few 30%, for a 45% across the board. Personally anything I can do to lower the amount of variance I see in any given tournament is something I will strive for.
Everyone keeps saying rather than trying to have all the answers, be the guy asking the questions. Well here is my answer. Sultai Delirium Control, Howbow Dat? Okay I’m done. I hope you guys enjoyed this. As revolting as it may have been.
Thanks for reading, and as always, Stay humble and stay hungry.