New Set, New Bans, and New Brews

So I’ll just come right out and talk about the elephant in the room, the new standard bans. In case you are living under a rock, Emrakul, the Promised End, Smuggler’s Copter, and Reflector Mage just got the axe. It had been over five years since standard had seen a ban, and back then it was Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and Stoneforge Mystic that got hit. Two insanely powerful cards that still pull their weight in legacy. While I don’t believe any of the standard cards that just got banned are on this level (Emrakul perhaps, but certainly not the other two), they were warping the format in a way Wizards deemed unappealing. I don’t want to get too much into the “why” because there are plenty of people that beat me to that, but rather the pros and cons of this precedent.

Pros:
-Wizards will be free to push the envelope on new card types (I.E. Vehicles) and mechanics, with the crutch that a ban can fix a problem should it arise.

-The new second ban update 5 weeks after the pro tour could lead to a “rolling” ban list, potentially unbanning cards already on the list, or banning new offenders (**cough** Saheeli Combo **cough**). This will help keep standard fresh and entertaining.

-The new cards will see more play and formerly oppressed decks will spring up.

-More diversity in the format

Cons:
-Consumers may be more hesitant to “invest” in 4 copies of that new $30 mythic when it may end up getting banned in the near future.

-Slightly less faith in the brand. May also be harder to keep up on standard especially for those with a smaller budget.

-Nerfing/destroying strategies you enjoyed.

That’s my short list I came up with on the fly, but I would love to hear any more you have in the comments section. I’m sure I’ve missed some. I personally think the pros far outweigh the cons here. I am even one of the people “hurt” most by the ban, since I owned 4 copies of copter, and Emrakul in both paper and MTGO. My decks of choice were even nerfed as I had the most success with U/W flash and R/G Marvel! That said, I understand how oppressive and not fun these cards could be and am totally on board with the bans. There’s nothing like a completely new standard environment to get the creative juices flowing. Which leads me right into my two rough draft brews for Aether Revolt Standard.

First up is the somewhat obvious choice of Jeskai “copycat” which utilizes the new Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian infinite combo in a controlling shell. While I believe there may also be a more midrange/tempo shell, I wanted to start with something that’s already established itself as a contender.

This list is definitely not perfectly tuned, especially the sideboard which is basically just a collection of 15 cards in our colors, but the main deck plan is definitely a viable one. I think this shell will definitely be a good starting point for standard. Now if control isn’t your thing, my other brew today is G/W tokens. Sram’s Expertise and Oath of Ajani seem like great additions to this strategy and I’m excited to give them a try. Here’s a preliminary list:

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Once again, this is a pretty un-tuned. There are so many competing choices in G/W it’s hard to choose what to play. Other two drops could include Selfless Spirit, Lambholt Pacifist, Walking Ballista and possibly even Heart of Kiran. Tireless tracker could be a worthy inclusion and collective effort might be a nice utility spell. I could see Verdurous Gearhulk being a more powerful 5 drop in this deck, but Avacyn is hard to cut. I think once we see how the metagame fleshes out, narrowing down card choices will be easier.

Lastly, we can’t forget to touch on modern. Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll were banned the other week as well. While the banning of these two cards won’t completely kill any strategies, it does nerf a couple of decks. Grave-troll clearly affects only dredge, but losing it is a pretty big hit to the deck. They will now have to play Golgari Thug as a replacement dredger which is considerably less explosive, and doesn’t offer the same plan B Grave-Troll did. When coupled with Cathartic Reunion and the Bloodghast/Amalgam Engine, it is still a powerful strategy Especially with people packing less graveyard hate. I think the deck will continue to exist in smaller numbers, but wont be enemy number one anymore. Gitaxian probe on the other hand, was widely played in a number of different strategies, but wasn’t exactly integral to any deck. Storm, Infect, Death Shadow Variants, Grixis Delver, and U/R Thing in the Ice all come to mind and each used it for different reasons. They all benefited from the cantrip and peek effect. These decks will now have to alter their configurations a bit, but I think most of them will bounce back. The Death Shadow and Thing in the Ice decks will probably have the hardest time though. Not only does losing the free spell and perfect info hurt, but the new card fatal push will be tough to beat, as it kills all of their threats for just 1 mana.

Speaking of Fatal push, I think this card is great and will make a big splash in modern. I’ve always been a huge fan of Abzan myself, and I think this will be the piece that finally makes it truly a contender with old trusty Jund. Here is what I’ll be starting with.

Two Fatal push seems like a safe place to start and depending on how well it performs and what the meta looks like, I will adjust accordingly.

That’s all from me for this week. If you are interested in watching me test some of these decks live, make sure to follow my twitch stream at twitch.tv/maxmitchell3001. Also, make sure to let me know what decks you are excited to play after Aether Revolt launches in either modern or standard! Good luck in any release weekend tournaments and until next time.

MTGO: Mitchapalooza
Twitter: @maxmitchell3000
Twitch: Twitch.tv/maxmitchell3001

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Deck lists for Yu-Gi-Oh Legacy of the Valiant Regional Qualifier 4/19/14

1st Place: Aaron Furman – Mermails

Monsters
3 Mermail Abysspike
2 Aqua Spirit
2 Mermail Abyssturge
3 Mermail Abysslinde
2 Cardcar D
1 Mermail Abyssgunde
2 Atlantean Marksman
3 Mermail Abyssteus
1 Mermail Abysshilde
1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
1 Mermail Abyssocea
1 Atlantean Dragoons

Spells
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Upstart Goblin

Traps
2 Chain Whirlwind
3 Abyss-Sphere
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Abyss-Squall

Side Deck
3 Debunk
3 D.D. Crow
3 Maxx “C”
2 Overworked
2 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
3 Black Horn of Heaven

Extra Deck
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Mermail Abyssgaios
1 Mermail Abysstrite
1 Mechquipped Angineer
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Bahamut Shark
1 Lavalval Chain
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Abyss Dweller

 

 

2nd Place: Garon Williams – Spellbooks

Monsters
3 High Priestess of Prophecy
3 Justice of Prophecy
3 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy
3 Maxx “C”

Spells
3 Spellbook of Secrets
3 Spellbook Library of the Crescent
3 Upstart Goblin
2 The Grand Spellbook Tower
2 Spellbook of Wisdom
2 Spellbook of Eternity
2 Spellbook of the Master
2 Pot of Duality
1 Spellbook of Fate
1 Spellbook of Life
2 Spellbook of Power

Traps
3 Fiendish Chain
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Warning
1 Bottomless Trap Hole

Side Deck
2 Apprentice Magician
2 Jowgen the Spiritualist
1 Old Vindictive Magician
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Book of Moon
1 Dimensional Fissure
2 Retort
2 Black Horn of Heaven

Extra Deck
1 Armored Kappa
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
2 Herald of Pure Light
1 Daigusto Phoenix
2 Shining Elf
1 Downerd Magician
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
1 Hierophant of Prophecy
2 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

 

 

3rd Place: Matthew Bailey – Noble Knights

Monsters
3 Noble Knight Borz
1 Honest
3 Effect Veiler
3 Noble Knight Medraut
2 Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms
2 Noble Knight Drystan
1 Noble Knight Gwalchavad
2 Noble Knight Gawayn

Spells
3 Kaiser Colosseum
3 Forbidden Lance
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Noble Arms – Excaliburn
2 Noble Arms of Destiny
3 Upstart Goblin
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr
1 Noble Arms – Gallatin
1 Noble Arms – Caliburn

Traps
1 Solemn Warning
1 Pinpoint Guard
1 Torrential Tribute

Side Deck
1 Twister
1 Dimensional Fissure
2 Maxx “C”
2 Vanity’s Emptiness
2 Needle Ceiling
2 Imperial Iron Wall
2 Mistake
3 Royal Decree

Extra Deck
1 Starliege Paladynamo
1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Blade Armor Ninja
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Lavalval Chain
1 Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn
1 Constellar Omega
2 Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights
1 Number 61: Volcasaurus

 

 

4th Place: Nick Fritzen – Bujins

Monsters
3 Bujin Yamato
2 Bujin Mikazuchi
3 Bujingi Crane
2 Bujingi Turtle
2 Bujingi Hare
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Honest
1 Bujingi Quilin

Spells
3 Fire Formation – Tenki
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Dark Hole
2 Upstart Goblin
3 Pot of Duality
2 Kaiser Colosseum
2 Bujincarnation
2 Forbidden Lance
1 Book of Moon

Traps
3 Fiendish Chain
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Torrential Tribute

Side Deck
2 Effect Veiler
2 Maxx “C”
1 Swords of Concealing
2 Twister
1 Mind Crush
2 Memory of an Adversary
1 Black Horn of Heaven
1 Divine Wrath
3 Royal Decree

Extra Deck
2 Bujintei Susanowo
2 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Constellar Omega
1 Starliege Paladynamo
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King

 

 

5th Place: Nicholas Cook

Monsters
3 Evilswarm Heliotrope
3 Evilswarm Thunderbird
3 Evilswarm Castor
3 Evilswarm Mandragora
3 Evilswarm Kerkyion
1 Rescue Rabbit

Spells
3 Infestation Pandemic
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Book of Moon
1 Reinforcement of the Army

Traps
2 Black Horn of Heaven
3 Fiendish Chain
2 Mirror Force
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Seven Tools of the Bandit
1 Macros Cosmos
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Warning
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Infestation Infection

Side Deck
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Dark Hole
1 Dimensional Fissure
1 Twister
2 System Down
1 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
1 Soul Drain
2 Overworked
2 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
2 DNA Surgery
1 Black Horn of Heaven

Extra Deck
3 Evilswarm Ophion
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Evilswarm Bahamut
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Number 66: Master Key Beetle
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Number 85: Crazy Box
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Evolzar Laggia
1 Evolzar Dolkka

 

 

6th Place: Vincent Silverman – Mermails

Monsters
2 Genex Undine
2 Genex Controller
3 Mermail Abyssteus
2 Mermail Abyssmegalo
1 Mermail Abyssleed
1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
3 Mermail Abysspike
1 Mermail Abyssturge
3 Mermail Abysslinde
1 Mermail Abyssgunde
1 Atlantean Dragoons
3 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
3 Atlantean Marksman
1 Dragon Ice
1 Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord
1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness

Spells
2 Salvage
1 Dark Hole
1 Gold Sarcophagus
1 Allure of Darkness

Traps
3 Abyss-Sphere
1 Solemn warning
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Bottomless Trap Hole

Side Deck
2 D.D. Crow
2 Effect Veiler
2 Black Horn of Heaven
3 Mind Crush
3 Maxx “C”
3 Mystical Space Typhoon

Extra Deck
2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
2 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree
1 Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons
1 Black rose Dragon
1 Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Mermail Abyssgaios
1 Lavalval Chain
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines

 

 

7th Place: Michael S. – 3 Axis Fire Fists

Monsters
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster
1 Coach Soldier Wolfbark
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Gorilla
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Leopard
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit

Spells
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Fire Formation – Tenki
3 Fire Formation – Tensu
1 Dark Hole
2 Fire Formation – Goyokkou
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Rekindling
2 Forbidden Lance

Traps
1 Torrential Tribute
2 Black Horn of Heaven
1 Solemn Warning
2 Mirror Force
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Fiendish chain
1 Bottomless Trap Hole

Side Deck
1 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
1 Nobleman of Crossout
2 Shadow Imprisoning Mirror
2 Dust Tornado
1 Soul Drain
1 Effect Veiler
3 Maxx “C”
2 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
2 Debunk

Extra Deck
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Lion Emperor
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
1 Number 85: Crazy Box
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Cardinal
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince
1 Vulcan the Divine

 

 

8th Place: Michael Albaneese – Geargia

Monsters
3 Geargiarmor
3 Geargiarsenal
3 Geargiacclerator
3 Geargiano MK-II
1 Geargiano

Spells
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Upstart Goblin
1 Dark Hole
1 Mind Control
1 Book of Moon

Traps
3 Geargiagear
3 Black Horn of Heaven
3 Seven Tools of the Bandit
3 Call of the Haunted
3 Fiendish Chain
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Torrential Tribute

Side Deck
3 Maxx “C”
3 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
3 Debunk
2 Overworked
1 System Down
1 Twister
1 Nobleman of Crossout
1 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare

Extra Deck
3 Gear Gigant X
2 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Diamond Dire wolf
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Wind-Up Zenamines
1 Number 85: Crazy Box
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Soul of Silvermountain
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Temtempo the Precussion Djinn