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[Article] Keep an Eye Out

There are finally some new decks popping up in Standard which is a breath of fresh air.

Moving forward I think it’s safe to say Standard has a good chance of adding some new and powerful decks to the running. Today we’ll go over some of the decks that took the latest Star City Games Open by surprise and ones that you should keep an eye out for. I’ll discuss some key points about the decks to help you guys should you be looking to brew some Rogue decks to attack these heavy hitters or to try and defend yourself against them.

First, let’s skim over some of the old decks and see where they’re at right now:

Mono Black Devotion seems like it is going to turn into B/g Devotion. The power of Abrupt Decay is real and having Golgari Charm in the sideboard fills up the weakness of the lack of enchantment hate Mono Black Devotion used to have. An already strong deck got stronger so be wary of getting hit with those cards.

Another deck is shifting colors slightly is G/R Monsters with Jund Monsters taking its place. The splash black gives the deck a good edge in other creature matchups and mirror matchups. They also get access to Abrupt Decay as well and some lists run Vraska the Unseen.

U/W/x Control hasn’t really changed much and the different lists vary only slightly, usually in the sideboard. Some lists are running cards such as Nyx-Fleece Ram to combat early aggressive decks. The main addition would likely be Banishing Light but the number of copies vary from deck to deck.

Now, what about the newer decks? Well, I wouldn’t call them super new but they’re decks that have not seen much tournament play but are finally making top listings.

Let’s look at the deck that took first place at SCG Knoxville:

Boros Burn by Tyler Winn

4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Mana Confluence
3 Searing Blood
4 Temple of Triumph
2 Chained to the Rocks
4 Lightning Strike
4 Warleader’s Helix
4 Boros Charm
4 Skullcrack
2 Wild Guess
4 Chandra’s Phoenix
4 Mutavault
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Magma Jet
9 Mountain
2 Shock

Sideboard
1 Dictate of the Twin Gods
4 Satyr Firedancer
4 Firedrinker Satyr
2 Chained to the Rocks
2 Wear
2 Act of Treason Eidolon of the Great Revel is the obvious new addition. Replacing Ash Zealot, the card is a good addition to a meta full of instant speed removal. It’s a card that is guaranteed to get 2 damage in before it bites the dust unlike the Zealot who usually ends up eating a removal spell upon attacking. Burn is the type of deck who relies on having close to, if not exactly, lethal with their spell progression meaning every point counts.

It would seem it’s more of a meta call to include Eidolon being able to take advantage of instant speed removal. If your meta is burn heavy in the future and you see Eidolon popping up more I would suggest some sort of Monsters deck as cards such as Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon are threats that are able to race and are out of range of Eidolon’s ability.

Another option is to run some life-gain. Even a single point can help you survive till the next turn and cards such as Nyx-Fleece Ram is an easy way to get unconditional life-gain in your decks.

In the sideboard the one copy of Dictate of the Twin Gods is pretty inconspicuous but has major blow out potential. Don’t try and build decks to combat this card, but definitely be wary of it in certain situations.

Next up we have the second place deck and this is newest deck to hit the scene. If you’re familiar with Star City Game’s Premium content then you already know about Brad Nelson’s Brave Naya deck. It’s starting to catch fire and it placing second means it has a chance of becoming a thing.

Brave Naya by Jamie Arnold

4 Mana Confluence
3 Temple of Plenty
3 Soldier of the Pantheon
1 Temple of Abandon
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Boros Charm
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Dryad Militant
3 Loxodon Smiter
4 Selesnya Charm
4 Brave the Elements
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Plains

Sideboard
1 Glare of Heresy
3 Unflinching Courage
3 Domri Rade
3 Keening Apparition
3 Mizzium Mortars
2 Giant Growth

This is a scary deck because it not only can one turn KO you with Boros Charm and Ghor-Clan Rampager but it has the natural ability to flood the board with efficient threats and alpha strike thanks to Brave the Elements.

The deck is well suited against wrath effects and other removal thanks to Boros Charm and Brave the Elements so the best thing to do is try and run them out of resources. Take advantage when they tap out to play threats. If you’re running blue based decks including some Dispel in the sideboard is a good idea since Brave Naya is fairly reliant on the instants and Dispel is much less noticeable than leaving two mana up for a Negate.

I think the best approach to defeating this deck is taking a more control route. It’s an aggro deck at heart so if you can run them out of resources, you should be able to take the game over from there. Always keep track of the combat math on board and ensure you have enough blockers to stop the trample damage from both Ghor-Clan Rampager and Selesnya Charm. Sometimes you’ll just have to run removal into Brave the Elements but it’s better than your opponent using it to get a full combo through for 16+ damage.

Last we have Junk Midrange. This isn’t the most popular deck but two lists made the Top 16 and it is another deck that has a lot of power behind it. It is a “Play all good things” type of deck so as long as you have sufficient answers to some of the more popular cards out there you should be alright in this matchup.

Junk Midrange by Joel Sukhram
2 Banishing Light
4 Temple of Malady
1 Mana Confluence
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3 Courser of Kruphix
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Sylvan Caryatid
3 Temple of Silence
4 Hero’s Downfall
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
2 Archangel of Thune
4 Advent of the Wurm
2 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Underworld Connections
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
2 Scavenging Ooze
3 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
3 Temple Garden
2 Forest
1 Swamp

Sideboard
1 Deicide
2 Bile Blight
2 Lifebane Zombie
3 Sin Collector
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Underworld Connections
2 Golgari Charm
1 Vraska the Unseen
1 Thoughtseize

As you can see it is a very threat heavy deck and the majority of creatures it plays can win games on their own. If you’re playing any deck with Golgari colors, Abrupt Decay is a must have. Not only is the card great in almost every match up against Junk Midrange it can hit the majority of key cards in the deck such as Underworld Connections, Banishing Light, and Brimaz, King of Oreskos.

If I were to go up against this deck I would likely play a hyper aggressive set up. A tri color deck such as Junk has the possibility of stumbling on mana especially when the mana requirements for the cards are pretty heavy. With the deck running 25 lands, flooding can also happen and taking advantage of 1 or 2 turns when this happens is usually enough for an Aggro deck to finish the game. Pumps are also good in this matchup since running over Sylvan Caryatids and slowing them down is good. Burn is also a possibility against this deck as long as have adequate answers to their life-gaining creatures.

The deck’s only form of removal is also targeted meaning a Hexproof deck is also another aggressive option against the deck however I personally would go Bant Hexproof since you get access to Simic Charm which can protect your enchantments from Banishing Light, Golgari Charm, and Abrupt Decay.

So there are my thoughts on a few of the new(ish) decks coming up in Standard. I think they’re all pretty strong choices so I hope this article helped you guys prepare for them if they ever become bigger.

Maybe they’ll even give you some ideas for your own decks!

– Michael Y.

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