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I have a Riddle for you and Other true stories I didn’t make up…

Riddle_of_Lightning_640

Hey guys and gals, My name is Christian. I’m a writer for www.wizardden.com and member of a competitive team out of Boise, ID called Rogue T3ch. I’ve been a rogue deck player and fan of Kevin’s for a few years now and am super stoked to be a part of the Rogue Deckbuilder team! With that out of the way, I’m here to talk about standard. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Standard? Who cares?” and that’s a fair argument, but, we have some standard left to be played before Origins and I just found my new favorite standard deck to play, it would be criminal not to share it with you!

 

How it works:

The basic idea is that you are a hard control deck that wins the game using large mindswipe or riddle of lightning to finish them off. You want to set up your draws with magma jet and anticipate in the early turns of the game and from then on it’s pretty simple, you counter everything. You need to remain in control of the board until you get enough mana to start mindswiping for 3-5 damage. Those smalls points of burn start to add up and will make a riddle of lightning lethal more often than not. Now, Riddle of Lightning is a high variance card by nature. I’m aware of that, but, with the abundance of high CMC (Converted Mana Cost) delve spells in the deck you very high reward for little risk. In testing I have only missed on a riddle once. The rest of the times I cast it, the game ended almost immediately. Flipping a dig through time or temporal trespass is backbreaking, dealing eight to eleven points of burn and showing your opponent that you’re refilling your hand or taking an extra turn afterwards is almost cruel in nature and unbelievably fun. Because we are relying heavily on counter spells it’s easy to get behind on board in the early stages of the game. You will take damage. So don’t be afraid of that. Magma Jet and lightning strike are great at keeping the board clear in the early game and the one of aetherspouts is good in a pinch if you need to clear out the riff-raff that made it past your counter magic.

cardart_mindswipe

Key Components:

As you can imagine, delve is very important for the deck as all of your payoff high CMC cards use delve. It’s what makes this deck even remotely function. The card you flip off of Riddle of lightning is also the next card you are drawing, so, unless that damage ends the game, you need that card to be functional in the deck. Dig through time is obvious. Most times you want to draw that anyway to refuel your hand to keep you in the game. Temporal Trespass is also useful as it can replace itself and allow you to tap out on your turn if need be as you will be taking an extra one. Sounds great right? Well, what if you cast riddle of lightning on turn five? You don’t have the mana to cast these cards straight up. That’s where delve comes in. You have cheap spells for the early game, Jet, Strikes, anticipate, etc, but, with the amount of delve cards in your deck, that’s not quite enough most of the time. To off set this, you run several fetch lands. Due to the lack of access to Scalding Tarn we are using a playset of Flooded Strand and a set of Evolving Wilds. Strand is replaceable with Polluted Delta and evolving wilds looks bad at first, but, you have no turn one plays, so, in the early game it functions as a scalding tarn. Grabbing either of your two colors depending on how you draw has panned out. I tested with red fetches and additional blue ones as well but the damage adds up. You will end the game under ten life most often so any way to conserve your life is a plus in this deck. Since we are a two color deck, our easy mana allows us to slip a few radiant fountains in the list for the aggro decks and the synergy with pearl lake ancient is nothing to ignore and we’re more than happy to take advantage of it. Another key card is Mindswipe. Most decks in the format aim to curve out, so using it as a “force spike” in the early turns is usually good enough and once you’re in the late game they become some of your best draws. I’ve found myself taking two copies off of a dig through time more often than not. “Mindswipe you for lethal” is something you will say… quite often.

temporal-trespass

Sideboard:

So, this is an updated sideboard from when I originally played the deck. First thing, Yes, seismic rupture could and, more than likely, should be Anger of the Gods. The reason I don’t have angers in the list because the matchup you want anger for is den protector/deathmist raptor decks but those same decks run siege rhino and anger is terrible against rhino. To be honest I found nullify to be a better card in the match than anger, so without the exile being entirely relevant, Seismic rupture does the same job and can save you a few bucks over angers. If you already have them, then by all means make the switch as anger is just rupture with upside and the additional red in the mana cost was never a problem in my experience. Okay. Now with that out of the way, I feel the rest of the sideboard is pretty self explanatory. Really just changing your removal/counter package to be more optimal based on your match. Nothing too spicy there.

So, this begs the question; Whats in the top three cards of my deck and will it kill you?

So, if you are looking for something fun and relatively cheap to build for your FNM before Origins comes out, I can’t recommend this deck enough. I think I’ll be playing it until casting riddle gets old or Battle for Zendikar comes out. Which ever comes first.

 

Thanks again Kevin for letting me join the Rogue Deckbuilder team.

Thanks to you awesome readers for indulging me, be sure to check out my other articles and content at http://wizardden.blogspot.com/
Until next time.

-Christian

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