State of the Meta—Back to the Drawing Board

After looking at the results for Edison, it’s a pretty obvious aggro mob out there. Control is gonna need a little time to think things over. That’s bad news for me. I’m terrible at Tempo/Aggro Decks. Mulliganing is part of the game in control. I know what the situation is and I say to myself, “not enough early removal” or “not enough land” and I go to six or five and keep. For the most part, if I can wait it out to four man and Wrath the board I’ll be ok.

Aggro/Tempo Decks (I’m putting them together because in Standard there’s not really any Tempo decks (aside from Li’s American Delver, which I’ll get to) rush the early game with threats and then a little disruption in the from of removal for blockers or countermagic for opposing removal, and a little reach from time to time. Boros Charm and Boros Reckoner are two very good cards out of the new set and have made aggro very resilient to removal and even board wipes are wonky at best. So good is Reckoner that he’s approaching the $25 dollar mark on some websites. I just picked up a playset of Thragtusk for $50, so I guess thank you’s are in order on that end. Last week Naya looked like the deck to beat. With early threats, vastly superior mid-game, and a few top of the curve angels, this deck can be a real beast to deal with.

With control out of my options for this week, I decided to sleeve up a variation on Li’s Delver Deck.

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Searing Spear
4 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Thought Scour
2 Azorius Charm
3 Boros Charm
2 Boros Reckoner
2 Resto angel
2 Counterflux
2 Runechanter’s Pike
2 Island
2 Sarced Foundry
3 Clifftop
3 Glacial
4 Sulfur
4 Steam Vent
4 Hallowed Fountain

I’m not even gonna post the sideboard because it was the exact same as Li’s. Before this tourney, I had been testing a pretty neato version of Bant Delver featuring Dissipate, Call of the Conclave, Selesnya Charms, Simic Charms and Rootborn Defenses in the place of Boros Charm, Searing Spear, and Runechanter’s Pike, Boros Reckoner and Counterflux. It was a different feeling and very fun deck. It seemed extremely good vs some midrange decks. Maybe I’ll play that next week.

Li played his Delver deck again this week. He 3-1’d and we met in the last round. I was 1-2 my only win from a bye and he was paired down at 2-1. It wasn’t much of a match. In fact, none of my matches were. Tempo really isn’t my thing. I understand how it’s good, and in Legacy I play a Merfolk in that format and the deck functions like a tempo deck, but in standard I hate it. I hated it when I tried to play Delver and I hate it now. Back to the drawing board.

I hear rumors of Bant Control seeing a return during the pro tour. I’d take that in a heart beat, likely playing Blind Obedience.

A lot of folks think its hard to play control. I find it just as tough to play the faster decks. I can’t find their advantage. I’m a competent control player. Once the meta settles and I understand my options I’ll be back in the driver’s seat (i.e.: wrathing and drawing cards; also see BEING EVIL). For now I’ll have to wait and pray something great comes out this weekend.

In other news, thank God for Modern. I’m loving my deck there. Azorius Superfriends—yup, it wraths and draws cards. I’m the happiest planeswalker that ever -1’d a Jace Beleran in that format. I was missing a couple of cards for the deck, but a recent windfall of money from a photo gig (I’m an event photographer in my spare time) and a couple of Ebay snipes got my the other two Cryptic Commands and sideboard goodies I need for the deck. Here’s a list:

2 Gideon Jura
2 Elspeth, Knight Errant
2 Jace Beleran
2 Jace, Architect of Thought

4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Celestial Colonnade
2 Island
2 Plains
1 Nimbus Maze
1 Cavern of Souls

4 Kitchen Finks
1 Sun Titan
1 Consecrated Sphinx

4 Path to Exile
1 Oust
3 Supreme Verdict
4 Cryptic Command
3 Spreading Seas
2 Detention Sphere
4 Mana Leak

Sideboard
2 Stony Silence
2 Disenchant
1 Glaring Spotlight
3 Flashfreeze
2 Celestial Purge
4 Aven Mindcensor
1 Mindbreak Trap

I can’t tell you how much I love the crap out of this deck. It’s interactive and fun to play. I never got to rock these cards when they were Standard legal, so this whole thing is new to me. Elspeth is really the second best Planeswalker. Both her abilities are +1! That’s Bonkers! Li helped me finalize (I still have a tweak or two to deal with) this by adding in the Finks vs a burn heavy meta. I’m taking off work on 2/23 for the PTQ to play this thing. I can’t wait. That’s all I have for now.

Oh yea! My forecast for this coming week is 70% chance of Boros Reckoner.

Good luck out there! we’re working on getting some merch going soon so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime we got some rad business cards printed that should be in soon. Thanks for reading!

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

State of the Meta is a Hipsters of the Coast column about the Constructed Metagame. Focused on Standard with occasional asides to Legacy Modern and finance, it is a commentary of the current trends in Constructed magic and a place that Zac Clark vents about the weekly TNM.

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Comments
2 Responses to “State of the Meta—Back to the Drawing Board”
  1. Junie says:

    Hi, is that modern list supposed to have 61 cards? Just double-checking

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  1. […] attacked the shifting Modern meta with Infect; Li Xu got burned in the 20SS modern finals; and Zac Clark recovered from a poor Standard showing with a solid Modern […]



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