Power and Toughness—I Tried a Bunch of Decks in Standard and It Was Fun

Another unrelenting Internet outage at my apartment has me writing to you on my phone, posting just a few hours before this article goes live, and generally being sloppy. But, hey, I turned 73 years old this weekend, so cut me some slack. (Ed.’s note: Happy birthday, Matt!)

I didn’t go to the PTQ in Connecticut because being trapped with a hundred or more fellow nerds on my birthday seemed like it would be a shitty way to age. In retrospect, I’d have preferred to go, I think. Birthdays are hard, man. I want to not care but that’s probably impossible. Would’ve been cool to play and rack up serious Planeswalker Points.  If I went to the PTQ I’d have been stuck with the wrong deck, though, and that would’ve sucked.

Speaking of which, here is the wrong deck:

Land
4 Hinterland Harbor
3 Watery Grave
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Breeding Pool
2 Forest
2 Drowned Catacomb

Creatures
4 Experiment One
4 Young Wolf
4 Strangleroot Geist
1 Skirsdag High Priest
1 Snapcaster Mage
4 Dreg Mangler
1 Zameck Guildmage
4 Duskmantle Seer
1 Evil Twin

Spells
1 Tragic Slip
3 Rancor
1 Simic Charm
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Rapid Hybridization
3 Spell Rupture

Sideboard
2 Tragic Slip
1 Memory’s Journey
2 Negate
2 Evil Twin
3 Golgari Charm
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Deathrite Shaman

Zameck Guildmage Spell Rupture

I’m gonna spend some time talking about this list in my Twenty Sided article later in the week so I’ll keep it short. This deck does not win. It gets close, it occassionally wins a game, but it is seriously deficient in lots of ways (mostly in the late game and especially if you don’t have a crazy start). It has lots of weirdo pizzazz, though. It can do some crazy shit and more than one opponent read my cards when I played them – usually Spell Rupture. I tested it on MTGO a lot before I played it to a shitty record at FNM (0-3 drop to get some birthday steak dinner with my lady). Here’s a testing video:

The way game one played out was dope. Regenerating Experiment One after a board wipe then end of turn casting Snapcaster to evolve Experiment and swing for exactsies. Beating UWR is like beating Lirek (awesome). Game two, after the second Sphinx’s Revelation is cast, I packed it in. I fucking hate that card. Game three ended in great fashion with the old cast Wrath of God then scoop trick by my opponent. Weird. Spell Rupture is probably the best card in this deck. No, really.

Unsatisfied with the BUG performance at FNM I sleeved up Junk Reanimator

Junk Reanimator, again

I went 3-0 at Twenty Sided’s inaugural Saturday Standard tournament with this deck. Kadar and I threw in Splinterfright and Griselbrand last minute as birthday fun cards. I only got any action outta old Splinty one game in three matches, but he was awesome. Griselbrand, as you’ll see in the video, can be totally amazing. Here’s the list and the commentary-less video.

Land
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Forest
1 Gavony Township
2 Godless Shrine
2 Isolated Chapel
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
4 Woodland Cemetery

Creatures
2 Arbor Elf
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
1 Lotleth Troll
2 Splinterfright
2 Loxodon Smiter
2 Restoration Angel
4 Thragtusk
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Angel of Serenity
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Griselbrand

Spells
4 Grisly Salvage
3 Lingering Souls
3 Mulch
4 Unburial Rites

Sideboard
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Acidic Slime
3 Centaur Healer
2 Deathrite Shaman
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Sepulchral Primordial
3 Somberwald Sage

Game two was awesome. I misclicked “no” and had to keep a hand I didn’t want to keep that lead to a turn four Griselbrand. I drew 14 cards and won. The other two games were just fucking lame non-games of the no-fun variety. This remains my favorite deck, for now.

Griselbrand Splinterfright

Conley Woods’s Everything but Blue Reanimator

I was looking for a reanimator decklist from earlier in the year when I stumbled upon this Conley Woods deck I played for five seconds a few months ago. I digitally sleeved it up and here’re the results. Laziness kept me from updating the lands (Godless Shrine and Sacred Foundry are legal, duh) but otherwise I don’t think I’d change anything anyway.

Land
2 Blood Crypt
2 Rootbound Crag
4 Temple Garden
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Isolated Chapel
3 Clifftop Retreat
3 Forest
1 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
2 Kessig Wolf Run

Creatures
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Loxodon Smiter
4 Huntmaster of the Fells
4 Restoration Angel
1 Borderland Ranger
4 Thragtusk
2 Armada Wurm

Spells
4 Farseek
2 Ultimate Price
1 Mizzium Mortars
3 Bonfire of the Damned
3 Unburial Rites

Sideboard
1 Rakdos’s Return
1 Terminus
3 Slaughter Games
1 Zealous Conscripts
1 Sever the Bloodline
2 Golgari Charm
2 Triumph of Ferocity
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Acidic Slime
1 Rest in Peace
1 Oblivion Ring

I think this match-up is very favorable for Junkund Reanimator. Our decks are similar except I have the reanimation package, er, card. (Dunno if Unburial Rites is a combo. Unburial Rites + other card = combo?) This deck doesn’t discard much so there are some awkward draws where you get like three Rites in your hand and no targets to bring up. Game two I had a few opportunities to Rites dudes but no dudes while he buried me in card advantage. The sound effects are how it sounds on my computer with it’s shitty internet and difficulty running whatever newer version of VMWare I have. It’s the pits.

Bonfire of the Damned Borderland Ranger

So, yeah, Standard is still open, still strong, still diverse (as diverse or more diverse than any format I’ve ever played in). It’s fun, there’s plenty of interaction, and there’s still tons of deckbuilding possibilities that we haven’t explored. I’m no deck builder so my exploring is limited to testing whatever you deckbuilders come up with. Get to it!

See you on the battlefield,
Matt
MTGO: The_Obliterator

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