Developments in Durdling—Brewing in the Maze, Part One

By the time you read this Dragon’s Maze will have impacted Standard already. Right now, in the past, it’s Saturday morning. Somerset’s Saturday Standard event is shaping what the meta will look like for the next couple of weeks. I work on Saturdays, so unless there’s a really really special reason to go to a tournament, like GP Vegas’s lure of a one time format in a magical locale, I have to sit on the sidelines. When you’re on the sidelines (I have some experience from growing up and playing little league) you dream and make plans, waiting for your chance to get in there and show’em what you got.

Thankfully, I’m much better at brewing than I ever was at right field. So I want to highlight ten cards I think are really going to shake up Standard.

10.) Ætherling

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This one is super obvious. Control decks have a win condition that’s nigh impossible to deal with. 8 to the dome is a real clock. Faster than a Jace mill, able to dodge removal and board wipes for a single blue mana, capable of becoming unblockable. This is the New Superman. I want to see a Christopher Reeves alternate art. Morphling wasn’t this good in his heyday. As long as you don’t play recklessly this card is a plus one in the games won column. Dave McCoy opened a foil one… DO WANT!

9.) Advent of the Wurm

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Suddenly populate seems like a good mechanic for constructed. Who’s gonna attack into four open mana? That now seems like a doubly terrible idea between this and Restoration Angel. What’s more, this adds another instant/sorcery creature to help make flipping Delver of Secrets a little more likely in a Bant Tokens deck. I really like this card in conjunction with the next card…

8.) Plasm Capture

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Wait you don’t want to attack into four open mana…or cast spells! And people say Control is dead. How about I counter your four CMC spell play a Ætherling and a land and have three blue mana to keep it safe? ON TURN FIVE?!!! Or Angel of Serenity or Thragtusk (and I’m back in the game) or this next card…

7.) Progenitor Mimic

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Between this guy and Restoration Angel…You’re gonna Angel of Serenity my Mimic? Whoops Restoration Angel it, returns to play as an Angel of Serenity and exile YOUR Angel, tough guy. And more next turn? INSANITY! And speaking of Insanity…

6.) Sire of Insanity

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It’s getting dangerous in Ravnica to have a hand full of cards… Even to conspire to draw a bunch is squelched by Arthur (let’s just call him Arthur). The obvious play is Unburial Rites or Cavern of Souls. Getting him into play seems easy enough and 6/4 is a fine body. Now your opponent has to either have an answer or suffer. One trick against this dude is to wait til the trigger is on the stack during your opponents turn and bounce him. If you’re lucky enough to top deck it before it just kills you.

5.) Blood Scrivener

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Firstly, look at this guy plus Sire of Insanity…too cute.

Zombies has been missing a solid two drop, but frankly, this wizard fits in more than just a Zombies deck. I like him with Aggro decks for obvious reasons, but I also love cards that reward you for playing Magic: the Gathering poorly. Remember how good Cursed Scroll was? Empty your hand and get a prize? Someone get Brayan Rodriguez on the horn! U/B likes this card, hell this could be this set’s Snapcaster Mage. I don’t see why it couldn’t get a little love in Modern B/R burn.

4.) Renounce the Guilds

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I enjoy a good conspiracy. I’m a huge fan of the Gateless Movement in Ravnica. It’s like the Occupy Movement but with the added bonus of being on actual strategy. Kills Geist, Detention Sphere, Olivia, Ral Zarek (if you’re into that kinda thing), and hey! Sire of Insanity. It’s like the opposite of Ultimate Price. I like the flavor of this card and I think Esper and American have a spot for this in their control decks.

3.5.) Reap Intellect

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Maybe for now it’s a sideboard or just a one of in Esper or a BUG control deck. But it can stop that Angel of Serentiy non-sense. If your opponent just Rev’d for s at the end of your turn, a sneaky BUG deck has access to Alchemist’s Refuge and could do some real damage. It’s a card I think could see making some really devastating plays. I wouldn’t sleep on it at $1, though Sphinx’s Rev was $7 for a hot minute.

3.) Notion Thief

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Man, I really like casting Sphinx’s Revelation…like, A LOT. At least, I used to. I’ll be a lot more likely to not cast Rev into four open mana. A decent body on this guy as well. Control decks beware, I have a feeling this jerk is gonna be in a few sideboards. Pick him up as you can, he could go up in price due to (possible) Legacy relevance.

2.) Blast of Genius

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Six mana for a sorcery speed draw card isn’t ideal, but this card gets better once you cast it in decks with Enter the Infinite or Omniscience. But seriously, I like it as a one of in American Control. Drawing cards and answering threats seems like solid use of six mana. And it can serve as a long range kill card that your opponent just isn’t playing around.

(Editor’s note: You should try Notion Thief-ing someone’s Blast of Genius…)

1.) Obzedat’s Aid

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This card breaks the norm for reanimator spells. Like Replenish, this card could impact the game in big big ways soon. Hell, why not target that Omniscience and cast Enter the Infinite? Then, toss down Borborygmos and throw your land at your opponent! Or Blast of Genius the rest of your Enter the Infinites. The possibilities with this card are insane. I expect it to be abused in some format, perhaps Modern. Either way, it’s not an average power-level spell. Respect it.

I’ve been brewing all weekend and I will be sure to have a couple of decks ready for you this week. I’m looking forward to this format Wizards has created an ever-shifting format that makes many decks viable and brings up some new interesting choices. Until next time… DO NOT TAP OUT!

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

Developments in Durdling is a Hipsters of the Coast Article by Zac Clark, Durdle Magus. It covers his weekly adventures playing control strategies. Formats change, metas shift, it all comes together in the late game.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Developments in Durdling—Brewing in the Maze, Part One”
  1. Jon Jerome says:

    I have a tendency to not notice key words in rules text. I though Obzedat’s Aid was just a lesser Unburial Rites until I noticed the word “permanent.”

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