Standard Deck Time: Monored Midrange and Metagame Choices

I played this deck at GP Utrecht today (Standard). I went 6-3 (with one bye), so I could have done better, but I think this was a pretty good choice for this specific tournament. The key: Burning Earth

The list I submitted looked like this:

In many ways, this deck is just evil in its purest form. It just paralyzed many decks in a way you never see in Standard. In other cases, I could almost transform the deck with the sideboard, and I would be able to take most aggressive decks fairly easily as well.

What did I lose to? One UWR deck, that might have been a budget build because it didn’t seem to have too many dual lands even though it was three colored, one monored burn deck, which was piloted by a more capable player than the Rw Burn decks I won pretty easily, and one BW Midrange, after I mulliganed to oblivion in both games. I probably would have lost to that last deck anyhow, because Desecration Demon is just a huge blowout, although I did have some secret tech for it in the board in the form of Harness by Force, although I never drew it.

The curve of the deck is pretty poor, with three being especially shallow with only the Phoenix’s in the main deck. This could have been partly fixed by taking out a couple of Twinflames and perhaps one of the fanatics and putting the Reckoners in the main. That would leave us in a situation where we would probably be able to use our mana better. There’s still too many four drops, but we can probably manage, since we’ll probably often stall for at least a round with four lands.

I do have to say that Twinflame was still an excellent card, just not so good that you ever want to draw two of them, and you generally don’t want one in your opening hand. Its more of a finishing move. There’s isn’t even that many good targets. Mostly just the Fanatic and the Dragon.

I hardly ever used Chandra’s zero ability. Actually I only used it in one game. Pinging opponents was quite enough, especially with Burning Earth in play, when you can simply restrain their mana even worse this way.

This deck doesn’t really have a future though. Quite a few cards are going to rotate out. Also, as this was a clear metagame choice, there probably want be too many chances to use this anyway. You can probably punish the greediest manabases if you want, but I don’t think I’ll be bringing this into the local FNM.

One more thing: Try Possibility Storm while you can. There’s a certain delight in making your UW-playing opponent unable to cast Sphinx’s Revelations, because they’ll always be cast with X=0. Also, countering anything becomes quite hard and Supreme Verdict will often become a Divination. On the other hand, one Nyxfleece Ram did become an Archangel of Thune, so sometimes it backfires. Quite badly. But it is fun.

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