Plenty of players would like to continue to play their favorite decks from the past. Although many of the big ones will be effectively dead or completely reworked (see previous installments, especially part 5), its worthwhile to take a look at some of them and see what can be done.
Here’s the list used by Matt Sperling to make the top 8 of Pro Tour Magic 15:
Just a quick glance tells us we’ll lose most of the cards in the deck. What are we left with? Searing Blood, Lightning Strike, Stoke the Flames, Eidolon of the Great Revel, and most of the sideboard cards. Meaning we’re left with plenty of good cards, but many of them are good only situationally.
Next question is, what can we do to repair the damage. One thing that comes to mind is Deflecting Palm. If the format is based on large creatures, say Savage Knuckleblade, Deflecting Palm is basically a cheaper Warleader’s Helix. Not really, but it fills a similar role, both taking a huge chunk out of your opponent and keeping you alive.
Crater’s Claws, on the other hand, is a Shock or a Lightning Strike if you control a creature with power 4 or higher. Well, are there such creatures we can use? Maybe Ashcloud Phoenix. Its pretty weak to Magma Spray, but whatever.
Then there’s Howl of the Horde. You probably don’t want to play too many of them, but one or two in your deck might be what you need to push through the last few points of damage.
So, here’s a list.
Well, no chance of survival here, unless we take on another color. Most likely black. Even then, the core of the deck just won’t be there anymore, as both parts of the combo are out (Advent of the Wurm and Ajani, Caller of the Pride).
Here’s what Jason Cunningham’s deck looked like (again, at Pro Tour M15):
Again, we are losing most of the cards, so we’ll have to get pretty creative here to come up with a new way to approach this. We could sort of emulate the effect Advent of the Wurm has on the boardstate with certain morph cards, but there doesn’t seem to be any.
I think this deck is just dead. You just can’t get the same kind of speed with the new landbase, and even though you have plenty of strong, cheap creatures, they are all three-colored, which is too cumbersome for a deck like this that would like to start playing threats from turn one and is very much relient on a good curve.
I was thinking Soldier of Pantheon would lose some value, but instead, it seems stronger than ever. Not only is every aggressively costed creature in Khans multicolored, but the mana is so slow you can probably get several beats in with the Soldier before your opponent can get his defenses online.
Then there’s Archetype of Courage. If the format is going to be all about creature combat, this will be an all star. Attacking into your ranks will be a suicide. Of course, you should be vary of removal, because then you might get blown out instead of your opponent, but Gods Willing and Ajani’s Presence, or better yet Ephemeral Shields, which your opponent will never see coming (although, remember Bile Blight, which might still destroy you).
It could look something like this:
Although, admittedly, if I had bothered to go through all the heroic cards, this deck might have a much better mix of creatures.