We have a great new tool for these decks against the white-based control decks. It has functionality against black as well.
Why is it great? Because we can sack cards like [card]Rekindling Phoenix[/card] when they are about to get hit with [card]Seal Away[/card], [card]Cast Out[/card], [card]Vraska’s Contempt[/card] or [card]Settle the Wreckage[/card]. It can actually do a lot more than that. How about the synergy with [card]Kari Zev, Skyship Raider[/card]? Just give Ragavan the boot at end of combat and that’s an extra card (sort of) for one mana. In a right deck, just sacking creatures from under a removal spell is just good as well.
This is pretty hard to brew, because this isn’t really a proactive deck. Reactive decks are always harder in the beginning of the format, when you don’t really know what you are reacting to. Also, design has moved into a direction where creatures often still have value even if killed immediately and there are good ways for midrange decks to gain card advantage in grindy matchups.
In order to make their game more approachable to new players and to keep the game fresher, Wizards’ R&D began to emphasize creatures over spells. This has been good for the game, as now those cards that appeal to new players are actually good, and not just heartbreaking as they are easily dispatched or countered as they used to be.
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: [card]Burning Earth[/card]