Daily Digest: Black And White And Under The Radar

Playing good cards isn’t flashy per se, but to Ross Merriam, it’s as stark as black and white: Don’t you dare sleep on Brian Paolucci’s B/W Aggro deck at SCG Richmond this weekend!

G/B Aggro and G/W Tokens both overperformed my expectations last weekend by simply being decks composed of good cards with a low curve and a wide array of threats. They are trying to establish a strong presence on the battlefield early and put the game out of reach, but they also have some ability to play a long game should things not go exactly according to plan.

Well, they aren’t the only decks from #SCGCOL that fit that mold. Sitting in an under-the-radar eleventh place is B/W Aggro from Brian Paolucci, featuring the staples we’ve come to expect in Thraben Inspector; Scrapheap Scrounger; Gideon, Ally of Zendikar; and Archangel Avacyn alongside the one of the best permanent answers to the Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo in Thalia, Heretic Cathar and two of the best cards from Aether Revolt in Heart of Kiran and Fatal Push.

Selfless Spirit, Thraben Inspector, and Aethergeode Miner all help turn on Revolt to power up the removal spell, but I imagine it took down its fair share of Walking Ballistas, Servants of the Conduit, and Winding Constrictors over the weekend at a mana cost that facilitates the double-spell turns that are keys to winning aggressive mirrors in Standard. A couple of Evolving Wilds over the Forsaken Sanctuaries could power it even more reliably, should the format go bigger.

I also like that Anguished Unmaking can help compensate for the gaps that Fatal Push leaves, handling creatures of any size as well as planeswalkers, Vehicles, and anything else you can think of. The life loss could become enough of a liability to trim them should the metagame turn more aggressive, but right now this deck can capably get underneath most other decks, leaving them on the defensive side of things and unable to leverage the additional cost.

And as for handling control matchups, this deck has the widest array of threats available in the format: big creatures, small creatures, recursive creatures, Vehicles, planeswalkers, and plenty of ways to blank removal. Anguished Unmaking gives the deck an answer to opposing planeswalkers and pesky Torrential Gearhulks that try to get in the way.

The curves may not look quite as impressive as Winding Constrictor into Rishkar, Peema Renegade or Walking Ballista into Nissa, Voice of Zendikar into Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, but this deck isn’t about flash. It’s not doing cool things; it’s doing good things. And good things win games.