Daily Digest: Eldrazi Smash!

The Eldrazi are probably never going away for good. Take #GPToronto, for instance. Ross Merriam thought the coast was clear, but it turns out, you can’t keep a good monster down!

Join us at Grand Prix Charlotte May 20-22!

Grand Prix Toronto was dominated by the top decks in the format. By the end of Round 15, the top of the field was filled with Cryptolith Rite decks, Humans, Bant Company, G/W Tokens, and some control. The lone exception in the Top 32 was this interesting U/W Eldrazi list that is decidedly aggressive. Where the default aggro deck, Humans, goes wide, this one goes tall with big, impactful threats played ahead of the curve thanks to Hedron Crawler.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Thought-Knot Seer are staples of the format and become even more potent when played on turn 3, which was much of the reason we added Hedron Crawler to B/W Eldrazi for #SCGBALT. Rather than playing a lot of reactive spells to supplement this core, the U/W list accents it with more aggression with maindeck Reality Smashers and the borderline oppressive Reflector Mage.

Archangel of Tithes is a nice card for pressing your advantage, especially with Always Watching, but it has to stretch the manabase beyond reason. Right now the deck has eighteen white sources, eleven blue sources, and nine colorless sources (not counting Hedron Crawler), which seems light on colorless to me. Lack of access to Adarkar Wastes is certainly an issue, but it can be overcome with some disciplined deckbuilding decisions, and playing a WWW creature is too greedy.

I would like to see the last two copies of Reality Smasher, since it is such a powerful card and a great follow-up to Gideon, especially with Hedron Crawler. As powerful as Archangel Avacyn is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Reality Smasher were better in this shell.

If Reality Smasher’s colorless requirements prove too much for the mana, Drowner of Hope looks great in this deck as well. Much like we saw in Modern recently, the endgame potential of Drowner with Eldrazi Displacer is sky high, and most of the decks in Standard right now are defending aggression by establishing defensive creatures, many of which are difficult to answer with removal spells. This makes Drowner a tactically sound and unexpected way to break through in the midgame. Whichever you add, I would also like to see the 25th land because the curve is increasing a bit.

As it typically is, Displacer is the real all-star in this deck. It combines well with Drowner of Hope, Thought-Knot Seer, and Reflector Mage. You can even blink your own Gideon after attacking with it, allowing you to get a second activation each turn. The mana sink is very welcome in a deck whose threat density is lowered by the presence of Hedron Crawler, and being able to use its ability to break through stalled battlefields is excellent.

The sideboard is fairly unexciting, although not because it isn’t potent. Negate and Dispel are great options, as is Hallowed Moonlight, and that is why we see them so often. Felidar Cub is a nice early blocker against Humans that can take out Always Watching, but given how few Silkwraps and Stasis Snares I have seen recently, I’m not sure it is warranted here.

Icefall Regent is a card I like a lot in Standard right now, but it lacks a home. While it fits thematically here, the presence of two more powerful five-drops in Reality Smasher and Archangel Avacyn as well as the shaky manabase make the UU option unwanted in my opinion.

These sorts of go-big aggro decks have been popular in Standard as of late (think G/R Monsters and R/B Dragons) and this seems like a good version of the archetype. That it was the only rogue deck to crack the Top 32 in Toronto says something about the strength of the known decks it is trying to attack, but it also says something about the strength of the deck itself. Given how high my opinion of Eldrazi Displacer and the colorless Eldrazi is, I will be keeping my eye on this deck.

Join us at Grand Prix Charlotte May 20-22!