Dark times have descended upon Standard. A pair of robber barons have colluded with each other to create a duopoly. More insidious than a single despot, the pair of B/G Delirium and W/U Flash use each other to justify why they need to continue to increase their respective metagame shares.
Meanwhile, innovative fringe decks, the backbone of the format, are now a dying breed, choked out of the format that once embraced them. Last weekend at #SCGKNOX, the Top 32 decks of the Open contained only seven outsiders, less than a quarter of the field.
Many of these decks have been around for a while, and the likes of R/W Vehicles and Jeskai Control have come close to pushing through only to be summarily squashed by the ruthlessness of the Witch–Maw duo.
But amidst this sea of despair, a hero has arisen. A champion of the people. A voice for the voiceless. He came equipped with a new, exciting archetype that may be the deck to break the stranglehold of our twin bogeymen. He is the unlikeliest of heroes…Andrew Tenjum.
Tenjum’s deck has a lot of familiar cards: Smuggler’s Copter, Thraben Inspector, Veteran Motorist. At a glance it may look like R/W Vehicles. But then you see the Thalia’s Lancers / Angel package, and what comes out is an aggressively-slanted midrange deck.
As a result, Fairgrounds Warden shows up in the three-drop slot over a more aggressive card like Depala, Pilot Exemplar as a means to squeeze more removal into the deck while still being able to consistently crew Smuggler’s Copter.
But the card that really ties everything together is Nahiri, the Harbinger. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is in the sideboard when you need more pressure, but Nahiri does a lot of things that Gideon can’t. It’s another source of removal, and there are plenty of artifact and enchantment targets floating around right now. It’s a source of card selection for longer games.
And most importantly, it’s great at ensuring you make Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. A few rummages and you should be able to find one half of the combo, at which point an ultimate finds the second piece and the transformation stops that piece from returning to your hand at the end of the turn.
A turn 6 Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is going to win a lot of games, and you absolutely need to be doing something very powerful to have a chance against B/G Delirium and W/U Flash. Torrential Gearhulk, Elder Deep-Fiend, and Haunted Dead are good, but Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is in another tier.
Standing up to the robber barons will be arduous, but if we stay united like the Angels, we just may have a shot.
- 1 Linvala, the Preserver
- 2 Archangel Avacyn
- 4 Thraben Inspector
- 1 Bruna, the Fading Light
- 2 Gisela, the Broken Blade
- 2 Thalia's Lancers
- 4 Fairgrounds Warden
- 3 Veteran Motorist