Daily Digest: The Champ Is Here

Everything old is new again if you just wait long enough in this Standard metagame. The red-blue artifact deck returns, taking down Magic Online’s Standard Championships with a base-red deck full of burn and Ensoul Artifacts rather than the Pro Tour’s blue-based shell.

It’s not easy to win a giant tournament on Magic Online, let alone do it with a completely new take on a supposedly-dead archetype. And to do it with Swiftwater Cliffs instead of Temple of Epiphany? Masterful.

Ryota09’s deck is mostly the same U/R Thopter deck we saw at Pro Tour Origins, except the deck is nearly mono-red instead of mono-blue. This deck still has Ensoul Artifact for the nut draws, but that is only one of two blue cards in the deck. Instead of cards like Stubborn Denial, it focuses on maintaining aggression through Stoke the Flames. Rather than trying to protect Ensoul Artifact, this deck is fine treating it like just another Shrapnel Blast.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar do excellent work here. Using Shrapnel Blast to sacrifice a Hangarback Walker was already one of my favorite plays, and Ma and Pa Nalaar give you even more ways to make that happen. Thopter Engineer is another nice pick-up for the deck that the almost mono-blue version of the deck didn’t really want to play. It made more sense to try and stick to mostly one color, so in this version you get to try everything that red has to offer.

The sideboard, awkwardly enough, is a pile of burn spells and a pair of Negates. I feel like you should be able to build a slightly better sideboard, but off the top of my head I can’t think of anything I might want except for some Tomb of the Spirit Dragons. This Standard format is coming to a close, but there are still so many decks I want to try, including this one!