Going Green At Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad

The verdict is in: green cards are good in this Standard format. Want the details on all the great green ways you can win in this format? Chris Andersen breaks down the Pro Tour results to help prep you for #SCGMKE’s Standard Classic!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Milwaukee Apr. 30 – May 1!” border=”0″ /></a></div>
<p>I’ve never been happier to be this wrong.</p>
<p>Also, I’m wrong a lot. I’ve gotten over it a long time ago and you should too. You can’t learn and improve if you’re afraid of being wrong. I’m wrong less often these days because I’ve spent so much time being wrong in the past. Maybe if I keep it up, I will be wrong even less often in the future!</p>
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Bant Company is just another deck in a metagame filled with amazing interesting decks. For what it’s worth, I think Bant Company is completely fine to exist if it’s just another deck. As long as that kind of thing isn’t oppressive, there is nothing wrong with putting a steady stream of great creatures onto the battlefield.

That’s not to say that Bant Company is bad. It’s still great, but it’s also very beatable. Crisis averted… whew.

Now, on to the super-crazy-awesome-cool new decks that the smartest Magicians in the world brewed up this past weekend. The Pro Tour sure is great. This one is no exception.

As a green mage, I am thrilled to see the many different powerful options this Pro Tour has revealed to the public. I really wish the next couple of stops on the SCG Tour® were Standard, because I can’t wait to try these decks!

First up is this masterpiece brought to you by Reid Duke, William Jensen, and the rest of The Pantheon.

There’s a ton of cool stuff going on here, but at its core, this is a Black Control deck. It plays a ton of removal spells and the best sweeper in the format in Languish in order to completely slaughter the creature decks in the format. Between Ultimate Price, Grasp of Darkness, Ruinous Path, Dead Weight, and the aforementioned Languish, anything aggressive is going to have a nightmare getting a battlefield presence put together long enough to get an early win, especially when all this removal is backed up by Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.

Once the deck has stablized, it turns the corner with the card-drawing power of Read the Bones and the sweetest card that everyone else seemed to miss in Seasons Past.

Seasons Past is unique. Typically cards that can Regrowth for multiple cards will have a clause that prevents the spell from going to the graveyard upon resolution of the spell (Restock, All Suns’ Dawn). The reason for this is because if these cards simply hit the graveyard when they resolved, they would pretty easily enable some unfair insurmountable card advantage engines with multiple copies.

Have one All Suns’ Dawn get back another All Suns’ Dawn, and keep using your red, black, blue, and white cards over and over again? Too powerful. In the past those cards exiled themselves.

Seasons Past does things a little bit differently.

Seasons Past returns itself to the bottom of its owner’s library, which means it is still gets to stick around to rebuy over and over to do degenerate recursion things, granted you can figure out a way to get the powerful sorcery back from the bottom of your deck. Well, the Pantheon found a way to do exactly that.

Dark Petition is a fantastic Magic card. Once spell mastery has been achieved, something that is extremely easy for a deck like this to accomplish, then you are looking at a card that gives you the same rate as Demonic Tutor. Yeah, that Demonic Tutor. The one that’s banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage.

As powerful as the ceiling on Dark Petition may be, the fact that it is a five-drop means that it can be pretty slow. This has prevented it from seeing a ton of play so far other than a copy or two in some sideboards. This deck really allows Dark Petition to realize its full potential:

Cast Dark Petition, searching for Seasons Past.

Cast Seasons Past, getting back Dark Petition and a bunch of other great cards at different spots on the curve. Put Seasons Past on the bottom of your deck.

Cast the Dark Petition you just got back for the Seasons Past on the bottom of your deck after making a bunch of trades with the other cards you got back.

Gleefully revel in your abundance of riches you have assembled if your opponent hasn’t conceded yet.

Finally, having access to a card like Nissa’s Renewal to tutor for and recur allows the deck to gain Sphinx’s Revelation levels of life while putting a completely absurd number of lands onto the battlefield. am particularly excited to play with this card. This deck looks great, and I can’t wait to give it a try!

The next deck that I can’t wait to try out comes from Matt Nass, one of the greatest green mages of all time, and the rest of CFB Ultra Pro.

This deck is what I wished Four-Color Rally would have been from last year. Now, don’t get me wrong; Rally was obviously a fantastic deck, and very likely a good deal better than this one. But if you give me the choice between Reflector Mage and Cryptolith Rite… well, this green mage isn’t going to have a difficult time making that choice.

There are so many cool cards in this deck! Collected Company is still the best ever (it’s in like four different Modern decks, for crying out loud). Cryptolith Rite is reminiscent of Earthcraft (banned in Legacy). Elvish Visionary is the best ever. Loam Dryad is a one-mana ramp creature, albiet one that takes a little work to pull off, but when you’re running 30 creatures, it’s pretty easy to activate.

We all know what kind of shenanigans Nantuko Husk, Catacomb Sifter, and Zulaport Cutthroat like to get into. Those cards are great, Catacomb Sifter in particular with Cryptolith Rite.

Duskwatch Recruiter does a great job at tying everything together. One of the reasons we ended up scrapping our Cryptolith Rite decks in testing was that the card often didn’t do enough because we didn’t have any good mana sinks in our decks. Duskwatch Recruter should be amazing with Cryptolith Rite, giving you a way to use all that excess mana every turn.

Finally, this deck is a fantastic engine to support my favorite card in Shadows over Innistrad, Westvale Abbey. The deck makes a ton of cheap creatures to sacrifice to the Abbey. Cryptolith Rite allows you to use those creatures to pay for Westvale Abbey’s activation, both the token-making and Demon-flipping abilities, depending on the battlefield state. And, oh yeah, those tokens make mana now!

I am most excited to try out this deck among all the new things Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad has brought us. Luis says that Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is really hard to deal with, which explains the full four Ultimate Prices in the sideboard, but if there aren’t too many of those running around, this deck looks like a great choice.

This deck has everything I like about G/R Eldrazi Ramp. It took out all the things I didn’t like about it (Explosive Vegetation) and replaced it with the Pyromancer’s Goggles package, one of the most powerful engines in Standard.

I won’t talk too much about this deck, because I’m sure Brad will do a great job in his article later this week; however, I want to point out a couple of really cool things going on here before moving on.

Pyromancer’s Goggles is a ramp spell, albiet a slow one. Being able to deploy an alternate gameplan while ramping at the same time is very important for a ramp deck. Usually that involves putting creatures onto the battlefield, but supercharging red spells is something I’d love to get behind too.

Magmatic Insight and Tormenting Voice are also makeshift ramp spells in combination with Drownyard Temple. Great stuff! Especially considering how valuable a card draw spell is to an archetype like ramp.

Also, Fall of the Titans in a ramp deck with Pyromancer’s Goggles. What’s your life total?

Finally, we come to the deck that is currently closest to my heart, G/W Tokens!

Team Face to Face brought an update of the G/W Tokens deck we worked on for SCGBaltimore, and I love the changes they made to the deck! For starters, Archangel Avacyn is amazing and should definitely be in the maindeck. Andrew Maine figured that out for the Invitational with his version.

I particularly like the next change, replacing Elvish Visionary with the burlier Sylvan Advocate in order to slow down aggressive creature decks like Mono-White Humans. At this point, Dromoka’s Command becomes a much more appealing removal spell than Declaration in Stone, which is a very good thing. Declaration’s removal applications are obviously fantastic, but when you give them enough time to cash in the Clues, Declaration can be underwhelming.

With the creature suite we were using — Scion Summoner, Elvish Visionary, Hangarback Walker, and Thraben Inspector — we had very few creatures that were up for fighting the various threats of the format. Now that Scion Summoner and Elvish Visionary are gone, being able to battle with our creatures becomes much easier. Instead of the negative baggage of Declaration in Stone via Clue tokens, we have extra value in Command giving us access to protection from a red sweeper or removal spell, plus some enchantment removal to get rid of pesky Stasis Snares or the terrifying Virulent Plague.

Lambholt Pacifist out of the sideboard seems like a great way to stave off aggressive creature decks and give you yet another large body to fight with. Also, I love Tragic Arrogence in Archangel Avacyn decks. Overall, I think the changes are great and I can’t wait to give the deck another spin.

I feel like a broken record talking about how excited I am to try all these new decks, but what can I say? They’re all so cool!

Long live green cards!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Milwaukee Apr. 30 – May 1!” border=”0″ /></a></div>
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