The Great Champs Experiment: Part 2 – Netherlands and Spanish Nationals

The Netherlands did not add much to the current project that we are looking at, with Sea Stompy making it in to the Top 8, Heartbeat, Counterbalance Control, Snakes with Glare, multiple Critical Mass (Called Go Anan is the Best Player in coverage), a B/G Aggro deck (we talked about that in the last article), and Erayo…

Wow! The Top 8 to the Netherlands National Championship was loaded, amiright? The bottom half of the bracket was

packed with a former World Champion, a player that finished second in his first two Pro Tours, the runner-up to the past

World Championship and another Pro Tour Top 8 appearance. With Rogier Maaten squeaking in at eighth place, this country

will be well represented at the upcoming World Championships.

We’re not really looking at Worlds though, we’re more excited about our own personal Champs. The

Netherlands did not add much to the current project that we are looking at, with Sea Stompy making it in to the Top 8,

Heartbeat, Counterbalance Control, Snakes with Glare, multiple Critical Mass (Called Go Anan is the Best Player in

coverage), a B/G Aggro deck (we talked about that in the last article), and Erayo. The only deck that I think we can look

at is the one played by Remie and Nuijten, so let’s get started with that!

Key losses in the deck are a plenty, with Okina, Minamo, Oboro, Ninja of the Deep Hours, Meloku, and Jitte all falling

by the wayside in the main, and every card but Naturalize removed from the sideboard. I see Critical Mass a lot like I see

Sea Stompy: they both play similar, but this one eschews the Red splash for an easier manabase and a diversified

counterspell package. What you want to do is play a bunch of small men, protect them from removal with the countermagic,

and ride them to victory. The losses of the Champions Block cards hurt a lot, but Blue/Green is a powerful combination (did

we forget about Madness?), so people will try to make this deck work.

We have to replace the lands, and I want to see another Simic Growth Chamber, so we’ll bump that to two and add a

basic for each legendary land. Jitte is replaced by Moldervine Cloak, and while we are messing with the spells I’ll

go ahead and move Spell Snare into the side, so we can have a full set of Remand (which may very well be the best Blue card

in the new Standard). The creatures are going to be harder to figure out, but I think we can replace the card draw from

Ninja (there is never a good replacement for card advantage.) with Coiling Oracle, and Cytoplast Root-Kin will replace


We pretty much have to start with a fresh sideboard, but a set of Spell Snares is an easy inclusion. We can go up to

four Naturalize, too. To shore up the Aggro matchup we can include Carven Caryatids, and the final three slots in the board

will be Giant Solifuge.

With the lack of new innovation in the Netherlands (and really who can blame them?), I’m going to take this time

to round off the rest of what I feel is the top tier of Standard as it stands now. We’ll finish up this article with

a look at Zoo, Vore, Orzhov Aggro, Tron, and Gruul.

Zoo is a fun deck; make a guy, attack blast the opponent with some direct damage, and race them to twenty before they

can stabilize and get back into the game. We are not losing much from the deck, and it is sure to be a popular choice for


The maindeck does not lose much at all, with Isamaru going to a better place, and the sideboard is losing just Kami of

Ancient Law (which has a functional reprint in Ronom Unicorn) and Umezawa’s Jitte. We need a quick beater to take the

place of the Hound, and with a lack of solid one-drops at this moment, I think we can be better suited running Dryad

Sophisticate in that spot. This will almost ensure that we have some sort of two-drop on turn 2, but if you feel the need,

we can run Llanowar Elves in the open slot. I like the burn package, so nothing really needs to change there, and Giant

Growth proves to be a great combat trick over and over again. As for the board, Kami becomes Unicorn, and Jitte should

become some sort of artifact removal, so I’ll put in Naturalize.

Vore seems to be one of the decks that does not lose much, but the card that it does lose is a huge hindrance to the deck.

Eye of Nowhere has no sorcery speed replacement, which does make Vore a slightly smaller creature, but I feel as long as we

have land destruction, bounce, and counter magic, the deck should be able to survive, and do so strongly.

We lost Eye of Nowhere, but that is fine, as we still have Boomerang in the format. It’s not the best

replacement; however, the deck still wants to control the opponent’s resources, and at instant speed the card is a

little more flexible. I am not a fan of the Annex in the deck, but I understand that will help you cast Wildfire, and leave

you with more of your own lands in play after the spell resolves. Sadly, I am going to replace them with Demolish since

losing Eye leaves us with three fewer sorceries, and we absolutely must pack this homeboy with sorceries to help out the

‘Vore. I do like the idea of Annex so I am going to keep two in. We lose the Legendary lands again, but those are

easily replaced with the fourth Shivan Reef and one of each basic. The sideboard is easy to deal with, as Threads become

Repeals and Melokus turning into another monster – I would use Niv-Mizzet until something better comes up.

Orzhov decks have been popular for some time now, and for good reason. We have efficient creatures, great removal and

card advantage in the color. The deck gets rocked by Champions leaving, but with some retooling the deck can be a solid


You know after saying it so many times, I’m glad the legendary lands are gone. Replace them with basics. We lose

Isamaru, Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, Umezawa’s Jitte, Shining Shoal, and Hand of Honor. Shoal can be replaced with

removal, and for this deck I’m going to use Condemn. Jitte is not so easy to replace here, as we have no Moldervine

Cloak, so again, I’ll go with removal and add Last Gasp. The White two-drops can be replaced as well, and the

White-Shield Crusader will take the place of the Hand of Honor, and the Flying Leonin Skyhunter will take place of the fox.

I nearly forgot to mention Savannah Lions coming for the pup.

There is no place in the sideboard for Manriki-Gusari, Descendant of Kiyomaro, and Ink-Eyes. Since Last Gasp got the

call-up, we’re going to have to replace it. We’ll add another two Faith’s Fetters, the fourth Condemn, two

more Arenas, and let’s try out Cry of Contrition as another weapon against Control.

Tron does not stand to lose much, and I think the best way to go with the deck is move it to a Blue/Green splash Red

base. We’ll kill with something besides Keiga (hmm, maybe Simic Sky Swallower) and still run Demonfire as an

alternate kill.

The maindeck, much like Vore, loses a small amount of cards. Keiga is easily replaced by Simic Sky Swallower, but this

makes us shift the color focus of the deck. We’ll replace the dual lands with Yavimaya Coast and Breeding Pool, flip

the number of Signets, and add a Mountain in place of Minamo, so we have three sources of Red mana to cast Demonfire. With

a smaller emphasis on Red mana, we have to toss Wildfire as well. While there is no good board sweeper, we can just add

more countermagic, with Rune Snag playing more control. The maindeck was fairly easy.

The sideboard will lose Needle, Hinder, and Meloku, and since we are moving away from Red, Volcanic Hammer. I love the

Copy Enchantment sideboard plan, and since we swapped Green for Red we can bring back Giant Solifuge. I feel Voidslime can

be a fine replacement for Hinder, and that should be about it for the board. I’m also going to add the fourth Repeal

and the fourth Spell Snare to the board.

We get to the last deck of this article, and thankfully it is the easiest to change around, so we lose Jitte (frown)

just replace it with more burn.

Wow, Jitte really is the only change to the deck – we’ll use Seal of Fire and be done with it. Or will we? I

think Ohran Viper belongs in the deck so I’m going to switch the Seal to Viper, which will give the deck a little

added oomph for removal or card drawing.

The Sideboard does not look like it needs to be changed around any, so we’ll keep it as is.

The next issue will see us winding down on the preexisting Standard decks. We’ll take a look at Dark Boros, and

the two color Boros Deck as well as Glare, Wafo-Tapa, Beach House, Firemane Control, and Mono-Green Aggro (one of my

favorite decks). We’ll take a look at the previewed cards for the week, and then we will move on to porting some of

the more dominant Ravnica Block decks. By the time this is done, we’ll have close to twenty-five decks with which to

stage some early testing, and then we can jump full swing in to Time Spiral! Hey, if I have the time, I’ll take a

look at Battle of Wits, and Red White Boros Tron as well!

If I have missed any decks that need to be stripped of Champions, let me know in the forums and I’ll make sure to

cover it before moving on!