Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of The Magic Show. This week we have a slightly truncated edition due to the fact that I’m live in Austin, Texas for the Pro Tour, but rest assured we still have some goodness for you. We’ll say goodbye to Lorwyn with a look back at some truly embarrassing statements made about cards from that monster four-set block, as well as looking forward to the new Zendikar Standard with some hot new decks. Let’s go!
So as we turn the page on Lorwyn, a huge four-set block that encompassed the tribal mechanic from end-to-end, the return of hybrid and more, it’s time to look back through the history of the Magic Show for the past two years and find some crazy things that came out of my and other’s mouths. While I do get things right from time to time, I sure get them wrong as well. Here are a few of my favorite misses:
With the StarCityGames.com $5000 Standard Open wrapping up this past weekend, with a whopping six Jund decks in Top 8, I think it’s safe to say this format is about as undefined as you can get. Most of the Jund decks were supporting no Zendikar cards sans Verdant Catacombs, which to me is a cop-out but an understandable one. No need to go outside the lines when the lines haven’t even been defined yet, right?
Well, thankfully we have some creative deckbuilders that can give us a few more interesting options. Take a look at Boros Bushwhacker 2.0, courtesy of its creator, Quiet Speculation’s own Kelly Reid:
- 4 Ranger of Eos
- 3 Hellspark Elemental
- 4 Elite Vanguard
- 3 Goblin Bushwhacker
- 4 Goblin Guide
- 4 Kor Skyfisher
- 4 Steppe Lynx
Here is your basic Super Fast Aggro Deck, and I like it. This is nothing but speed-speed-speed and the ability to win on Turn 4 or 5 is not out of the question. The key to this deck is a few cards: One – Steppe Lynx is much better than you give him credit for. Secondly, Goblin Bushwhacker is the exact same way – who knew this little fella was both a team pump and a 2/1 haste creature for just two mana and it can be fetched via Ranger of Eos? Goblin Guide is even better than advertised, and he was hyped quite a bit, and I think the most surprisingly element of this deck is Kor Skyfisher and its ability to return Teetering Peaks to your hand for another +2/+0 bonus or Ranger of Eos for another round of one-drops. Kor Skyfisher could end up being my favorite card in Zendikar, the way things are heading.
But what about the new hotness? How about a deck you’ve never seen before? Here is my own R/W Ascension Control:
Now this deck basically revolves around attaining four counters on Luminarch Ascension, which is basically Good Game versus anyone, as two-mana 4/4 Angels are No Joke. That said, how does it achieve it? Well, it stops them attacking thanks to Wall of Reverence, Ajani Vengeant’s tap-down ability, and Intimidation Bolt not allowing them to attack. Secondly it has plenty of Wraths thanks to Day of Judgment and Martial Coup, along with spot removal in the form of Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt. Elspeth makes a mean Chump Blocker ™ and Gargoyle Castle gives us something to do with our lands, including making another blocker, if need be.
This is the list I’m most excited about, as you can easily switch out the Intimidation Bolts for Celestial Purges if you wish, a fantastic card in the metagame right now filled with Jund decks and Vampires.
But just yesterday StarCityGames.com own Adrian Sullivan put out a very interesting take on the ‘Spanish Inquisition’ list that made Top 8 at U.S. Nationals this year. Check it out:
While I don’t think four Luminarch Ascensions are correct, as having two in your opening hand is just miserable, it comes from the same angle my own R/W deck does: Get four counters on Luminarch Ascension and go nuts. A card I really like in this deck, and potentially my own, is Earthquake. This gives you Yet Another Wrath to use on their guys, and quickly sweeps White Weenie and Red decks away with ease.
But the deckbuilding hasn’t ended yet. Here’s a spicy new list from StarCityGames.com Kyle Sanchez, Bant Hardly Wait:
- 4 Rhox War Monk
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 4 Baneslayer Angel
- 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
- 4 Lotus Cobra
I love this deck as it runs some incredibly powerful cards in the form of Baneslayer Angel, Lotus Cobra, and Knight of the Reliquary, while also running the fantastically versatile Bant Charm and the oft-forgotten Negate. Mind Spring is another card that seems to shine, since pretty much all of Blue’s card drawing ability sucks these days. You’ve got Divination… and… um… Covenant of Minds… and… um… not much. So Mind Spring it is! Rhox War Monk is another much-forgotten gem that hoses a Red deck and most ‘rush-style’ decks.
So that’s a quick look at Standard this-go round. A few notes about Extended before I’m out: First, don’t disregard Hypergenesis as a Real Deck. The deck is fast, resilient, and scary. One Hypergenesis can give you all sorts of scary monsters, including Iona, Thraximundar, Sundering Titan, Akroma and more. While ‘cool kids’ hate playing such a ‘cheap’ deck, it reminds me of Dragonstorm from a few years ago. No one wanted to respect it, because it was ‘dumb’ and ‘plays itself’ or whatever. But if you’re in a professional or money tournament, all you want to do is win. And that’s exactly what a resolved Hypergenesis does most of the time.
The other card that I’ve heard rumblings about is Hive Mind. Once you resolve Hive Mind, you play Pact of the Titan while having Pact of Negation up for any shenanigans. Your opponent won’t be able to pay the Pact (or Pacts’) upkeep on their next turn, once again giving you an insta-win.
But these predictions are just that, and will probably turn out to be as wrong as some of my ridiculous Lorwyn predictions above. All I know is, I’ll be live this weekend catching the sights, sounds, and personalities of Magic and will be bringing them to you next week.
So until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards… so you don’t have to.
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
14.5 Hour drive to Austin? Check.
Nearly killed me? Check.