I am not sure about the rest of you, but I am sick and tired of playing with and against Jund. The fact that I am saying this says a lot, since I have had so much success with the deck. Even with Jund being so good, the format is pretty diverse. This is going to be another article about how there are more decks to play, decks that are being overlooked.
Open the Vaults is a deck that I have been playing recently, and have been pretty impressed. I have always been a fan of Solar Flare control style decks. There have not been many to choose from in the last couple years since the Faerie domination of Standard, and those decks never stood a chance. This deck is actually pretty good versus Jund, so it is a good choice for any Standard tournament.
I should stop talking for a minute and show the decklist as it stands…
- 4 Architects of Will
- 2 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
- 4 Glassdust Hulk
- 2 Filigree Angel
- 4 Sphinx of Lost Truths
Not only has this deck been performing well, but it is very fun to play. The goal of the deck is to cycle artifact creatures and discard gigantic monsters that come back when you cast Open the Vaults. Sphinx of Lost Truths is usually better to cast without kicker because the best artifacts cost eight mana. Players enjoy drawing cards, and this deck does not disappoint. There are 16 spells that draw cards, giving this deck a lot of play.
The card that most of the Open the Vaults decks do not play, that I have included, is Esper Charm. I am really not sure why it is not in every list. Last rotation, I played Esper Control over UWR Control and Grixis simply because I could play Esper Charm over inferior draw spells. This may also be the only deck that can take advantage of the “target player discards two cards ” mode to pitch the expensive spells if you don’t draw a Sphinx of Lost Truths.
The one copy of Courier’s Capsule is in here because it can be returned via Open the Vaults. I recently changed the fourth copy of Esper Charm to this Capsule, and have been happy with it so far. It costs four mana to use compared to Esper Charm, so I like just having one.
There should be at least four cheap creature removal spells in the maindeck because a Bloodbraid Elf deck can just run you over while you’re cycling cards. It is important to be able to both cycle in the early game and not die. Most of the lists I have seen play Oblivion Ring in the maindeck over Path to Exile, but it being an enchantment is not a very big deal. Path costs two less mana and is an instant, so it seems like an obvious switch. There are only three Day of Judgments in the main because Wrath is not what it used to be. The large amount of card drawing will help you find Day of Judgment in the early game.
The mana sources can go in many different directions. I have Arcane Sanctum in this particular version because Esper Charm requires the deck to have additional Black sources. I lost some man-lands to add the Sanctum, but there is so much to do in the late game already. The fetch lands are good with Architects of Will when you target yourself, and Marsh Flats puts an untapped land onto the battlefield. They are also synergistic with the Jace, the Mind Sculptors in the sideboard.
A card that I have chosen to exclude is the Sharuum the Hegemon. It is just a random dragon when it’s returned with Open the Vaults because the artifact is coming back to the battlefield already. It is similar to a Broodmate Dragon, but it is not as good as an Open the Vaults. There are already too many expensive spells in the deck, so I would not include a fifth Open the Vaults even if I could.
Speaking of sideboards, you probably noticed I posted another deck with a large amount of singletons. Almost every deck I play has a similar looking sideboard. There are many different ways that aggro decks attack these days, so there is never a best answer. This deck can play many different cards due to the large amount of cycling in the deck.
You all know that the four copies of Flashfreeze are for the Jund menace. I find it interesting that most of the decks I saw played 3 copies of this card. It is good versus the best deck in the format as well as the Mono Red deck that won GP: Singapore, and versus Boss Naya. Negates and Jace, the Mind Sculptors are for any control deck you may face. The rest of the sideboard is comprised of random creature removal spells. Here is how I sideboard versus the big decks in the format.
Jund: +4 Flashfreeze, +1 Celestial Purge, -1 Day of Judgment, -1 Filigree Angel, -1 Courier’s Capsule, -1 Journey to Nowhere, —1 Fieldmist Borderpost (afraid of Maelstrom Pulse)
Boss Naya: +4 Flashfreeze +1 Day of Judgment, +1 Agony Warp, +1 Mind Control, -4 Spreading Seas, -2 Filigree Angel, -1 Open the Vaults
U/W Tap Out: +4 Negate; +2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor; +1 Oblivion Ring; -3 Day of Judgment; -2 Path to Exile; -2 Journey to Nowhere
Vampires: +1 Mind Control, +1 Agony Warp, +1 Celestial Purge, +1 Day of Judgment, -4 Spreading Seas
As I am writing this, the prerelease has come and gone, and there are many exciting new Rise of the Eldrazi cards that can help this deck. Wall of Omens is the obvious choice. I’m sure some of you out there remember how good Wall of Blossoms was when it was in Standard and Extended. Sometimes this deck can get overrun by a fast start while cycling for answers and land drops, but Wall of Omens can prevent this from happening.
Domestication is an interesting card that is probably going to be played in many decks. I can see it being better than Mind Control in the sideboard. It is also costs only four mana, so it may also be the correct call to play more than one.
Oust seems like another gem from Rise of Eldrazi. It is much better in the early game than Path to Exile, and the life gain “drawback” is barely an issue. You can also put a Sphinx of Lost Truths near the top of your deck so you can play it with or without kicker, and gain three life in the process. It is a sorcery, so it may not make the cut, but it’s something to consider.
Consume the Meek was a card I was not initially impressed with, but it is beginning to grow on me. Wall of Omens is the only creature that it kills on your side. This card being an instant is also good after sideboard versus decks where you want to leave up Flashfreeze. It would probably be a singleton in the sideboard because it costs five mana.
After Rise of the Eldrazi is legal, I would suggest this list…
- 4 Architects of Will
- 3 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
- 4 Glassdust Hulk
- 1 Filigree Angel
- 4 Sphinx of Lost Truths
- 4 Wall of Omens
I cut a land since I added the fourth Wall of Omens for additional cycling. The manabase is a little different since the Terramorphic Expanses are gone.
I also changed the number of bombs from two Sphinx of Steel Wind and two Filigree Angel to three and one. This change was made because when a new set comes out, not everyone has the resources to play the hot new deck. This makes people want to play a deck they have and that they know will still be competitive. This basically means that Jund is going to be more popular when Rise becomes legal for Standard. When everyone gets the new cards, there will be more diversity once again. I want this deck to have a good Jund matchup because of this, and having three Sphinx of Steel Winds is a good start.
I am not sure about what the sideboard for the post-Rise deck should look like. I would go with something similar to the first decklist. Cards from the new set that can be considered for an updated board could be Oust, Domestication, and Consume the Meek. Once we get some results, as well as more articles being written about post-Rise Standard, you can have a better idea about what would be good for the sideboard.
I am very surprised how little this deck has been talked about, because it made Top 8 at Pro Tour: San Diego. Niels Viaene had to beat the best in the world to get that far. This deck defiantly has what it takes to be Tier 1, and should be considered for any upcoming Standard tournament.
There are plenty of Standard tournaments coming in the near future. I will be at the Midwest Masters Series in Detroit, Michigan on April 24th, so feel free to say hi.
Thanks for reading…
Lilbogg675 AT aol DOT com