U/G Devotion In Standard

If you’d like to try something a little different at SCG Standard Open: Columbus this weekend, watch as Sam plays a few matches with his U/G Devotion deck on Magic Online.

As usual, I’ve been having trouble finding an interesting new Standard deck to show off since I believe Mono-Blue and Mono-Black Devotion are just the best decks, but there’s already a lot of content about those. To make matters worse, anything I can think of that isn’t already pretty well known outside of those decks is more or less completely unplayable.

I’ve consistently advocated against splashing in either of those decks and still think it’s wrong, but today I’m going to take a look at how it might play if you did want to add a color to Mono-Blue, in this case green:

Master Biomancer is incredible with Master of Waves, which is the primary draw toward this build. I don’t like the number of green sources I get easily so I wanted a Forest, which cuts into my blue, but Sylvan Caryatid helps fix that while also potentially accelerating Master Biomancer, which is much better when it comes out ahead of schedule.

Mistcutter Hydra is arguably good in the mirror and against U/W Control, so I thought I’d try it out in the sideboard. Savage Summoning is a suggestion by Greg Hatch that intrigued me, though it sounded like a bit of a stretch. The idea is to ambush someone with a Master of Waves or better yet play either Master of Waves or Master Biomancer at the end of their turn and then untap and play Master of Waves. The result will be a bunch of tokens that are hard to get rid of. I’m not sure when this would come up in practice, but I want to give myself the ability to go for it.

I side out Tidebinder Mage against Mono-Black with Mono-Blue because it doesn’t really do anything. I left it in here because I didn’t like the idea of a four-mana threat that doesn’t impact the board immediately, but in hindsight I’m pretty sure it was wrong to cut Tidebinder instead of Master.

That first game was extremely tight, so it was frustrating to throw it away like that. As I mentioned, if I had just cast Ajani, Caller of the Pride instead of Spear of Heliod, I would have had exactly lethal. The next games weren’t terribly interesting.

That matchup is horrible. The plan against U/W Control is to bring in Mistcutter Hydra, but that just isn’t good against black removal. So the whole thing is positioned much worse than Mono-Blue, where I’ve cut good four-mana spells for Masters that don’t do anything, worse lands, and a worse sideboard in a matchup that was already somewhat difficult.

Well, I punted another game, which is pretty embarrassing, but I’m almost glad I did because it let me play that third game where I got to assemble Master Biomancer + Master of Waves to trump Pack Rat, which is basically all I could ever hope to do with this deck.

All in all, I still don’t really think splashing the color is worth it, but the games where you stick a Master Biomancer are certainly fun. If you’ve found the creatures underpowered for your taste, this is a fairly reasonable way to give the deck a little more oomph.