Video: B/G Midrange In Standard

Two-time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor Brad Nelson makes a confession and then shows you why he’ll be battling with B/G Midrange this weekend at SCG Standard Open: Cincinnati.

Before we get into the videos, I have something I need to say. All day I have been trying to find the best way to write this intro. Like a child preparing to confess to his mother, I raced through all the scenarios that might conclude from this. Will people hate me? Will I lose all the respect I have from you guys and gals? Will Cedric fire me?!?

I guess in the end I have to just admit to my wrong doings and hope nothing bad happens.

Ok, here it goes . . .

Junk Aristocrats isn’t that good!

Why am I sugarcoating this? Junk Aristocrats is terrible! I don’t even know why I was playing it. It’s a strictly worse version of an already popular Aristocrats archetype. It’s just not where you want to be if your goal is to win Magic tournaments. Past Brad is an idiot!

I mean, look at that guy’s mug. Does this look like a guy you should be listening to? I think not!

Present Brad has seen the truth and is prepared to break it all down for you guys. It isn’t the most extravagant of worlds, but it will undoubtedly increase your win percentage until Theros graces us with its presence. Let’s talk Standard!

Last week involved me hitting a reset button in the way I view Standard. When things are not going well, the best way to get out of a funk is to look at things from a different angle. I did this, yet like other writers on this website, I fell into old habits. I talked myself into believing that my new version of Junk Aristocrats was good and the way the deck should be built. Even after the event, in which I ended up going 3-3, I kept working on the deck until I finally got to this list:

Here is another pop quiz for you.

What glaring problem does this list have?

Here’s a clue—it has to do with the theory of deckbuilding.





The answer is that Thragtusk is in the fracking sideboard! There is no reason for a card like Thragtusk to end up in a sideboard. It has very little synergy with other cards in the format, making it an awkward card to be in the sideboard of the most synergistic deck. Thragtusk is the type of card that a deck either wants or doesn’t. You either play four main or none at all, yet I was playing two in the board.

The move from less synergistic cards to more powerful cards is a cry that the deck has become obsolete. Moving to cards like Loxodon Smiter and Desecration Demon is not what Junk Aristocrats wants to do. This just shows that the deck doesn’t do powerful enough things anymore, making it an inferior version of already existing decks.

I don’t know why it took me this long to finally say goodbye to Junk Aristocrats. Maybe it is me trying to cling on to the glory I once had with the deck. It could even be that I have an addiction to sacrificing permanents. It could simply boil down to the words of John Dickinson being seared into my brain. I bet he never expected Wizards to print Bonfire of the Damned

Even though I’m saying goodbye to Junk Aristocrats doesn’t mean you have to. I was having good results with this list earlier this week, but not as good as I was looking for. I don’t think I could pilot this deck to a Top 8 even if I played perfectly. When the gut says it’s time to stop, it’s time to stop.

I do sincerely apologize for talking this deck up last week. I find myself getting tunnel vision when it comes to producing content. Creating new decks, breaking formats, and bringing new and fun strategies to you guys is a natural high for me. I absolutely love it when I build a deck that hundreds of players then take to battle the next weekend to successful finishes. I just want to recreate this feeling week in and week out.

The problem is that sometimes things just don’t work out. This is exactly what has been happening when it comes to Standard. All I want is to find something new for you guys to play in these last couple weeks of Standard before Theros, but I’m constantly ending up with mediocre decks that can’t stand up to the already established strategies.

So to finally conclude this already excruciatingly long intro, I will say this. I don’t always have the answers, but I will damn sure be looking for them week in and week out. Being able to produce content for you guys has been the most amazing thing I have ever been able to do in my life, and I thank you all for the support even when I end up short. It has been an amazing run over the years, but looking back I realize that the one thing I always have is the safety net you guys provide. I will keep shooting for the stars as long as you guys are willing to wait for me to get back up when I fall short.

With that out of the way, let’s play some Magic with the best deck in the format!

B/G Midrange is without a doubt the best deck in the format. You should trust me since my track record has been so good lately. I don’t really even know why I stopped playing this deck after the Classic in Knoxville. It is a consistent midrange deck that has the best mass removal spell in the format. Mutilate invalidates many strategies in Standard as well as not always killing your creatures. The only real weakness to the deck is that is has a rough Jund matchup. Other than that this deck has been putting up the best numbers on Magic Online and has made an appearance in almost every Top 8 since the last Invitational.

This is my flavor of the week, and I hope you guys enjoy the videos!

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4