Video: B/W/G Aristocrats In Standard

Watch as Pro Tour Philadelphia Top 4 competitor Sam Black tries out the deck he’s most excited about in new Standard, B/W/G Aristocrats, to see if you should try it at #SCGBALT.

My first video in the new Standard format has to be the deck I’ve been most excited about: B/W/G Aristocrats. I’ve written about the deck before, so let’s get right to it.

I went with Gift of Orzhova in the sideboard over Unflinching Courage because I don’t want my opponents to be able to block with multiple creatures to kill my enchanted creature and I don’t think the extra +1/+1 matters that much if one of them is going.

This first game was pretty epic, and I won because we both made big mistakes at the end. I should have just attacked without sacrificing for one turn and then moved in the next turn, and he should have sacrificed another creature to end at two life so that he wouldn’t be dead to my Blood Artist. Having gotten himself into that position, he still could have won by passing and sacrificing creatures in my upkeep, letting his Artists resolve but not any of mine.

In game 2, I couldn’t cast spells, so he blew me out. In game 3, I had an answer to his High Priest, and he didn’t have an answer to mine (also, being on the draw with a slower start, his likely would have been too slow).

Slumbering Dragon was a surprise card that I had to figure out how to play around, but it turned out the best answer was just to wait for Demons. In the second game, my opponent never found red mana, and my draw ended up working out quite nicely.

So far, I’m feeling good about Ready // Willing and Maw of the Obzedat, but I’ve always wanted cheaper removal and Putrefy is always the first card I side out. Also, I’m not really using my sideboard, which is fine if I’m just not playing against the decks it’s there for, especially if I’m winning, but still suggests I should reconsider it.

In my reevaluation, I realized that I don’t have anything that fights the graveyard, which I probably should. For now, I think that means I want Deathrite Shaman since it’s a powerful card that’s basically on-plan, but if that isn’t enough Ground Seal would also be a perfect fit, especially if I don’t use Deathrite Shaman, where it would have the upside of turning off my opponent’s Deathrite Shamans while letting me do all my graveyard stuff.

For the next matches, I’ll be playing:

Orzhov Charm is great here. I have Blood Artists to make up the life loss and lots of one-mana creatures I’ll sometimes be happy to return. I might want more of them, but in the maindeck I don’t want too much removal and in the sideboard I think I want painless removal for aggressive decks. It’s still likely better than the Putrefy, but I want to keep one around for a bit just to see if I ever want it.

Sometimes a turn 3 Acidic Slime just gets you. Ordinarily, this isn’t the kind of deck that should mind a Slime so much since my curve is so low, but when I’m a bit land light and it comes down on turn 3, it’s a different story.

I won game 2 because of my opponent’s mana issues, but I felt good about the decisions I made—siding out Voice of Resurgence and killing his Elf when I did.

Both of us had terrible draws in game 3, but mine were a little less terrible. Overall, this didn’t make me feel much better about the Reanimator matchup, but I think I might be favored to win any game where I draw a Skirsdag High Priest and Deathrite definitely helps after sideboarding. I probably need more of those if there’s much Reanimator.

In the first game, I got punished for playing my Blood Artist too aggressively into removal and fell behind on tempo because I didn’t play the Carter Aristocrat earlier, but I don’t think I could have beaten his Blood Artist. He mostly won this game because he drew more removal than I did, which says something important about the matchup—even though many of the creatures are good against removal, it’s the ones that aren’t that win the games.

In game 2, I mulliganed into the perfect Skirsdag High Priest draw, but what’s important to note about this game is that I actually won because his removal spell was Putrefy rather than something that cost two mana, which could have killed Skirsdag High Priest in time.

In the third game, I got Blood Artist superiority, and won as soon as I had it. (It may look like he conceded early, but on his turn I could blank his Blood Artist by sacrificing a second creature after allowing the triggers from my artist to resolve after sacrificing a first creature and repeat until he was dead without letting his Blood Artist do anything).

I’ve heard reports from others that they haven’t loved this deck, but so far it feels good to me. I’m looking forward to further testing with it.

Thanks for watching,

@samuelhblack on Twitter