Everything You Need To Know For Saturday’s SCG Tour Online Championship Qualifier

Get up to speed on the fresh Standard format and more for tomorrow’s SCG Tour Online Championship Qualifier.

After months of Wilderness Reclamation and Growth Spiral dominating Standard, a fresh take on the format will be on display this weekend for the second Championship Qualifier of Season Two of the SCG Tour Online.


This section of the article was going to a giant picture of the art for Wilderness Reclamation until the surprise update to the banned and restricted list on Monday. Now we get to dive into the format and take a look at the decks qualifying for the Championship Qualifier by 4-0ing a Challenge.

While Growth Spiral and Wilderness Reclamation are gone, ramp strategies haven’t disappeared from the format. In fact, Simic-based decks of various shapes and sizes are still the most played archetypes, but the variations are plentiful as of now. A combination of Arboreal Grazer, Paradise Druid, Cultivate, and Nissa, Who Shakes the World all still power out huge spells ahead of schedule to win games.

Simic Ramp in the hands of Eric Froehlich is the simplest form of ramp at the moment, ignoring a third color to focus on Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Hydroid Krasis and Elder Gargaroth as payoffs. Notably the straight Simic build doesn’t include Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath.

Sultai Ramp has been one of the most popular builds 4-0ing Challenges, looking a lot like the Standard format before Reclamation decks took over. Adding cards like Thought Erasure, Casualties of War, Extinction Event, and spot removal like Heartless Act or Eliminate, Sultai ramps while also interacting and playing closer to a traditional midrange deck.

A different take on ramp is Temur Elementals, the mostly creature-based ramp deck with Leafkin Druid, Risen Reef, Omnath, Locus of the Roil, Caviler of Thorns, and Genesis Ultimatum to cap things off. Terror of the Peaks gives the deck another threat to ramp into while allowing for some flexibility and combo-kill potential by using a Genesis Ultimatum to put a bunch of big creatures in play with a Terror of the Peaks to kill the opponent.

Temur Adventures was the starting point for a lot of players after the bans of Wilderness Reclamation, Growth Spiral, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Cauldron Familiar. It was one of the strongest decks that didn’t get tagged by any of the bannings while getting some minor upgrades, mostly in the mana base with Ketria Triome. Edgewall Innkeeper and Lucky Clover still allow the deck to out-grind most opposing midrange and control decks while having access to Stomp and Petty Theft to slow down aggressive strategies.

Decks thriving the most after the removal of Teferi, Time Raveler from the format are most certainly flash decks of varying color combinations. Simic and Temur Flash are the top contenders, but Izzet and Dimir also have some legs. Combining flash threats and a bunch of counterspells let you play a reactive game while picking when to stick a threat if an opponent chooses not to play into open mana. Seth Manfield, Javier Dominguez, and Brad Nelson all made Top 8 of Mythic Championship VII back in December with a take on Simic Flash, proving how powerful the archetype can be.

Another deck that dodged all the bans is Mardu Winota, riding especially high after Michael Jacob finished third in the Players Tour Finals with the new aggro-combo deck. The deck was made to prey on Growth Spiral decks, but is still capable of putting together impressive openings, even though it is more susceptible to removal showing up in decks now. A Boros build of the deck also went 4-0 in a Challenge in the hands of Simon Nielsen, dropping black for other threats like Gingerbrute, Tithe Taker, and Seasoned Hallowblade.

Of course, mono-colored aggressive decks are still playable as they survived the bannings. Red, green, black, and even white decks all have the same tools as before, but the question will be if they are still viable when opposing decks are packing removal now. Brandon Burton is still jamming Mono-Red Aggro and still putting up results.

While this list of decks covers most of the format now, we still might see some new stuff this weekend.

Players to Watch


Coverage starts at 10 AM ET on Saturday. Dom Harvey, Emma Handy, Ryan Overturf, and Todd Anderson will call all the action while I do my usual job of picking feature matches, interviewing players, and running things behind the scenes. Watch all the action on twitch.tv/starcitygames and check out the tournament page for the event on MTG Melee.