When a band or solo artist becomes a one-hit wonder, they can go in one of two directions. They can grow to resent their limited success, working in vain to distance themselves from it to the point where they alienate their fans and fade into obscurity. Or they can embrace it, understanding that even a single hit song is something to be proud of. Decades later they are on that stage, singing the same song, and having a blast.
Craig Wescoe is the latter. Don’t get me wrong; Craig is a world-class Magic player and I have no doubt he could succeed with archetypes outside of his beloved white aggro. But if you’re having fun and you’re doing well, then that’s all there is to it. And it’s safe to say that no one is better with white aggro by either of these metrics than Craig Wescoe.
Last weekend he could have given in and played W/U Flash, which is somewhat aggressive and the default best deck in the format, but we’re dealing with a purist here. Only four one-drops? We can do better than that. Toolcraft Exemplar is the next-best option, but we’re going to need more artifacts than that. Scrapheap Scrounger is an easy splash, which gets you to twelve after Thraben Inspector and Smuggler’s Copter, and Stitcher’s Graft puts you over the top with fourteen.
Hold on a second. You didn’t think I was going to just sneak that one in there like it was nothing, right? Stitcher’s Graft is certainly a powerful tool in an aggressive deck, but without vigilance it’s an extreme liability. Aerial Responder is a nice solution to the problem, letting you assemble a Baneslayer Angel, but it’s certainly not enough on its own.
The card that ties everything together is Always Watching. There is a lot of combat going on right now in Standard, and as a result Anthems are at a premium. Even without a Stitcher’s Graft, having 4/4 Smuggler’s Copters and 3/4 Aerial Responders lets you completely dominate combat on both offense and defense. White decks aren’t exactly known for their reach, so you have to get your creatures through until your opponent is at zero.
The sideboard lets Craig go a little bigger with more copies of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Archangel Avacyn once his opponents bring in their anti-aggro cards, a classic juke for this archetype. You’d think people would catch on after a while, but until then, I’m sure Craig is quite content to keep tapping what I have to assume are the most-played Plains in the world.