The More Things Change….
Two weeks into the new standard and we’ve established that even with all the new changes, for the most part things are just staying the same.
The big standard decks so far seem to be Jeskai aggro and megamorph decks, just with more splashable mana bases. The first weekend we saw a few decks built on the back of Bring to Light, but the slow mana base ran into issues with the much faster Atarka Red and GW Megamorph decks that ended up in the finals. This past weekend seems similar, with a lot of decks wanting to only splash into a fourth color for the best of the best cards, but while still being able to have a consistent and quick mana base.
Next weekend we should get an even more clear picture of what decks are doing super well, but the below three seem to be the front runners. Crazy things happen with the Pro Tour though, and it’s quite possible that teams have tucked away some super secret decks to surprise their opponent’s next weekend.
Prior to rotation Jeskai aggro was a very popular deck, combining creatures like Soulfire Grand Master and Mantis Rider with burn spells and the power of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Now with the addition of battle lands (as SCG Live is calling them) the deck can support splashing for the addition of powerful cards like Crackling Doom, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, and Utter End. This is the first example of a deck that didn’t really get anything from BFZ with the exception of the new lands, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar depending on which decklist you look at….
The pair of Den Protector and Deathmist Raptor was a mainstay of devotion decks prior to rotation. Now they continue to see extensive play together with other green and white all stars such as Warden of the First Tree, Wingmate Roc, and Dromoka’s Command (and don’t forget Hangarback Walker). New additions include Gideon and the battle lands again, but not much else.
The overall winnner of the first week was Atarka Red, even with the loss of a lot of the good burn spells. Still, the combo of prowess creatures (Monastery Swiftspear/Abbot of Keral Keep), great pump spells (Become Immmense/Titan’s Strength) and Temur Battle Rage led to a number of abrupt finishes to games.