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Standard insight

March 10, 2010

Grand Prix Brussels is not too far away now and its high time to get a Standard deck that I feel comfortable with. After not doing too well with Camelot.dec (see my “GPTing with Angels, Knights and a lot of Soldiers” for a reference list) during my last two GPTs I’m back to virtually zero when it comes to knowing  exactly on what deck to play.

However virtually zero is not equal to zero. The GPTs and testing in between those events has given me a lot of experience about understanding how to tackle Standard, on a strategic level. The far most important question everyone who wants to play competitive Standard these days have to answer is how do I approach the Jund matchup. An answer to that question that I have been trying out is “fight power with power”. Trying to accel into quick Knight of the Relinquary, Emeria Angels and Conqueror’s Pledge is what I have been doing the last three weeks or so. That strategy works…sometimes. The problem here (which I have found to be true with basically any deck running Noble Hierachs) is consistency.

Sure, you do win a fair amount of games when your decks works as scripted. But aswell many times the plan of playing turn 2 Knight of the Relinquary etc. doesn’t work out and you die because Jund does its thing more constantly than you. That said, you will probably not seeing me casting any Noble Hierarch in the near future…

Four other angles that I will test for the next 3 weeks (when I’m not studying for my spring exams that is…) is 1) Keeping it simple. Be more consistent than Jund. 2) Try to screw up them with their resources (primarily mana and hand), 3) Deny their use of their efficient removal and 4) Just play Jund ourselves. A great example of the first angle is GerryT’s new take on Boros Bushwacker, named Koros. He has basically implemented the Stoneforge Mystic+equipment+Cunning Sparkmage package from the Boss Naya deck into the more straight forward Boros deck. Further on, a just straight up GW Knight of the Relinquary deck might be something or even Eldrazi Green. I personally like simple decks, in the meaning that it does its thing almost every game and doesn’t loose many games on the back of hiccups and what nod. 

The second approach is a little more complex. The basic idea is simple, Jund has many powerful spells but if you can prevent him for actually using most of them you should win. We have seen Spreading Seas in the past and more recently we have seen Conley Woods fielding Acidic Slime and Goblin Ruinblasters in the main to gain an edge over the massive hulk that is Jund. Particular Acidic Slime I’m a huge fan of. It’s just does so much right now and it’s really hard not to get yourself a good 2-1 with it. If it’s not completely screwing your opponent, it often does something like destroying a manland and then keeping Putrid Leeches and what nod at bay. Versus Boss Naya you can expect to get rid of annoying equipments aswell keeping the Knight of the Relinquary at home. Expect to see some more action of Acidic Slime in the future.

The third angle have we seen from most recently the blue-white control deck sported by Patric Chapin and Gabriel Nassif at Pro Tour San Diego. Without any creature and very few good Maelstrom Pulse targets Jund will have a lot of dead cards in their hand. Unfortunley, this plan have its flaws. The flaw is that there are games called game 2 and game 3 in which your allowed to use a sideboard. That means a lot of the dead cards are going out for Malakir Bloodwitches, Goblin Ruinblasters and Mind Rot and their like.

And lastly we have the fact that we could just play Jund on our own, which is you know, legit.

Right now I have to go back to my class, so more testing is for the future. I hope I have given you some intel about how to attack Standard when it comes to deck choices for the near future. I will be back for more musings about Standard, stay tuned.

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