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Apr 08 2017

A Standard Metagame With Amonkhet

Spoiler season is, as they say, in full swing and I’ve already seen enough to believe Amonkhet will revitalize the Standard meta. Between powerful removal with cycling and aggressive, efficient red spells, the potential archetypes coming about should safely check 4c Saheeli and keep other planeswalker decks down. Since I’m such a fiend for Jund midrange, I’ll first share the deck I would play in an unknown metagame. There’s roughly a 200% chance that Jund won’t even be tier 2. I don’t care. I could easily just play GB Constrictor, but that’s not nearly as fun.

Jund Midrange

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Sylvan Advocate
2 Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
2 Tireless Tracker
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
3 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Attune With Aether
3 Fatal Push
3 Lay Bare the Heart
1 Shock
4 Unlicensed Disintegration
[/Spells]
[Permanents]
3 Aethersphere Harvester
[/Permanents]
[Lands]
1 Hissing Quagmire
4 Blooming Marsh
2 Foreboding Ruins
3 Game Trail
3 Evolving Wilds
3 Swamp
3 Forest
1 Mountain
2 Cinder Glade
1 Smoldering Marsh
2 Sheltered Thicket
[/Lands]
[/deck]

It’s geared toward staying alive against the aggro decks and turning the corner later while also having a decent curve out with disruption to beat control. Most of the card choices are pretty obvious. The one-of [card]Shock[/card] over a fourth [card]Fatal Push[/card] is odd, but I think running a split between the two is correct. All the spells in the deck can be flashed back with [card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/card] and between [card]Aethersphere Harvester[/card] and [card]Tireless Tracker[/card] I’ll probably have enough artifacts to get a consistent burn from [card]Unlicensed Disintegration[/card]

Predicting the Metagame

I don’t think anyone would be surprised If CopyCat stayed tier one post rotation, but just how strong is the combo when Amonkhet is introduced to the meta? Typically when a rotation occurs more linear and aggro decks are highlighted since their deck construction doesn’t rely as much on what the rest of the meta is doing. These decks are commonly referred to as “Level 1”. Then the decks with game against linear strategies (control or midrange usually) perform well against Level 1 and they collectively become Level 2. Level 3 is where we hit a balanced metagame with decks that were crowded out by the overabundance of aggro decks. They perform better against the slower strategies and thus an equilibrium is achieved.

A metagame won’t always develop this way, but emulating it will give us a good idea of what the metagame will look like. The decks that were strong previously will still be strong with Amonkhet, of course. The question is whether new archetypes can supplant them. For example, Mardu Vehicles is the current aggro deck, but it can have serious mana issues. If a mono colored aggro deck was powerful enough, we could see Mardu Vehicles lose its share of the meta in favor of Red Deck Wins, for example.

Level One – RDW

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Village Messenger
4 Soul-Scar Mage
4 Furyblade Vampire
4 Sin Prodder
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
3 Hazoret the Fervent
4 Goldnight Castigator
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Borrowed Hostility
4 Invigorated Rampage
2 Insult // Injury
3 Incendiary Flow
[/Spells]
[Lands]
20 Mountain
[/Lands]
[/deck]

Yes, clearly I’m terrible at making aggressive decks. It’s entirely possible, though, that red won’t end up being good. Mono white [card]Always Watching[/card] could end up being the aggro deck of choice. Vehicles could continue to be better than any other new aggro archetype as well. There are so many plants for mono red, however, that I don’t believe it won’t be a player in the upcoming standard season. Likewise, the blue God [card]Kefnet the Mindful[/card] is such a good finisher for control that I expect a Solar Flare deck of the good old days will be revived.

Solar Flare

[deck]
[Creatures]
2 Kefnet the Mindful
3 Scribe of the Mindful
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Essence Scatter
4 Painful Truths
2 Renewed Faith
4 Yahenni’s Expertise
3 Fumigate
2 Dusk // Dawn
2 Fatal Push
1 To the Slaughter
2 Disallow
[/Spells]
[Permanents]
4 Cast Out
[/Permanents]
[Lands]
4 Irrigated Farmland
4 Fetid Pools
4 Shambling Vent
4 Prairie Stream
4 Sunken Hollow
3 Evolving Wilds
2 Swamp
2 Plains
1 Island
[/Lands]
[/deck]

At the time of writing this, Nicol Bolas has not been given a Planeswalker card, and I don’t think he will until Hour of Devastation. As such, Grixis control probably won’t be a good option until then. I could also see [card]Gideon of the Trials[/card] being run in this deck. Obviously the numbers for everything are completely messed up, but the gist of it is the same. Remember how good Esper Dragons was in DTK Standard? This looks pretty similar to that. Running plenty of sweepers, and on turn 4 against the aggro decks you can just [card]Yahenni’s Expertise[/card] into Kefnet and start attacking for 5 every turn.

I think decks similar to these will be mainstays of the new meta. CopyCat decks will still exist in some form, but whether it’s the 4c deck or a normal Jeskai deck I couldn’t say. However, there’s a cool combo deck that got better with the [card]Fling[/card] reprint of all things.

Flingatog

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Ravenous Intruder
4 Syndicate Trafficker
4 Sly Requisitioner
[/Creatures]
[Permanents]
4 Implement of Combustion
4 Implement of Ferocity
4 Implement of Improvement
4 Servo Schematic
4 Cogworker’s Puzzleknot
[/Permanents]
[Spells]
4 Fling
4 Shock
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Concealed Courtyard
3 Foreboding Ruins
3 Smoldering Marsh
4 Swamp
2 Mountain
[/Lands]
[/deck]

I have to admit, I’m excited to see if Flingatog goes anywhere. Neal Oliver (www.twitch.tv/nealoliver88) played a version of the deck without Fling to good results and I think Fling is a crucial element of the deck, since Intruder and Trafficker have no evasion or anything. Basically the goal of the deck is to play an artifact on turn one, your sacrifice dork on turn two, and then play [card]Sly Requisitioner[/card] and start popping Implements until Intruder has 20 power and swing for lethal. Now with Fling we don’t actually have to attack, which is why this might be an actual thing now.

Second Sun Marvel CopyCat Combo

[deck]
[Creatures]
3 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Whirler Virtuoso
2 Felidar Guardian
4 Rogue Refiner
4 Servant of the Conduit
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Attune With Aether
3 Approach of the Second Sun
4 Harnessed Lightning
[/Spells]
[Permanents]
4 Aetherworks Marvel
3 Saheeli Rai
2 Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot
[/Permanents]
[Lands]
4 Aether Hub
4 Botanical Sanctum
5 Forest
1 Island
2 Lumbering Falls
1 Mountain
3 Plains
3 Spirebluff Canal
[/Lands]
[/deck]

I’m not sorry.
Thanks for reading, and happy brewing!

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Just make sure the second time you cast it is not off of a Marvel spin…

    1. Mike Jardine

      Unless you really want that 7 life 😉

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