Hey there Communitarians, this week Scourge and Incontrol “delve’ into what they think will be changing with the new M13 set being released.
Incontrol88: Core sets are all about staples, so it stands to reason that M13 is going to introduce some game-changing cards into the card pool. Today we’ll talk a little bit about some of the changes we predict in Magic. Or more accurately, I’ll participate in a discussion about M13 and Standard, and then Scourge will cover all the other stuff.
So let’s talk about Delver. It’s the elephant in the room in that even post-M13 it’s lost relatively no steam in terms of tournament success.
TheScourgeXV88: Exactly. If you look at the past two weeks of Starcitygames.com Open series tournaments, we can see that U/W delver has lost little to no steam at all, with additions such as Talrand into the mix. I think Talrand is an interesting addition, albeit possibly a short lived one. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great addition to an already powerful deck, and changing around the deck list a little to accommodate a powerful engine is fine.
Incontrol88: Scourge says ‘short-lived’ because the Talrand lists are running lots and lots of Phyrexian mana spells to abuse the engine, and the coming rotation of Standard (when Return to Ravnica drops) will render those cards useless. Restoration Angel, however, is another addition that will be around awhile. The ability to save Talrands, Delvers and Geists takes a tricky deck and makes it downright infuriating to play against.
TheScourgeXV88: Not to mention blinking your Snapcaster Mage to get yet ANOTHER use of any of your convenient ‘drake makers’. Speaking of Restoration Angel, though (the card that works wonders), it seems that it may be more than just a saving grace for some decks. Thragtusk and Thundermaw Hellkite, two cards that have put up staggering numbers price wise, seem like they are almost too good to pass up when considering cards to play with that Angel. I mean, I personally have what I lovingly call ‘Naya Good Stuff’ currently built right now, based around getting ANYTHING with an enters the battlefield (etb) or leaves the battlefield (ltb) effect and making it work. For instance, Primeval Titan. Or Inferno Titan. Or, conveniently, what I said earlier: Thragtusk and Thundermaw Hellkite, which won’t be going away for a while. Swinging with a 5/5 flyer with haste that taps out its opponent’s blockers two turns in a row seems good to me.
Incontrol88: M13 also brought us Trading Post and, more interestingly, Mutilate. For the first time in a long time, somewhat viable lists for mono-black are being kicked around. Personally I couldn’t be more excited, just because of the way MBC plays. It feels like an old-school (Odyssey era and before) control deck. Relying on cards like Murder, Doom Blade and Geth’s Verdict to keep the board light of enemies, your objective is just to lay land and draw cards until you can start deploying threats like Wurmcoil Engine and Griselbrand.
TheScourgeXV88: Which brings us to another deck idea that’s being thrown around currently: Mono Black trading post control. Utilizing the almost endless possibilities that Post grants you, while taking advantage of synergies like Wurmcoil Engine and forever getting it back with…itself. Also, solemn simalacrum wants to say hi. Honestly, I think it’s just a much better version of Satchel control that we saw for a while when Mike Flores made mention of a control deck he did well with. I’m not sure how well it will do in the standard meta at the moment, but board wipers seem few and far between (if you don’t feel like dishing out $40 for a spotty Bonfire, at least), and mutilate is about as good as you can get. And getting back your threats is always good. Yet again, though, we see a list that is incredibly short lived, since it plans on utilizing cards like Wurmcoil (as was mentioned), Ichor Wellspring, Mycosynth Wellspring, Phyrexia’s Core, and it’s ilk.
Incontrol88: Obviously those decks are going to need to see some serious love in Ravnica to have any hope of surviving the rotation. But I thought the awesomeness of Exalted was equally obvious, and there hasn’t been a solid list emerging from the AEther yet. I mean. Sublime Archangel? I usually hate when I hear people say something like “Oh I opened a Krenko, time to make a Goblin deck!” But seriously, the Sublime Archangel deck kinda makes itself, doesn’t it? She doubles your Exalted. She takes an already redundant concept, and makes it doubly redundant. That’s not shabby.
TheScourgeXV88: ‘Specially considering you’ll still get the exalted trigger if you swing with…ohhh, say Geist of St. Traft, and Nefarox seems like he’ll be Titan-esque when they do rotate. Honestly, I’m just as surprised as you are. I’m sure someone’s tried it, though. Also, I feel like I should note that there is a rogue goblin deck going around as well. Goblin Chieftain, krenko’s command, kuldotha rebirth, goblin grenade…all seems to add up with me. But, you’re absolutely right. Most of these decks are gonna need some MAJOR support in Return to Ravnica.
As an addendum, I do feel we need to at least address one other card (though there are more that I feel could make waves in the format): Ajani, Caller of the Pride. I know I spoke about this card in an earlier article, but like I stated before, I really feel like this card needs to be addressed again. This card gives aggro so much more…I just feel like it’ll be used soon. I don’t know, call me out on this if you will, but as much as it has dropped in value thus far, and I haven’t seen it used yet…I still feel like it’ll make huge waves. I could see it in a bunch of decks, like Naya Good Stuff, or even G/W aggro, or U/W mid range. Hell, even Exalted could use that little extra ‘push’ with double strike and flying. Who doesn’t want to hit twice as hard?
Incontrol88: Personally, I strive to only hit twice as hard. Well, there’s a little look at Standard and how we think the new cards from M13 are going to fit into the format Stay tuned to The Community in the future to watch our boy Scourge finish the discussion with a look at how these same cards and many others will change Modern, Legacy and EDH.