The Fires of Kaladesh

Kaladesh Standard is on the way. Are you prepared?

Before I talk about some sweet new brews for Kaladesh standard, I would like to talk about the SCG Open in Orlando.

I am always hesitant to shelve my Tarmogoyfs for any Modern tournament.  They have served me well in the past and I usually regret not sleeving up the best blue creature ever printed…yep. Luckily, this time I was not punished for turning my back on my two mana 4/5 friends. Unfortunately, my tournament took an all too common route for many players these days. A 9-0 starting record on the first day! Followed by a failure to 3-3 the second day in order to Top 8 the tournament.  I have to say, this 11-4 run that put me into 14th place definitely did not feel good.

I did have a superbly splendid weekend even with while falling just short of my main goal.  Hanging out with some of my teammates, eating at a prime rib buffet and meeting a ton of new people were all highlights of a fantastic time on the road.

The list I ran in Orlando:

Creatures (12)

4 Goblin Guide

4 Monastery Swiftspear

4 Eidolon of the Great Revel

Spells (28)

4 Boros Charm

2 Flames of the Blood Hand

4 Lightning Bolt

2 Lightning Helix

4 Searing Blaze

4 Skullcrack

4 Lava Spike

4 Rift Bolt

Lands (20)

5 Mountain

4 Arid Mesa

4 Bloodstained Mire

3 Sacred Foundry

4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard

2 Ensnaring Bridge

3 Deflecting Palm

2 Lightning Helix

2 Path to Exile

2 Searing Blood

2 Smash to Smithereens

2 Wear

 

I loved my 75 and would only change a card or 2 in the sideboard.  I am considering looking for another answer to Leyline of Sanctity; perhaps a third Wear//Tear over the second Smash to Smithereens or the new white Kaladesh spell, Fragmentize.

 

Now, what you have been waiting for!

 

New standard is upon us as well and I have been brewing up a storm! But not literally. There was no grapeshot reprint.

Feeling the fire (heh) from my last tournament, I decided to try out some Burn lists in Standard! Check these out:

Creatures (12)

4 Insolent Neonate

4 Thermo-Alchemist

4 Lathnu Hellion

 

Spells (21)

4 Incendiary Flow

4 Fiery Temper

4 Collective Defiance

4 Galvanic Bombardment

3 Flame Lash

2 Tormenting Voice

 

Planeswalkers (4)

4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands (23)

21 Mountains

2 Geier Reach Sanitarium

 

For my first iteration of the deck, I wanted a consistent manabase and the most powerful spells at any given slot.  After a good amount of testing, I found that Chandra and Flame Lash as 4 drops were slower than I wanted to be.  They ended up feeling clunky and awkward. I would definitely consider boarding Chandra against the non-aggressive decks in the format.  I wanted the deck to function smoothly on its curve and be consistent.  Also, Insolent Neonate was underwhelming as a discard outlet and did not pull its weight.  Maybe it will find a home in a different version. A massive overhaul occurred late one night that changed the face of the deck.

Creatures (8)

4 Thermo-Alchemist

4 Lathnu Hellion

 

Spells (20)

4 Incendiary Flow

4 Fiery Temper

4 Collective Defiance

4 Galvanic Bombardment

4 Tormenting Voice

4 Flame Lash

 

Artifacts (4)

4 Key to the City

 

Lands (24)

22 Mountains

2 Geier Reach Sanitarium

 

Now this deck may not seem that different, but it functions quite different.  First off, 24 lands helped to consistently get to our fourth land for Collective Defiance with two modes as well as Flame Lash.  Also, the full set of Tormenting Voice gave and Key to the City gave better discard outlets and filtering in the mid and late game.  This comes in handy when you would normally start to flood out as the 24 land burn deck.

Key to the City helps Lathnu Hellion get in for the full 8 damage unblocked as well as loot away unneeded spells and lands.  Any game with a turn 2 Key to the City into a turn 3 Lathnu Hellion felt really good. Activate Key to the City to make Lathnu Hellion unblockable on Turn 3. Untap the key paying 2 mana to draw a card. Draw for turn. Activate the key again, this time casting Fiery Temper for Madness and giving the Hellion evasion again. Eleven damage over two turns is quite the damage output.
This interaction is pushed to the limits in the next version of the deck, with a full 9 Madness spells to discard to the key.

Creatures (8)

4 Thermo-Alchemist

4 Lathnu Hellion

 

Spells (21)

4 Incendiary Flow

4 Fiery Temper

4 Collective Defiance

4 Galvanic Bombardment

4 Tormenting Voice

4 Alms of the Vein

1 Avacyn’s Judgement

 

Artifacts (4)

4 Key to the City

 

Lands (23)

12 Mountains

4 Smoldering Marsh

4 Foreboding Ruins

2 Swamp

1 Geier Reach Sanitarium

 

This deck cuts the remaining four mana Flame Lash’s from the deck in order to go lower to the ground and get access to Alms of the Vein.  In any racing scenario, the extra life gained from this spell is invaluable.

This is currently where I am at in testing for SCG Indianapolis as far as burn decks go.  Both of these decks forgo the tried and true Fevered Visions based burn strategy. This makes them slightly weaker against the midrange and control decks of the format that would normally fold to a copy or two of the powerful enchantment. I am not sure what the best iteration of the deck is yet, but this list feels close.  I don’t like to lock in my deck early on in testing either, so I have some other backup options.

BG Delirium

Creatures (19)

4 Grim Flayer

4 Sylvan Advocate

4 Tireless Tracker

3 Filigree Familiar

1 Noxious Gearhulk

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

 

Spells (8)

4 Grasp of Darkness

4 Grapple with the Past

 

Planeswalkers (4)

3 Liliana, Last Hope

1 Nissa, Vital Force

 

Enchantment (4)

4 Vessel of Nascency

 

Lands (25)

4 Hissing Quagmire

4 Blooming Marsh

4 Evolving Wilds

7 Swamp

6 Forest

 

This is a pretty average looking BG Delirium List. Some removal, some powerful creatures and graveyard synergies.  I don’t know where Sylvan Advocate and friends will fit into the new Standard metagame. The upcoming format may be too fast for them, but grinding value out of Tireless Tracker will be tough for some people to put down.

 

The last brews I have are imports from last standard that have lost very little to the rotation of Origins and Dragons of Tarkir.

 

UW Spirits

Creatures (24)

4 Mausoleum Wanderer

4 Nebelgast Herald

4 Rattlechains

4 Selfless Spirit

4 Spell Queller

4 Archangel Avacyn

 

Spells (11)

4 Stasis Snare

4 Revolutionary Rebuff

3 Glimmer of Genius

 

Lands (25)

8 Island

8 Plains

1 Aether Hub

4 Port Town

4 Prairie Stream

 

Spirits lost Ojutai’s Command as a big powerhouse spell, but gained Revolutionary Rebuff.  Rebuff is a very mana efficient counter spell that shines in this aggressive build of spirits.  The pressure applied by your flash threats forces your opponent to play into this mini-Mana Leak.  The tempo gained from countering a Liliana, Last Hope in the early stages of the game can be huge.

 

BW Angels

Creatures (11)

2 Bruna, the Fading Light

3 Gisela, the Broken Blade

1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

3 Archangel Avacyn

2 Thalia’s Lancers

 

Spells (15)

4 Grasp of Darkness

4 Fumigate

2 Anguished Unmaking

1 Ruinous Path

1 Essence Extraction

3 Succumb to Temptation

 

Planeswalkers (6)

3 Liliana, Last Hope

1 Ob Nixilis Reignited

2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

 

Enchantments (1)

1 Oath of Liliana

 

Lands (27)

4 Shambling Vent

4 Forsaken sanctuary

4 Concealed Courtyard

9 Swamp

4 Plains

1 Geier Reach Sanitarium

1 Blighted Fen

 

I am not sure where this deck fits, or if it is even built slightly like it should be. There is a lot of life loss from some of the spells in this deck, which is tough to play with in an aggressive format. On the other hand, the creatures of this deck and Fumigate work together to help regain as much of that lost life as possible (along with Shambling Vent of course).

There are many new powerful toys in Kaladesh for a Black White control shell.  Demon of Dark Schemes and Noxious Gearhulk seem very powerful together and could potentially be a better top end than the Angel package above. I hope to be able to test this out before the release weekend tournament.

 

To everyone out there getting ready for the new format, good luck with your preparation and most importantly, have fun!

Christopher Juliano

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