When on defense in Madden I am a fan of dialing up the well-timed blitz. As we all know week one of a new standard usually favors speed or aggressive strategies. Without fail, the results of the Star City Games Indianapolis Open clearly show aggressive strategies taking control of week one. Chris Vanmeter was victorious with a very quick RW vehicles list designed by the Cardhoarder team. I had read about these RW strategies and at basically the last minute, a friend of mine Evan Smith sent me an altered version of Gerry Thompson’s BR Aggro
I was highly interested in this strategy after reading what all the cards did. He Mentioned that this list wasn’t perfect and that he was trying other things in certain slots. I put this list together and started gold-fishing it and looking at a way it could curve out. I was not fond of the fragility of the low power and toughness creatures. So I went into the tank and started looking at what I had to work with. I decided that I preferred a slightly lower to the ground but more resilient build. What I came up with first was a little clunky and not what I wanted to be doing. After some talking I came up with a list that I felt was the “lowest to the ground” and yet more resilient than its cousins. My secret technology was Night Market Watch.
BR Blitz – Tyler Bailey
Once I got to test it a little vs other decks I realized Unlicensed Disintegration is a beast. You add that to the suite of artifacts that are what I would consider must plays. Bomat Courier and Scrapheap Scrounger were all-stars, Bomat Courier getting two or three cards under him and you are holding a fiery temper is a great feeling. Scrapheap Scrounger is a problem for spot removal as they eat dead creatures to return to the battlefield, untapped, ready to crew. I did not lose a single match that I won the dice roll. Night Market Watch averaged 4 life drained, which is a 8 point life change. Having the combo of Smuggler’s Copter and Night Market Watch is certainly powerful. Long and wide the most valuable players were Smuggler’s Copter (Looter Scooter) and Bomat Courier. There was a board state where I activated a Bomat Courier, discarding a Fiery Temper to activate madness (paying and targeting my opponent’s head), held priority and cracked a second Bomat Courier. Resolution of the stack left my opponent wanting to check with a Judge. I was able to draw 4 cards of the second Bomat Courier (first to resolve), then cast Fiery Temper and end with drawing 2 more cards. Resulting in three damage and drawing six cards for three red mana. It felt great untapping and drawing into a seventh card and finalizing the game with double Incendiary Flow and a Fiery Temper discarded to Key to the City allowing me to swing through for the two points of damage with a singular Night Market watch. Now are those scenarios regular, no. However, when they come about it feels pretty good.
This deck had a very low mana curve allowing me to keep 2 landers with pure gas in them. Hands like Bomat Courier, Speedway Fanatic, Mountain, Foreboding Ruin, 1 Inventor’s Apprentice and a Smuggler’s Copter felt unbelievably powerful, especially drawing into burn or Unlicensed Disintegration or basically anything other than 1-2 more land. I finished multiple games with three lands in play, often six to eight power. There were some situations where I found out what cards are very hard for me to beat. Weaver of Lightning and on curve Kozilek’s Return or Radiant Flames. Beating other sweepers seemed to just be a race to the finish. Most times it seemed they could clear away 2-4 creatures and ideally we are returning our Scrapheap Scrounger at the end of their turn. Representing the approximate amount of life our opponent gained if they cast Fumigate. I’m likely to be able to get 6-9 damage in between Scrapheap Scrounger and a combination of Incendiary Flow and Haste creatures, putting serious pressure on them to produce even more removal.
After 15 rounds at the Open this weekend, I’ve concluded that my sideboard needs tuning and the main deck might get a slight alteration. The most notable changes in the sideboard are cutting the one Chandra, Torch of Defiance and adding a second Key to the City. I think that the Pro Tour may provide further information in regards to the direction of this standard. Or we will see a lot more aggressive strategies, similar to the Atarka Red era. Other changes are to come before the weekend of the Star City Games Regional Championship where I will likely be running back a slightly altered version of this deck.
Notable mention to the deck that features Aetherworks Marvel to cheat in huge Eldrazi, I’m very interested to see if that deck gains legs. Could be a thing to be feared if the Pro Tour Testing teams figure out a way to make it resilient to the hyper linear aggro plans. I will also be looking into the builds, I played against a fellow that had a much faster version than the prior copy of the deck that I faced. I 2-0’d the first player of the Aetherwork’s Marvel deck but he was much slower to assemble. There is a lot to be said about the ability to look at the top six of your deck and being able to cast whatever you want from that pile.
There will be a follow-up which will serve more as a primer to the deck where I discuss different board states that I encountered along with sideboard strategies. I figured I would get this list out there for everyone to try out at their local Friday Night Magic or Local Game Store’s next Standard Event. It is very fun to pilot and when it goes boom it really ends games fast.
Thanks to everyone for reading about my journey through Blitzing through Standard. Stay tuned for the follow-up!