Preparing for the Worst: Updating your deck post Avacyn (Part 3)
It looks like I’ll be busy tomorrow going around town looking for cheap commons and play testing before Friday Night Magic, so tonight I’ll be posting the last part of my Post Avacyn look at the metagame. The last post will be focusing on the decks that are a little underused in the current standard metagame, as well as what new decks will be created from Avacyn cards.
UR Burning Vengeance/UR Control Aggro:
There really aren’t a lot of people using this color combination, but I think with there will definitely be more of these decks due to some of the awesome new red and blue cards that came out. For those of you that don’t know, UR Burning Vengeance focuses around the red Innistrad enchantment of the same name that does 2 damage to a creature or player any time you play a spell from your graveyard. With 4 of these in play, that’s 8pts of damage any time you use flashback! UR Control aggro usually has cards like Manaleak and Galvanic Blast to control the early game, then takes over the late game with heavy creatures and planeswalkers.
This would be an awesome card for either deck. Drawing a card then discarding something with flashback (or a land you don’t need) is incredibly useful in a Vengeance deck. Also good later in the game when you run low on cards in your UR Aggro deck. This card might also be good in a Frites deck that has some blue in it.
Tibalt will find his way into a lot of decks. I think he has great synergy with UR Burning Vengeance decks, since 90% of the deck is going to be cards with flashback that you WANT to have in the graveyard anyways. He’s also going to be great in Frites decks.
Lets say you have a hand full of flashback you want to get rid of, or it’s later on in the game and you’ve used up all of your Burning Vengeance ammo, what do you do? Draw 7 new cards! Sure your opponent gets to draw 7 as well, but if you’re playing with Tibalt as well, you can use his -4 and do a quick 7 damage, then do some flashback damage with whatever you discarded before. This could also have some implications in a Frites deck. It can backfire on you sometime, so be careful how you use it!
Tokens are all about throwing out a crap load of spirits, humans, wolves, or whatever else they can find in the quickest way possible. These decks will be running cards like Intangible Virtue, Honor of the Pure, and for the most part they are going to have white as their main color. BW Tokens, WG tokens, and BWG Tokens are the popular combos right now, mostly due to Sorin, Lord of Innistrad having that white/black combo. While there aren’t too many new token producers in Avacyn, there is definitely one that will find it’s way into Token decks.
Sure Lingering Souls is nice, and you can put 4 1/1 flyers in by turn 5, but wouldn’t it be better to put 3 4/4 flyers in on turn 5? This card will definitely find it’s way into Token decks. Couple this with a Noxious Revival or a Reclaim and you’re going to believe in Miracles rather quickly.
I already posted a picture of it, but I think Cathar’s Crusade will be in Token decks as well. Cards like Riders of Gavony or Champion of Lambholt will definitely be in a White/Green token deck and will be game enders once the next wave of tokens hits the battlefield.
UG Self Mill:
Blue Green self mill hasn’t seen a lot of play, but it’s out there. It uses cards like Mulch and Tracker’s Instincts to get lots of mana and creatures quickly, while at the same time filling up the graveyard with creatures. It then uses cards like Boneyard Wurm and Splinterfright to overpower their opponent. I’ve also seen some Ghoultrees in this deck as of late. I guess it’s a form of beatdown, but it depends a lot on creatures. For that reason, I think you’ll see the other new lands in this deck.
End of turn, throw out a Splinterfright or cheap Ghoultree after you opponent attacked with all they had, and you can pretty much have the game in the bag by that point. I’m sure you’ll see this deck in the future in other decks, but right now I can’t see it being used outside of UG Mill. Flash is pretty awesome though. And keep in mind this says NONLAND. You can throw out another mulch, Tracker’s Instincts, or whatever after they are tapped out make your creatures in play even more powerful.
New Decks, courtesy of Avacyn Restored:
There is going to be a lot of experimentation the first few weeks in May, but you can be sure you’ll see these cards being played. Read the text below the picture to see how I think they’ll be played.
You’ll definitely see Tamiyo in play, but as to where is anybody’s guess. There is a high possibility that she’ll be used in a UW control deck with tons of Tumble Magnets and Frost Titans, but I also think that UB control would be plain NASTY with her. Once she hits the field, you’ll have plenty of stuff to protect her with: Manaleaks, Doomblades, Curse of Death’s Hold . . . and you know what the good thing is? If you get her ultimate you’ll be able to cast all of those Doomblades, Manaleaks, and Think Twices to your heart’s content!
Everybody has been talking about how strong this card is, but you also have to worry about balance when using this cards. Titan decks would be nasty especially if they are uncounterable, and the same could be said for humans and spirits. You’ll definitely see this being played over the next to few weeks, but I think there will be a lot of mistakes made with it until people get more experience.
Who knows where we’ll see Restoration Angel the most, but probably with decks where there are a lot of “enter the battlefield” abilities. Look at creatures with great abilities like that, and I think you’ll find prime real estate for the Angel. Somebody might even go as far as to make a flickering deck!
This is a great white card, and I think it will find its way into most white decks. Protecting yourself or creatures then redirecting it is very powerful. You’ll definitely see this card being played. Be careful now to swing for 20 damage against a player using white ;).
I think we’re going to see a lot of Blue + a 2nd color with tons of Ponders and Think Twices in their deck, and in all likeliness these decks are going to be miracle heavy. Counter those ponders or Surgically Extract them! Otherwise you might be looking at 3 turns of miracles (and that wouldn’t be pretty if they were all Thunderous Wrath!) This card will sneak it’s way into decks using blue, either as a one off or having 2. This would be a great card in a UW Delver. Play Delver turn 1, turn 2 ponder, turn 3 reveal the Temporal Master, flip the Delver, and attack this turn and next turn for a total of 6 damage.
I personally think this is a great card, but I don’t know where it will fit into the metagame. Perhaps it would be great in a Junk Walkers deck, which uses mainly planeswalkers to deal damage. 4 of these in the main deck would definitely keep the board clean and allow Sorin, Venser, and Elspeth to reach their ultimates rather quickly, while Gideon’s 6/6 creature form would make short work of the other player. Outside of JUNK walkers, I don’t know where this would fit in just yet.
And with that Preparing for the Worst is concluded. I hope you got some insight or ideas as to how to use your cards. We’ll see soon enough how Avacyn Restored cards come to. Next week I’ll be returning with more information about the Magic World Cup qualifiers in Nagoya this June, as well as information about the metagame and other articles focusing on Nagoya and Japan. Thanks for reading and hope to see you back again next time!