Return to Ravnica Metagame: Week 2

Welcome back to another installment of my metagame round-up in Nagoya leading up to the Nagoya GP. The countdown is now at 48 days and counting! I hope all of you out there that are planning to travel to Japan or to Nagoya during this time are gearing up a good standard deck. Two weeks ago I was still using my WG Lifegain aggro deck, but it got absolutely rocked in the new metagame. That Friday I played a UR Burning Vengeance deck, and while it was fun, it didn’t have enough oomph to consistently win.

Last week I changed gears and went with a WGB Token deck that I had played with months ago during Dark Acension’s initial release, but I added quite a few cards to it from Return to Ravnica. The first few matches were kind of rough as I got back into the token making game, but by the end of the week I think I was on pretty good footing. 

Here are the results from last weeks events:

Sunday, 10/14, Big Magic  – BG zombies (won 2-0), Bant control x3, WG aggro x2, Bant aggro, Rakdos control (lost 1-2. Watch out for Curse of Death’s Hold), WGB tokens, BR control, UWR control, Bant control (lost 2-1. Fast game wins, but late game is bad. Don’t let them get that far!), Grixis mill control (lost 0-2), UWR midrange WINNER!, grixis control, UG defender mill, Grixis control (won 2-0.),

I finished 2-3 this day, which wasn’t good but it was MUCH better than all of last week. My deck wasn’t (and still isn’t) complete and struggled with a lot of these matches. I was only running 2 Selesnya Charms, 2 Thragtusks, and my sideboard was a complete mess. It’s not bad though. I went against BG Zombies and  Grixis control and won against them. Cards like Thragtusk and Lingering Souls are poison against these types of decks. Once you get put a big blocker, Zombies is pretty much done for. BRU (Grixis) decks tend to be very top heavy, so a fast start can be problematic for it. Luckily I was able to get out Spirits, Humans, and my Precinct Captain and populated my way to victory. 

In the games I did lose to (Grixis mill control, Rakdos Control, Bant Control), my biggest weakness was my late game. Curse of Death’s Hold was really bad for me since I was playing a lot of 1/1 tokens, and without the anthem affects like Intangible Virtue, I really couldn’t play them. Bant control on the other hand absolutely destroyed me with their late game. Armada Wurm, Thragtusk, and Angel of Serenity were really bad for me, and again having too many 1/1 creatures was my undoing. My deck lacked a powerful finisher. 

UWR Midrange with Restoration Angels, Thundermaw Hellkite, and Bonfire of the Damned continued to dominate, getting a 6 win in two weeks at an event in Nagoya. You should definitely come prepared to go up against one of those. A lot of people were playing control this weekend, but WG aggro/beatdown decks weren’t far behind. 

Monday, 10/15, Card Brunch Kanayama – GBW tokens , 4-color frites x2, UWR control x2, mono red, RW humans WINNER, URW midrange, GW aggro, Bant control, Esper tokens, UW control, grixis control, JUND Beatdown, GBW token aggro,

I actually didn’t play in this event, but showed up after work to get a peak at what everybody was using. There is a tiny bit of overlap from Sunday’s tournament as some of those players were playing here as well, but there were a lot of new decks as well represented. Control decks continue to get a lot of play in Nagoya, but again a fast aggro deck was the winner. RW Humans with Champion of the Parish, Silverblade Paladin, and other easy to cast creatures put the other decks to shame, even beating a powerful GBW Token aggro deck in the final match. Zombie decks seem to have lost favor in the current metagame, so if you’re putting cards in the sideboard against them, it’s probably better to side something in against control and GW aggro decks.

Geist of Saint Traft

Friday, 10/19, Card Brunch Kanayama– WGB seance/reanimator token aggro (lost 0-2 ), UWR beatdown “BackTraft “(lost 0-2. Too fast, too many dead cards), [bye], Rakdos Beatdown, grixis control, WGB tokens, UW control, grixis control, UWR Beatdown WINNER, UWR midrange

Another bad day for my WGB token deck. I went against a very interesting WGB token deck, which had cards like Armada Wurm, Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, and Trostani in it. The interesting thing about it was that the player was using Seance and cards like Grisly Savage. He’d put cards in his graveyard, and during each upkeep he’d bring a creature back as a token then populate it with cards like Trostani or the Selesnya Guildmage to keep it in play. This is a type of deck you DO NOT want to play against for a long time. The faster you take out Seance the better, but even if you do there is still a lot of power in this deck. 

The other deck I lost BADLY too was the new “BackTraft” deck, which is basically UWR beatdown, a faster version of UWR midrange in my opinion. It’s tough to beat the Geist of Saint Traft, and if you team him up with Restoration Angel he’s even tougher. Playing in these colors gives you access to all sorts of useful cards. There’s card draw, control cards like Detention Sphere, burn spells like Bonfire of the Damned . . . be careful when playing against it. 

There were still a lot of control decks at the end of the week, but aggro decks seem to be fighting back a lot. If you plan on playing in the next week or so, I’d probably recommend a deck that is good against both types. I still believe that WGB tokens has the tools needed to dominate against both of these deck types. I received my Return to Ravnica box 5 minutes before this Friday event, so I wasn’t able to throw in my new cards. I expect to win a lot more games next week after making quite a few changes to my deck.

If you’re interested in checking out what I’m using, head over to and view my list.

I’ve changed a few cards in my latest build though

  • -4 Champion of the Parish / + 3 Centaur Healers
  • – 4 Gather the Townsfolk / +2 Garruk Primal Hunter, + 2 Selesnya Keyrune
  • – 2 Rootborn Defense (and 2 moved to the sideboard) / +2 Angel of Serenity
  • -2 Nevermore (from sideboard) / +2 Rest in Peace (to the sideboard)
  • +3 Oblivion Rings to the main board

I also added in some Terminus to the sideboard as well. Vault of the Archangel was also suggested for the main board, and as soon as I get my hand on some I’ll move the mana around to fit it in. This new deck feels really powerful and I think it will do well in the future matches.