Team SCG unveiled The Aristocrats at Pro Tour Gatecrash. Brad Nelson moved Blasphemous Act to the maindeck, creating Act 2. Junk Aristocrats is the third Aristocrats deck to put up excellent results. I'd like to introduce you to what I expect to be the fourth: a four-color deck I've decided to call Aristocrats 4.
I wrote about this deck in my article last week, and all I've done to change it for the videos is add Unflinching Courage, a card I'd meant to include but forgot about, to the sideboard. The deck pays so much life with its lands that it really needs ways to recover from that. Blood Artist in the sideboard is a start, but Unflinching Courage is another great option, especially with so many good creatures to put it on (Champion of the Parish, which is huge; Cartel Aristocrat; Varolz, the Scar-Striped; and Falkenrath Aristocrat, which are durable).
That means the list I'll be playing is:
- 4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
- 4 Cartel Aristocrat
- 4 Champion of the Parish
- 4 Doomed Traveler
- 3 Falkenrath Aristocrat
- 4 Mayor of Avabruck
- 4 Skirsdag High Priest
- 3 Voice of Resurgence
- 3 Zealous Conscripts
- 3 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
Not a lot to say about this match. I made Demons on turn 3 two games in a row. This deck is about as good at doing that as Junk Aristocrats, and that's a big deal. It just leads to a lot of free wins.
I take this matchup very seriously, which is why I had three Ray of Revelations initially. I'm glad I was able to compete with it both by racing and with hate cards.
I managed to do very powerful things every game despite getting pretty flooded in the last game, but Blood Artist was always the trump. I think this did a good job of showing why Blood Artist is in my sideboard since it's definitely the most important card in the format in matches like this, but it's possible that what it really did is demonstrate that I'm wrong to have it in the sideboard instead of the maindeck. It could switch places with Voice of Resurgence. Also, opposing Blood Artists are, as I've mentioned, the primary thing I'd want removal for, but I don't think there are quite enough that it's worth it. In other news, drawing Zealous Conscripts on the last turn of the last game would have been awesome.
My draws that match were definitely problematic. I'm not sure what to add. The match certainly felt winnable, though it might be on the harder side. Their creatures are big enough to be pretty good at attacking into Cartel Aristocrat, and Ghor-Clan Rampager is very good. Skirsdag High Priest is still a great trump against them though.
Overall, the biggest question is whether the mana works. I think the answer is that it fundamentally works, as in you can cast your spells enough of the time, but it's slightly awkward and very painful and you can definitely feel that loss of life in some of the aggro matchups. There's a good chance that I should be playing a few more friend lands and fewer shocklands than I'm playing. Seventeen is too many—fourteen or fifteen is probably right. The friend lands definitely felt great when I drew them.
While I only went 2-2 in these four matches, what's more important is how the deck felt overall; it definitely felt powerful and like I could win the matches that I lost. I know I'm still excited about this deck.
Thanks for watching,