The article you are attempting to view is only available to StarCityGames.com Premium Members.
(If you are having trouble viewing this content, please consult this FAQ.)
A new set means a bit of time for brewing. I've been at it a while, and I want to update you on some of the ideas that I've had the chance to try out since The Great Rotation took us from a very large Standard to a format of "merely" 1237 cards.
Kaladesh. Aether Revolt. Amonkhet. Hour of Devastation. Ixalan.
Having only five sets of Standard reduces the tools in the toolbox, but that doesn't necessarily mean there are fewer options. Among other things, there are fewer constraints. With fewer bullies on the playground like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, new opportunities can be opened. I've got a lot of ideas in the fire. Here are a few of them.
Last week, I offered up a new build of U/B Control for Ixalan Standard. Here was that initial list:
Since then, I've put in a ton more work into the deck, and I have to say that there are a few things that I've come to really love about the cards of Ixalan in the deck:
This is amazing as a control card. Even at four mana, that little touch of lifegain is hugely impactful. Versus all of the aggressive decks, you can absolutely have those moments where you slip away, all off that otherwise seemingly innocuous two life. The fact that there are a number of Gods that matter (I'm looking at you, Hazoret the Fervent and The Scarab God) means that the exile clause of Vraska's Contempt is deeply meaningful.
This card has been absolutely shocking to me in how powerful it is. Where I started with one copy of this card, I am currently working to find room for a second, though I keep waffling on what the card I should cut for it should be. I hesitate to even consider heading up to three because of the intense diminishing returns of the legendary card, but running two has been excellent, though I still am not confident I'm cutting the correct card for it.
What a monster of a card. In slower matchups, it's an utter powerhouse. I recall when the card was first printed, almost twenty years ago, and how amazing the card seemed. Now is not that moment, as the creatures in Magic have gotten so much more powerful and the spells so much less, but it is still hugely impressive to be able to bring this card to bear in Standard again.
Is mentioning this card a surprise? Well, as multicolor lands go, I'd forgotten how nice it was to reliably have a two-color land enter the battlefield untapped in the mid-game. Stunted mana in this stage of the game can be game-losing, and while there are rare moments that you may lay one on the battlefield tapped on Turn 1, you often don't have much meaningful to do in that moment.
I wasn't playing this in my initial build. Now, I'm ecstatic to be playing it. First of all, in a surprising amount of games, you'll be able to use it to take out a Ramunap Ruins. Second, in the slow matchups, it is critical to be able to get rid of an Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin. Additionally, you can use the card as a bit of moderate mana-fixing; Warped Landscape was very nearly playable before, and now Field of Ruin can take on that role with an upside. Last, the card makes your Fatal Push all that more powerful.
Now, with the experience I've put together with the deck, here is my current build: