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.)
This weekend is #SCGBALT, chock full of Magic-y goodness with three formats to devour. Normally such a feast would be inadvisable a week before Thanksgiving in the United States, but in this case I think there's enough time to recover between meals so long as you hit the gym.
Everyone has their own favorites when it comes to the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Between turkey (delicious), stuffing (the best), mashed potatoes (great but overrated and don't skimp on the garlic), and cranberry sauce (great and underrated), it's impossible to go wrong, but I'm going to wade through each format and pick out the one dish I'm going to go back to for seconds and thirds. I just hope I leave room for dessert.
Which Energy Variant?
We all know that Attune with Aether dominates Standard and I don't want to rehash that fact for the millionth time. For an individual tournament, you can likely find a deck that the energy decks aren't prepared for and come out with an edge, but for a team event, I like just sticking with the best deck because you can pick up more losses than usual.
Most of the time, if you want to make the elimination rounds, you need to have a great record, but the bar is a little lower here, so long as your teammates carry some weight in the right spots. As such, raising the floor on your expected performance has a lot of value, and there's only so wrong you can go when you start your decklist with Attune with Aether, Servant of the Conduit, and Rogue Refiner.
If you take a risk on a more fringe deck, then it's going to be very hard to recover if you pick wrong, but even if your energy list is misbuilt by a few cards, it's still going to be powerful, and if you're well-prepared for the matchups, then you'll pick up plenty of wins.
So the real question is if you want to be straight Temur, straight Sultai, or some odd blend of the two. The way I see it, the major tension is between the Sultai variants and the heavy red cards, Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer. Put in more technical language, the more Temur-y the metagame is, the less Sultai-y you want to be.
But less Sultai-y does not necessarily mean less black. The Four-Color lists that move away from Glorybringer and Chandra for bigger cards like The Scarab God and Vraska, Relic Seeker have the edge against the more red-heavy lists. At the Pro Tour, there were enough of these inbred variants to make Sultai a sneaky good choice, in part leading to Seth Manfield's victory.
- 3 Walking Ballista
- 4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
- 3 Hostage Taker
- 4 Longtusk Cub
- 4 Rogue Refiner
- 4 Winding Constrictor
- 2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
- 1 The Scarab God
Last weekend, as Standard took center stage with three Grand Prix, Sultai was the least successful Energy deck, with only one copy across three Grand Prix. Temur had four copies, while Four-Color variants led the pack with eleven, though most of them were quite heavy into red with lots of copies of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer.