Deck Tech: Hexblade with Jimmy Spears
Jimmy Spears is putting the Hex(blade) on his opponents today.
Houston native Jimmy Spears is a Magic veteran, but he's never played anything like the deck he's wielding today. Handed a version of the Hexblade deck by a friend who won a Grand Prix Trial with it, Jimmy has used the powerful tools at his disposal to leap out to a solid 3-1 start in the Standard Open, overcome only by a topdecked Stonehorn Dignitary that stopped a lethal Invisible Stalker powered up with Angelic Destiny.
While Standard has seen a vast array of aggressive decks this season, Hexblade attacks from a unique angle, playing a large suite of creatures that are very hard for the popular decks in the format to handle, using Angelic Destiny and Increasing Savagery to turn them into killing machines like Altered Beast.
But there's more to the deck than just trying to build your own monster. A lot of games can be won on the back of an early Geist of Saint Traft backed up by Mana Leak and Vapor Snag, and anything carrying a sword always has to be taken seriously. Even Thrun, the Last Troll is a monster without any help, and Gideon Jura has long been a powerful threat that fills a lot of roles for the deck from tapping down the opposing army to clear a path for the kill, to straight up killing the opponent as a 6/6 beater, to giving Hexblade a way to kill a troublesome creature like no other card in the deck can.
Supplementing the dangerous and multi-faceted maindeck, Jimmy's sideboard lies much closer to the middle with answers and workarounds for many of the format's problems. Celestial Purge, Surgical Extraction, Batterskull and Negate are all common, household cards at this point, and the only sight is Act of Aggression which can steal a game from unsuspecting opponents.
Capable of overpowering opponents with quick, hard-to-kill creatures powered by a boatload of enhancements, it will be interesting to follow Jimmy's progress with the deck. We could have a new major player on our hands, making the Standard scene even more crowded than it already was.