Deck Tech: W/B/R Planeswalkers with Douglas McKay
Douglas McKay's B/R/W Planeswalkers build shows off the power of Chandra, Liliana, and Gideon.
Since being released upon the Magic world in Lorwyn, planeswalkers have been some of the most powerful cards in the game and often dominating the Standard format. It’s hard to think of a planeswalker that hasn’t flexed its muscles, from the originals—Jace Beleren, Ajani Goldman, Chandra Nalaar, Liliana of the Veil and Garruk Wildspeaker—to Jace’s pinnacle of power, Jace, the Mind Sculptor who was so powerful that he had to be banned.
It should come as no surprise, then, that planeswalkers are once again surging in popularity and success in Standard. We’ve seen a flood of them do well in StarCityGames.com Open Series events, no matter the color, but Chandra, the Firebrand has so far been left on the outside looking in as Koth of the Hammer throws Mountains at people, Elspeth Tirel commands her righteous army, and Liliana of the Veil imposes her will on those foolish enough to stand in her way.
But fear not, Chandra! Douglas McKay has created a powerful planeswalker deck built with you in mind! In fact, he has a lot of things in mind, starting with crushing the format’s aggressive decks, and ending in trusting his deck to overpower everything else.
The New York player spent a good amount of time looking for the best cards in black, red and white after deciding that he wasn’t a fan of Mana Leak, and came up with a list that packs a ton of removal on top of a safe, consistent manabase. And what better way to capitalize on that than to play toward a planeswalker endgame? Chandra, the Firebrand, Liliana of the Veil, Karn Liberated and Gideon Jura fill in the gaps between Lingering Souls and Grave Titan as the powerful three-color deck works to neutralize opposing offenses with a unique blend of card choices that Douglas selected to combat a wide range of threats.
Undying threats like Strangleroot Geist and Geralf’s Messenger have been giving control decks fits over recent months, resulting in a rise in Red Sun’s Zeniths, and Douglas made sure include the neo-Disintegrate as a way to off both troublesome creatures and opposing planeswalkers. Oblivion Ring fits the same bill, as does Sever the Bloodline, while “the best card in the deck,” Chandra, the Firebrand can fork Day of Judgment to approximate a similar effect—one copy of the sweeper resolves, undying creatures come back to get pulled back into the bin by the second copy.
Chandra’s fork ability can also help turbo-charge Douglas’ hand and loyalty counters with Tezzeret’s Gambit, overwhelm an opponent with Lingering Souls, or burn them to a crisp with Red Sun’s Zenith, but her damage ability is equally fine as defense against the format’s many little creatures. And while Douglas’ deck is built to eat those aggressive decks, even the popular control decks like Esper and U/B Control will fall to a constant stream of forked spells. Check out Douglas’ spicy creation below.