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Wouldya Look at That?!

Here we are, a few weeks after the banning of Skullclamp and the format is healthier than ever. Creature decks are out there. Control decks are out there. Even combo decks are making the tournaments rounds lately. I've gotten several submissions from people still trying to decide what to play with Skullclamp gone. I don't think it's so much that they wanted to keep playing Skullclamp. I think it's more about the field being wide open.

Fortunately, I can happily tell you that there is no best deck. There are a ton of really good ones right now. It seems that every time a tournament is being reported lately, something new and innovative is winning. This is exactly what players should want. Does it make it harder to figure out what to play at a particular event? Of course it does. But it also gives more benefits to the better players and deck builders.

Anyway, here is a rundown of some of the recent and more popular decks starting to show up.

March of the Machines

3 Leonin Abunas
4 Pristine Angel
3 Solemn Simulacrum

4 Annul
4 Condescend
2 March of the Machines
2 Pulse of the Fields
4 Serum Visions
4 Talisman of Progress
3 Thirst for Knowledge
3 Vedalken Shackles

14 Island
9 Plains
1 Stalking Stones

3 Chrome Mox
4 Last Word
2 March of the Machines
1 Pulse of the Fields
4 Purge
1 Vedalken Shackles

Vedalken Shackles is one of the main reasons players started looking at blue again as a serious tournament color. Also Pristine Angel has begun to slip in under the radar as a pretty damn good creature. No one wanted to admit it as first, but the protection from everything angel is better than players first thought. In addition to your creatures, this deck uses March of the Machines as a win condition. Don't forget that March of the Machines can generate and autowin against Ravager if you draw it. It gets really difficult for them to cast spells without land. Looking at the sideboard though, I would be set on a FULL SET of Purges and the Chrome Moxes. Those seem to be your "flex" slots.


3 Annul
4 Chromatic Sphere
2 Fabricate
2 Fireball
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Myr Incubator
3 Override
4 Pentad Prism
3 Talisman of Dominance
3 Talisman of Progress
4 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Thoughtcast

2 Ancient Den
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Great Furnace
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Tree of Tales
2 Vault of Whispers
1 Annul
2 Bringer of the Black Dawn
1 Bringer of the Green Dawn
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Echoing Truth
1 Fireball
1 Override
3 Thought Courier

This is a deck that's all about speed. You go with the fastest way to get your ironworks into play. You work your way up to a Myr Incubator. You sac the Incubator and make a ton of dudes. That's it. I won't go into details on this. It can win with regularity on turn four. But with so many players keying in on this deck, I'd just not play it unless you like playing combo based stuff. Various versions of this deck turn out turn three and four wins if it doesn't get disrupted. The flip side is that once you find a way to contain things, the deck doesn't usually comeback. It's an all or nothing combo deck it seems. The lack of flexibility is the one thing holding this deck back.

Ravager Affinity

4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Arcbound Worker
3 Atog
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Frogmite
2 Myr Enforcer
4 Myr Servitor
4 Ornithopter

4 Cranial Plating
3 Shrapnel Blast
4 Thoughtcast

4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Glimmervoid
4 Great Furnace
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Annul
4 Electrostatic Bolt
2 Myr Retriever
3 Terror
2 Thirst for Knowledge

Many players had asked what a good build of Ravager Affinity would look like right now without Skullclamp. This is a pretty good version. It's still just as solid overall at the previous version. However, this one can dole out some serious damage with the help of Cranial Plating. Many assumed that this deck would die without Skullclamp. But in some ways Cranial Plating is better. This deck isn't going away any time soon.

MonoBlack Beatdown

4 Blind Creeper
4 Chittering Rats
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Emissary of Despair
4 Moriok Rigger
4 Slith Bloodletter

4 Devour in Shadow
4 Echoing Decay
4 Night's Whisper
4 Shattered Dreams

20 Swamp

This deck doesn't have a sideboard as of yet. We do know that this is a deck with some great fun built into it. It's got some card drawing and it should provide some very consistent draws. Great creature abilities coupled with cheap costs make the odds very low for you to see a bad draw. Truth be told, this deck is tailored to Mirrodin Block Constructed more than it is to Standard play. You could just as easily insert your favorite black spells like Terror or a couple of Royal Assassins and play the deck just fine. It's something different and it's pretty fast. I would like to see two or three Nightmare Lash in this deck.


4 Darksteel Ingot
4 Serum Visions
2 Condescend
3 Concentrate
3 Annul
4 March of the Machines
3 Obliterate
3 Electrostatic Bolt
4 Mana Leak
2 Echoing Truth
4 Rewind
2 Temple of the False God
8 Mountain
14 Island

3 Acquire
3 Magma Jet
4 Pyroclasm
1 Electrostatic Bolt
2 Stifle
2 Millstone

No, this is not a joke. This deck is for real. This deck is a true testament to what banning one card can do to a format. This deck was not even remotely possible a few weeks ago because of Skullclamp being around. However, things change. This deck was Canadian Nationals and is definitely a serious contender. Landkill decks obviously give this deck a little bit of a headache, but it's a real gem in an environment with lots of control decks.

Tooth and Nail

4 Tooth and Nail
4 Vernal Bloom
4 Rampant Growth
3 Explosive Vegetation
2 Mindslaver
2 Decree of Justice
1 Triskelion
1 Duplicant
1 Mephidross Vampire
1 Darksteel Colossus
2 Ravenous Baloth
3 Solemn Simulacrum
3 Eternal Witness
3 Viridian Shaman
4 Vine Trellis
16 Forest
2 Plains
4 Windswept Heath

4 Naturalize
2 Ravenous Baloth
3 Gilded Light
1 Viridian Shaman
1 Decree of Justice
1 Duplicant
1 Mindslaver
1 Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
1 Sundering Titan

There are tons of resources out there explaining this deck. The biggest problem with this deck is that you never know what creatures you are going to encounter from this deck. This one even has Mephidross Vampire in it. Either way, you can find multiple different builds all over the place. It's the same standard fare that's been around for a few weeks now.

Hard Damage

4 Magma Jet
4 Pulse of the Forge
4 Shock
4 Shrapnel Blast
4 Sulfuric Vortex
4 Volcanic Hammer
4 Chrome Mox
4 Blistering Firecat
4 Slith Firewalker
4 Viashino Sandstalker
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Great Furnace
1 Forest
7 Mountain
4 Wooded Foothills

4 Dwarven Blastminer
4 Pyroclasm
4 Naturalize
3 Electrostatic Bolt

Monored seems to rear its ugly head in a ton of different formats. This year is no different. The deck packs a serious punch. It really needs to get off to a fast start to be successful. However, when it does, it becomes totally scary. It uses efficient damage to keep the opponent bay while following up with some really great (albeit fragile) creatures.

As you can see from these decks though, every color is worth playing right now. If you are willing to spend any type of serious time playtesting or deck building you've got a shot. This one of the most wide open formats we've had in a little while. So, I'd like to give my thanks to WotC's R&D department for banning that crazy artifact.

Don't forget that there is a ton of organized play coming your way in the near future. Pro Tour Seattle is this weekend, so you will be able to follow that event with live updates on WotC's website. Also, there is a live webcast on Sunday afternoon. Pro Tour Columbus is not far off, but qualifiers for this even start in August. They are Mirrodin Block Constructed, so get your decks together and get ready. There are several Grand Prix's coming up also. All of this is happening on top of your weekly tournaments at your local store. There is definitely plenty of keep you busy right now.

Take advantage of this time and get out and play. Go down to your local store and play a few games. Teach someone else have to play if you want to. Go do some trading. Magic is seeing an all time high in the number of players and that's great news for you. That means there are more opponents and more friends out there waiting to be made.

Don't be standoffish, pompous and arrogant. There's no reason to be. We internet writers could be that way if we wanted to. We could just not respond to e-mail. We could respond with harsh responses. We could give you false information. We could force you to figure out how certain things worked. We don't though. And many of us see what we do as doing our part to further the game and the Magic community as a whole. So help us out and do your part. Support the game and your local game store.

Until next time,
DeQuan Watson
PowrDragn at pojo dot com








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