For my first video article for mtgUK, you may realise this shortly. Please bare with me while I get to grips with the software and iron out all the production issues (like the sound). Soo… lets GO!
I wanted to play a few matches with the dominant deck in Standard – CawBlade. The deck is fantastic, and it will only get better with the addition of New Phyrexia. There has already been millions of words discussing the deck and I’m not sure I can offer any new insight– however, I will give a few of my own personal opinions.
There have been several iterations of it, from splashing Black or Red, to playing more creatures, but I am firmly of the belief that UW is the strongest and the best choice for any tournament. The main reason for this is consistency. This is one of the most consistent decks I’ve ever played. This is largely due to the fact that it has such powerful 2 drops in both Stoneforge Mystic and Squadron Hawk. Following these the deck is packed with powerful Planeswalkers and cheap control cards. The second reason why I prefer UW is because you get to play both Tectonic Edge and Inkmoth Nexus. Both of these lands are deceptively strong. They both help protect your Planeswalkers and the latter gets to carry a Sword at very low cost. I wouldn’t dream of playing CawBlade without both of these lands. Besides, they also, ironically, improve your consistency since you get to play 27 lands, 8 of which are manlands. Having said this I won’t go into any more detail on the list or the deck as a whole, but I will talk a little about the 3 matchups that I faced in these videos.
Match 1 – Game 1
Match 1 – Game 2
Undoubtedly one of your harder matchups, however, I still feel it is favourable for CawBlade. You have to try to protect your life as much as possible early on, which means chumping with Hawks since once you get to the mid game and start to take control with Gideon they are still more than capable of burning you out with Kalastria Highborn. Bloodghast can be a problem but siding in Oust and Condemn certainly helps. Another important strategic decision is to not get too aggressive with the Sword. It is very good against them (well its good against everything), but if you start to get too confident in your board position and begin to attack their hand then you, again, could be burned out by the Highborn. This is why I tend to take Mortarpod early game 1 and the Lifestaff post board. The cards that will win you the match against Vampires are basically your Planeswalkers. They also have a lot of removal and getting your guy killed when you have invested mana to equip your Sword can cause you to lose to much tempo to the regain. You have to deploy as much from your hand as you can so mana is at a premium.
Match 2 – Game 1
Match 2 – Game 2
This matchup is interesting. Cobra and Stoneforge dominate the early game so I would mulligan if you don’t have either a 2 drop or a way to nullify theirs. The most important card in this matchup is, of course, Jace. They have the power to resolve theirs first which gives them an ever so slight advantage, but you have other threats, namely Sword. If you get to resolve your Jace first then you are a firm favourite. This is more the case than in other matchups since their deck is engineered to play it early. After Jace they have few threats. Inferno Titan is not really a big deal. yes you will lose to it, but it’s not very difficult to eliminate. I’d much rather face down a Titan than say, an Oracle of Mul Daya. Post board you should keep in mind that they will have Acidic Slimes, so be careful about running the Sword out if you can’t be sure to connect with it immediately. Keep Day of Judgements in because if their Cobra lives a few turns then the damage has been done, so by the time you Day to kill a Titan then you will more than likely clean their snakes from the board too. I won’t even mention Thrun (which I faced in the video) as you can see for yourselves how useless it was. Another tough matchup but again I would say that it is slightly in CawBlades favour.
Match 3 – Game 1
Match 3 – Game 2
This is somewhat of a rogue deck but i’m starting to see more an more of it online. They usually play Koth, Tezzeret and Jace and i’ve even seen a few versions that play Destructive Force, which in conjunction with artefact mana is pretty powerful (though pretty bad for Koth). Should they play an accelerant turn 2 then you can be in trouble if they follow up with Tezzeret but that would always be the case. I think that this is a fairly straightforward matchup and they only things you should really be aware of are when casting your own Jace. It can be killed by Koth or Tezzeret so it’s usually best to have a creature on defense when casting him. Divine Offerings would obviously help from the board, though they aren’t terribly important as their biggest artefact threat of their turn two accelerants. All in all this is another good matchup since you will win on consistency alone.
To conclude, I think that not only does CawBlade pack the best cards in the format, it also has an incredibly structured game plan where each turn is scripted to using it’s mana efficiently. However thats not its biggest advantage, CawBlades biggest advantage over the field is actually its incredible consistency; it mulligans extremely well and gets to its plan faster than almost any other deck. There is no reason to play any other deck than this for now.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing,