Going Forward With Heroism In Standard by Ashley Knox

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Going Forward With Heroism In Standard by Ashley Knox

 

Since Theros spoiler season started I was interested in the Herioc mechanic – which feels much like a socially acceptable Hexproof.

Understanding what I did of competitive Magic at the time however led me to be a little sceptical of a mechanic that was teaching people to play Hexproof Voltron decks with much less of the actual upside – your guys being targeted makes the spell split of half guys, half enchantments pretty awkward.

Akroan Crusader

Yeah you got some marginal value from playing the spells that targeted but being up a few +1/+1 counters or a 1/1 Raging Goblin wasn’t really much of a prize when your guy and enchantment both destroyed by a cheeky Doom Blade.

And then bestow happened…

everflame

A Stonewright umbra?

This was feeling a lot better, like something I could actually play. I was already thinking of how good this would be in conjunction with Ash Zealot – firebreathing feels pretty good when it lives on a first striker – and if you deal with that, I still have a guy out of the deal.

The idea that players get to make a guy and jam enchantments on a Voltron without just leaving themselves open to blowout after blowout but still being able to play an interactive game of magic was amazing to me.

Tom Ross came first in an SCG IQ with the following list, I’m uncertain how much of this will have been due to surprise factor, Tom Ross being Tom Ross or the deck being actually well positioned in a new metagame where people were coming to grips with the new manabases.

(60)
17 Mountain
Akroan Crusader
Arena Athlete
Ash Zealot
Burning-Tree Emissary
Foundry Street Denizen
Legion Loyalist
Rakdos Cackler
Dragon Mantle
Lightning Strike
Madcap Skills
Shock
Titan's Strength

Sideboard

(15)
Coordinated Assault
Electrickery
Firedrinker Satyr
Mutavault
Pithing Needle
Peak Eruption
Rubblebelt Maaka
Skullcrack

I liked this, and this was a precursor to a fuller sligh list to follow.

In total there are only five heroic guys but there are a number of synergies. Burning-Tree Emissary chains can be at worst just playing two guys on turn two which is basically what this deck wanted anyway.

Since then, a lot of things have happened and the format has changed drastically from mono-blue being the number one deck to it being overshadowed by the pure power of monster decks and the sheer resilience of black based devotions.

I wanted a deck to prey upon these mono-black devotion lists and the soft manabase and life totals of people playing much more powerful things.

(60)
18 Mountain
Firedrinker Satyr
Akroan Crusader
Foundry Street Denizen
Legion Loyalist
Rakdos Cackler
Ash Zealot
Firefist Striker
Dragon Mantle
Titan Strength
Madcap Skills
Lightning Strike

Sideboard

(15)
Searing Blood
Skullcrack
Shock
Gorehouse Chainwalker

Power wasn’t what I wanted – I wanted synergy, and as a result the power was found. The tiny little synergies built up from what is essentially a pile of draft chod were quite interesting.

Foundry Street Denizen gets pumped by simply activating Akroan Crusaders ability. Legion loyalist made Foundrys ability much more powerful, made the firebreathing from dragon mantle much more threatening and worked somewhat to reduce the Firedrinker Satyrs downside .

It was good, and against a monoblack opponent making a Rakdos Cackler and putting a Madcap Skills on him was good for 10+ damage as he refuses to pay the Ultimate Price and has no fear of Doom Blade.

The variance of the deck which was helped somewhat by Titan Strength in your upkeep – also usually making an extra guy in the process was simply too high and just not consistent enough.

Hitting someone for 9 on turn two was possible but left you with very few resources to finish the job.

With this, I left this project behind and just decided to play UW control with my favourite win condition of Elixir of Immortality and Sphinx’s Revelation until the spoilers for Journey started and testing Block for GP in Manchester because both possible and relevant.

Currently in a patch of downtime waiting for the Pro Tour to inform me of what I should be preparing for I felt it was time to look at the new cards and make some progress on the old Heroic list.

Madcap Skills banner

So with the full spoilers, where are we now?

(60)
16 Mountain
Akroan Crusader
Satyr Hoplite
Firedrinker Satyr
Rakdos Cackler
Foundry Street Denizen
Legion Loyalist
Ash Zealot
Madcap Skills
Dragon Mantle
Titan Strength
Coordinated Assault
Blinding Flare
Temple of Triumph

What’s better than an army of 1/1s and 2/xs? An army of 2/2s and 3/xs of course! In Journey we got a colourless anthem – the common consensus was that this makes Master of Waves even more absurd.

I feel like it fixes one of the bigger problems of the deck which is of one power guys in multiples which is another reason why I made the concession of playing Coordinated Assault.

The deck is challenging to play but rewards technical play with swift victories.

A downside is that you can look at a starting hand of 2 lands, 4 one drops and a bolt effect but this is part and parcel of Hexproof type decks, you need to mulligan effectively to win your games.

It has pure explosive power but it truly is a glass cannon.

It’s not a deck to win the world, but you can certainly win the upcoming gameday with it!

One of the new cards that feels Heroic to me is Prophetic Flamespeaker and I’ll be talking about its standard applications along with 3 decks that will be happy now that they can add Mana Confluence to their manabase !

What do you think? thanks for reading,

Ashley

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