Long live the block, the block is dead.
Realistically speaking I won’t get to play Block Constructed again in a competitive environment for some time, I do however get to play with some of the sweet tools that Theros, Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx afforded us.
I do feel a bit sad about this, as even though there were some miserable decks to play against there was also a lot of room to actually play some proper Magic and build some good decks. There were some last minute brews that turned up to GP Manchester that I hadn’t seen before, most notably the Mono Blue Devotion deck that I know Neil Rigby, David Inglis and a few other players were piloting.
It’s time for me to climb back on my 8th Mountains though, I really feel like I want to transition my Block deck into the Standard deck, a lot of the pieces are the same although I do feel the need to cut down on scry lands if I’m not splashing a second colour.
The second colours I would realistically splash are white, black or to a lesser extent green.
White gives us access to [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card], [card]Reprisal[/card], [card]Banishing Light[/card] and [card]Warleader’s Helix[/card] as a slightly stronger [card]Fated Conflagration[/card].
This colour does feel weakest in the face of [card]Abrupt Decay[/card] and [card]Golgari Charm[/card] thanks to the [card]Temple of Malady[/card] which arrived a little late to the party.
Black gives us access to [card]Ultimate Price[/card], [card]Dreadbore[/card] and [card]Doom Blade[/card] which are answers to the decks problems, [card]Desecration Demon[/card], Planeswalkers and monsters. Having actual answer to [card]Master of Waves[/card] is pretty sweet if people start playing that en masse again.
Green gives us access to [card]Destructive Revelry[/card], [card]Xenagos, the Reveller[/card] and [card]Domri Rade[/card]. Xenagos does have some mild synergy with [card]Purphoros, God of the Forge[/card] either allowing us to pick off the last few points off a planeswalker or to add enough mana to our pool for a huge +X/+0 boost.
Right now though, I’m just going to build the base of the deck in its base colour and then progress onto other colours as I react to what people are playing.
I’ve admittedly ignored Standard quite a bit over the past few months as I’ve either been playing Modern or Block with a few dalliances into our local Pauper Cube whenever I get the chance.
So what cards make the cut?
[Card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card]
After playing with this card I am even more impressed, I feel like it’s certainly a Modern playable and at a stretch I would play it in the 75 of a Legacy burn deck. Based on this I’d certainly be playing it in Standard as making your opponent pay 2-4 life per removal spell feels really good when your game plan is to win by making their life 0.
He also attacks and blocks which makes him better than most enchantments.
[card]Fanatic of Mogis[/card]
Conventional wisdom right now is to replace this guy with [card]Flame-Wreathed Phoenix[/card] as when people are loading up on removal this guy does get a bit weaker but I don’t want to sacrifice the explosive draws you can get where this guy domes your opponent for a bunch and then attacks.
Turns out this guy is who Burning Tree was really on Emissary duty for.
[card]Hammer of Purphoros[/card]
I absolutely love this card, it makes every single top deck a live threat – though [card]Bile Blight[/card] makes it look a bit silly, we don’t really need to go mental with the Golems as 3 power haste guys are still decent threats.
The fact that they are colourless is also really good when people bring in [/card]Ultimate Price[/card] against you, or are playing a [card]Brave the Elements[/card] Strategy.
What old cards are in?
[card]Flame Slash[/card] your [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card], [card]Flame Slash[/card] all your [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] and those cheeky Caryatids too! It burns off any [card]Blood Baron of Vizkopa[/card] and [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] that are staring you down threatening to turn the game in the wrong direction.
The Boris Recliner is currently great at attacking through Coursers and Caryatids and can make combat maths a nightmare for your opponents. He’s currently priced pretty low compared to his overall power level, though this is in part to the non-damage based removal being so prevalent in the current standard.
I want play this alongside [card]Prophetic Flamespeaker[/card] but being able to attack through a [card]Jace, Architect of Thought[/card] activation and the extra red pip is relevant in terms of [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card] and [card]Fanatic of Mogis[/card]
My current deck list is going to look something like this.
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Burning Tree Emissary
4 Ash Zealot
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Fanatic of Mogis
2 Flame Wreathed Phoenix
2 Purphoros, God of the Forge
4 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Mizzium Mortars
3 Hammer of Purphoros[/deck]
[deck]3 Anger of the Gods
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Prophetic Flamespeaker
2 Flame-Wreathed Phoenix
3 Burning Earth
3 Searing Blood[/deck]
Currently I’m happy to play this list, I never really liked [card]Frostburn weird[/card] in the deck but this may change as I go forwards. I think I’m definitely going to be adding a colour be it either black or green. I think green is still strong as it has some of the more powerful cards you can use whilst still being able to deal with [card]Desecration Demon[/card].
Having the ability to use [card]Domri Rade[/card] to provide both card advantage and as a means remove opposing threats or to instantly end the game by fighting [card]Boris Reckoners[/card] feels strong, yet entirely plausible with the current available manabases.
Black doesn’t feel like a bad shout either as I get to add cards to disrupt opposing strategies and I get to experiment with [card]Mogis, God of Slaughter[/card]. Having the tools to remove the threats Mono Black has will really allow this deck to flourish.
Though for now I’m perfectly content casting [card]Burning Earth[/card] and watching my opponent deliberate every spell they cast whilst I continue with my plan to throw dragons and fanatics at them.
Thanks for reading,