Patriot Games

Thursday, 4 April 2013

PTQ Countdown

I hope everyone had a great Easter.  I spent mine in Hull with my son and his friends and played a whole lot of Magic, oh and there may have been an outbreak of Nerf guns too.  Thank you to all the guys in Hull for making me so welcome and treating me so well.  Had great fun playing the "real" cube - even if it was totally busted with the things you could do - I got to make a cube deck with all of my favourite cards in it:

As I'm sure you are aware it is now less than 2 weeks till the second ever Sheffield PTQ and our first constructed PTQ.  I have a couple of announcements with regards to this - there will be a second team of people running video coverage at the event allowing us to have 2 feature matches being videoed each round.  the second lot of video will not be a live feed over the Internet but will be uploaded after the event.  Also, Paul Moore at Sheffield Patriot has managed to come by some Dragon Shield sleeves and play-mats and these will be available for purchase at the PTQ.

It seems like a good time to be looking at the Standard meta game and try to work out what is the best thing to play on the 13th April?

I wish there were an easy answer to this question but there isn't.  We had a slightly helpful article from Patrick Chapin last week which basically said "the bottom level play is to jump on the re-animator band waggon.  The smart guys will all play the deck which beats re-animator, but the pros will play the deck that beats the deck that beats re-animator."

Hard to stop in the re-animator decks.

So what are we talking about deck wise here?  Firstly we need to look at the re-animator decks; here is the winning deck list from Sunday's SCG Open:

Creatures (22)

3 Angel of Serenity
2 Arbor Elf
2 Avacyn's Pilgrim
2 Centaur Healer
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
2 Deathrite Shaman
2 Lotleth Troll
2 Restoration Angel
4 Thragtusk
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council

Lands (23)

2 Forest
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Gavony Township
2 Godless Shrine
1 Isolated Chapel
4 Overgrown Tomb
3 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
1 Vault of the Archangel
4 Woodland Cemetery

Spells (15)

1 Abrupt Decay
4 Grisly Salvage
3 Lingering Souls
3 Mulch
4 Unburial Rites


3 Acidic Slime
2 Centaur Healer
1 Deathrite Shaman
2 Rhox Faithmender
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Ray of Revelation
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Liliana of the Veil
1 Cavern of Souls

Little guys backed up by a huge re-animated Craterhoof and swing for the win.  There is also a human version which combos out with Angel of Glory's Rise and Undercity Informer to mill you to death, although this has not seen any top 8 finishes in the lat week or so. 

Psst!  I'm gonna mill you!

We then have the second place Jund deck which is playing main deck Ground Seal to the massive number of reanimator decks there are around:

Creatures (15)

3 Arbor Elf
4 Huntmaster of the Fells
3 Thragtusk
2 Thundermaw Hellkite
3 Olivia Voldaren

Planeswalkers (3)

1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
2 Liliana of the Veil

Lands (25)

2 Forest
4 Blood Crypt
3 Dragonskull Summit
2 Kessig Wolf Run
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground
4 Woodland Cemetery

Spells (17)

2 Ground Seal
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Murder
2 Tragic Slip
2 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Dreadbore
4 Farseek
1 Mizzium Mortars
2 Rakdos's Return


2 Acidic Slime
1 Ground Seal
2 Tragic Slip
1 Liliana of the Veil
2 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Duress
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Rakdos's Return
2 Slaughter Games

the problem seems to be that as is often the case with mid-range decks they can die to early mega aggro or just have the wrong answers at the wrong time.  Jund still seems good as an all round performer though.  

No Unburial Rites for you...

Also in the reckoning is Esper Control cause counter spells are still a thing it would seem:

Creatures (7)

3 Augur of Bolas
3 Restoration Angel
1 Snapcaster Mage

Planeswalkers (1)

1 Jace, Memory Adept

Lands (27)

1 Island
1 Plains
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Glacial Fortress
3 Godless Shrine
4 Hallowed Fountain
3 Isolated Chapel
4 Nephalia Drownyard
3 Watery Grave

Spells (25)

4 Azorius Charm
2 Devour Flesh
2 Dissipate
4 Sphinx's Revelation
2 Syncopate
2 Think Twice
2 Tribute to Hunger
1 Ultimate Price
2 Planar Cleansing
4 Supreme Verdict


2 Witchbane Orb
2 Evil Twin
2 Blind Obedience
3 Rest in Peace
2 Negate
2 Tragic Slip
2 Duress

Blink my Augur - get more spells.

Not to forget the other variant of Jund which is Jund aggro.  Smashing people with very angry men:

Creatures (28)

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Dreg Mangler
3 Experiment One
1 Falkenrath Aristocrat
3 Flinthoof Boar
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Hellrider
4 Strangleroot Geist
1 Thundermaw Hellkite

Lands (24)

3 Forest
1 Mountain
4 Blood Crypt
2 Dragonskull Summit
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground
2 Woodland Cemetery

Spells (8)

2 Abrupt Decay
3 Searing Spear
1 Tragic Slip
2 Appetite for Brains


2 Stromkirk Noble
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Ground Seal
2 Volcanic Strength
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Golgari Charm
2 Rakdos Charm
1 Skullcrack
2 Liliana of the Veil
1 Dreadbore

AC/DC would be proud of this Highway to Hell.

There are many other decks of note too.  Wolf Run and Prime Speaker Bant, Naya Blitz and not to forget the Pro Tour winning The Aristocrats.  Now is the time to choose your weapon with only a week left till the big tournament.  Will you try your luck on the Reanimator band waggon and hope you don't run into a wall of hate?

Tomorrow at FNM we are all coming together to play 2 Headed Giant.  If you don't have a partner just come along a bit earlier and we will see who we can find for you to join up with.  It will also be the first time you have to win the Call of the Conclave promo for April, as seen below.

See you all tomorrow...

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