Inverting The Truth In Standard
Thassa’s Oracle is a card that shook up multiple formats in Magic. Standard however, wasn’t one of them; until now. I’m not referring to a recently discovered combo deck from the depths of Standard of anything like that. All I am presenting is the correct combination of cards in a deck that come together to form a formidable machine.
...Lost In Time, Like Tears In Rain.
This is a relatively normal Bant control deck outside of the main deck Ashiok, Dream Render and the Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Oracle win conditions. Your main focus when piloting this deck is don’t die; if my testing is proof of anything, that’s not difficult. All of the cards in this deck incidentally put cards into our graveyard or draw cards, thus removing cards from our deck, this makes winning with Thassa’s Oracle or Jace trivial.
Merfolk Secretkeeper also makes an appearance in this deck, this should be a surprise to no one. This Adventure creature is the reason that we even have a decent match up against the aggressive decks of the format. Removal spells like Lava Coil or Fight With Fire are almost non-existent, so in most cases the opponent will have to two-for-one themselves to remove the 0/4 merfolk. Now don’t get it twisted, our hopes and dreams are not placed on the back of the Secretkeeper alone. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is a heavy lifter in this list, as it is in most decks that utilize it. It’s a simple equation, the more mana we have access to the faster we get our game plan up and running. I am by no means forgetting that Uro is a 6/6 and gains us three life when it enters or attacks, that is a very big deal in most of the matchups that currently pop up in Standard.
The strangest card that has made its way into this deck is Chainweb Aracnir. In the majority of games the Aracnir serves as another virtual copy of Merfolk Secretkeeper. However, with the amount of self-mill that we have at our disposal, it comes back again and again to protect our life total. I have yet to have the fight clause on Chainweb Aracnir come up in a meaningful scenario, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.
“I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.” - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
The specimen before you was the creation of John Roberts II (@JdoubleR2). Bant control with some spicy, right? This deck is an absolute blast to play and wins come together fairly quickly. There isn’t very much interaction for this type of archetype at the moment, so that could be contributing to my success with it. It remains unclear whether this deck will make itself known and join the tier one of standard. The current state of the standard format is for better or for worse, dominated by Simic or Blue-Green-x decks. This isn’t surprising to anyone and I’m not telling you anything new, and it’s for good reason. All of the most powerful cards that have been printed as of late are in at least one, if not both, of those colors. Standard also does not follow the typical format of mana development. I’m looking at you Uro and Growth Spiral...and Wilderness Reclamation...and Fires of Invention. That’s a lot of cards that generate “free” mana for one format if you ask me. Regardless of all of this I have still enjoyed the current state of Standard immensely.
It Matters Not What Someone Is Born, But What They Grow To Be.
For me the most difficult aspect of playing or brewing an unknown or rogue deck, is the sideboard. Thankfully, we have one that has already been made for us. While the many of the cards that appear in the sideboard above are what you would expect from a deck such as this, there are a couple cards that stick out.
The Wanderer is a planeswalker that has seen small amounts of fringe play in what most would call “gimmick” decks. Believe me when I say that this card is a powerhouse against the bigger forms of Mono Red and Rakdos Sacrifice, as well as instrumental in my victories over Temur Reclamation. The loyalty ability has also been indispensable in matches that involved Gods or indestructible creatures.
The stock that I place in Sorcerous Spyglass has risen with the rise in copies of Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Teferi, Time Raveler that people are playing. The powerful artifact also has many applications in the majority of the popular matchups in standard. Just as an example, Witch’s Oven in Rakdos and Chandra, Acolyte of Flame in Mono Red; and those are decks that you may not think to bring Spyglass in against.
The rise in popularity of Bant and Sultai midrange decks has made the implementation of main deck copies of Mystical Dispute and Aether Gust a must in decks that have that ability. Dovin’s Veto is great in these matches as well as against the various Azorius decks that have been popping up. All of the above sideboard and main deck options are used against the Temur decks, Flash and Reclamation, that have waxed and waned throughout their existence in standard.
It Can’t Rain All The Time
I definitely wanted to present this deck as a competitive alternative to the decks that have become commonplace in recent weeks. I really enjoy the gameplay of the deck and the different decisions that you’re presented with.
If you want to try this deck out for yourself, I greatly recommend it. Once I finish some more testing, I will add a sideboard guide to this article. So don’t forget to check back in a few days. I hope everyone is staying well and not experiencing cabin fever too bad. Take care of yourselves and take care of those around you.
I’m currently working on more videos to put up on our YouTube page and post here on Goblin Traders. If there is anything you would like to see in a video, drop a comment below or find me on social media @jaymzsaint or @DTPCast on Twitter.
Good luck, and wash your hands!