Drafting Zendikar 101

If you’re reading this and you don’t play a lot of Limited, every pro will tell you that it’s an important landscape to grasp if you want to up your game in any other format. Take my word for it, they’re all right.

Learning how to maximize your resources by using the least and also developing a knack for finding small niche plays is extremely useful. Plus, it’s one of the most fun ways to play the game. You’re here for the strategy though, let’s dive in.

There are a bunch of overpowered uncommons that if you manage to start off the draft on, you can build your deck around. Relic Amulet and Roost of Drakes are two such uncommons. With Relic you can purposefully draft a heavy number of spells like removal or draw spells. Normally this strategy is quite effective anyway, but Relic Amulet gives it that extra boost to really ensure you win the card advantage game.

With Roost of Drakes of course the cards that say kicker are mostly overpowered anyway. When you start adding on additional 2/2 flyers with each cast, your opponent will be overwhelmed fairly quickly. This strategy works well if you can make it into the late game.

There are a few trap uncommons that appear powerful on the surface. However, they require a great many things to go right that seldom will in a draft. Soaring Thought Thief and Ruin Crab spring to mind. Who doesn’t want to mill out the opponent? It’s hilariously good fun, but not as competitive as we would like. Still if you manage to snag these cards later and it happens to fit into the deck, they are great pickups.

Obviously a great many of the rares and mythics in this set are broken, but you certainly don’t need my help to take and abuse those cards. There are a lot of little things you will need to know if you want to capitalize on the other percentage points to Zendikar Limited. One of which is that double-sided cards are all solid pickups, but very few of them are slam dunk picks.

It’s awesome when you can get away with running 12, 13, or even 14 lands. If you have too many and every land is coming into play tapped you may just get run over. Still I am happy with 5 double-sided cards and 14 lands quite often. This is assuming a normal curve of course. If you build a Red White warriors theme, then you certainly want to avoid coming into play tapped lands as part of your consistency. You certainly won’t turn away from some of the good ones like Akoum Warrior and Kabira Takedown.

If you’re going to draft Red White be careful not to get split on the creature theme. Some cards want a spread of your party. That’s Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizards for those unfamiliar with the new mechanic. Other cards reward you for having a warrior heavy threat density. Try and stick with one side to maximize your deck’s synergy if you can.

In older draft formats it\s easy to point to the weak link color. After doing enough drafts to go from Bronze to Mythic I can safely tell you that I feel like they are pretty well balanced. The WOTC design team did a great job with this set and word on the street is everyone’s enjoying it. I’m going to keep jumping around to important information so forgive my clustered thoughts as I write through a stream of consciousness.

While drafting you generally want to pick cards according to a hierarchy. This starts out with your bomb rares/mythics of course because its unlikely you’ll get a second chance at them. Then removal spells generally follow. Next up are good creatures and while you’re selecting these you want to perform double duty and find the right mix of creatures to complete a good curve. Lastly, we look for tricks to assist in battle or winning via alternative strategies (like mill).

This hierarchy can be changed in an instant if you manage to build a non-traditional draft deck. This can be done with some of the methods listed above or by taking cards of more than two colors and focusing on mana fixing to assist in utilizing the best cards across colors to overpower an opposing deck. There is an abundance of cantrips in this set if one wants to cycle through later picks and try to find the card they build their deck around.

Broken Wings and even Disenchant are fine singletons in many draft decks. There tends to be enough targets to validate an inclusion and can typically hit a very important target for the opponent. Tangled Florahedron and Lotus Cobra are amongst the best ramp spells you can draft in green as the best creatures are in the four-drop column.

Relic Vial is a solid card but typically best used while paired with Black and especially best in a Black White Clerics shell. This shell typically utilizes life gain to give certain creatures a buff to their stats, outpacing opposing aggressive strategies.

Some cards that were surprisingly bad;

-Relic Golem
-Lithoform Engine
-Akoum Hellhound
-Expedition Healer
-Archpriest of iona
-Seafloor Stalker
-Silundi Vision

Some cards that were surprisingly good;
-Skyclave Sentinel
-Cliffhaven Kitesail
-Tajuru Blightblade
-Hagra Constrictor
-Bubble Snare
-Sea Gate Banneret
-Skycleave Squid

As always try to remain open in a draft. Commit to colors as late as possible so you can stay flexible. Try to observe the power level of certain cards being passed and utilize those as signs of what that person may or may not be taking. It’s important to be able to play spells on turn two on if you’re on the draw, but typically okay to start on turn three if you’re on the play.

Utilize the London Mulligan to the fullest extent whenever possible. There are very few reasons you should be keeping a bad seven card hand. Luckily with the double-sided cards in Zendikar you’ll be mulliganing less than ever.

Beware the fixing in Zendikar is very limited and if you want to do a strategy incorporating more than two colors, you’ll find difficulty if you don’t see important cards. Skyclave Relic, Vastwood Surge, Roiling Regrowth, and Reclaim the Wastes are your fixing spells.  One is a rare, two are uncommons, and only Reclaim the Wastes is actually common and can be counted on to appear most consistently.

Always be prepared for the game within a game when it comes to Limited. Lead with weaker creatures early to eat up answers. Try and conserve your answers for the really big threats. Try to be on defense whenever you’re in an attrition stage of the game so you can control the outcomes. Card advantage is extremely important. Try and anticipate your opponent’s actions before they’re done so as to not fall into any traps. Last of all, beware the single untapped island in Zendikar. Chilling Trap and Zulaport Cutthroat are both solid spells and included in many decks.

Thanks for stopping by and see you next time as we return to writing about Standard in time for the Grand Prix Finals!

Zendikar Explored!

Welcome to my version of cherry picking the spoiler list and sharing random thoughts on Mythic level cards. I do consider myself a pretty solid deck builder and have championed some pretty sweet brews in the past that turned into format leading decks (most recently with Dimir Urza that led to a Star City Games Open victory).

But enough about me, let’s divulge. Tazri, Beacon of Unity screams partnership with Winota, Joiner of Forces. These classic Mardu builds lost some key components like Venerated Loxodon, but can make up for it by slamming haymakers and having a more flexible mana base thanks to Zendikar Rising’s fixing ability. I would look for this to be a premiere contender personally.

Jace, Mirror Mage while on the surface is always exciting, I expect this card to be underwhelming. In a bygone era sure it would have made the cut. We are living in a brave new world of powerful spells however and the control mirror eras seem to have passed us by.

Emeria’s Call on the other hand is so flexible that if we do have a control deck thats successful. It’s more likely to be a midrange deck that utilizes this card very nicely. I expect to see a whole lot of this card at first, then less for awhile as people normalize its role to only a few builds.

Sea Gate Restoration fits a similar role as Emeria’s Call. It being an expensive sorcery that only sets up for future plays is pretty limited, but obviously it being a come into play tapped (CIPT) Island makes it almost never bad to consider.

Agadeem’s Awakening I am kind of excited about. It makes for a Collected Company feel in black, but hinges on there being good early plays for a black style aggressive deck. This is mostly because of the triple black cost.

Shatterskull Smashing is a sweet card that will likely see play in older formats as well. The removal component or land component is the kind of flexibility that some Ponza lists or even Legacy Red Stax decks are looking for.

Turntimber Symbiosis is a dream creation for every Amulet player out there. I’m pretty sure they collectively threw a party amidst a pandemic they were so excited. For Standard it could be another cool support vehicle for finding Winota in a strange world where Lotus Cobra makes mana abundant. I have my doubts but we will certainly see.

Sea Gate Stormcaller is a surprising mythic to me. Snapcaster Mage was set at rare and this card paralells that one in many ways except it seems much worse because the presumption is you will be casting a follow up spell. Oh and it doesn’t have flash so you can’t do sweet things at the best time. So yeah pretty much not a fan unless there’s a way to abuse cheap creatures effectively and yet at the same time somehow spells. Very unlikely to me.

Scourge of the Skyclaves pairs with Agadeem’s Awakening I imagine if we have an aggressive black deck present again. The late game kicker ability is a sweet cherry on top, but with Uro not yet banned (I say this because the internet is wishing it into existence) the downside to this card may come at too great a cost. For the record I do not wish Uro banned and certainly not until we see how the format shakes up first. I am a bigger fan of creating cards to combat problems then to outright ban them unless it’s egregious.

Leyline Tyrant certainly seems like a great card for EDH decks. There exists the potential it could be good in some version of Standard, but I am skeptical again. They have given us some of the pieces to have a big red deck, but it feels like it would simply be trumped by any Ramp deck that seems to be the world as we know it nowadays.

Ancient Greenwarden also feels good for casual formats and I always like the ability to play things out of the graveyard, but without a killer abililty like Hexproof, there’s no way this card gets off the ground without it being good in a Genesis Ultimatum list. I hypothesize it would just be overkill in those decks and not stand on its own well enough however. I could easily be super wrong on this one and have that rubbed in my face down the road. I’m willing to take that chance on this guess though.

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients seems like it was made to assist in other formats. We don’t really have great equipment to abuse, but maybe there will be a janky Colossus Hammer deck that’s fun to play with. Ultimately I do not see it being a Tier 1 deck however. It’s possible this is a second approach within a Winota list but it feels like it doesn’t line up the way you want those decks to.

Nissa of Shadowed Boughs brings the Landfall mechanic to a planeswalker for the first time. Super cool! It pressures planeswalkers well and potentionally acts as a reanimator effect. I am only uncertain on where it will find its home. We are losing some of the Rock Graveyard manipulation cards from old Standard in this rotation. Are we getting something back that’s truly backbreaking? I suppose we will find out.

Omnath, Locus of Creation is super sweet! It hinges on mana manipulation or a format in which people don’t kill the Lotus Cobra first thing. If you can make it work though and I think people will try (Mostly with Genesis Ultimatum again). I believe we will see great things from decks like this in the early weeks. Until people figure out how to combat these methods of decks, Omnath notable can be hard to kill as a 4/4 creature that dodges Eliminate.

Forsaken Monument is one of the cards I am most excited about as a long-time Artifacts player in Modern. I like to think I had a big influence on the Astrolabe and Mox Opal bans in the format. This card screams to be played in Eldrazi decks. I expect I’ll be tinkering with this card for awhile to find a home. I’m actually very excited about the gain life aspect on this one as eternal formats are littered with Mono Red strategies.

Lithoform Engine seems like a gross card if mana is Abundant, but I can see that getting harder and harder to pull off. The four-mana ability strikes me as the most abusable part, but between this being a legend and already having to have something awesome on the table that’s worth spending eight mana on the first time, I just see this as too much investment and not enough return to being consistently worth its time.

I skipped over Drana, the Last Bloodchief, Moraug, Furty of Akoum and Ashaya, Soul of the Wild. My thoughts on these three are that they were primarily created for limited. I can see Moraug being an EDH card as well I suppose, but they strike me as the most underwhelming Mythics in the set.

I’ll cap it off by saying I am excited that Expeditions are back. If we still had live Grand Prix’s and you could open and play with them in Limited. I for one would be more excited about attending an event like that. There’s no busted Sol Ring, but perhaps you could make the most out of a card like Strip Mine or Ancient Tomb.

As always thanks for stopping by, feel free to argue with me on any of my reads. That’s part of the fun!

Exclusive Zendikar Rising Spoiler: Shell Shield

A new set is on the horizon and I am very thankful to the kind folks over at Wizards of the Coast for giving me this free preview and allowing me to be part of the unveiling of a brand-new card! I’m going to tell you all about my expectations for it and a little about why I think it signals great things for this next set.

Behold!

My favorite part of this is that kicker is back. It adds extra levels to games that enhance the experience for those seeking challenging lines of play. Now while this may not be a Standard powerhouse like some rares of mythics tend to be. There have been plenty of decks that utilized these kinds of combat tricks to plenty of success. For instance, look at Autumn Burchett’s Mono-Blue Tempo deck that won Mythic Championship I last year:

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1676360

You’d be hard pressed to find a mythic in this deck, but it utilizes powerful multi-card synergy and was obviously good enough to win a Pro Tour. The ability to save your creature from destruction for one mana has been a powerful effect for some time and we’ve seen cards like this being played for many years.

I suppose the original was Healing Salve and Giant Growth. It has certainly evolved over time and given us very powerful spells like Blossoming Defense, Veil of Summer, and Vines of the Vastwood. The first drawback to a card like Shell Shield is the hexproof piece is often the more important element in Constructed play and it only comes from the kicker. This means it’s a two-mana protection spell and those have traditionally been underwhelming. With the exception of cards similar to Shelter because of their two for one profitability thanks to drawing an additional card.

Now the strength of this card is going to be in Limited where the bonus of a +0/+3 is likely more relevant than hexproof. This is typically because creatures clash more often in Limited. Additionally, many cards have been printed that take advantage of a set mechanic. Kind of like how Drake Haven and cycling were bonded together. So too we could see a card that would be a cheap enchantment and maybe it would give some cool bonus like drawing extra cards each time we kicker a spell.

It’s also entirely possibly we could get another rotation of cards like Enigma Drake and Crackling Drake where we want instants to feed, protect, and evade until victory. That’s another scenario where I could see a card like this seeing Constructed play.

Almost makes me long for the days of Block Constructed events where cards like this take on a whole new power level due to limited options. This is a September set and while we are going to lose a bunch of cards in Standard it likely won’t limit our options nearly as much as the old Block Constructed days.

It’s a short article for today because there’s only so much to discuss until we see more of the new set. Check back later though as we continue to evolve the discussion and stay on top of the format each week!

Sultai’s Crazy Uncle Ultimatum

I’ll admit I only needed the two points from entering the Star City Games Qualifier when I put this together last minute. I had seen something akin to it before the last set was released and it looked like fun. I did end up going 4-0 however and now feel like maybe the deck has legs.

There’s been a common trend amongst the “Best Deck in Standard” for the past couple rotations. Yes, the amazing Mythics are a part of it. In reality I would say it’s the customizable sideboard adjustments. So often the “Best Deck” isn’t actually for Best of One matches. When you factor in how much of a favorite they become when you can draw from all the best cards to suit any matchup, that’s when they really shine and show just how powerful they really are.

Sultai certainly fits that description and this deck isn’t any different. When we learn what we are up against and can remove the cards that aren’t good in those specific matchups (Negate vs Green for example), we gain a significant edge. Even when we improve our tutor targets with Emergent Ultimatum things generally get much better.

When I wasn’t rushed and had time to pour over my decisions on cards, I didn’t find much I would change. A sideboard Ritual of Soot was added over an additional copy of Extinction Event for the variability for Emergent Ultimatum against aggressive decks. I may reexamine the mana base later to see if one or two adjustments might not be ideal, but for now I am leaving it like it is. Speaking of which here it is!

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3341277

New combo-oriented decks like this can be complex at first. So, I went to the trouble of making an adjustable sideboard guide to help everyone out at first. I wish it could be an exact guide but people are changing lists so much and each iteration requires sideboard adjustment. Luckily, you’ll probably face Sultai 50% of the time and can get the handle of that matchup’s sideboard quickly.

Sideboard Guide

Vs Sultai Ramp

In – Two Narset’s Reversal (If they have Thought Distortion), Negate, Noxious Grasp, The Elderspell
Out – Eliminate (If they are not playing many Narset, Parter of Veils), Liliana, Dreadhorde General (If they are playing Casualties of War), Gust (if they are not playing four copies of Nissa, Who Shakes the World), Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (two if they have lots of Narset, Parter of Veils)

Vs Mono Green

In – Noxious Grasp, Ritual of Soot, Girl, Elder Gargaroth, two Enter the God-Eternals, Massacre Wurm, Disfigure, Heartless Act
Out – Both Negate, Boon of the Wishgiver, four Agonizing Remorse, and two Thought Erasure

Vs Mono Red

In – Ritual of Soot, Massacre Girl, Elder Gargaroth, rwo Enter the God-Eternals, Massacre Wurm, Disfigure, Heartless Act
Out – Both Negate, four Agonizing Remorse, and two Thought Erasure

Vs Temur Elementals

In – Two Narset’s Reversal, Negate, Noxious Grasp
Out – Shark Typhoon, Boon of the Wish Giver, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Eliminate

Vs Temur/Simic Flash

In – Disfigure, Negate, Heartless Act, Noxious Grasp
Out – Boon of the Wish Giver, Emergent Ultimatum, Vilis, Broker of Blood, and Planetwide Celebration

It’s easy to tell that game 1 is not our friend against aggressive matchups. However, if they stumble or aren’t extremely fast at ending the game. We really shine at seven mana. Control on the other hand we eat for breakfast.

It’s important to get very familiar with the deck because Emergent Ultimatum is tricky enough without a rope pushing you to make a decision. You’ll need to interpret the card your opponent won’t give you so you can figure out the two cards you need to string together. Planetwide Celebration is almost invariable a choice and to pair with it, Liliana, Dreadhorde General. After that you can pretty much guarantee you can take any other card otherwise the Liliana can be used for its ultimate right away and that’s back breaking.

However, if you’ve already drawn some of these cards you may need to draw upon other powerhouse options to get the most out of your spell. I love how Boon of the Wish Giver is both an excellent spell to choose and not a bad card in the early game thanks to its cycling ability. Same can be said for Shark Typhoon. Many Sultai lists are cutting Casualties of War as the deck is evolving and a resolved Shark Typhoon can be too much to handle.

Kiora, Bests the Sea God is another one of my favorite tutor targets. If paired with Planetwide Celebration you can proliferate twice to get an 8/8 hexproof token, tap down all your opponents creatures for two turns, and steal their best permanent. If your choice of three cards is Kiora, Liliana, Planetwide then they almost always have to give you Kiora and Liliana, which means you have excellent protection setup, compounding gains over the next several turns, and the Planetwide Celebration still looming in the deck to setup for other excellent plays on future turns.

Having the line of Uro on turn three into Nissa on turn four is already broken in Standard. Imagine your turn five is Emergent Ultimatum and the opponent is facing down the choice of those three cards. It’s probably lights out and Good Game.

With open decklists this deck gets even better in my eyes because you can fully understand the counterspell options your opponent can use to thwart you. The six copies of hand discard spells are meant precisely to ensure they cannot. If your opponent is playing multiple copies of limited countermagic, such as Mystical Dispute or Quench. I highly recommend drawing the game out to where you have plenty of additional mana if possible. The threat of these spells being cast often holds the opponent at bay from delivering an overwhelming killing blow.

As you can see there’s a lot to leverage with a deck like this. It’s super fun, can easily be messed up if not practiced. It reminds me a lot of the old Gifts Ungiven decks in Champions of Kamigawa Block Constructed. Just resolving the spell doesn’t win on its own but if utilized correctly gives you all the tools you may need for almost any situation. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun with it!

The Best Deck in Standard

Yep it’s Sultai, sorry. However, Sultai is taking on new levels and to that end the portions of each card have evolved. Originally, we were drawing it up like this:

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3316942

Since then the metagame has begun becoming more established. On the ladder you’ll find loads of Mono Red again, which seems to be the gold standard whenever a format is in turmoil. On the tournament scene you’ll find plenty of Mardu Winota, Mono Green, Temur Ultimatum/Elementals, and the occasional Yorion control list. However, I would tell you to mostly be prepared to face the mirror.

In my extensive testing I have found the mirror to mostly be about getting ahead and staying ahead. To that end controlling the state of the game through discard and planeswalkers is paramount. So now we are seeing lists playing more planeswalkers and upping the discard count as well. Let’s look at one of my more current lists and discuss some of the changes more closely.

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3316952

First up we have dropped the Cultivate count to one copy. This is surprisingly important because in a mana heavy deck such as Sultai. It can be important that all your live draws (Non-Land Draws) are action spells. While the first copy can still be sweet to have on Turn three, we almost never want to draw a second copy. Maybe if we weren’t already playing 28 lands, we would rely on this effect to be able to cast our spells.

Generally speaking, we do not want to keep hands with less than three lands or more than 5. Either we flood out or get stuck on average. With Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath being the real focus of our deck the higher land count gives us the ramp we need to play abusive larger spells. When Cultivates are removed our basic land count can also go down. This allows us to play lands with functions like Castle Vantress. A Scry two in a deck that worry’s about bad land proportions can be immensely important.

Heartless Act is a card that has disappeared from the deck entirely from Version One to Version Two. What we have seen is a better use out of Extinction Event for dealing with these larger threats. Meanwhile Eliminate gets around pesky creatures with counters and the troublesome Narset, Parter of Veils. Narset can be a game ender if not answered.

Hydroid Krasis is easily one of those cards that can put a game away. While many worried about drawing too many in the early game and keeping the count at three copies. We are finding that more and more it’s the card you want to be top decking in the games that go long. Its also nice to have a built-in draw engine and threat two in one in a format full of planeswalkers. If the opponent is still stuck on Heartless Act its also very weak to big Hydroid Krasis’s.

Ugin is another card that has disappeared from the deck. With Casualties of War and Nissa being in all the mirror matches. Ugin is simply not a good fit for the deck at the moment. Surprisingly its best purpose is for defeating many of the aggressive matchups. Even though its an 8-mana spell and often cannot be summoned before a victory or defeat scenario is already determined. Many are still playing one copy, but for me it’s a slam dunk at zero copies for now.

Teferi, Master of Time is the newer addition that’s really been catching on with most pilots. I’m still torn on whether two copies or three is the right number, but I’m 100% convinced of its inclusion in the deck. It churns through the additional land draws and gets you to your answers at alarming speed. Feeding Uro all the while and then threatening a typically lethal double Time Walk ultimate. As I’m writing this, I’m already thinking I better make it three copies lol.

Last of all is the sideboard. Aggressive decks trying to go under Sultai have popped up in abundance. To adapt I have added in two copies of Disfigure, but also on the high end of the curve three copies of Enter the God-Eternals. Enter would be an excellent main deck choice if Sultai wasn’t the most played deck because self-milling into Uro is fantastic. Disfigure is that one-mana spell you often need in important spots but also great for dealing with Seasoned Hallowblade and the pesky Indestructible mechanic.

Just as I was saying at the start of this article. The mirror match is one in which the main deck is already mostly prepared to battle, but the addition of two more discard spells can make for all the difference in these fights. The life loss from Agonizing Remorse is no big deal in a mirror, but exiling a Uro can make all the difference. The other nice function is when you slam a Nissa with five mana out, you can untap a Triome or Overgrown Tomb. Attack for three first because it has vigilance and then use Agonizing Remorse off the land thanks to Nissa. A combo play like this can prevent a Casualties of War follow-up to Nissa which is usually game breaking.

I’ll be piloting this deck for the next few events on Arena. Hopefully it can get me another trophy in some of the bigger up coming events and will treat you just as nicely. Thanks for reading as always and see you next time!

Is Temur Reclamation really dead?

In case anyone didn’t already know. I was lucky enough to win the Starcity Games Championship Qualifier this past Sunday August 2nd. Of special note is that it was likely the last tournament where Wilderness Reclamation was Standard legal.

Here’s the list that took home the trophy for reference.

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3282886

With the latest Banned and Restricted updates, we lost two key pieces to this build. Wilderness Reclamation and Growth Spiral. A mana accelerator and a gigantic mana producer. Luckily, we have a lot of toys in Standard and I found a couple replacements to keep the deck alive as it were.

Wolfwillow Haven cleanly fits in the role of Growth Spiral. It occasionally can even be preferable, but of course Growth Spiral would often be preferable. We make do with what we have at our disposal.

As for the gigantic mana payoffs, Wilderness Reclamation is hard to match but if we turn to a former Standard all-star in Nissa, Who Shakes the World, we can find a vehicle in which to do many sweet plays. To aid in this plan and because people are a lot less likely to have Expansion/Explosion, specifically the Expansion side, it’s my estimation that Cultivate will again be a main stay in the deck.

We found with old Standard that counter magic was the name of the game. With Combo and Control equally neutered it’s expected that aggressive decks will see an uptick. To combat that plan and increase consistency I have decided to give Fire Prophecy a go in the flex spots. It’s possible that some number of Arboreal Grazer (less than 4) may eventually be the right call as well. For now, I prefer cards with higher consistencies.

So, here’s how I have drawn up the changes to the deck. By moving the counter magic to the sideboard, we can ensure it comes in against the right opponents. Besides that, there is some additional removal spells for aggressive matchups. Theoretically we should already have a good control matchup.

Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3282918

Discontinuity can act as a Time Walk effect, but also a Uro enabler in the right matchups. It can be an important counter spell if needed as well. This part is clutch because Uro has certainly been the card to answer for a long time in Standard. Now that you can’t bounce it with a Teferi, we may see it be the next card with a banhammer target on its back.

Redcap Melee is one card I had been wanting to incorporate since Winota has resumed being a deck in the field. It’s nice overlap in that it helps in the mono Red matchups as well. Aether Gust will certainly be one of those cards that we find belongs in the main deck again, but until the format settles a little more I’ve delegated it to the sideboard. I’ll be watching to see how the format evolves though and can easily see it taking the place of the fourth Cultivate, fourth Uro, third Discontinuity or some of the other main deck flex slots.

I want to talk a little bit about the bannings that occurred on August 3rd before wrapping up. It has become commonplace for the voice of Twitter to target change. These changes are of course heard and often implemented nowadays. The problem is a mob mentality isn’t always seeing things the clearest.

It’s my hope that we start to see innovation rather than bannings. Print clever solutions instead of eliminating the problem. People will love the opportunity to get creative at figuring out solutions to problems. At the heart of this game we are problem solvers and that’s exactly what we want to be doing.

When we see or hear these ideas being floated around on social media. Often, we see divisive discussions follow. This can lead to somewhat toxic situations being created. My goal has always been to listen, learn, and then see if my opinion reverberates. Fully acknowledging it as an opinion and one that everyone can feel free to agree or disagree with.

Mistakes will always be made as long as we are human. Harping on the mistakes of others isn’t “cool”. Sympathy, understanding, and positivity are cool. I’ll sign off here before you have to listen to any more cheesy comments, but thanks for listening and let’s all make the world a better place to live together!