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Inside the Immersturm or Clashing Over Where to Begin

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Hello to all you fine QS folks out there. I bet you're all wondering who this guy putting up a post is. I'm not here to talk about myself, but I wanted to do an actual introduction. David Conrad, editor of financial content here on QS. I'm the man behind the scenes who keeps the articles up and running. Or not running as the case may be lately.

My first order of business is actually to get a message out to everyone that I'm looking for a new writer to fill the Tuesday slot here at QS. Stephen, Corbin and Chad are all putting in great work, and Doug gets a set review out once a week, but that only leaves me with something to run 4 of the 5 business days each week. So what I'm looking for now is someone to fill that gap in all our lives that is the Tuesday update. Interested? Contact me at conraddave29@gmail.com. You can reach me there with complaints, compliments or ideas, and I would love to hear from you if you are interested in a weekly column at QS.

With that out of the way, I still have only just started this blog. So spoilers are out and up, and everyone's abuzz with discussion. What will be the next big deck? How much is a U/W Blade deck going to dominate and what will it look like? Are we going to see a resurgence of midrange now that the oppressive monster that is Valakut is out of town? These are just a few solid questions. And honestly I can't answer any of them. I'm not a pro, heck, I can't even play as often as I'd like to. But I do watch and listen and brew.

I had all but quit playing Standard for the past few months. While I found Cawblade to be annoying, it wasn't the reason I didn't want to play. The true problem for me was Valakut. Why Valakut? Because more than anything I love to play Midrange. I played Jund to death, and before that Doran, and before that I was throwing together spells and big guys as far back as I've been playing. With the ability to simply decimate the midrange player before he can establish a rhythm now leaving with Valakut, I'm looking forward to playing with birds into 3 drops on the two again.

But the card in Innistrad I'm most excited about? A little guy known as Splinterfright. He plays into the idea of the graveyard as a resource beyond animation as good if not better than anything else that's come before it. My current favorite Commander deck is a Damia deck that utilizes dredge to fill up the grave then count how much is in there with cards like Sewer Nemesis and Bonehoard. I'm excited about playing a similar strategy in Standard. A shell may look a bit like:

4x Mindshrieker
4x Boneyard Wurm
4x Splinterfright

4x Forbidden Alchemy
4x Mulch

And that's only a small portion of the deck. I feel like the deck is still missing another strong way to get cards into the grave to actually be strong, but everything seems to be pulled back a bit in terms of power, so I'm not terribly worried. Kelly also pointed out in his article over at TCG player that the human tribe may revive the long missing White Weenie archetype. Tempered Steel may be a bunch of little guys and white, but its far from what we're used to in terms of a white weenie deck. Interesting Humans to think about for this deck outside of Innistrad could include:

Accorder Paladin
Elite Vanguard
Grand Abolisher
Hero of Bladehold
Mirran Crusader

You can pour over some of the guys in the Visual spoiler, but the big one to look out for is Champion of the Parish. A line of playing starting with this guy and finishing on four with Hero of Bladehold could spell doom for your opponents. And lets not forget that Honor of the Pure was reprinted in this core set.

So that's two decks I've been looking at for the upcoming Standard, and nowhere near the end of possibilities that getting rid of the Zendikar block will bring. I'm excited to be free of the power that it brought and hope that we can keep this power down a little bit longer.

Also, the Banned and Restricted list just went up, but as far as I can tell, there isn't anything that should create a spending spree. Another 6 cards banned for Modern, and I wouldn't have expected most of them. Hopefully you already sold your copies of Vesuvan Doppelganger as aside from legacy and Commander they don't really have a home anymore. Green Sun was the one that caught me the most of guard, as it didn't seem to be hurting anyone, but losing Ponder, Preordain and Rite of Flame will probably hurt storm and pyromancer decks to the point of at least less playability.

I guess Wizards is also still sold on making extended work with this ban list, but it sure does seem like a waste of time. No one I know is interested in the format, and I don't see it being swayed just because these bannings have taken place. The unbanning of Fact or Fiction in Vintage also intrigues me. To the Stephen Menedians of the world, is this thing going to see play?

I suppose I've gone on enough, but I just wanted to get this first post out here. I'll try to get a new post up once a week. What kind of things are you interested in hearing?

Conrad

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