Maybe the title should have been, are you Haunting to bring out the flavor of the block, but the reference to all of the available blue white strategies is the important part. Clearly, a lot of writers have been talking about Moorland Haunt and the development of these tempo decks. The format is still relatively diverse, but there are starting to be less and less strategies that are winning. I still love this Standard format, but the dominant decks are certainly beginning to show themselves. In my mind the metagame is so defined now. Here's how I see it.
1. Play Moorland Haunt - This can be any version of Illusions, Delver Aggro, or UW Humans. The important part is that you are aggressive, have some powerful creatures and can finish the game with Moorland Haunt.
2. Wolf Run (Insert a color here) - At this point, I'm sure you have seen Conley's black addition and hopefully the blue addition from SCG LA. We have seen the white version and almost mono green versions lose favor, but the typical green red version is still good. Basically, the combo of Primeval Titan searching for Inkmoth Nexus and Kessig Wolf Run, is better, more resilient, and more influential than Chapin ever thought it would be when he first mentioned it. The ramp elements in Standard are really good right now and hitting any of the best six mana creatures to ever be printed is something worth ramping for. If you figure out a new addition, no matter the color, you can innovate this deck and probably find some success. I will admit, even though I’d been thinking about black mana in Wolf Run for some time now, I could never come to a productive decklist so this idea is harder than it sounds.
3. Draw-Go Control – Mana Leak plus removal spells and some huge fatty has been a deck archetype forever. These decks can come in two, three, four, or even five colors and can be tailored to your specific metagame. I would much rather be on the aggressive side in this metagame, but this is still a viable strategy. We all know Chapin can play a control deck like none other, but it can be a lot harder when you are trying to do it so tread lightly.
4. Misc Aggro – When the metagame grows lax, you can expect some of the more hated out aggro decks to creep back in and find success. Both Red Deck Wins and Tempered Steel are both solid decks that can be quite fast. The only problem with either of them is facing all the hate cards that opponents can easily fit into their sideboards. I would include any Puresteel Paladin deck in this category as well. Both Puresteel and Tempered Steel falter in the face of Ancient Grudge and we all know about the plethora of anti red cards in Standard.
It seems like what deck you should be playing necessarily fits into one of these categories. Players are still trying to play other decks like Birthing Pod, Heartless Summoning, or in my case, Black Red Vampires, but none of these decks have found success for a reason. There is one version of Blue White Moorland Haunt, that has not gotten much notice, and that is Sam Black's list from GP Orlando. Basically what Sam did was to combine Blue White Humans and Delver aggro into one coherent, streamlined deck. If you have not seen it take a look below, but make sure you check out the deck tech HERE as well.
12th place GP Orlando
I have been playing this deck all week and let me tell you, it is capable of some pretty brutal draws. The Midnight Hauntings have been amazing. Being able to leave up counter mana and still cast your threat if you don't need to counter their play is quite good. I remember I was doing this at the beginning of the season and playing this deck made me remember just how good it was.
Getting flooded is a real issue with this deck. Meaning, if you get flooded you are probably going to lose. Granted this does not happen too often, but it does come up every handful of games. This had me wondering if Merfolk Looter might not be good in this version either main deck or side board. Most of the time, you want to be playing cheap guys and protecting them though but it was a thought I had in testing. Mortarpod is only as good as the number of other Delver of Secrets you play against. I expect to side board at least one out against almost every other deck. That led me to think Runechanters Pike might be good as maybe a one of main deck and still keep the other one in the side board. Overall, I love the list but I might make some small adjustments. Hopefully this will help me find success in Ohio this weekend.
There have been two main cards that I have been thinking about endlessly this past week, though most likely not the ones you are thinking. The first card is the first one on the spoiler and goes right along with me getting on board with Delver Humans. The card?
Back in the day, I loved playing Raise the Alarm. My friends and I used to play it in White Weenie with Glorious Anthem, in random token decks, and even in control decks by putting it on an Isochron Scepter. The card was fun and quite good. Gather the Townsfolk is like a shout out from my past and I love it. In addition to reminiscing about old times, I think the synergy between it and Champion of the Parish is amazing. Building my own Wild Nacatl is something I try to do frequently in Standard and it usually turns out well. Players have been trying to accomplish this goal all season but sadly the human creature type was left off Hero of Bladehold and Elspeth Tirel. Probably a good thing that it was, but it would have been awesome. Champion of the Parish into Gather the Townsfolk is going to be a popular line of play in the new Standard environment I think.
It seems like Wizards is trying to push players back to Black White Tokens also with the printing of cards like Lingering Souls and Vault of the Archangel. I am excited to see all of the new archetypes Dark Ascension creates. Will vampires be a playable deck? Zombies?
There is one tribe that I know I am excited to play once Dark Ascension is legal. Think you guessed it? I would not have guessed that every waking moment would be spent focusing on one card on the spoiler, but it is just so good!
Where to begin. There is so much I love about this card. I have been singing this cards praise on twitter and to all my friends because I believe it will be a huge player in the new metagame. To me the card is so obviously broken. The last time I felt this strongly about a card was Vengevine, and before that it was Stoneforge Mystic. I don't think this card is on the power level of those two in terms of playablity in other formats, but pretty close to their level in Standard. That right there should get your attention.
Let me tell you how I see this card.
Huntmaster of the Fells is like...
...creating your own baby Grave Titan.
...the epitome of built in card advantage.
...a reusable Flametongue Kavu.
...Trample? Trample!!! LOL the flip side even gets trample!
...getting free 2/2's because your opponent is playing Snapcaster Mage.
Are you starting to see why I like this card so much? Sure, Mana Leak is something to think about but resolving this creature is going to be game over for some decks. Not only do I think Moonmist is playable now, I think with Huntmaster, it makes it even better. I am looking forward to playing with this card more than any card in recent memory. The elegance in the design of this card is just mind blowing. I do not preorder cards often, but I certainly ordered four of this card. Fifteen dollars is cheap for how much I expect him to cost a month after the set is released. With Huntmaster seeing print, werewolves could realistically be a tier one deck. I have been working on the deck but I am not sure the exact route I want to take with it. Is it a straight aggro deck with tons of creatures and a good curve? Is it an aggro control deck with more burn and removal spells? Heck, does it splash another color like blue or black for different kinds of removal? These questions, I don't have answers for yet. What I do know, is that the card is quite good. Are you excited for Dark Ascension? I sure am.
Shameless Twitter Promotion MtgJedi on Twitter:
Twitter is not something I mention often, but I am fairly active on it. Running my own singles business gives me an opportunity to talk to players about decks and see cards that are trending. I am very active in the financial magic community, so I tend to post relevant information about the finance side as well. If this sounds interesting to you, plus some sweet Standard tips from time to time, go ahead and follow me.
That's all for this week folks. Spoiler season is like Christmas Morning every day for Magic players, so enjoy it.
Until Next Time,
Get ready to Unleash that Dark Ascension Force on Standard!