Last weekend I participated in the last Standard PTQ in my area for this season. As I have mentioned before, my work lately has been mostly theoretical and that was one hundred percent true for this event as well. Even with zero testing of the list I played, I was confidant it was good. The list was strong and my prediction about its best card was accurate.
I based my decision to play this deck on one question. What is the best card in Standard right now?
This is a question that I, along with other competitive players, Ponder from time to time. Thinking this way often leads me to building new decks to attack the format.
For me, the best card in Standard right now is Terminus and it's a not close race. The decks finding the most success right now are all creature decks. Control decks are having a hard time beating all of the resilient creatures with built in card advantage. Terminus is the best card in the format right now because it is good against all of these creature based decks. It is good against any Delver deck, Pod variants and Zombies of red or blue, and even against Wolf Run it is decent.
I'm curious to hear if other people agree with me that Terminus is the best card in Standard. Let me know in the comments.
Rather than trying to run Terminus in a more traditional deck like Blue White Control, I created an updated version of Wolf Run that worked well with the wrath effect. Here's the list I played.
Wolf Run White
As you can see, I kept most of the Wolf Run shell intact. I am still playing the Green Sun's Zenith package with a wide array of targets. It may be time to remove Birds of Paradise because often it can be a liability due to the prominence of Gut Shot. I am not certain the Borderland Ranger is necessary either because I never searched for it. The card has been good in the past though and I never mind having one in my deck.
The numbers of cards may seem odd but there are reasons for each choice.
3 Primeval Titan -- This is probably the most controversial choice. I understand this card is extremely powerful, but one problem with Wolf Run decks right now is their reliance on titans. Resolving a titan no longer means automatically winning the game. I do have the eight titan spots filled, just not all with titans. Three Primevals, three Entreat the Angels, and two Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite fill the spot of "titan" in this build.
2 Pillar of Flame, 1 Oblivion Ring -- I wanted three targeted removal spells in the deck. I started with all three of those spots as Pillar, but right before the event I decided to diversify my removal a little bit. There is not as much red mana as in most versions either so I wanted some removal that could be cast with other colors.
1 Huntmaster of the Fells, 2 Garruk Relentless -- Is Huntmaster better than Garruk? Yes, by a lot. I chose these numbers because the planeswalker has a lot of synergy with Terminus.
4 Terminus -- This card is the entire reason I played this deck. It was the best card in my deck by far and every game I cast it, I won easily. I did not think Day of Judgment was good enough because of undying creatures but Terminus deals with them permanently.
I would have played more than four copies if I were allowed. Because of this, it may be just better to play a deck with both Terminus and blue mana so you can draw them more often with Ponder, Thought Scour, and Think Twice.
1 Kessig Wolf Run, 1 Slayers Stronghold -- The red-white land was actually one reason that I wanted to play white mana in Wolf Run. Haste and vigilance combine really well together, especially in a deck that is often in a defensive position. Stronghold also allows you to turn Inkmoth Nexus into a clock without using all of your mana.
Ultimately I am satisfied with my deck choice even if I was not successful with it. Sometimes you have to take risks like this if you want to play a rogue deck. As for changes, I think the two Pillar of Flame and one Oblivion Ring might need to be changed to Bonfire of the Damned, as I found throughout the event that four sweepers was not enough. Day of Judgment may be better than Bonfire in this deck so that is a possibility as well. As I mentioned, Day of Judgment is not ideal, but it may be enough in addition to Terminus.
I will continue to work with Terminus in this deck and others because it really is that good right now.
Cheering On Friends
While I didn't fare so well, the story of the PTQ was my friend, Josh Milikin, who took down the event. It is almost as great a feeling as winning yourself when one of your friends does really well in an event. Here is his list.
Mono Green Stompy
There are a lot of things I like about Josh's list. One of the strongest aspects of this deck are actually the cards he didn't play. There are no copies of Revenge of the Hunted, no lands other than Forests, and no equipment. These oft-included cards make the deck clunky and fall prey to your opponents preparation.
The main reason I like his list is because it is streamlined. He plays the most copies of his best cards by playing the full four Green Sun's Zenith. In addition, he also plays Phyrexian Metamorph, which Josh said was amazing for him all throughout the event.
Of course the card that really put this deck over the top is Rancor. The reprinting of this enchantment will affect Standard the whole time it is legal. This version also plays two different ways to break through your opponents defenses. Both Champion of Lambholt and Bellowing Tanglewurm allow you push damage through while ignoring whatever your opponent is doing.
Overall, both decks offer you a competitive way to have fun in Standard right now. Give them a shot and remember to post your thoughts on best card in Standard below in the comments. Also, if there are any specific topics you would like me to discuss, post those below as well.
Until next time,
Unleash the Force!
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