Deck Overview: Standard Selesyna Collected Company

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With four Abzan decks in the Top 8 of GP Paris and an aggressive version of the deck taking the tournament down, it's clear that Siege Rhino is still well-positioned in Standard. The most interesting element in the Top 8 though is Zan Syed's Selesnya Collected Company deck. In a format with mana this good, eschewing Siege Rhino is a blatant statement than Syed believes Collected Company to be more powerful. Here's his list:

I really like the inclusion of Warden of the First Tree here. This deck is great at gumming up the ground, and Warden is a way to break up board stalls that can be hit off of Collected Company. This interaction is in some ways reminiscent of Ranger of Eos and Figure of Destiny.

As a Collected Company deck, there isn't a ton of room for spells here. Mastery of the Unseen is an amazing tool against control decks, and the lifegain is quite valuable against aggressive decks. The only thing that I don't like about this inclusion is that the deck only plays one Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. I fully expect to see more copies of Nykthos in future versions of this deck, which I am positive will be a relevant force in Standard going forward.

8 thoughts on “Deck Overview: Standard Selesyna Collected Company

  1. The question is, what would the extra Nykthos replace ?

    As it is, the deck is already a bit short for T1 Green (only 13 untapped green sources in the deck, whereas 14 is preferable), which is important for T1 Mystic or Warden. A second untapped land (preferably white) for T2 is important to pump Warden/cast Lion or play a T2 Raptor/Courser if you opened on Elvish Mystic.

    Replacing the white lands when you don’t have Caryatid means there is a real chance that you would be bottlenecked by white mana for Mastery (or worse, colored-screwed for the rest of your spells).

    With only 8 1GG casting cost cards in the game (Raptor and Courser), there is a real chance Nykthos won’t be that great (you need 4 Devotion for Nykthos to start generating an advantage). So I can definitely understand why they went with only 1 copy…

    1. Swapping a Forest for a Nykthos is an easy switch for me. Accelerating to three is great if you have Courser, but only okay if you have Raptor. The real value is in getting to four, which even with a tapland you get to a turn early with Mystic. With only four one-drops that you actually care about having on turn one, and don’t REALLY care about too much 12 is more than enough untapped sources.

  2. From Zan Syed’s top 8 profile interview:

    “What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?

    Probably cut the Nykthos for consistency.”

    1. The fact that you posted without comment suggests that you agree, but there’s no substance to that statement. If you do agree, why? Nykthos is definitely weaker against control decks and very aggressive decks, but it’s the best thing the deck has going for it against other midrange decks.

      1. Looking back at Monoblack Devotion, which started on Nykthos but eventually cut it, perhaps consistency trumps power. Any land that doesn’t make green or white is a liability to be color screwed.

        It’s true that Nykthos offers a lot to the deck when it has Mastery of the Unseen, that’s only one possible scenario of many. I’d argue that Nykthos is “Win more”, in that Mastery of the Unseen will be good enough to win without extra help.

        I do think Nykthos and Mastery have a lot of potential together, just look at GW Devotion, but i think this deck is best warped around Collected Company, which excludes stuff like Genesis Hydra and Polukranos, which help make Nykthos worth the risk.

        1. Black Devotion had better tools in midrange mirrors though. It went big-ish while also having great interaction. This deck just goes big-ish.

          This deck is very powerful, but you don’t want to show up to the mirror and just have things coming down to a slow grind with your 3/3s against their 3/3s and hoping to be the one to break things open with a Warden. Mastery on its own helps you break the mirror open by generating card advantage, but then Nykthos allows you to catch your opponent when they also have Mastery.

          Minimally, I would play Nykthos in my sideboard if I were to show up to a tournament with this deck.

  3. I think that Nykthos will cause you to lose a higher percentage of games you might have won due to color screw and forcing mulligans than it would win you games you would likely lose. I have experienced the se thing with haven of the spirit dragon in mardu and have decided to cut it entirely in favor of a more consistent mana base. Not surprised Syed wants to cut it.

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