Scrap Savant – Life for Jeskai

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Hello, everyone! Welcome back to Scrap Savant. We voted, we built our list---now it's time to see the deck in action!

After playing a few test games with our preliminary list, I made some adjustments (which I'll cover below.) The goal is to arrive at a semi-viable deck, and then discuss options for upgrading with some extra small investments.

It's been great to get acquainted with MTGO as I've started this project. As I get more comfortable, we'll work our way up to more competitive channels, and look to take future decks into Leagues.

Today we'll look at the edited list, see how it fared on MTGO and provide the next round of polling. Let's not waste any more time!

At the time I uploaded this list to MTGGoldfish, the deck was going for a grand total of 2.48 tix, or $26.93 in paper. That's some seriously low-budget pricing right there!

Intro & Games

Deck Tech

Games 1-2 vs. Abzan Blue

Games 3-4 vs. Atarka Red

Thoughts on the Deck

In the final build I decided Watcher of the Roost just wasn't going to cut it. I found a great replacement in Lightform.

Lightform fills the deck's needs in every way, playing better with Arcbond as well as Seeker of the Way. As another source of repeatable life gain, it also gives us a better chance to reach the threshold needed to trigger Felidar Sovereign.

The deck had an issue keeping up with the value plays of other decks, which is to be anticipated. What we tried to do was put ourselves in a situation to combat them as best we could, and build enough of a life buffer to close out the game with a well-timed Felidar Sovereign. For the most part, we did actually keep up---but then quickly ran out of resources.

Another thing to note is that Arcbond can do some really crazy things. It's really not that bad a card, and in some scenarios against aggressive decks it's a complete blow-out.

Especially on a lifelink creature, an opportune Arcbond can effectively end the game right on the spot. As you can see above, it really helped us Game 1 against Atarka Red.

Arcbond might merit a second look in Standard before it rotates. It's a sneaky play coming out of the sideboard against hyper-aggressive lists, and might be powerful enough for the highest levels of competitive play.

Additional Upgrades

If you have a little more budget to work with, there are a few choice cards that go well in our core strategy.

I mentioned before that this deck would love a Soulfire Grand Master. I would look to that card as the first way to upgrade the list. It opens the deck up to a different play style and gives us a lot more mileage out of burn spells. Additional funds could then be used to add cards like Exquisite Firecraft.

Being able to lean on Radiant Flames and a better manabase would make it vastly easier to battle against the Tier 1 decks. The combo of Flames plus Soulfire would also give us another realistic way to trigger Felidar Sovereign's "win the game" clause.

Replacing the unreliable, temporary removal like Singing Bell Strike with burn spells would also be nice. All these upgrades are still relatively inexpensive outside of Soulfire Grand Master, and vastly improve the interactions in the deck.

As it turns out, Brutal Expulsion didn't really pull its weight, for the most part. It was much better against a deck like Atarka Red, and can certainly be revisited when Khans rotates. This is part of the learning process of this series, and we should expect similar surprises moving forward. The addition of Soulfire Grand Master would also help here, providing a little extra lifegain boost on one of Expulsion's modes.

So if you're looking to budget extra funds for the deck, here are my initial recommendations:

Here's a sample upgraded list with the additional budget:

If you don't have the budget for everything, I would prioritize Soulfire Grand Master and Radiant Flames. These two cards will have the biggest impact on the deck's effectiveness.

Time for the Next Poll

Now on to the next project. By the time polling is finished this round, everyone will likely be in a Thanksgiving coma, so hopefully that leads to some interesting results! Stay safe, and be sure to carve out (ha!) some time to participate in the polls.

Choose 2 from this poll:

Choose 1 from this poll:

I'm eager to see the results! Enjoy the holidays everyone, and see you all back real soon.

- Chaz @ChazVMTG

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