Observations on Standard from SCG Atlanta

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Last week we got to see the new Oath of the Gatewatch cards in action for the first time at SCG Atlanta. It was pretty cool to see how people used them. Some found homes in old decks while some started new decks all together. I wanted to take the time to talk about some of the more impressive cards and decks that I saw this weekend.

First up is the card Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Every time I saw this card it looked great. As a 3/4 with lifelink, its body is pretty good. It also has the ability to pump as well if you have vampires or zombies just laying around. This is pretty easy, as Kalitas's gives you a zombie every time you kill one of you opponents creatures. Because of this, Kalitas puts on much more pressure than a card like Anafenza, the Foremost while also being a graveyard hate card. Usually with Anafenza people can just chump and then hope to draw an answer in a few turns. With Kalitas every chump block is another zombie ready to attack the next turn. This severely limits the number of draws to find an answer.

Next up is Stormchaser Mage. This card spawned a whole new deck- UR Prowess. Dalton Ozmun piloted this version of the deck to the top 8 of SCG Atlanta.

This deck looks like a ton of fun to play. It is like a mixture of both Delver and Heroic. I've spoken with a few people that were playing this deck and they all said that they felt the deck was built incorrectly, but something powerful is there. Nobody could put their finger on what it is exactly, but I am really looking forward to what this deck will look like in the coming weeks. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Jace, Vryn's Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound in this deck as it isn't an aggressive creature, and I'd like to see Painful Truths in some number in the main deck. I will admit that I'm not the best at building these tempo style decks.

Now lets talk about the card I felt was one of the best cards of the tourney, Reflector Mage. This card feels so powerful to me after playing it for a full 15 rounds. While I was playing it in my Rally deck, I'm not sure that this is the best home for it. Don't get me wrong, if you are playing Rally you should be playing some number of this card and that number might just be 4. That said, the games where this card was the best for me all weekend was when I had Anafenza, the Foremost boarded in. Going turn 2 guy into Anafenza into Reflector Mage led to games where I felt like my opponents just couldn't win. So how can we do this more often? How about something like this?

This deck looks like your basic Abzan Aggro deck, but with some pretty sweet upgrades. Oath of Nissa works very well in this deck and with the addition of Reflector Mage it can also find you what is basically a removal spell. This version of Abzan Aggro looks like it could be the version we will be seeing from now on based solely on how powerful Reflector Mage is.

This next deck isn't from SCG Atlanta, but I think it deserves some attention, so check this one out.

I could go on and on about how I love this deck. There are so many sweet synergies, but the card that seems to fuel the whole machine is Matter Reshaper.

Every card in the deck beside Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Thought-Knot Seer get put into play by Matter Reshaper's ability. With all the mana sinks in this deck, the lands are great to get too. If you couldn't tell, I really like this deck and wouldn't be too surprised if I play this or something very much like this in SCG Columbus this weekend.

Well that's all I have for this week. Next week I will most likely be talking about Modern, as it will be time for SCG Regionals and the Pro Tour, which will both be that format. Once again thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter @conanhawk

3 thoughts on “Observations on Standard from SCG Atlanta

  1. The esper aggro deck looks sweet, but it is essentially a four color deck since it cares about getting mana for matter reshaper, TKS, and displacer to a lesser degree. I’m pretty curious to know how often you get “Color” screwed with the deck since you can’t fetch mana at all. Maybe 10 sources is enough to have it consistently on turn 3 for Reshaper, but that seems low to me.

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