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Brewing with SOI- Azorius Always Watching

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I'd be remiss if I didn't submit a Reflector Mage deck as something with exploring in Shadows Standard. Today's list borrows from both Brian Braun-Duin and Tom Ross. BBD for the Always Watching synergies, and Tom Ross for Thraben Inspector.

Always Watching combines excellently with Dragonlord Ojutai and Archangel of Tithes to remove the downside from them tapping to attack. It's pretty excellent that Archangel doesn't even check to see if it's tapped for the restriction it puts on the opponent's blockers as well. Beyond that, you're mostly just a boring Glorious Anthem deck. The tokens from Gideon won't get pumped by Always Watching, but I can't imagine that you're not supposed to play any Gideons in decks like this.


With regard to Thraben Inspector, the card is better than it looks. To be playable it has to be. The card is at its best when it can actually trade with an opposing creature- a Falkenrath Gorger, for example. In situations when the opponent doesn't have small creatures, the Inspector should be able to get in a chip shot or two, and then will inevitably replace itself. Once you get Always Watching online, suddenly you have a creature with a reasonable body that also replaces itself. I definitely think that Tom Ross is onto something with this card.

This is the sort of midrange deck that would really love to have a creature land, though unfortunately there isn't an on-color option. This deck can afford to jam at least one Westvale Abbey, though this definitely isn't the best shell for that card. The question for this deck's viability is whether the Always Watching synergies are worth the concessions that you make in deck building to feature them. I think they are definitely worth exploring.

If you pre-ordered Always Watching when they opened for under a buck, you did alright for yourself. As of now, they're selling between $3-4, which isn't a good price for buying more than a set. I don't hate picking up a set to battle with, though I'd rather trade for them than outright buy them.

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