5 Queues: Reaching the End of the Maze

Written by Joshua Claytor on . Posted in Competitive Magic, FNM, Standard

5 Queues: Reaching the End of the Maze

Joshua Claytor

Joshua is the current content manager of Legitmtg.com and Puremtgo.com.

This past weekend Alexander Hayne crushed Grand Prix Vancouver with Saito’s UW Control list. While it’s great for @InsayneHayne to crush yet another Grand Prix, the Standard format has been solved by Mono Black Devotion, Mono Blue Devotion and the aformentioned UW Control. I’d say it’s gotten kind of boring, and thankfully, Born of the Gods is coming out soon enough to add some spice to Standard. While the format may have been solved and players stuck by their same old deck choices it was nice to see Twitter buzzing on Saturday night as Maze’s End was making a nice run on Day one.

John Torrez was playing the Maze’s End deck and ended Day one in a nice position at 7-2. He only won two matches on day two, which put a bit of a damper on the Twitter enthusiasm, but the deck caught enough attention to be listed long with the top eight decks, and this 61 card deck caught my eye!

I love Fog decks. I love decks that have alternate win conditions. I crave a solid mill strategy and other off the wall decks like Battle of Wits Maze’s End fits the bill here. It is something that I love to play, it is something to break the routine of playing Mono Blue Devotion on MTGO, and it was pretty cheap to throw together on MTGO.

Before we get to the Five Questions, let’s take a look at the deck that John played during Grand Prix Vancouver.

Yes, that is a sixty one card deck. I’m assuming that Bow of Nylea was the last card, and after playing with the deck I’m pretty glad that it is around. Am I happy that this deck is sixty one cards and breaks one of the sacred rules of Magic? (That rule being never play more than sixty.) Kinda, Negate felt clunky in the main, and having access to sixteen Fog effects may be too many. We should move on to the five questions that I want to answer with this article.

Five Questions

1. Does the deck really need to have sixty one cards in it?
2. If not, what needs to be cut to take it down to sixty?
3. Is sixteen Fogs too many?
4. Does the sideboard need any changes?
5. What cards from Born of the Gods could see play in this deck?

Five Queues

Match one

Match two

Match three

Match four

Match five

Recap!

Five Answers
1. Does the deck really need to have sixty one cards in it?

No. The deck does not need to have 61 cards in it. The Bow of Nylea seems tacked on, and while it was decent enough, the card simply did not do enough to warrant an inclusion into the main deck.

2. If not, what needs to be cut to take it down to sixty?

I cut the Bow, and not only did I do that I removed Negate as well. For those four cards, I brought in the three Turn and Burns from the side and replaced them with Negate. The sideboard felt great but I kinda wish that there was room for Pithing Needle. I played against a ton of Planeswalkers and it would have been super nice to deal with the walker and save my Detention Sphere for something else.

3. Is sixteen Fogs too many?

Sixteen fog effects felt like enough. Believe it or not there were times where I needed to draw on and fell short. It was pretty annoying. Some card draw would actually be nice to go along with the Urban Evolution. Maybe Divination, or [card]Sphinx’s Revelation if we wanted to get super greedy!
4. Does the sideboard need any changes?

Before Born of the Gods I would say no, the sideboard is perfectly serviceable. It has the answers that we need to very specific threats. To me the sideboard is a very well thought out piece of the deck and it played great for me during the games that I played today!

5. What cards from Born of the Gods could see play in this deck?

Hold at Bay is a potentially neat fog effect. For 1W we get a card that prevents seven damage, but it’s not just combat damage. This will prevent burn and triggers from God of the Forge, which as we saw with Riot Control was pretty awesome. The downside is it just prevents seven damage, so it’s not as powerful for our needs as the prevent all combat damage spells.

Revoke Existence is another one that jumps out as me as well. The exile part of this spell is a great answer to the gods!

Drown in Sorrow is a card that could be used against aggro decks, but I think if we were gonna run this we would need to switch Temple Garden to Overgrown Tomb and the other two shock lands to black based shocks as well. It would help us cast it on turn three if the need arises.

Unravel the Aether is a card to consider as well. It does deal with a problem but I think Revoke Existence is just better off for us here. Revoke may be a sorcery but the exile part of the card seems a bit better than shuffling it into the library.

Chromanticore may be the most fun card of the set. It already costs all five mana, we rarely have mana issues, and it may help keep us alive, or speed up the clock in some match-ups!

The last card that I could consider is Kiora, the Crashing Wave. This planeswalker with the Explore ability seems tailor made for the deck. We need card draw, we want to play our lands quickly, and Kiora helps make that happen!

With that said I am going to wrap up our look at the Maze’s End deck. It was a lot of fun to play, and I would recommend it while you are waiting for Born of the Gods to rotate in to Standard! It’s nice to think outside the box!

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