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Compulsive Research: Building Blocks

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Compulsive Research 700x235

With rotation fast approaching, I wanted to make sure that I got a little familiar with the decks that were tearing up the RTR Block Constructed queues. This way, I would be able to get a head start in understanding the basics like how each deck tries to win, understanding the critical turn of each list, and getting acquainted with the removal and general size of each creature. This acclimatization has served me well in my past preparations, especially in a combo field like Modern was before the Storm bannings. Understanding what creatures were the toughest to kill, and knowing the limitations of the removal at hand really helps you prioritize not only your cards, but the opponent’s ones as well. I looked over a ton of the daily results lists, and found that the online metagame consisted of 4 main decks; Mono Red Aggro, GW Midrange, Esper Control, Grixis Control. There are a bunch of other decks that are also played, like various Naya builds, UW control, and even Maze’s End. I have had a Grixis list sent to me by Jason Clark, @RealEvilGenius for some time, and have had a bit of experience in battling with it vs standard decks (to minimal success I might add). I opted to look at the list that came in second in the most recent RTR Block Constructed Premiere Event.

I added a 3rd Rakdos’s Return for a Turn // Burn as per Jason’s suggestion, and I cut the Notion Thief in the SB for a 3rd Mortars. I felt that Mortars would be great against the aggro decks, of which I expected many, while still being one of the few ways to beat a Blood Baron of Vizkopa. I entered into the Daily Event to see what we could learn. I invited Jason on board for the second match forward. Sorry about his sound quality.


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This didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped. Although the cards in the list are VERY powerful, having few options for raw draw or card selection made our 27 land deck seem a little inconsistent, especially in the face of numerous Mono Red nut draws. The Esper Matchup seems reasonable, no doubt one of the reasons that the Grixis Archetype is doing well, but the Mono Red matchup is abysmal. I will not subject myself or the rest of you to that again. I thought that maybe next week, I’d try something that refuses to lose to Mono Red. I present the winner of the very same Premiere event:

THIS is something I can get behind. Sweet removal, powerful creatures, plenty of life gain, and a great sideboard plan for Control. I can’t wait to check this out. Come join us tonight again at 9pm EST at www.twitch.tv/legitmtg. I will promise the sweet tunes this week. Come check us out!!

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