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Compulsive Research: Rooting through The Duke’s Trash

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

Compulsive Research 700x235

Standard as a format lately has been getting a lot of bad press. It’s no secret that there has been a long held top spot of the metagame held by one of the three top decks; Mono Black(x) Devotion, Mono Blue(x) Devotion, and UW(x) Control. It is widely accepted that the GRx Monsters decks and the Red devotion/burn decks are the next level on the pyramid, but there are still inroads to be found in this standard. At the most recent SCG Invitational, Reid Duke found one of these hidden paths. Reid wrote a great article about his process of attacking the format starting with his experience at the Sunday Super Series at GP Montreal with Jund Monsters, discussing his changes to Jund to become more of a midrange/control deck, and finally settling on a highly synergistic deck equipped with the best from all areas of the format; disruption, removal, threat quality, and card draw. Reid brought a really interesting Junk(GWB) deck to the event, and ended up going 6-2 with it in the standard portion. His article on the deck is here. I suggest checking it out if you haven’t already. The list is here.

The deck looked to be doing exactly what I wanted to be doing in Standard, as I felt that while I have been having a ton of fun ramming huge monsters into the face of my opponents, I’ve finally come around to getting beaten by Elspeth and Obzedat enough times that I’ve applied the old saying “if you can’t beat em, join em.” I got the deck ready on MTGO, and here’s the results:

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Although the stream started somewhat abruptly, it’s only because I had been busy getting some cycles in with the deck before the show. I ended up going 6-0 on the night against a wide sampling of the field. I beat Br Devotion twice and Naya Aggro before the show started, and the rest of the games you saw. I felt favored in the Cincinnati Br version as it eschewed Pack Rats, and had no actual threats that my deck couldn’t handle. Naya Aggro was also great, as we have all the removal we could ever want, while our creatures are basically invincible since they can never really remove them outside of combat (or in some cases mortars). I found in further testing however that Orzhov Midrange can be difficult since they have 4 Blood Baron which can be very problematic, and often enough discard to force one through. The board plan likely needs some work, as I find myself wanting the discard and control cards, but it comes at the expense of threats, which Lifebane Zombie does a great job of preempting. Esper or more specifically UW provides a similar problem, but I think this one can be handled better with more practice and better discard timing on my part.

Also recently released was a slight variation on this list put out by GP Montreal Winner and SCG Stalwart, Gerard Fabiano. He gives a great list and sideboard guide here. This looks to add some threats that are especially painful for control and mono black in the form of Voice of Resurgence, and continues the pressure out of the sideboard by cutting down on the narrow discard suite and increasing the count on Sin Collectors, and adding in threats that we can use to replace the less than exciting Polukranos such as our own Blood Barons. I have this deck sleeved up right now and am putting it through some testing locally, so I will let you know where I end up on it in the future.

Tune in tonight at the normal time of 930pm EST when I’m joined by Orzhov Devotionist extraordinaire, Canada’s own Andy Rodrup and we go through the ins and outs of BW. I DID mention that I was going to join them right? Let’s see how we do with some proper guidance. Tune in!!


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