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Compulsive Research: Seeking the Barons’ (&) Counsel

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

Compulsive Research 700x235
I have made no secret about my recent love affair with Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and Obzedat, Ghost Council. I have been playing a lot of Junk lately in Standard, and the sheer brute force that these cards can present have closed many a game in my favour as of late. I know that looking forward to Journey into Nyx Standard, I am looking for the best deck to use these tools in, and the next one on my list was BW Midrange. This deck started popping up quite regularly when Mono Black began it’s dominance over the format, and became a stable contender in the metagame when GR Monsters had a similar surge. BW Midrange adopts the removal, disruption and card advantage engine from Mono Black Devotion, but makes some significant changes in the threat adoption, giving itself access to not only my two recent lovers, but also an often underestimated bad boy in Blood Baron of Vizkopa. Born of the Gods also has brought an excellent tool to the deck in white in the form of Revoke Existence. Mono Black Devotion has no way to remove Gods, or opposing enchantments, which often can lead to an over stressing on discard and removal. Having access to this exile effect is a major upgrade and reason number four to seriously look at this list. I have never played a single game with any version of Black Devotion in this format, so if I was going to give this deck a real shot, then I was going to need someone to help navigate our plays. I was thankfully able to enlist notable Orzhov mage, Andy Peters, who was not only a WMC Team Canada member for 2012, but he also came in 2nd to only Owen Turtenwald at the Super Sunday Series Championship at WOTC offices early this year. Andy piloted a BW Midrange deck in that tournament’s standard portion, and was one of the early adopters of the splash. He was the perfect co pilot for this mission. Here is his list.

The deck is lean and mean, and capable of handling any deck in the format. The games were quite good. Here they are.

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So… Those Plains huh?

I really enjoyed playing the deck, as it felt very powerful. Not only was I able to often operate with nearly perfect information, but I was able to interact with the opponent’s cards in almost every relevant zone to maximum effect. I was very pleased with the threat quality, and landing one often was the death knell for the opponent. I did miss the free wins that Pack Rat can produce, and depending on the metagame that you are dealing with, it might often be correct to simply play a set of them in this deck. Some of the cards in particular that really stood out for me were Sin Collector and Lifebane Zombie. I have been enjoying the value that the creatures provide, as they are basically a triple threat; disruption, information, and a proactive threat. Lifebane Zombie has been obviously very popular lately with the rise of GRx Monsters decks, but with Esper and Mono Black being the top dogs in the format, Sin Collector could very well be due for a major resurgence. Personally, I still think I’ll be sticking with Junk for the foreseeable future, as the removal actually feels stronger in Junk than Black variants, and green touches some of the better creatures against the top decks, while ramping us faster to the game enders. Having better access to better creature quality also makes a lot of sense as we look forward to this:

You better believe that Atheros and I are going to be pretty close over the next 6 months. I just talked about a higher creature quality in Junk, and now I get to recur them or clock my opponent’s life total instead? And this effect costs… 3?? and he’s a 5/4 dude also?? Yeah. Thanks for playing folks.

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I’m not 100% sure what I’m playing yet, but you better believe it’s going to be entertaining. Come check it out. Let’s talk spoilers!! If we are lucky, maybe Pharika shows us her goodies by then!


I have been getting incessant requests for my updated Oloro EDH list. I have been tuning the list for a while, and have settled into something that I’m pretty happy with. Here it is.

Oloro EDH

Creatures (12)
Spells (49)
Lands (39)

This has been a blast. You could likely cut the Halimar Depths for a Temple of Enlightenment. Most of my games involve staying alive, and playing powerful rattlesnake cards like No Mercy and Karmic Justice to protect yourself long enough to gain a pile of life and inevitably win with Omniscience or one of the enchantment combos. I added both Replenish and Academy Rector for this reason, and both of these cards significantly over perform. The rest of the deck is basically control elements such as countermagic, card draw, and resource multipliers. It’s crazy fun, and most of the wins are quick, meaning that you do a great job of preventing your death, but your win condition is often quick and efficient, killing the table all at once, preventing the typical grindy deck win condition complaints from the rest of the table. Notable cards are Words of Worship with the Oloro trigger. If you have infinite mana somehow, you can gain infinite. With lots of mana, you just gain a lot. I opted to include some splashy and powerful Enchantment spells due to the Rector, as sometimes just getting Debtors’ Knell at the right time is sweet. Plus, mine is altered to hell and looks awesome.

Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I am. My initial builds had insane survivability, but had slow and unreliable win cons in it which were cute instead of effective. I and my playgroup both appreciate this build a lot more. Let me know what you think!

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