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Higher Standard: Week 7 The Hero that Magic Deserves

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

I might be bored with everything now. I’ve put Magic aside outside of the time that I record with Casper. I’ve finished the legendary quest line for the ring on both of my hunters. The only good things going in WoW are the garrison missions and raids finally open up tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll spend more time than I need to in Highmaul. Hearthstone finally has a new set coming out, and I never even finished up the Naxxramas content, which is unfortunate because I enjoy the lists that Kibler puts on Twitter. They look like a ton of fun, but grinding out the cards was something that I never really got around to. I’m also so far behind on Solforge and Pokemon. I hear a few sets have released, but I am not entirely sure if that is true or not.

I get to play all of these great games, and I’m just so bored. Part of it has to do with overexposure. I do sit in front of my computer for a long portion of the day. There is nothing else I would rather be doing with my time, Christmas shopping is done for my son and nephew. I’m picking up a few things for kids of friends, but even the shopping was done from the comfort of my own home. I have no idea why people would go out and wait in line for Black Friday stuff when you can get the same deals on the internet.

I cohost the Freed from the Real podcast on PureMTGO.com, and even recording that has gotten boring. While the news changes, I feel like I repeat myself often, the gist of everything is MTGO is a trainwreck, and we want it to be better, but with every good thing that happens (the bug blog) a bad thing takes it place (leagues not coming out this year, and yes I know that could be argued as a good thing, but come on, we were told leagues were happening this year, and somehow they do not.)

I am apathetic, and that may be because the days have gotten shorter, the nights have gotten longer, and it’s just seasonal. I was not even sure I was going to write this article, I recorded the videos, they are uploading to Youtube right now, and the UW Heroic deck sure is a lot of fun to play. With the way this series has been playing out, I honestly thought I was going to get crushed this week.

I feel as if the UW Heroic deck shares a lot with Bogles. In a sense both decks look to make a giant creature early in the game and ride that to the win. The problem with Heroic is those creatures are mighty bad against removal. If Favored Hoplite had hexproof along with Heroic I imagine that it would cost a few more mana. I also imagine it would be a lot more annoying to play against.

I wonder what a 1/2 with Heroic and Hexproof would cost. I’d hazard a guess and say two, if Wizards of the Coast wanted it to see play in Constructed formats. Would you play a 1/2 for three if it had those two abilities? I do not think so. Fabled Hero barely sees any play and one could argue that Double Strike is just as annoying as Hexproof, but much easier to deal with.

It’s probably for the best that I no longer have any aspirations to design cards for Magic. I would be the reason that the game finally died!

And for reference, here is what Casper was playing in the videos. It’s the ninth place deck from the Starcitygames.com Open in Richmond, as played by Ali Aintrazi.

Look at how much removal that deck runs! A full set of Bile Blight means that I have to really pay attention to what creatures I cast, and makes me want to not double up on any one particular creature unless I have a protection spell. Perilous Vault does not care if I have protection spells up or not, it exiles every non land in play. However, it is super slow, needing nine mana to use it. I should hopefully in theory be able to beat a vault before it is cast and activated, and if comes down to them needing nine mana right away, I do not think I was winning that game anyway. Hero’s Downfall dashes some hopes as well. After sideboard things in theory got a bit worse for me. I figured some of the extra discard would be sideboarded out and replaced with the last copy of Downfall. The last copy of Vault would make its way in as well. Jorubai Murk Lurker may also come in as an additional blocker and a way to minimize the Heroic decks combat step. Finally, Drown in Sorrow would be an additional bit of mass removal that meant I would I have to possibly over-commit to my early drops to not get fully blown out by the new Infest. I knew when I sat down for this matchup that I needed to be really patient. While I would want to make a giant guy as soon as possible, I would need to be able to make that creature while at the very least bluffing a protection spell.

The matchup on paper looks awful, and I was pretty sure I was going to have another performance like I did with the Jeskai Ascendancy Heroic combo deck. I dreaded sitting down for the recording, but Magic is not played with just decklists alone. Let’s take a look at the matches!

Well that was pleasantly surprising. The games played out a bit differently than I imagined that they would, but there were some factors that were beyond the normal range of Magic. A few games Casper was playing without a full compliment of lands. I got fairly lucky to be able to battle a deck that looks to trade one for one on an uneven bit of footing. There was one match where removal was flowing, including all four vaults, but I was able to win that one, because while removal happened, win conditions from Casper did not. The one match where Casper did win, everything came up the way the UB deck needed. I was creature light, he was removal heavy and I was without protection spells.

I actually enjoyed the Heroic deck more than I thought I would, and it was not because I was so successful with it in the video. It is really fun to play, and a lot more thought went in to the deck than I thought would be possible. It may be an aggro deck, but the decisions to make each turn really adds a bit of complexity to a deck that many would not feel is complex at all. Do I go all in on my guy? Do I hold back? What card do I fetch up with Heliod’s Pilgrim? I would strongly recommend trying this deck out!

Next week, I am not really sure what we are going to cover, but hopefully it will be something villainous!

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