Mind-Boggling Technology – Rock, Paper, Scissors, Standard!

Everyone knows that in a normal Standard format there are three major types of decks, each of which generally beats one of the other two and loses to the third. What everyone does not know is that there are often holes in the metagame that you can take advantage of.

The first step in creating the perfect deck for a partiular metagame is knowing the format. You must be familiar with the enemies that you are trying your hardest to defeat. I am not going to give you a decklist in this article that I claim defeats the entire format, but rather explain the current state of Standard. I want to give you the tools to break the format because my experience with Standard is different from everyone elses.

The Best Cards



The three cards that everyone seems to be playing lately are Jace, Primeval Titan, and Goblin Guide. If your opponent does not play with these cards they are either a master or a fool. Jace seems to be representing the largest part of the format because it is hands down the best card in the format. The Primeval Titan decks plan to beat up the Jace control decks by having engines that involve lands and other threats that get around counterspells. Goblin Guide plans to beat the Primeval Titans, but fall short against the Mighty Mindsculptor.

Things are never as simple as that because nobody can ever agree on the perfect 75 or even the best deck in each category. If you want to play Jace, you can be competitive by bringing Blue-White Control, RUG, or Blue-Black Control. If Primeval Titan is your pal, consider Valakut or Eldrazi Ramp. If you like having games be out of your control, you can try RDW, Kuldotha Red, or Boros. Questions about the best deck in each category are later answered as the format becomes explored. For now, we must criticize everyone for playing what we consider to be the inferior archtype.

jace, the mind sculptor

I have been playing Blue-White Control, which may not shock most of you. I think it is superior to Blue-Black control because Emeria Angel is stronger than Abyssal Persecutor when it comes down to fighting a Jace. The manabase between the two decks is pretty much the same and the blue spells are what really matter. I am a fan of Gideon Jura and Baneslayer Angel because they are good against the beatdown decks and only cost five mana. The Blue-Black decks go from four to six mana because there are not any really good options at five.

The Best Decks

Here is the list I have been playing at local tournaments for the last couple of weeks with some minor updates.

I have been doing very well with this deck recently and would still recommend it. You can make it more hateful towards aggressive decks because they seem to be on the rise. Ratchet Bomb is really good right now because it is good against Goblin Guide decks and Pyromancer Ascension. The reason the red decks can compete right now is because the blue decks do not give aggro enough credit since it was almost nonexistent for a time. I lost in the Top 8 of my last Standard event to Ari Lax because I did not have a shot in the first game. He played Boros and I had very few ways to beat an early Steppe Lynx. We must be a little more respectful towards the aggressive decks if you want to win a tournament now.

The Blue-Black decks are also good and you must be prepared for them at your next event. Here is a popular version that has been doing well on Magic Online and also got third place at the last StarCity Open.

Mimic Vat is quite powerful and your deck should probably have an answer to it. It is not broken, but it does provide some good value. The deck also has good tools to defeat Primeval Titan decks, like Memoricide. If you play Jace decks right now, you have to have a lot of spiteful cards against Titan.

Michael Jacob created the other good Jace deck that is RUG Cobra. Blue-Black does not have a great matchup in its current incarnation so It will need to adapt because RUG is getting more and more popular.
Dan Jordan has been tearing it up with that very deck. Here is his latest list that won him the Star City Open.

This is a good deck if you want to beat up on the other Jace decks, but it can have some difficulties against Primeval Titan and Goblin Guide decks. It won a 400 person tournament so it’s definitely good, but it might be even better at a later day. The aggro decks are only popular when the amount of removal is low so it will get better as soon as aggro starts getting the respect it deserves.

I am not a fan of the Goblin Ruinblasters at all. I would prefer some random singletons such as Foresee, Jace Beleren, and Into the Roil. I do enjoy this deck because it can have the most broken Lotus Cobra draws. It also allows you to play some of the best cards in Standard, which will give you good game against the random decks in the field. I don’t mind playing a deck that is soft against this deck because of the less than stellar aggro matchup as well as its difficulty to pilot.

That wraps up the Jace archtypes. I would strongly advise you to play one of these decks because the Preordain, Mana Leak, Jace shell is the most powerful and consistent thing you can be doing in Standard. Each of these three decks can adapt for whatever is the most popular at the time so you will be rewarded for knowledge of the format as well as your play skill.

primeval titan

Next up we have the Primeval Titan decks that are designed to beat the players who think they are better than you. These decks would love to play against someone who thinks they can win a long game. All of the good Titan decks play maindeck Summoning Trap as well as a win condition that is also a land.
Valakut has been putting up better results than Eldrazi Ramp lately and I personally think It is a better and more consistent deck. It can win very quickly and does not play as many bad cards.

This list won a Premier Event on Magic Online in the hands of duckyboy.

This list could probably use a few [card]Ratchet Bomb[/card]s or [card]Obstinate Baloth[/card]s on top of the four Pyroclasms in order to defeat the aggro decks. The emergence of the aggro decks are what is keeping this deck in check. As soon as you see a lot of creature removal in maindecks, be prepared for Titans to make a comeback.

Eldrazi Ramp is better at beating the blue decks because they have more inevitability. It is a worse deck overall because you have to play a bunch of expensive monsters. It plays four maindeck Summoning Traps so if you want to beat a blue deck, just bring this to the table.

Here is the latest example of the archtype that Top 8ed the same Premier Event played by LSV.

I would add some Fogs to the sideboard because the common red technology is to add Threaten effects to the sideboard and steal a Primeval Titan. This is a pretty Standard list that should be added to any gauntlet.

goblin guide

Goblin Guide epitomizes the aggro decks of this format because it is simply the best creature at beating down. I could not say I had the best aggro deck in the room if it was not in my sixty. There are several ways you can go with these types of decks that include Goblins, Boros, and RDW. They all beat down fairly quickly and have a strong Primeval Titan matchup.

Boros seems like the best option because you get two colors to take the best aggressive creatures. It has been dominating on Magic Online recently and is responsible for making it cool to attack in Standard.

Here is a list that you should be familiar with when building and testing decks. This particular list was piloted by SilverRocket in a Magic Online Daily Event.

This deck comes out of the gates very quickly because it has four Steppe Lynx and four Goblin Guides, but can be heavily disrupted with a few early creature kill spells.

If your metagame has more spot removal, consider Kuldotha Red. This deck has been gaining popularity and has been putting up results in the Star City Open Series. Matt Mulholland created the deck and continues to put up impressive results. Here is his latest list that got him a Top 8 at the Boston Open.

This deck can also come out of the gates, but does so with a rush of creatures. There are not many sweeper effects being maindecked in Standard so I think this is a great aggro deck to play at the moment. As this deck grows in popularity, it will be less powerful because it will get respect. It is a fun deck that I am sure will show up at your FNM.

Red deck wins is another Goblin Guide deck, but I think it is just worse than both of the other two. Random people will always play cards like Kor Firewalker and I haven’t lost to it with Blue White Control yet. The Kuldotha Red deck seems like a much better choice because it is more difficult to hate. If you want to play a mono red deck, leave your Koths at home kids.

Those are the three major archtypes that currently exist in Standard. I wouldn’t consider playing a deck that does not fit into one of those three categories. I usually decide what deck to play based on which archetype can most easily defeat the bad matchup. Titan decks have been known to lose to Jace decks even though they are favored. Red decks can lose to Titan decks if they have enough baloths and Ratchet Bombs in their sideboard. The blue control decks can make their decks beat any deck by playing the right answers. That statement is easy to type, but can sometimes prove to be a difficult task because we don’t know what will be played at a tournament.

The reason that other decks outside of the Rock, Paper, Scissors archtypes get played is because the pilots believe they have exposed a hole in the metagame. It is difficult to defeat all three decks because they operate in such different ways. The cards that are good against Titan will not be good against Goblin Guide or Jace most of the time. Most of the time people say they beat every deck, but that is not correct.

Most of the time when I have a deck that is beating everything is because of my preparation for the format. Enough practice against each of the big archetypes with a control deck will usually yield positive results. It is important for you to come up with your own gameplan in each matchup since we all have different thought processes. The biggest key to my constructed success is the fact that I build my own decklists so I know the logic behind the inclusion of each card. It doesn’t matter if I am playing the most popular deck in the format, I still make sure to know why each card is in the deck. As long as you have a plan that you understand for each matchup, you will do well.

There are plenty of decks that are encompassed in the Rock, Paper, Scissors, but it will shrink as time progresses. We will soon find out which version of each deck will dominate and the testing will become easier. There are many options in this format so make sure you know your deck because we can’t test against everything. I hope this helps you in your future Standard events and remember to use this theory for any other format as well.

I will be at Grand Prix Nashville so feel free to say hi.
Thanks for reading.

53 thoughts on “Mind-Boggling Technology – Rock, Paper, Scissors, Standard!”

  1. If you want to play a mono red deck, leave your Koths at home kids.

    Based on that statement alone, I will never waste my time again reading any of your articles……

  2. personally i tried emeria angel in uw control and honestly it was pretty awful mos tof the time being the first creature to drop and eat removal or having it bounced with jace i thought the birds would be epic and it was epic… an epic fail

  3. you disregarded and disrespected a lot of decks by only counting the ones running one of those 3 cards. I won’t go into a laundry list of decks outside of those archetypes that have had mild success, but I will say that elves won a 5K and did fairly well at states and shouldn’t just be brushed aside or called nonexistent.

  4. While I generally like your articles, this one felt a little empty. Possibly the worst part for me was that your sentence structure reminded me of someone in high school English. I don’t expect MtG writers to have PhD’s in English, but parts of this were just painful to read. I’ve been reading your articles since before you were on CFB, so I know you’re capable of better than this; the article just feels like it was done in 30 minutes. Just some constructive criticism.

  5. This is all well and good, but us upstart magic players need an article on how to build a mildly competitive standard deck on a budget.

  6. Actually…. Chris Canon created kuldotha red…. finishing 1st at GA states, and then 2nd at a SCG 5k losing to Dan Jordan’s RUG list. All decks similar in design should be credited to him.

  7. “I would prefer some random singletons such as foresee, Jace beleren, and Into the Roil…”

    You’ve been talking to Nassif, haven’t you?

  8. Whether or not everyone wants to write off ww quest as garbage or not, it’s still played heavily and does much much better than any deck playing goblin guide. Ignoring it won’t make it not exist.

  9. OK so I can totally understand the comments above to a certain extent. But calling him out on his English is something that could be left unsaid. I enjoyed the article. Do I think that these Decks are the main right now I do not know. But I would say that there are defiantly a couple decks that he may have left out but the thing is he is right. I feel that the decks he is speaking of are defiantly some of the best decks so far in the format. You cant put aside that obviously we will know before to long which decks are just going to be the main metagame but at the moment in most of the play groups I talk to all of these decks are really heavy. The only difference is in my play group at the moment Elves are huge I mean ridicules and so is ww for some reason.
    Also to respond to the Koth comment lets be honest here has anyone seen koth heavily played. I just don’t think so. Do I think his time will come? Absolutely

  10. Yes, @ Phil, Matt Muholland just copied card for card the deck that finished 2nd in the previous 5k standard event.

    But regardless of origins, the red decks showing up at 5ks and local tourneys should definetly give credit to their Power and Ability to Win. Chapin made it clear in a recent article, the deck isn’t a gimmick, wake up and prepare for it.

    As far as a budget, the Kuldotha Red/Goblin Red decks, are definetly cheaper to put together than ANY deck with Jace and Primeval titans, which appears to make up at least 50% of the format. Moral of the story is, pick up the goblin guides while they are still affordable. No need for 40$ bill munching Koth’s to clog up the deck.

    Also several MBC list are very reasonable on the wallet, with mimic vats being sub 5$, and powerful uncommons filling the deck. With only really Grave Titans and Abyssal Persecutors over the 10$ mark in the deck.

  11. Amazed by all the comparisons to Magic Online and yet you still ignore all the Boros, Quest WW, and more recently, B/r Vamps that are constantly making 3-1’s and 4-0s and T8’s on Premier Events.

  12. I’m playing the Goblin decks I wouldn’t throw out koth yet I’m using him SB you can’t beat me hoping to kill every random creature/ swarm I throw and properly stop him hitting ultimatum jace decks. Not quite rock paper scissors. If people don’t respect aggro decks that’s fine I’ll slow roll my hand for you just so you drop your jaw when I drop my hand.

  13. This article was not meant to talk about every deck in standard. It discusses the rock paper scissors style that is in every format. There are obviously decks that exist outside of jace titan and goblin guide. My point is that you have to face a control deck that will most likely play Jace, an aggro deck that will most likely feature goblin guide, and a pseudo combo deck that has primeval titans.

  14. Brian Weller-Gordon

    Just a few things to respond to what everyone has said, sort of in order.

    Lucien: No, you don’t need koths to play red, at all (though they have a good place in some decks), if you really feel like he’s so good then you’re probably a huge pro and you don’t need to read magic articles anymore anyway.

    Rich: I’m sorry if he hurt your decks feelings, what can he do to make it up to them?

    At this point I think an important thing to mention is that he is evaluating the primary facets of the metagame, and honestly he’s absolutely spot on, decks running one of these 3 creatures make up the majority of the metagame, yes there are other decks around, he just says that he wont play them.
    “The reason that other decks outside of the Rock, Paper, Scissors archtypes get played is because the pilots believe they have exposed a hole in the metagame.”
    Examples of this are obviously vampires, elves, quest weenie, and pyro, but while each of these are seeing some play and success, they are not inundating the format or showing a significantly high win percentage.

    Quirk: Either you’re a troll or you’re just really in the wrong place for budget strategy…

    Tarmo: Quest currently has a worse win percentage than RDW (Koth+Masticore) and Boros, both of which have Goblin Guide. Quest just isn’t consistent enough to rape the metagame as well as it could.

    Redmage: Mono-black currently isn’t doing so great, and it’s about as expensive as boros which is more than vampires, quest or pyromancer’s so it’s sort of a poor choice.

    Dan: He’s not ignoring Boros since it runs Goblin Guide. I don’t think anyone is going to write anything on B/r vamps since it hasn’t seen significant play on or off of MTGO.

    I think what people are failing to realize about this article is that this article is not about pet or niche decks, this is about the big 3, the cards that make up at least 60% of the metagame. I won’t call it a good article because it doesn’t really have any new information but he never had any intention of giving a shout-out to the non “tier-1” archetypes.

  15. Thank you for analysing the current meta in such a detailed way. you writing style is very much appreciated. direct and exact and clear

  16. Oh no. Look, he started a sentence “you sir” we better listen to him now. In my opinion, if someone makes ONE post that you don’t like, including their opinions that you don’t agree with. they aren’t trolling. If you don’t like what they say, ignore the post and move on?

    I do think the article should have mentioned a deck like elves. Maybe it fits in the aggro section?

  17. I’ve been playing Kuldotha Red within my playtesting group (which is fairly competitive) and found that the main deck collar and lens did almost nothing again most decent players. I replaced them with Koths and havnt lost a game to a control player since if the Koth resolved. Last weeks tournament I 4-0 games against UW (with Koth seeing play every game). Card just straight seems like the nuts.

  18. The big problem I see with this picture of standard is that it seems to get turned completely around after sideboarding. It’s very difficult for ramp decks to beat 10+ counterspells and Mindbreak Traps after boarding against the Jace decks. At the same time it’s hard for any aggro deck to beat Bolt, Clasm and fast Titans after boarding against the ramp decks. Including postboard games I feel like it’s just as accurate to say that “Titan > Guide > Jace > Titan” as the other way around.

  19. If this was an article about specific decks within the metagame, I wish there would have been more analysis of individual decks.

    If this was an article about the nature of a rock-paper-scissors metagame, I wish there would have been counter-points within the article to explain how paper decks could adapt to defeat scissors decks.

    And most of all, I wish there would have been some factual information in this article, as opposed to a plethora of biased statements and unfounded conclusions.

  20. Rico Puertoooooooo

    Best article I’ve read today, whatever they are paying this guy they should double it. Kyle talks about the top decks and gives us insight on what he thinks is the best deck. Kyle is quickly becoming my favorite pro and hope to get to meet him at Nashville!

  21. @ Quirk

    There are countless articles and forums focused on “budget” decks, take some time to actually look for them. Heck if you look hard enough you might even realize that there are TWO incredibly cheap decks in this very article.

  22. Apologies for the trollish comment. I just started playing magic again and have been frustrated trying to build a competitive deck on a college budget, especially when I’m mainly a blue player. Eh, Quest WW it is for me at this point i guess.

  23. There is not very much room to discuss how paper decks can adapt to beat scissors. That is the message left unsaid – we all know something about matchups in standard to begin with. The fact is, the three strategies are SO different that you cannot move your deck in one direction without sacrificing the other matchups (plural). You are locked in place by triangulation. That’s because you don’t just have to gear a control deck to beat both Primeval Titan and Goblin Guide, you have to gear it to beat other control decks. The only ‘innovation’ that you can really shoot for is to guess which matchup is most critical, and focus on winning that 70% of the time.

  24. I really wasn’t a fan of this article. Some of the decisions or criticisms you make really don’t hold water. For instance, I really don’t see how your Emeria Angel in UW control affects the board at all against UB or RUG, being that it’s either doom bladed, lightning bolted, or blocked out by Persecutor and fails to hit jace at all. If you were looking for a “Kill Jace” answer, your deck should either be running some red burn or a big Persecutor that costs as much CA to be blocked as it does to swing through and smack Jace for 6.

    You were really toting this UW list last week, but i’m just not feeling it. Baneslayer feels a little out of place, as does Gideon, Volition Main Deck, and the vast amount of 1 and 2-ofs, which can be effective but in this case, doesn’t appear to be.

  25. “I think it is superior to Blue-Black control because Emeria Angel is stronger than Abyssal Persecutor”

    This statement seems slightly misleading as it makes it seem as though Abyssal Persecutor is the reason you play Blue/Black. From what it seems, the main reason you play UB Control is for the spot removal followed by Creeping Tar Pit (Jace). Abyssal is an after thought.
    That being said, Emeria Angel looks like it could be really amazing in this format. She should (emphasis on should) give Jace a hard time and the flying is incredible against Titan decks. I can dig it.

    “This is a good deck if you want to beat up on the other Jace decks, but it can have some difficulties against Primeval Titan and Goblin Guide decks.”

    Compared to UB Control, RUG’s match-up against Titan is much worse but their game against Goblin Guide decks is much, much, much better (Pyroclasm). In this format, the sideboard could be considered more important than the main deck..

    The rest of the article is spot on. Not so sure if people made the connection that Koth = bad because Boros is the best aggro deck.

    “Most of the time when I have a deck that is beating everything is because of my preparation for the format.”

    This statement and the paragraph that followed was the best section of Magic literature I’ve read in months. Bravo.

  26. The thing a lot of people are failing to understand is that Kyle is not trying to go into detail on each little point he is making. There are times when he makes some broad statements, and he is either speaking from experience or trying to make a point.

    Yes, obviously Koth is a great card, and works with some strategies. By saying to keep your Koths at home (and more importantly, not in your 75 cards), Kyle’s make a point that this particular strategy of red simply isn’t the right choice for the current “rock, paper, scissors” (read: metagame) of standard and he’s advocating Kuldotha Red as a better choice. That’s the point of this article: which decks/strategies are good in the metagame and what cards make them good.

    There’s a lot of other things like that. I’m sure that if/when Kyle writes an article about or feating UW, he’s definitely going to go into detail on little things like why he would play X number of Emeria Angel.


  27. I think that this artical is spot on. An comparing the meta to a Rock Paper Aspect is realistic, because I notice it at the FNMs I play at. Iv played UW for a while now – and its like this artical is saying. My round would be (aggro, ramp or the control matchup) and It always ended up if, im agenst aggro it was an out win (on my part) and then with ramp its reaally ruff match. Then lastly if its Control, its a dead tie (depending on the person playing). So I enjoy the artical and keep it up Kyle! 😀

  28. @Brian
    Have you done any looking at the mtgo decklists on the main site at all? I have yet to see a daily event or even a premier event that hasn’t had at least 1 B/r vamps in the 3-1 or top 8 in over the past week. Many of them have at least 2. Even I have done 5 dailies and have yet to do worse than 3-1. Please check data before you make such silly assumptions ^^

  29. If you’re playing UW control, could you do an article comparing UW to other control variants. UB seems to be all the rage in my neck of the woods recently.

    As far as this article goes, it seems like (and this may just be my area) control is the most popular of the 3 right now. I really enjoyed reading this though.

    Nice name for the column, but “Mind-Boggling Tech” rolls of the tongue easier than saying “technology”

  30. o boy, red deck without koth? UW with maindeck condemn?(it sucks vs 2 of the 3 major archetype’s you define and isn’t really better then oust vs the 3rd). Some serious flaws in the statements here.

  31. I’m not up on Constructed, so can someone help me with a newb question?

    Why do decks with no Landfall use off-color fetch lands? An example is the UB control list that has Misty Rainforest and Verdant Catacombs with no Landfall triggers and no green splash. The Kuldotha Red deck is mono-red without Landfall and has eight of them!

  32. hasn’t that thinning out thing been disproved by statistical analysis?

    this article was OK, not awesome but also totally undeserving of the harsh (or random – criticism on sentence structure wtf! you need more in your life) comments from some peps

  33. Yes, fetch lands in UB lists has nothing to do with thinning the deck (as james says, that would be absurd).

    Fetch lands are an additional shuffle effect to make Jace’s brainstorming ability better, shuffling away unwanted stuff and seeing 3 new cards is pretty powerful.

  34. What’s the reasoning behind the 2/2 split of Condemn/Oust and why is there no Journey to Nowhere in your 75? I have found Journey to be very versatile for the MD as it handles Titans more efficiently than the 1 CMC costed removal you run while still being cheaper than a DoJ and providing a good way to protect yourself from cheap threats. I mean, Condemn has very little upsides in a deck that runs already 3 tectonic edges and 3 spreading seas to deal with manlands and Oust is a bit clunky outside slowing down Fauna builds and aggro but Journey is just better at dealing with VV on Fauna decks and not too slow against aggro decks.

  35. Emeria angel is better than abyssal persecutor because you are supposed to wait until you can play a land, thus handling Jace. Condemn is actually good in the mirror because it stops colonnade from killing your Jace and can stop a Frost Titan as well. I dont play Journey because it dies to ratchet bomb and that is a great answer to threats in the current format. Oust is the best at stopping early mana from eldrazi ramp as well as the creatures from RUG such as cobra and oracle. I split in the top 4 of another weekly tournament with this deck as well so i stick by it. Red decks without Koth are fine if they are Kuldotha Red. It is easy to say I am an idiot for saying koth does not work well in a red deck when you take it out of context. it is obviously insane in a RDW deck,but those decks are generally not very good.

  36. Oust >> condemn. Oust is better for stopping titans as letting them redraw it in 2 turns isn’t that big a deal if you play a counterdeck.
    Condemn absolutely sucks against any titan other then frost and is quite bad against frost as well. The frost titan will take 3 mana to condemn in YOUR OPPONENTS TURN, giving him a very easy time to counter that condemn, especially as you are generally a land down from that titan already. Given the fact that condemn is 100% useless against ramp decks there is just no way ever to run condemns over ousts in this standard. Stopping colonnade hardly matters as you can easily deal with that with tectonic edge, which SHOULD be a 4-of.
    Play 4x oust or a combination of ousts and journeys….

    The entire UW archetype completely stinks compared to UB though. It has a slightly better red matchup because it can play baneslayer and kor firewalker but is much worse against the rest. Emeria angel is better then persecutor against jace but generally a bit less against aggro as it is burned easily and is actually a 5-drop, not a 4 drop, persecutor is imo better overall because it is uniquely hard to remove at the moment by most stuff but jace.
    A huge disadvantage about emeria angel is that he doesn’t synergize well with counters imo. It’s very hard to land a emeria against a counterdeck because you want to play your lands afterwards… For example 6th, turn your holding mana leak, emeria and your 6th land, there is no way to force through the emeria AND getting the landfall. Since everyone is weary of not letting 4 mana spells resolve already in the mirror it is very unlikely you are going to be winning much mirrors because of emeria.
    Black is just much better then white for control. It has better removal, better anti-ramp cards and better anti-control cards with also a much better manland. Unless the metagame favors playing kor firewalkers in the sideboard there is simply no reason to run UW as it has a abysmal matchup against the rest compared to UB. Also the best anti-control creature is grave titan and he also happens to be black…

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  38. well if they don’t run fetch lands to thin out the deck in decks like Kuldotha red them im with max why do they run them i understand the jace one in U/B but other then trying to thin your deck for non land spells would it just be better to run one more teetering peaks and or Smoldering Spires or just mountains other wise you lose life for nouthing and that could matter in the mirror or even boros or RDW someone please enlighten me.

  39. I thought it was fairly well-written, and I agree with some of the points made. If there is any need to play UW over UB, it’s for Oust and Spreading Seas against the field. Cards like Joraga Treespeaker or Overgrown Battlement are strong early, but a bit worse later in the game, and being able to force them to sink mana into it later in the game is awesome. Spreading Seas can also just make mana disappear from the opponent.

    However, I honestly think it might be good idea to go to Esper colors to play Jace. I like being able to play Sun Titan and Tectonic Edge in the same deck, but I also like the ability to play Doom Blade against opposing Titans, and Day of Judgment instead of (or in addition to) Consume the Meek. The RUG deck wins because it can stick huge threats and tell you to do something about it, then once you do, they just use Jace to set up another one.

    Tectonic Edge plus Sun Titan goes a long way toward getting rid of that problem.

    In reference to the format as a whole, the Jace decks have an edge simply because of another card they all seem to play: Frost Titan. Frosty is just the best Titan against other Titans, which is why the Jace decks are so good. A deck that can just cast a bunch of guys that Jace and Frosty can’t remove might be the best choice. Sphinx of Jwar Isle has never looked better in a deck full of Doom Blades and Day of Judgments, and Calcite Snapper is a great choice in conjunction with Sun Titan.

  40. I love that people still bitch about the costs of standard. Seriously, shut the fuck up already. First of all, $500ish for a tier 1 deck isn’t a lot of money. If $500 is a lot of money to you, then maybe you should either get a job that will allow you to support hobbies, or wait until you’re older than 16 to play competitive Magic. Baneslayer was what, like $50 a year ago? Expensive Mythics are not a new introduction to the game.

    “But I’m new and I wanna play Magic but I only get $200 every month from unemployment and welfare! What do I do!?!? What commons can I run in my green deck to try and steal games from the players who bought real decks and deserve the wins!?!?” You can shut the fuck up and get back on World of Warcraft.

    Seriously. If you’re in a position where you’re forced to play budget, just quit. And if you aren’t going to quit and instead play elves or goblins or that abortion Quest deck, don’t bitch about how good Titan and Jace are. You will lose to the good cards most of the time, so quit trying to ‘convert’ those around you to playing your awful tier 2 aggro decks. No one gives a fuck about Elves if they’ve got Jace and/or Titan in their binder.

    tl:dr I am an elitist asshole and I think your budget deck sucks but I hope you keep showing up to FNMs to feed my prize pool.

  41. I apologize for my language. I don’t have many friends and hiding behind my keyboard strokes is the only way I can feel good about being 35 and still living in the same room I grew up in. sheesh. I really messed up this time. My mom is gonna ground me for sure!!

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