Yesterday I took a look at 6 winners and losers in Standard after GPs Denver and Madrid. Today, I’ve got 5 more:
Winner: Ceremonious Rejection
At PT Kaladesh, mtgmintcard walked the line between genius and madness when they splashed for 4 copies of Ceremonious Rejections in their previously 3-color aggro deck, making it a 4-color monstrosity like the Nephilim of Ravnica. With the downfall of Marvel decks, people started eschewing the blue splash as well, but it’s now back in full force at the hands of GP Denver winner Matt Severa:
Severa has 11 main-deck blue sources, which is not a ton, but should be enough for a card that you only need to cast on turn 4. I think the 4-color builds should become more common than the straight Mardu builds, though you can always do what Frank Karsten likes and just sideboard 5 blue sources.
I’m actually more interested in splashing Ceremonious Rejection in other decks. Steve Rubin already dabbled in adding a blue splash for Whirler Virtuoso, and had 2 Rejections in the board. With 4 Aether Hub that are always on (unlike those in Mardu), 3 Botanical Sanctum, 3 Evolving Wilds, 4 Attune, 4 Servant of the Conduit, 1 Island, and the added selection from Vessel of Nascency, you’re basically guaranteed to have access to a blue source if you want one. You don’t even need to play Whirler Virtuoso—you can just splash blue for Rejection in Carmine D’aniello’s straight R/G version. By adding just 1 Island, you’d already be at a whopping 15 sources (and you can add 2 more Evolving Wilds on top of that).
It’s also possible that a blue splash is good in B/G Delirium. We’ve splashed red before for Radiant Flames, and while the splash wasn’t free, it wasn’t prohibitive either. You can play 4 Evolving Wilds, and you already have 4 Traverses and some number of Pilgrim’s Eyes. The biggest problem with this in my mind is that Pilgrim’s Eye into Island is simply not fast enough to counter either Marvel or Panharmonicon if you’re on the draw, but if having Rejection makes your matchup against those decks significantly better, then splashing blue for it might be worthwhile.
Loser: Revolutionary Rebuff
Revolutionary Rebuff is a pretty bad card, but it filled a necessary role—it stopped Ishkanah, Grafwidow. It is, however, a card that I very much do not like. U/W doesn’t pressure you enough, so experienced B/G pilots can almost always pivot around Rebuff since it’s only 2 extra mana. With the emergence of Marvel and Panharmonicon, it becomes very awkward to have a counterspell that doesn’t counter the namesake of either deck. If you’re interesting in maindecking a counterspell, I think Spell Shrivel is usually the better choice, as 4 is enough mana to actually constrain B/G’s spells, and it exiles on top of that.
Winner: Torrential Gearhulk
If Spell Queller isn’t that good against Marvel anymore, Torrential Gearhulk remains as good as ever since it’s fantastic against the combo, but also great against the grindy plan. It can counter either Marvel or Ishkanah, and it can kill Chandra. Control decks have kind of disappeared from Standard, but they have good matchups against the emerging powers, so they could come back in full force.
Check out the U/B Metallurgic Summonings deck that finished 11th in Denver:
U/B Metallurgic Summonings
This deck is called “Metallurgic Summons,” but it’s a Gearhulk deck through and through. If you’re looking for something more conventional, you can try Ari Lax’s approach, which he took to an 18th place finish:
This is even more of a Gearhulk deck, as it runs the full 4 copies, and Nahiris to search for them on top of that, and I like it a bit more than the Metallurgic Summonings deck (though I’ll admit it’s not as sweet).
Loser: Joel Larsson
Winner: Transgress the Mind
Transgress was already pretty good, but now I think it’s better, and might even be better than Lost Legacy. I like Lost Legacy more in the mirror, but Transgress is excellent against the new Marvel decks that have diverse threats (World Breaker, Chandra, and Ishkanah on top of the Eldrazi), and it’s also great against Panharmonicon. If you weren’t playing 2 Transgresses main deck in B/G Delirium, I think you should.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and see you soon!