The Standard metagame is in constant flux now, and control has recently taken the top position as the deck to combat Aetherworks Marvel decks. This has caused the popularity of decks like Mardu Vehicles to grow, as they go underneath both Marvel and control, and so I was searching for a way to attack the midgame without completely losing to Marvel going over the top of me. This naturally lead me to U/W Flash, but, of course, that isn’t much of a brew. U/W has some strengths versus control decks, namely Gideon, but I was wondering if there was a way to strengthen the midgame in a more synergistic way. I was pleasantly surprised that I could just shift the focus of U/W a bit and give it a few new angle of attack against the current metagame.
Isn’t This Deck Just U/W Flash?
Yes and no. The deck functions similarly, but it looks to maximize some synergies to create super powerful turns beyond the individual strengths of your rares. What this deck is specifically looking to do is be a more disruptive U/W deck. Thought-Knot Seer gives a different angle of attack, and any game you curve Spell Queller into a Seer is usually lights-out. Additionally, TKS allows you to interact even better against Marvel decks when you’re on the play. TKS also combines well with Selfless Spirit, which is already there to protect your Spell Quellers and flip Avacyn. Strengthening an already existing card in a deck is always nice.
What’s Up with 3 TKS and 2 Gideon Main?
This is another oddity with the deck but I think it is the right configuration. Gideon is incredibly powerful and is the whole reason to play U/W Flash. Thought-Knot Seer is a haymaker and a huge draw to playing colorless. But the deck can’t realistically play eight 4-drops. It would just be too clunky. In this build, Gideon is harder to protect without as many Avacyns, and you want to draw just 1 copy of Thought-Knot. The second one is often a 4/4 for 4 that just draws your opponent a card when it dies, and that’s not exactly what you want out of it. Additionally, drawing multiple Gideons is fine, but a mix of your 4-drops will usually be best, and TKS can clear the way for a Gideon to take over. That’s why there’s not a 4/1 split here or more copies of Gideon in the main.
That said, I still like access to all 4 Gideons in the 75. This list looks to colorless as a way to add a bit of extra power and synergy, but Gideon is still so strong that you’ll want access to all 4 in a good number of spots. You do board out different cards when you do board up to 4, which makes it less awkward than the list might indicate. It performs a strong function as a way to clog the board versus aggro and a way to board up versus control.
In essence, this deck aims to keep the advantages of U/W Flash and add to them. It opens up new play patterns and gives you options against the top decks. Rather than discuss all the overlapping cards, I’ll focus on the remaining few differences and the reason for their inclusion:
Originally, I wanted to maximize Processor interactions as a way to blink Spell Queller with Eldrazi Displacer. As awesome as that is, it’s impractical (though I think there’s an Esper shell if Standard’s mana ever gets good enough). Still, I was impressed with Blight Herder in small numbers. It leads to some insane swings and opens up rebuys on Spell Queller thanks to Eldrazi Displacer. Additionally, it’s a threat you can tap out for while still leaving up counter mana (especially post-board when you’ll usually only need 1 blue). It also combines well with Gideon emblems going wide, and can flip Avacyn similar to Selfless Spirit. Sure, when you do that you’ll end up killing any Spell Quellers you have in play, but your opponent won’t be getting their spells back thanks to the fact that you already processed!
This is in the Stasis Snare slot, but the creature version is much better here for two reasons. First, it allows for a changing target thanks to Eldrazi Displacer. Sometimes a blink just upgrades an exile on a small creature to a big threat, which is usually worth an activation, but if you process what’s under the Warden you can set up a new eat entirely. The second reason is that a 1/3 body has a lot of value versus decks looking to go under the metagame. Warden’s ability to eat a big Thalia’s Lieutenant and block a 2/3 Thraben Inspector is nice.
I’ve already talked about this card in reference to the various other cards because it’s really the oil that keeps the machine running. U/W is prone to flooding, but Displacer ensures that you always have something to sink your mana into. It does so much more than simply remove blockers and attackers in this deck. When I first wrote out this paragraph, I recorded all of its interactions, but deleted the sentence because it got too long! Don’t forget that you can sometimes lock out your opponent from drawing a key card with draw-step blinks on Thought-Knot Seer. Additionally, you can run out Queller on turn 3 and later use it with Displacer to grab a juicy target.
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
This card functions as a nice breaker against aggro decks and pseudo-mirrors. I grew to love it when I was testing U/W Panharmonicon and have it as my go-to card when I need something for this type of role. Given the current state of the metagame, it’s finding its way into more of my Standard decks recently.
Key to the City
Ishkanah is still an incredibly annoying card and can be really tough to beat if it sneaks past a counter. Key helps pressure past creature walls and is perfect against G/B decks since the games are often grindy.
Sometimes brewing isn’t about coming up with something entirely new, but pushing an existing idea in a new direction. You can look to a deck’s strengths, where its weaknesses lie, and simply push those strengths and weaknesses to new areas for new metagames. This is part of what keeps deck building fresh even when the format looks stagnant. Next time you’re looking for a way to attack a metagame, remember that it might not be about generating a wholly new idea, but rather altering an established archetype.