Seasons Past Gets a Facelift

BG Seasons Past was one of the sweetest new decks to come out of the Pro Tour. It reminded me a lot of an old-school control deck, with few win conditions and numerous sources of card advantage and a certain inevitability. It was almost comical that the deck had a green frame instead of a blue one, but that’s where we are these days, it seems.

Since Jon Finkel introduced the list at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, the BG version of the deck has still been seeing play, albeit with some major changes. Take a look at the following list that was played to a 24th place finish at Grand Prix Costa Rica by Andrew Sullano.

BG Seasons Past

This is just one version of the deck and I’ve seen a couple others floating around on Magic Online. All of them work to shore up a lot of the issues I had with the deck: the number of threats and the versatility of your card choices. When your deck is focused on a card like Dark Petition, even when you usually just want to grab Seasons Past with it, it’s nice to have a few silver bullets to snag when necessary.

Before I stumbled upon this list, before Grand Prix New York even, I came across a version in my testing that had Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger in it. It surprised the heck out of me when my opponent cast it! I thought we were playing this long game that I could potentially win, and then BAM, an unexpected Eldrazi that I had no way to deal with. It was a great addition to the deck considering how late the games go and how much time you’re able to buy.

Now that the deck has cards like Nissa’s Pilgrimage and Explosive Vegetation, it makes even more sense. You can even search for him with Dark Petition or get him back with Seasons Past. That is, unless you have an alternative 10-drop you want to get back (just kidding, Kozilek).

One of the best additions to the deck comes in the early game in the form of 4 Tireless Tracker and 4 Sylvan Advocate. The original list only had 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and 2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer as the deck’s only creatures. Considering you were able to continuously recur them (along with any downed Hissing Quagmires) thanks to Seasons Past, the deck didn’t technically need any more creatures. But I have to be honest—I appreciate having them. Tireless Tracker and Sylvan Advocate are two of the strongest cards in Standard right now and they’re a great fit, especially considering the newly added ramp component.

But wait, there’s more! Sullano also added a single copy of Woodland Bellower (one of my favorites from Magic Origins) to grab the aforementioned all-stars, Tireless Tracker and Sylvan Advocate. Unfortunately, I keep having to remind myself that Woodland Bellower isn’t able to search out a Nissa, Vastwood Seer. C’est la vie.

I’m not 100% sold on the single Oath of Nissa, simply because it seems counter-intuitive with Seasons Past in the deck. I would much rather have a 1-of Traverse the Ulvenwald that can find lands early and act as a tutor in the late game. My only concern is that if you get it back with Seasons Past, you might no longer have delirium, but you could always hold onto it—this is a minor quibble at best. Oath of Nissa, on the other hand, will never leave the battlefield and you don’t have multiples to get one into the graveyard via the legend rule. It just seems like an odd choice, especially when you’re not concerned with the planeswalker mana bonus.

Another interesting version of the deck adds blue for cards like Silumgar’s Command and Dragonlord Silumgar himself.

Sultai Seasons Past

This list was played by springroll85 in a Magic Online League, and it’s nice seeing Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy back in the fold. The format was getting a little oversaturated with the 2-mana planeswalker, but now he’s practically a ghost. He does a great job here at filling your graveyard with relevant casting costs for Seasons Past or simply allowing you to flash back any of your myriad instants and sorceries.

Both of these lists are trying to do the same thing: kill creatures, play efficient threats, draw (or filter through) cards, and disrupt the opponent’s game plan. And they both look like they have all the tools to do it.

I’m not sure which list is stronger, but there are clear advantages to both. With blue you have a lot more access to card filtering and all of the Silumgar tools that come with it. With the straight black/green version you have access to a stronger mana base, for sure, along with a little bit of ramping into Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.

While it’s taken a back seat to Bant Humans, Rites decks, and GW Tokens, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Seasons Past and the card still has a ton of game. And, let’s be honest: it’s better than a blue card for drawing cards these days. When combined with cards like Tireless Tracker or Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, and Dark Petition, that’s a lot power and versatility.

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