The Monday Mulligan: Morningtide Standard Decks

Garfield Monday (2).jpgGarfield Monday (2).jpg
Due to the casual event at MPDC this week (which was incredibly buggy but a lot of fun) there is no Standard metagame to discuss. Therefore I will go over all decks that have done well in Standard last season and what Shadowmoor cards you will need to acquire. This way you will have some small hints to the new Standard.
Most of this you, as regulars, will already know. But I’m trying to make something I can point new players to if they want to know what to expect. I also used a lot of old material to describe the decks, because I talked about almost every deck in Standard at some point.

Morningtide Standard

The first five decks highlighted are the heavy hitters this season in order of success. Special thanks goes to Kehmesis for keeping score of the top eight metagame this season.
[list][*][url=]White Weenie[/url]
With six wins and a lot of near-wins and play-offs, last season’s most successful deck was White Weenie (WW). This is the second season in a row that the small white beaters come out on top. Last season was a lot more lopsided, at least until Storm Control was invented.
The deck is the benchmark for speed in the format, the aggro deck of choice. It plays a ridiculously low amount of land (19, sometimes even 18) and the rest of the deck is just threat after threat after threat. It even has a card advantage engine in Amrou Scout. Because a lot of the creatures have Flanking or Flying, it is very difficult to stop this deck by blocking. Mass pump give you some protection against sweepers and the “Oops, I win” factor.
[*][url=]Storm Control[/url]
Storm Control (SC) was played to four wins this season. It is the perfect foil for White Weenie and other (non-red) aggro decks. If left unchecked, it can dominate Standard just as easily as White Weenie.
SC is a control deck with a combo finish. It tries to keep the opponent in check with removal while building up for a stormy Empty the Warrens. Six to eight Goblin tokens is very difficult to beat without sweepers of your own. Both Martyr of Ashes and Grapeshot can handle creature swarms very effectively. If the main Storm plan doesn’t work it can shift into a Blue counter control deck after sideboard, riding a protected Errant Ephemeron or Fathom Seer to victory and keeping the board clear.
[url=]In the Spotlight: Storm Control[/url]
[*][url=]Red Deck Wins[/url]
RDW didn’t won as many trophies as WW or SC, but it was a constant player during the season. There was a version in almost every play-off, but it won only once. I think this is the deck that feels the biggest Shadowmoor impact. Between Giantbaiting and Intimidator Initiate there are a lot of new roads RDW can take.
The deck plays a lot of small and cheap creatures to get in early damage, just like WW. Instead of the awesome synergy in WW (Slivers/Changelings/Rebels) and its perfect curve and threat density, the red deck opts for a burn based endgame. This makes it far better against creature control decks like SC and Grimdrifter. Once they rule the board with removal, your fiery endgame will put them out of the game. Its Achilles heel is life gain, such as Aven Riftwatcher found in WW and Dark Evocation.
[url=]In the Spotlight: Red Deck Wins[/url]
[*][url=]Dark Evocation[/url]
Dark Evocation (DE) has been a player in the meta only recently. It made a small impact in the middle of the season under the “Paint it Blink” name. The last four events have been full of the deck and it has been making SC’s and RDW’s life miserable.
Dark Evocation is an aggro-control deck that has been putting up good results lately. It disrupts the opponent with quick discard and utility creatures and proceeds to beat you down with them. Momentary Blink protects your creatures while also re-triggering comes into play abilities. If the game goes late, Grim Harvest (fetchable with Teachings) and Blightspeaker can give overwhelming card advantage.
[*][url=]Mana Ramp Variants[/url]
Mana Ramp was this seasons version of Grimdrifter, until Dark Evocation took that title away. It has two trophies behind its name, both from the early days of the season.
The basic idea of the deck is using mana acceleration to accelerate and make sure you don’t miss any land drop if you get to two to three mana. You can use this mana to do ridiculous things, including playing and abusing Herd and Mulldrifter with Grim Harvest, having all the answers and threats at your fingertips with Mystical Teachings, all while keeping mana open for answers like Skred, Soot and Remove Soul.
[url=]In the Spotlight: Pyramid Scheme[/url]
Next up are decks that have potential, but weren’t one of the top decks this season. Sometimes these decks work only in specific metagames, sometimes these deck just haven’t got the tools to succeed yet.
[list][*][url=]Blue Beats[/url]
Blue Beats is an aggro-control deck that utilizes cheap aggressive blue beaters and protects those with counterspells and bounce. All star in the deck, in my opinion, is Spiketail Drakeling, which serves both as a counterspell and a beater. It poses trouble for control decks, especially if piloted by less experienced players.
[*][url=]Gruul Warriors[/url]
A RDW variant that plays better and bigger beaters, but has a less streamed mana base due to adding a colour. It is also less fast as it’s mono-coloured brother, but playing bigger creatures improves its match-up against Riftwatcher decks considerably.
Blinkdrifter was the biggest player in the beginning of Lorwyn Standard. After the rise of WW and SC it has been mitigated to a niche position. If well constructed it is a great answer to red metagames, getting around Martyr of Ashes with flyers and toughness based removal with Blink and Reinforce tricks. Non-red aggro decks are still very hard.
[*][url=]Burnt Nemo[/url]
Burnt Nemo was developed as a tool against WW and performs very pretty in that regard. As a result it had trouble against control decks, SC and Grimdrifter especially. Newer versions seem to have solved that problem, at leats partially.
I’ll let the deck’s proud father, Icarodx, do the talking: “Everyone that followed Standard last season knows that Burnt Nemo knells before SC (specially piloted by kehmesis) but don´t think that you can dismiss Nemo. It used to has trouble with Grim/Kingdrifter as well and that was overcome. This current incarnation sacrifices efficiency against aggro (not much as results show) to better combat Harvest decks and SC, and that is done though less counter and removal maindeck and more utility creatures to put pressure earlier. My record of almost all matches won 2-1 also shows the recovery power and adaptability which are great strengths of the deck.”
[*][url=]Use UR Illusion[/url]
An aggro-control deck that uses the multitude of Illusions from Timespiral block and complements them with burn and removal. A very fun deck to play.
A deck which was very popular last season, but has seen little play and no final this season. It tries to abuse Grim Harvest alongside Evoke creatures (Mulldrifter and Mournwhelk) and sacrifice creatures (Gutless Ghoul and Augur of Skulls). It is a board control deck in which every topdeck is a bomb in the lategame. If it can get to the very lategame, it will most certainly win.
That was my comprehensive overview of the decks in Morningtide Standard. Hope you enjoyed it! Look out for my Shadowmoor overview soon.

2 Responses to “The Monday Mulligan: Morningtide Standard Decks”

  1. cRUMMYdUMMY says:

    This is a great overview of the current standard decks. I hope new players can find a deck here that suits their play style and bring it to the next MPDC.

  2. walkerdog says:

    I still can’t believe that Dark Evocation wasn’t being played until the end of the season. Good writeup.

Leave a Reply