T-Pup Etc – Mono W Control : Really??
So to be fair – this whole article is probably going to sound awkward. Here we are, living in a time where GerryT is crapping out T8’s at SCG 5K’s like they are going out of style, and all he seems to be doing is just running a new version of Birds and Mystics each week. = Now to be fair, the Esper version has been doing obviously well, and I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not the stone nuts right now. We know it is.
I guess now would be a good time to do an intro as well. My name is Tony Pagliocco aka T-Pup and I sling spells, albeit badly. I grew up and started playing Magic in Boston in 1994 – but started playing competitively in 1999 when I moved to Arizona for school. I’ve Q’d 4 times , Q’d for a couple of Nationals, made a few GP Day 2s, and a Arizona States win under my belt, but never made the final 8 of anything big. I quit playing in 2006 and when I was recovering from my gastric bypass in 2009, I started playing MTGO again, went to a Zendikar sealed PTQ and Top 4’d that….and I got bitten by the bug again. Since I came back I’ve hit a variety of GPs, out of state PTQ’s and coming back made me realize a bunch of things that I”ll share in another article because I realize I’m rambling now. So ya, I’m T-Pup, I’m horrid mostly, and I’m here to write 🙂
So now with standard..wWhat other alternatives do we have in standard right now? Burn? Boros? Valakut? Of course, and they’re all just cute and dandy but I honestly prefer trying out some new decks at this point and even if they dont “get there”, I want to see how they play out from a metagame factor and also to see what kind of tricks may be out there for future formats as the new cards come in.
Last weekend, there was a SCG Invitational Qualifer at Crossroad Games in Standish, ME that me and the wife were going to attend. Wife was on board with Patrick Sullivan’s 75….I was wavering the entire night before. Between going rogue and going with the best deck. A lot of factors went into the decision though and I’d like to share those.
Since I moved to Maine from Arizona, I’ve been in a funk. Not a “I miss home funk” , but more of a “I cant make a T8” funk. Having played in Arizona, where the caliber of play is pretty damm good, and moving to a new state, I felt that I could at least hit the ground running and make some headway.
When I got back into the game, my rating was around 1790ish and I grinded my way to 1915 by the end of 2010. Then one bad Grand Prix (Atlanta) and a few bad PTQs, not to mention a few punts here and there, and I’m back to where I started. How I managed to donk off 150 points so quickly, I have no idea but it is what it is.
Back to the event…..I got people telling me to run UBW Caw, UW Caw, or Goblins (even after I told Gibb and Turian that I didnt have red cards), and I’m going through sites looking for random lists to give me ideas for sideboard cards and I came upon this gem.
MTGO Standard Premier 3/20/11
To me this is pretty damm spicey, for a couple of reasons. One, it won a fairly sizeable event and two, it won a GP Trial at the GP in Spain the same weekend as the event in Maine. This shows me it wasnt a fluke and actually had some consistency to it. Now there was a 8 card difference maindeck between the Spain and MTGO deck but the core was the same and to me that is what mattered.
Just to be up front, we’re not gonna talk about the actual event because this isnt a tournament report this is a deck review but if you must know how it went, it went pretty damm good except for me janking up the SB and not thinking things through. So now onto the deck….
We have our core
I truly believe this is the heart and soul and cannot be touched. There is so much synergy and interaction with these cards that it allows you to keep less than spectacular draws on the premise that you can get to a Wall of Omens or Pilgrim’s Eye. The card advantage generated with this deck is so intense that it almost feels like you’re playing blue already even though you’re mono.
Look at it from this perspective – on turn 2 you have the following options.
Play Squadron Hawk – Get 2 more hawks
Play Stoneforge Mystic – Get 1 Equipment
Play Wall of Omens – Draw 1 card
And on turn 3 you have option to play any of the above AND
Play Pilgrim’s Eye – Get a land
We’re not even at the point where we are recurring stuff with Sun Titan…the card advantage is truly there and in a format where people are knocking off threats in veiled attrition battles, having the ability to start recurring your grave on turn 6 is huge. I also believe that in the current state of standard, this is a deck that people will not be expecting and for the most part in a lot of game 1’s , people tend to think I’m just UW and land screwed unless I tip them off by playing one of my telltale cards.
The other part of the maindeck
These cards are not really iffy – but they are flexible. I’m not sold on Kor Sanctifiers yet, I understand its great vs the amount of equipment on the board, but its still a 4 drop dude and you cant recur it with kicker. In my build I took out the Kor Skyfishers for Baneslayer Angels and everytime I drew a BSA, I wished it had been the Skyfisher. This was a case of me not testing the deck enough before playing it and realizing how powerful the Skyfisher is in the late game. The Lone Missionary is good vs red, since red is pretty good vs caw blade, and it also can help vs Boros but again, it wasnt a card that I was like OMG LONE MISSIONARY.
The version of the deck that ran in Spain dropped Ajani Goldman, 2 Kor Skyfisher, and 2 Lone Missionary for 3 Elspeth Tierel , 1 Mortapod, and 1 Boneyard. Not sure how that played out, I personally prefer more dudes but not sure if these are the right dudes. Off the bat, Lone Missionary and Ajani could come or go , but to be fair, Ajani was a beating when I’d lay him down, I could see me bumping him up to two , maybe 3. I do think that Gideon Jura could be a beatstick in this deck. I’d love to drop some early dudes, then Ape Smash with a Gideon. I’d even be interested in -2 Lone, -1 Ajani and +3 Gideon. Could be useful to try.
I’d say take this for a spin, see how you like it, leave me comments and I’m probably gonna run this at a 1k in Londonberry NH this weekend, so that can be my next report and I’ll let you know how it goes.