8 Nov 2011

Innistandard III: Solar Wolf

Welcome again to another assessment of the standard meta-game.
Today, I'll be looking at the top two decks from the Gambit Games Innistrad game day; Wolf Run Ramp and Solar Flare.

Wolf Run Ramp, Kessig Ramp, R/G Run, or whatever people want to call it is, as you've probably guessed, a ramp deck that utilizes two lands as a win condition. This deck has replaced Valakut Ramp decks as the R/G deck of the format.
Valakut decks worked by accelerating to six mana, resolving a Primeval Titan thereby searching for Valakut the Molten Pinnacle and killing you with it.

Wolf Run decks have a similar Modus Operandi. Ramp up to six mana and resolve a Primeval Titan and search up Kessig Wolf Run and Inkmoth Nexus. The Nexus is subsequently animated into a 1/1 with flying and infect and then given trample courtesy of Kessig Wolf Run and hits you for a lot of poison. If this line of attack fails it pumps up other creatures to trample into your life total.

A sample deck list can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/deck/817

The deck is a powerhouse and has pretty reliable draws. The ability to search up lands with Titans provides constant threats and if you can't find a Titan, simply use Green Sun's Zenith.
A nice edition is Garruk, Primal Hunter. This incarnation of the beefy Green walker provides a steady stream of blockers against aggro decks whilst also providing a free creature for Kessig Wolf Run to target. His middle ability can potentially draw you a lot of cards something which Green normally lacks.

For those of you that wish to build on a budget some Wolf Run decks run copies of Dungrove Elder. The hexproof ability is really useful as you can ramp into more forests then activate Kessig Wolf Run for a further pump with trample.

With regards to our second placed deck you'll need a few of these guys:

Solar Flare is a W/U/B control deck that makes use of its graveyard to apply pressure on its adversaries:

Darkslick Shores x 2
Drowned Catacomb x 4
Glacial Fortress x 4
Isolated Chapel x 4
Seachrome Coast x 2
Island x 5
Plains x 2
Swamp x 3

Snapcaster Mage x 3
Phantasmal Image x 2
Sun Titan x 2
Grave Titan x 1
Consecrated Sphinx x 1

Gideon Jura x 1
Liliana of the Veil x 2

Day of Judgement x 2
Dismember x 2
Dissipate x 1
Doom Blade x 1
Forbidden Alchemy x 4
Go for the Throat x 1
Mana Leak x 4
Oblivion Ring x 1
Think Twice x4
Unburial Rites x 2

Solar Flare offers a lot of potential in standard. It can combat most decks providing a constant stream of threats and card advantage.
Sun Titan is a true finisher in this build as it can target Snapcaster Mage, Phantasmal Image, Oblivion Ring and Liliana. The ability to return a Snapcaster Mage is ridiculous even though its flash ability will be lost but still, getting multiple spell use is really nice.
Liliana also fits nicely in this build. Her +1 ability puts your opponent at a disadvantage (unless they're playing flare as well) whilst fuelling your graveyard. The -2 ability can get rid of annoying creatures and bypasses protection from Black abilities. I can't really see her ultimate being used that often as her other two abilities are simply better.

I'm not so sure about Grave Titan. Although it is a pretty nice titan that keeps providing 2/2 tokens and can therefore help against aggro decks, I'd opt for Wurmcoil Engine instead. Wurmcoil seems to have more synergy with this build because if it dies you get the tokens and can then cast Unburial Rites to return this threat.
I'm not sure if Nathan is still running a copy of Vengeful Pharaoh in his build as it seems like a nice card to include in the deck. The only problem is that a creature has to have dealt damage to you for the ability to trigger.

Once again I hope this has given some insight into the game.


1 comment:

  1. Nice article John, I lost to Kessig Ramp in the first round - not a nice experience, very quick games both drew out almost identically!!