5 Nov 2012

Blog Standard: A bit of BANTer

Standard is in a state of flux at the moment. Zombies, Jund, a series of mid-range decks, tokens, control and reanimation. I think the format is in a good state at the moment. Many builds are being tried and tested; some with success others not so.
Leading on from my last post about control I decided to try out a Bant deck. It originally started as a mid-range deck with small but effective creatures to deal some damage and then allow the Planeswalkers to take over. After a few test games I realised this wasn't working so went for a more controlling approach. 

Here's my list:

Main Deck


Hallowed Fountain x 2
Temple Garden x 2
Sunpetal Grove x 3
Glacial Fortress x 3
Hinterland Harbour x 3
Cavern of Souls x 2
Forest x 4
Plains x 4
Island x 1

Total 24


Centaur Healer x 3
Geist of Saint Traft x 2
Restoration Angel x 2
Sigarda Host of Herons x 2
Thragtusk x 3
Armada Wurm x 2

Other Spells

Azorius  Charm x 3
Call of the Conclave x 3
Farseek x 4
Oblivion Ring x 2
Sphinx's Revelation x 1
Garruk Relentless x 2
Supreme Verdict x 2
Garruk, Primal Hunter x 1
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage x 2
Terminus x 2


The sideboard got a little messed up as I changed the main deck after testing. Here's what I ended up with:

Dryad Militant x 2
Loxodon Smiter x 2
Silverblade Paladin x 3
Dungeon Geists x 2
Sundering Growth x 1
Syncopate x 2
Negate x 2
Jace, Memory Adept x 1


Round one was against James' R/G Werewolves. All three games James led with a turn one Reckless Waif which inevitably flipped as my deck has no one drops. I think I won the first game through a turn four miracle Terminus followed by Geist of Saint Traft with the remaining three mana. 
Game two resulted in a loss for me as I got stuck on four lands and kept drawing all of my five mana cards. 
The third game went to me after James unfortunately got stuck on three mana. He attacked with two Howlpack Alphas which I double Azorius Charmed onto the top of his deck, putting his fourth land further from his grasp. I was then able to resolve my threats to end the game. 
After the match James told me he had four Huntermaster of the Fells in his deck. The first two games none had shown up but in the final game he couldn't get the fourth mana source to drop them from his hand. 

Final Result 2-1

Round two was against Darren and his W/U Humans. Game one I got mana flooded but had nothing to stop Champion of the Parish, Precinct Captain and Geist of Saint Traft. Game two was the complete opposite - I got mana screwed - it was own fault really. I got greedy and kept a hand of one land and two Farseeks. Unfortunately I drew nothing but five drops and conceded after three bad draws.

Final Result 0-2  

Round three saw my longest game of the night against Nick's mono-black deck. Nick would lead with a turn two Heartless Summoning and then play big cards with a discount. A Supreme Verdict followed by Garruk, Primal Hunter was enough to keep the pressure on while Centaur Healers gave me extra life. An army of 3/3 beasts and centaurs was enough to close game one with Garruk threatening to go ultimate. 
Game two went to extra turns despite some impressive tricks from me. Nick once again led with Heartless Summoning and big black creatures one of which being Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. This proved difficult as my Supreme Verdict meant all of Nick's creatures came back with Undying but a steady stream of wolves from Garruk Relentless stopped most of the damage getting through. Garruk then flipped after being hit by a Vampire Nighthawk. I used his - 1 ability to search up an Armada Wurm which attacked next turn. Nick blocked but I bounced the Wurm with Restoraton Angel to produce another 5/5 trampler. Despite all of this Nick was still alive due to a combination of Deathtouch and Lifelinking creatures. I then top decked a Supreme Verdict and then top decked a Tamiyo to lock Nick down but there wasn't enough punch to finish the game which ended after extra turns.

Final Result 1-0     

Next was Ricardo and mono-red. I was able to stay in the game thanks to Centaur Healer and Call of the Conclave. A Supreme Verdict blew Ric out which I then followed with Thragtusk and Traft to seal game one. 
Game two was much closer. Again I was able to keep out of burn range for most of the game due to Centaur Healer and Thragtusk. Ric then played a Thundermaw Hellkite and swung with his team but a timely Restoration Angel meant I could block the Hellkite. It also enabled me to declare Thragtusk as a blocker, flicker it with the angel, gain five life, use the beast created from Thratusk leaving to block another Creature and then use Thragtusk to block another - resulting in no damage. A series of Burn spells knocked me down to two life and an empty hand for Ricardo. I played Tamiyo tapped down his Hellkite and passed. "This is where you top deck a Pillar of Flame" I joked, which Ric promptly did and it was off to Game three. 
The final game went badly for Ricardo as he got stuck on one land for three turns. Despite being able to play three creatures with the limited Mana he had; I was able to ramp into an Armada Wurm and quickly finish the game. 

Final Result 2-1

The final round was against David's R/W tokens. David got off to a good start but a miracle Terminus sent all his tokens packing leaving me clear to play my drops and seal the game. 
Game two saw David stuck on two lands while I ramped into Armada Wurm and Restoration Angel to swing for 18 damage. 

Final result 2-0

After a fun filled FNM I was placed fourth which I'm happy with. The deck performed nicely and only floundered due to Mana problems. Most threats I could deal with through board wipes and Planeswalkers but I'd like a bit more draw or card filtering. I didn't use the sideboard all night as I couldn't really be bothered. 

Special mention has to go to eventual winner Cameron with his Jund deck; hard casting a Griselbrand in the final against Robert. Another mention should be that some players were not in attendance due to being in France for a tournament.       

Hope to see you at FNM this week. 

John, Host of Herrings 

P.S (Promo Spoiler)

I'll mangle your dregs
This is the foil alternate version of Dreg Mangler that comes with the MtG Holiday Gift Box. Personally I think the original art is better. This looks like a Christmas tree which has come to life in your attic but maybe that's what Wizards wanted with a 'holiday' box.

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