Changing of the Guard
by DeQuan Watson

Well folks, we are just a few days away from a change in the Standard format.  
No one knows what to expect.  Everyone is wondering what to play and what to
do.  Don't be so nervous, there will be plenty of time to come up with good
stuff.

However, I have heard many predictions, seen several decks, and have read
many reports.  So I figured it was about time for me to post some of my own
predictions.  This is by no means everything, but just a few ideas and tricks
that I have seen running around.

Black & Blue

Not sure if there is a definite deck type for these two colors.  I have
seen several control versions.  I have also seen some heavy discard versions.
I would expect for people to see a lot of Warped Devotion decks in the early
goings of this new standard format.  There are several cards that work with
it: Recoil, Boomerang, Hoodwink, etc.  Every version of the blue/black
combination that I have seen thus far has the potential to be strong.  The only
real common links between any of these decks seem to be Undermines, Ravenous
Rats and Recoils.


Fires

There is no reason to think that fires is going to disappear with the new
environment rolling around.  Everyone has already sang the praises of Hull
Breach so you all know how good it is by now.  Also, there are several good
creatures that players are experimenting with at this point that include;
Shivan Wurm, Flametongue Kavu, Sparkcaster, Horned Kavu and Fleetfoot Panther.

Blastogeddon and Green/White decks

Blastogeddon may not be gone for good.  This is another deck that also gets
some help from various gold cards in the set.  Two of the most interesting
for this deck are probably Fleetfoot Panther and Eladamri's Call.  It also
has a few more interesting sideboard cards for enchantment removal like Aura
Blast.  Whether it will be able to hang in there with the other big hitters
after their adjustments remains to be seen.  Also, being able to call for a
Panther is always neat.

Blue Skies

I think this deck will still be around in this new environment because of its
speed and potential to own the pace of the game.  Interestingly enough, I don't
think the deck got any definitive deck changing cards.  However, several
cards like Confound and Gainsay can be huge for the deck against some of the
other archetypes and will help in the mirror match.

Red/Black

This block of decks is really general.  The decks in this group consist of
mainly discard decks and beatdown variants with a solid bit of removal, the
main reason being terminate.  However, several decks are playing high on the
mana to get off Thrashing Wumpus and Obliterate.  Bog Down and Noxious Vapors
have been seeing a lot of play in the early goings.  both cards might
actually be viable for these decks depending on what style and version you
are playing.

Zombie decks

Many people think that only little kids are playing these decks.  I am not
sure that this is entirely true.  People are finally starting to rediscover
Zombie Master and several players are big on Lord of the Undead.  Most of
them are splashing red also to play the Shivan Zombie and get some burn
spells.  Other cards of note for this deck include Blazing Specter, Ghitu
Fire and Urza's Rage.  One interesting variant on the zombie deck that I have
helped a few people with includes several goblins.  Interestingly enough
there are a couple of goblins you can use out of Planshift.  You get the same
removal cards, but because of Goblin King and Dralnu's Crusade you can
potential have even larger creatures.

It will be interesting to see what gating creatures turn out to be the best. 
It will also be interesting to see which of the current top decks will be
bumped off and which become even better contenders.  There are a lot of
options right now in the current block.

I am hosting a Standard tournament this weekend March 3rd at The Game Closet
in Waco,TX. I should have a report or a list of Top 8 decks for you sometime
between Saturday night Monday morning.  Cash tournament as always, same rules
apply.

I hope all of you have fun on this opening weekend.

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn
PowrDragn@pojo.com







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