Taphouse Brewery: Kaladesh is Here!!

Kaladesh is here and it’s shiny and chrome, witness it! The new art style is beautiful. The cards seem sweet. This standard is also gearing up (pun intended) to be one of the cheapest sets in a while. No fetch lands and with most walkers being reasonably priced, decks aren’t above 500 dollars this go around. Also this standard seems like it is going to be a healthy, balanced format. To prove that to you today I am bringing you three week one decks, one aggro, one midrange/ramp, and one control. That’s right control can actually exist in this format and it is one of my favorite decks to come from Kaladesh thus far.

So aggro is going to call shotgun and go first in this article as this deck is blazingly fast and extremely punishing when it’s on the play. I give you energy aggro:

Creatures (24)

4 Kessig Prowler

4 Scythe Leopard

4 Voltaic Brawler

4 Longtusk Cub

4 Lathnu Hellion

2 Brazen Scourge

2 Bristling Hydra

 

Planeswalkers (2)

2 Arlinn Kord

 

Spells (13)

4 Harnessed Lightning

4 Smuggler’s Copter

4 Fiery Temper

1 Larger Than Life

 

Lands (21)

4 Game Trail

3 Aether Hub

3 Cinder Glade

6 Forest

5 Mountain

 

Sideboard (15)

4 Hijack

3 Outnumber

3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

2 Renegade Freighter

2 Goldnight Castigator

Lots to talk about here. First, if you think this looks the same as Hoogland’s list, that’s because it is. I supplied that list to Hoogland’s testing group as I have done with lists in the past. We have 6 natural hasters in the deck as well as 8 one drop creatures for plenty of quick beats. On top of that Smuggler’s Copter gives every creature that comes into play after the copter haste as they just crew that bad boy up. And what a bad boy it is. It makes Fiery Temper bolt while drawing a new card. It’s great card selection in an aggressive deck while still promoting plan A of smashing faces. Smuggler’s Copter is probably the best card from Kaladesh and you need to be prepared for it week one. Also this is finally the home for Arlinn Kord. Not only does her front side plus also give haste to creatures, her zero ability produces a copter pilot. Turns out wolves and leopards are skilled pilots. Her plus on her backside is a great anthem effect with the added bonus of trample to push damage. Don’t forget her back side minus is also great for killing a blocker and pushing damage that way. And the ultimate will indeed win the game if you haven’t killed your opponent before then.

As for the sideboard week one red decks always want act of treason to punish midrange decks. In this case it will be steal your gearhulk you tapped out for and hopefully kill you with it. Nissa out of the board helps grind out aggro mirrors gumming up the ground and to give some rebuild capability after a wrath.

You can also run a more red heavy version where you swap Scythe Leopards for Falkenrath Gorgers. Gorger is also a 2 power attacker that flies copters when he can no longer attack but gives his gorger brethren the ability to madness out off copter. Also the red version swaps the hydras and castigators in the sb and main to be even more aggressive main deck. Then simply swap the forest and mountain count. Both versions are very aggressive and powerful so play which one you like better.

 

As we continue to move along the combat triangle we come to midrange. The clear winner of the midrange category are GB delirium and Temurge. I personally love Temurge and this deck got plenty of new shiny toys from Kaladesh to discuss. Let me show it’s features:

 

Creatures (20)

4 Primal Druid

4 Filigree Familiar

2 Pilgrim’s Eye

3 Wretched Gryff

2 Elder Deep-Fiend

2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

1 Combustible Gearhulk

2 Emrakul, the Promised End

 

Planeswalkers (3)

3 Nissa, Vital Force

 

Spells (15)

4 Vessel of Nascency

4 Grapple with the Past

4 Kozilek’s Return

3 Traverse the Ulvenwald

 

Lands (22)

3 Botanical Sanctum

2 Lumbering Falls

2 Cinder Glade

1 Sanctum of Ugin

7 Forest

5 Island

2 Mountain

 

Sideboard (15)

2 Arborback Stomper

1 Mockery of Nature

3 Sylvan Advocate

3 Harnessed Lightning

3 Spell Shrivel

2 Summary Dismissal

1 Coax from the Blind Eternities

 

So Kozilek’s Return is the glue that binds this deck. It is what allows us to get to the late game and trust me this deck owns the late game. Also Emrakul is still one, of if not the, best win condition in standard. The curve on this deck also has absurd potential in turn 4 Elder Deep-Fiend to tap them out into turn 5 Nissa attack for 10 presenting a lethal attack next turn and a planeswalker ready to ultimate. Throw in milling a k return on turn two to have a board wipe in that curve and there is no coming back. Combustible Gearhulk also shines in this deck. Do you want me to ancestral? No, hope you feel lucky. CMC’s in this deck aren’t what they appear. We pay 3-5 to emerge deep-fiends and gryffs, but if we flip them to gearhulk take 7 or 8. If we hit emmy we are in business. In playtesting in a mirror my opponent was at 22 from a familiar and said he was feeling lucky mill them…emmy, deep-fiend, k return, 24 damage to you. As the format slows down this card will definitely go to a 2 of, unfortunately week one we need to maximize Ishkanahs to put the foot down to aggro.

The sideboard is straight forward, plenty of things for aggro and then counters for everything else. Coax is there for black decks running lost legacy so we can get and Emrakul back into our hand to cast it and win the game. Mockery is there for any Stasis Snare decks as well as Aetherflux Resevoir and Fevered Visions. Mostly hedging some bets on what might exist in week one standard.

 

So aggro and midrange are pretty straight forward in an early format, play things to get your opponent dead be it a one mana 2/1 or Emrakul. So now the question is how do you play a game of magic to survive? Enter the people’s champ, Azorious Control:

 

Creatures (3)

3 Torrential Gearhulk

 

Planeswalkers (4)

3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

 

Spells (26)

2 Quarantine Field

2 Stasis Snare

3 Anticipate

3 Blessed Alliance

3 Glimmer of Genius

2 Immolating Glare

3 Revolutionary Rebuff

1 Skywhaler’s Shot

4 Void Shatter

3 Fumigate

 

Lands (27)

1 Blighted Cataract

1 Sequestered Stash

4 Port Town

4 Prairie Stream

4 Meandering River

8 Island

5 Plains

 

Sideboard (15)

1 Deadlock Trap

2 Aerial Responder

1 Archangel Avacyn

1 Linvala the Preserver

1 Dispel

2 Negate

2 Summary Dismissal

1 Skywhaler’s Shot

1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

2 Fragmentize

1 Fumigate

 

Ok, so maybe it’s not the people’s champ, but man do I love me some UW Control. I think control players everywhere finally said enough Hail Maros to attune us for the sins of Supreme Verdict and Sphinx’s Revelation. Sure fumigate isn’t the sweeper we want but it is what we have. What this deck does have going for it is only 9 sorcery speed spells in the main deck in the form of Planeswalkers and sweepers. The rest is all instant speed so we get to leave up counters and kill and use them accordingly. Also Blessed Alliance and Quarantine Field scale to make them good early but great later. Gideon is board control until he is a very quick clock. Torrential Gearhulk is just nuts in the deck. He has flash and a big body. He also comes with your choice of counterspell, removal, or card advantage. He is very flexible on his flashbacks which is exactly what a control deck wants. Then is big body will close out a game very quick as well.

The notable omission here is Dovin Baan. I know we have an azorious walker and he is getting no love. Well, truth be told is he just doesn’t do enough. He is a stall card through and through. His plus fogs one creature. His minus gains life and draws a cards. His ultimate can win a game but is slow, which sums up this walker, slow. His minus is the best mode and we can’t go down every turn. Whichs brings us to blue’s golden boy Jace. Jace provides his card advantage on the plus which is great with his already massive starting loyalty. Also his minus is very good at ensuring we stabilize, or bounces your opponents last blocker to fire up a Gideon and end a game. He fits this deck much better, much to the dismay of the new Dovin.

Sequestered Stash is card I also want to touch on very quickly. This card is great for recurring gearhulk as it’s the only artifact in our deck. We don’t even mind the self-mill as it just puts more instants in the yard for fat snap to flashback.

The sideboard is fairly standard for week one as well. Lots of things to hate aggro. A few choice flyers to help close out some games. Summary Dismissal is a must for emerge decks. Fragmentize is a good catch all for any Fevered Vision or Aetherflux decks again as well as vehicles and stasis snares with our gearhulks under them. Deadlock Trap is the interesting one here, so other than quarantine field and Gideon or Gearhulk attacks UW has a problem with Planeswalkers in play. Sure we can counter them on the way down but sometimes we don’t have the counterspell or the mana. Also Glimmer of Genius produces energy as well, obviously that’s not what we are playing the card for but it’s not trivial to eek out advantages where we can get them.
Obviously these are not all the week one decks but I think they are very good. In fact, I will be battling in Indy and I will most likely be playing one of these decks. I know playing control week one is rough but I miss it so much I just might be crazy enough to do it. What do you guys think? Let us know on Facebook what you would play at the week one Open. A few choice flyers to help close out some games. Summary Dismissal is a must for emerge decks. Fragmentize is a good catch all for any Fevered Vision or Aetherflux decks again as well as vehicles and stasis snares with our gearhulks under them. Deadlock Trap is the interesting one here, so other than quarantine field and Gideon or Gearhulk attacks UW has a problem with Planeswalkers in play. Sure we can counter them on the way down but sometimes we don’t have the counterspell or the mana. Also Glimmer of Genius produces energy as well, obviously that’s not what we are playing the card for but it’s not trivial to eek out advantages where we can get them.
Obviously these are not all the week one decks but I think they are very good. In fact, I will be battling in Indy and I will most likely be playing one of these decks. I know playing control week one is rough but I miss it so much I just might be crazy enough to do it. What do you guys think? Let us know on Facebook what you would play at the week one Open.

 

-Alex S.

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