Last night was our monthly gaming night as well as our scheduled podcast-recording session (it was a great show, definitely check it out once it’s up). It was also the first time that I have ever played Standard. Note: Shawn has attended a prerelease event in the past but I’m not counting it as it was sealed. So exactly how did two legacy guys end playing Standard?
It started about a week and a half ago, we were chatting about how excited we were for Dragons and for some reason I started thinking of the ways it will shake up Standard. Would there suddenly be an influx of ramp decks? Warrior decks that utilize the powerful Dragon Hunter? At that point it hit me: it didn’t matter. We only played Legacy and Modern. Why was I so interested in what was going on with Standard? It certainly wasn’t going to affect us any..or would it? I sent Shawn a message suggesting that we jump onto the Standard boat for a trial run. He immediately liked the idea and suddenly the fire was lit.
I thought of brewing a Red Deck Wins and an Abzan Aggro. I already had both of those deck types built so I figured that besides replacing a few cards and doing some tweaking, they were all set for Standard action. Wrong. I essentially had to break both of those decks down to the point of scrapping them and completely rebuilding. After removing all of the non-Standard cards, I was left with approximately 27 cards in my Abzan and even less in my Red Deck Wins. I decided that the Red Deck Wins was a lost cause so that went straight into the Legacy part of the my collection (also Shawn was building one and sometimes aggro vs aggro can feel…less than mentally stimulating). Since this was a time of change and getting out of our comfort zone, I decided to look into a mechanic from the Theros block that originally didn’t impress me in the least bit; Constellation. I’m glad I changed my mind about it because I love the combo aspect of the game and this deck is all about combos. After playtesting the deck a few times I felt very foolish for ignoring the mechanic for over a year. The Abzan deck was slightly easier to tweak..throw a couple of Siege Rhinos in, sprinkle in some Fleecemane Lions and you have an aggro deck. OK, Ok, it was more complicated than that but I won’t bore you with the exact details of how I crafted that deck.
So how did it turn out? Well to be perfectly honest we played 3 games last night, 2 Standard and 1 Legacy..and the Standard games were far more intriguing and close. The first game was my Constellation deck vs his Temur. I roared out to an early lead, dropping a few 2 drop Enchantment creatures and kept gaining life while chipping away at his. But Shawn is a resilient player and didn’t go down easily. He battled back, removing creatures and sending my Master of the Feast back to my hand repeatedly. In the end I prevailed but that was only due to a Banishing Light that I was holding in my hand. The 2nd game was even better in my opinion..it was Abzan vs Abzan. In the end despite the fact that I kept fighting back by gaining life and pumping up my creatures, I was straight up outplayed and lost. I made some misplays that screwed me over..but even if I didn’t he had me dead to rights. The 3rd game we played was a Legacy and it wasn’t close. I walked away with the “W” but it wasn’t satisfactory. I rather win by a narrow margin then by a landslide any day. There is no excitement in a game like that. After that game, I kind of kicked myself for not building a 3rd Standard deck. It’s hard to go from 2 interesting games to a 3rd not-so-interesting game. So are we Standard guys now? To a certain extent I think we are. The deck building is more challenging but the back and forth nature of the games makes up for the limited pool of cards you can choose from. Now am I saying that we are done playing Legacy/done posting Legacy deck list/ done talking about Legacy? No, no way. Legacy is the format that our 2 man group started with. I can’t speak for my buddy but Legacy was feeling slightly stale to me over the last few months so it’s nice to flex that mental muscle and keep things fresh by going Standard.
Keep checking this site as there will be more Standard deck lists, and even videos of our games to check out. Also, I posted the Constellation deck mentioned above in our deck lists section.