This week in Magic: A Reforged Standard format

temur ascendancy

Welcome back to another “This week in Magic.” I hope many of you who live on the East Coast had a wonderful experience during the Blizzard. I, for the most part, sat back and thought about Magic. What exactly did I think about? I mostly reflected upon how much Fate Reforged has changed the face of Standard (and in some instances, Modern as well). With a major tournament also in the books, players have a clearer idea as to what the competitive meta may look like going forward.


Sultai Control

For those of you who don’t know. Starcitygames held another Standard open series this past weekend in Washington, D.C. This was a pretty important event, and, based on the results, a lot of interesting things happened. The biggest headline would have to be that Abzan did not take the top spot at the end of the tournament. Instead, players found Sultai Control piloted by familiar pro, Gerard Fabiano. Unlike the Sultai Whip decks we had been used to seeing in Khans, Sultai has gone full control thanks to the introduction of Fate Reforged.


So what exactly caused the change? The introduction of a Black board sweeper has really changed how things are approached in Standard. In addition to the Black board wipe, Ugin has made its presence known in control decks who look to go the distance in their plans. The new Sultair Control deck reminds me of a BUG Superfriends deck. It looks like the point of the decks is to keep the board as clear as possible for as long as possible. All the while, you’re setting your board up to ultimate Kiora and start making little 9/9s at the end of every turn.


A new Boat Brew

Another deck that may be emerging is a new version of Boat Brew. If you know me at all or know anyone who knows me, then you should know I am a big fan of Boat Brew. Back in the day, Boat Brew was a fun RW deck (originally designed by Brian Kowal) that played small, super efficient creatures combined with a fun-loving burn package and a key card known as Reveillark. It was quite the aggro deck and certainly made some people furious.


While the present version of the deck doesn’t have Reveillark to really abuse the deck, the rest of the cast can hold it’s own. Today you have creatures like Soulfire Grandmaster and Monastery Mentor who can make and break games on their own. Together, this duo make for a killer combo.


Abzan Aggro

For the most part, Abzan Aggro didn’t change very much. However, it welcomed, with arms wide open, it’s newest cast member: Tasigur, the Golden Fang. So what’s so special about Tasigur? Some of you may recall a card from Khans by the name of Hooting Mandrils. This card was so popular that some professionals tried to find numerous ways to fit it their Standard deck. Now players have Tasigur. She may cost the same, but her added defense and ability now make her worthwhile.


UB Control

This past weekend I played in another PPTQ. This time I decided to pilot UB Control. There was huge catch to this though. I wasn’t able to get my hands on any Crux’s. So I found myself in quite a bit of a bind. I ended up playing the older lists which contained four copies of Perilous Vaults. I did, however, have a couple copies of the new planeswalker, Ugin. Ironically, he was easier to obtain than Crux of Fate.


Interestingly enough, it wasn’t so bad not playing any Crux’s. That’s not to say it was the right play. Having talked to many people at the event, it seems like a package of two Crux’s and three Perilous Vaults may be the way to go in the end. Although, after six rounds on Sunday, it may not be a crazy idea of main boarding multiple copies of Drown in Sorrow. Why main board Drown in Sorrow? First we can thank the emergence of the new Boat Brew. Secondly, the breakthrough of this new deck may be another good reason.


Temur Ascendancy combo

Just when you thought there was only one, a brand new combo has come bursting through the doors. This combo works via a Voyaging Satyr, a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, an Ascendancy, and a Temur Sabertooth. The ultimate goal is to make unlimited mana by tapping your Nykthos, untapping it with your Voyaging Satyr, bouncing your Satyr with the use of the Sabertooth, and then replaying the Satyr. Then you simply repeat the step, make all the mana you want and the play your whole deck thanks to a Genesis Hydra.


The deck may not have made the Top 8, but it is still one you’ll have to look out for. It put up a legitimate performance and looks like a lot of fun to play.


Well that’s it for now. What do you think of the new face of Standard? Are there any new decks that you think were missed? If so, sound off below in the comment section and let us know!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!

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