It turns out that you can’t hold the best player in the world down for too long.
Owen Turtenwald didn’t have the best Pro Tour performance, dropping him to #2 in the Top 25 world rankings, but it only took a weekend for him to get that winning step back. The monthly MOCS tournament on MTGO is one of the toughest competitions in the world. It’s filled with tons of Platinum players and champions of online play, making each round arguably tougher than even the Pro Tour.
The deck he took into battle to earn his spot in the Magic Online Championship is not one I’ve seen before. It features tons of new Shadows over Innistrad cards, so let’s break it down a bit.
As in all green midrange decks, 4 Sylvan Advocates is a must. The card is straight busted with great stats for a 2-drop that continues to scale as the game goes on. Deathcap Cultivator works in a similar way. If you can turn on delirium, the Cultivator is a reasonable creature even late. Accelerating and mana fixing early is awesome on a creature that isn’t dead in the late game.
The piece that many Jund decks may be missing is the same critical card to turn on Bant and GB Company strategies. With enough creatures in your deck, 3 mana to draw a card is a great deal already. Flipping into a 3/3 accelerator is a great bonus, especially if your opponent can’t play anything and you ramp right into 4.
At 4, you get both Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Thought-Knot Seer. While these cards are incredibly powerful on 4, with a flipped Recruiter or a Cultivator, they can be soul-crushing (and game-winning) on 3.
The actual 3-drop of choice is Tireless Tracker. This card is straight value, hits hard, and keeps your cards in high supply. It’s an awesome addition to any green deck that can use a mana sink. Nissa, Vastwood Seer is yet another creature in a long line that scales later in the game. The biggest oddball? Shaman of Forgotten Ways. This can be a great ramp creature and a potential win condition against certain decks in the super late game.
The top of the curve? Everyone’s favorite toad, The Gitrog Monster. It produces a ton of value in combination with Tireless Tracker, and Gitrog is immune to much of the removal in Standard. IThe lone splash card goes to the ever powerful Dragonlord Silumgar. Silumgar can steal and use a planeswalker immediately, and decks that use Dromoka’s Command as their removal may never be able to deal with this thing.
Throw in some Oath of Nissas to smooth it out, Ultimate Price as the best removal spell you can play for cheap, and… what? Warping Wail? That’s sweet. Can kill Humans, Jace, and maybe Hangarback? It can also counter sorceries like Languish or help to accelerate you into Thought-Knot or Gitrog. Pretty cool.
Sultai Midrange is how the ORAT got his groove back (not that he ever really lost it) and is sure to be a major player going forward in Standard. Check it out!