With very few Standard events happening both on Magic Online and in real life, I decided to try a little something different. Let’s talk about Classic!
With From the Vault: Exiled and Masters Edition 3 being recently released, Classic is about to go through some major changes. For those unfamiliar with Classic, it’s like a weird crossbreed between Legacy and Vintage, where the following cards are restricted:
These are the top decks from the DEs a couple weeks ago:
Ace of Drafts-Burn
DampingEngine-MonoG Natural Order
Wizard not of the Coast-GBR Loam
Ace of Drafts-UBG Counterbalance
Bazaar of Baghdad-Tinker/Painter
That leaves us with:
A lot of these numbers are inflated simply because it’s the same people playing their same deck each week. While that might make the format kind of boring, it’s great for you, the player who is looking to break into Classic. It’s extremely easy to metagame against people who don’t switch decks.
Dan Skinner (SICKSICKSICKSICKSICKSICKSICK on MTGO, heh) is one of the players that benefits from playing against the same decks in each tournament. When Necro was at the height of its popularity, he designed a Grow-a-Tog (GAT) deck with Hymns and Duresses that effectively a Necro hate deck. Still, even with Necro’s restriction, GAT remains a playable deck.
Here is an updated list, played by Samwise_GeeGee:
Skinner is also responsible for the return of Flash. He knew that combo would be great in the Necro-less format, as everyone would probably cut their combo hate and focus instead on beating the tribal strategies. Even though Flash is restricted, the deck is still very potent, as evident by the multiple good finishes by SICK, prolepsis9, and others.
Facing down a lot of hate post board with Flash? Say they have a Pithing Needle on Carrion Feeder AND a Tormod’s Crypt, what do you do then? Ideally, you would end up with a 4/3 flier and some little guys, but with prolepsis’ sideboard, you get two Dreadnaughts and a Sylvan Safekeeper protecting against Swords to Plowshares.
Unfortunately, with Masters Edition 3, Dredge is going to get a huge boost, and therefore graveyard hate is going to be on the rise, specifically Leyline of the Void. Flash probably can’t deal with that onslaught of hate.
Merfolk is a deck that just seems to be getting better and better. If you’re looking for a good list, look no further than AthosTheMusketeer, aka Scott Barrentine. Scott recently went on quite the tear with Merfolk, albeit in Standard. He won the 5K in Dallas, 8-0 dropped the PTQ to the next day (to hopefully qualify on rating), and then made top eight of the 5K in Charlotte as well.
Most of the top finishes in Classic with Merfolk have been his, and here is the list he uses:
Let’s check out last weeks Classic winners.
Ace of Drafts-UGB Counterbalance
Pumbles Mumbles-GB Smallpox
As you can see, Dredge is becoming quite the player, thanks to Bazaar of Baghdad. Unsurprisingly, prolepsis9 has what looks like the best Dredge list:
So you’re thinking that Classic looks like fun and is a change of pace, but too expensive? Well, as you can see, there are several decks performing admirably that are also affordable. Burn, Dredge, and Elves are fairly cheap, as is Zoo if you already have the fetchlands from Extended. Basically, anything without Force of Will is probably doable if you’re on a budget. Honestly, there is no real reason that Classic shouldn’t be more popular than it is.
Hopefully I get some free time in the near future, and I can try out this beast:
Black doesn’t seem necessary, as aside from Demonic Tutor (which isn’t that good when you don’t have Yawgmoth’s Will and Ancestral Recall to fetch) and Leyline of the Void (which is easily replaced) the Black cards kind of suck. You can beat Merfolk and Goblins with things like Balance, Tinker, Tarmogoyf, and a combo kill, so you probably shouldn’t need Engineered Plagues either.
The Goyfs could easily be maindeck instead of the Painter’s Servants, but then I would probably end up cutting the Tezzerets and most of the artifacts for Tops and maybe Counterbalances, but Top is a slow card in a very fast format, and Counterbalance isn’t very good right now either. Without Tezzeret, I would play a single Life from the Loam to Mystical for, which may or may not be better than Crucible anyway.
As it stands, Dredge seems like the most powerful deck, although there are plenty of great foils to that. I wouldn’t be caught dead playing an underpowered deck right now, as Smallpox and Wild Nacatl both look a little silly next to Bazaar of Baghdad.