I’m back again with some tips and tricks for Standard. I’m so sure that there’s at least one interaction in this batch of tips and tricks you haven’t heard of before that if there isn’t, you can have your money back—guaranteed.

#1 – Mana Confluence

You can use Mana Confluence to make black mana and take no damage if there is an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play.

#2 – Bile Blight vs. Elspeth

Bile Blight is almost always useful against Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. You can use it to kill the tokens she produces, but sometimes players try to circumvent that by casting Elspeth and using the -­3 right away to ensure they get value from it, but you can use that Bile Blight they are playing around on your own Siege Rhinos to shrink them below 4 power and dodge her wrath.

#3 – Abzan Charm

Abzan Charm can be used to put +1/+1 counters on your opponents creatures, either in response to their Elspeth ­-3 activation or before you yourself will be using an Elspeth -­3. If they -3 you can put 2 counters on a Courser of Kruphix and have it die, or you can put a counter on their Wingmate Roc and its token before you use an Elspeth of your own.

#4 – Courser of Kruphix

If you control Courser of Kruphix and you use a scry trigger like Temple of Malady, the top card of your library is revealed before you have to choose if you want to scry it to the top or the bottom. This means you can use a Windswept Heath to change that top card and then scry, or you can use Abzan Charm to draw two cards if you know you’re just going to scry to the top anyways. This way you get the good card in your hand and you can resolve the scry on a fresh unknown card.

#5 – Silumgar, the Drifting Death

Bile Blight can be used with the help of Silumgar, the Drifting Death to kill 4 toughness hexproof creatures. The best examples of this are Dragonlord Ojutai and Fleecemane Lion. I had this come up myself at a recent GP where my opponent had two Fleecemane Lion, one monstrous and one normal, so I used Bile Blight on the normal one and attacked with Silumgar to kill the monstrous one.

Likewise, if you attack with Silumgar, the Drifting Death and they block with their own Silumgar, the Drifting Death, you can Bile Blight your own Silumgar and after combat theirs will die! You could also attack with Silumgar and after combat use Bile Blight on your own Dragonlord Ojutai to kill theirs.

#6 – Wild Slash vs. Master of Waves

Wild Slash can kill Master of Waves, in a roundabout way at least. If you attack with a Monastery Swiftspear and they block with Master of Waves (because pro red, why not?), you can resolve a Wild Slash on their face with ferocious and damage can’t be prevented this turn and that means even protection from red won’t save the Master. Ferocious is difficult to get for most Wild Slash decks, but Monastery Swiftspear, Foundry Street Denizen, and Goblin Rabblemaster are capable. The only times this could ever matter are against heroic, which plays 4 Gods Willing, and against a deck that plays Master of Waves.

I think if you play a hundred matches of Standard, one of these interactions will happen once, but they’re cool to know about and they make you feel smart when you can properly utilize them!

Owen Turtenwald
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