Good aggressive creatures with evasions, counters, and burn. What more could anybody want?
Saito’s latest creation is an interesting one, and if I’m being honest, I have no idea if it’s good. It looks really weak on paper, but after putting up a Top 16 finish at GP Minneapolis, I think the deck deserves a look.
Saito loaded up with Welkin Terns. Rattlechains and Dimensional Infiltrator provide a nice rate for an evasion creature and both can be cast at instant speed, allowing the UR player to leave up counter magic and threats in the same turn. Stratus Dancer works similarly as a turn-2 flying creature with some big added benefits of being able to stop an opposing Languish, Collected Company, or powerful spell.
I haven’t seen Goldnight Castigator utilized well in Standard yet, but it’s powerful. I think this card is going to be a Standard powerhouse eventually, and maybe that day is coming earlier than anticipated. A 4-power flying creature with haste is a huge threat against so many decks, but the drawback is major. In a format dominated by creature combat, the Castigator will likely end the game one way or another for somebody. By curving out a 2-power flyer into either another creature or counter into Castigator, you’re looking at potentially ending the game on turn 5 while all while interacting with your opponent. This is the make-or-break card for the archetype, and it looks solid.
Some solid removal in Fiery Impulse and Exquisite Firecraft help keep the Castigator’s drawback under control. Firecraft dealing 4 is awesome in a deck that deals damage in increments of 2 and 4 already.
Spell Shrivel and Clash of Wills aren’t popular cards, but this deck is essentially able to play at instant speed. With so many flash creatures, morph creatures, and instant removal spells, you can keep up counters without interrupting your game plan. Stopping opposing Collected Companies and planeswalkers help keep things under control for Castigator to win quickly.
Fevered Visions is the final piece of the puzzle. It keeps your card supply high and can help find the last few flyers or burn spells. The fact that Visions ends up dealing a plethora of damage in most matchups is a nice bonus. Being able to continually play 1-mana removal, 2-mana threats, and still leave up counters helps mitigate the Visions drawback.
This deck is totally unique to the Standard metagame, but I expect a number of people will give it a try!