New week, new big events, new decks, and a new article on the deck I played!
At GP Warsaw I played U/W Flash—after failing with Jeskai Control and B/G Delirium, I didn’t have many other choices. U/W Flash had been performing very well over the previous weeks, so I figured I should give it a spin, mostly because I had the option to play it at the PT and didn’t.
I played 3 Leagues on MTGO and 4-1’d all of them. On top of that, my teammates from my area were all liking the deck, so we worked together on it and it felt great.
Meanwhile, GP Providence spread the word that G/B Delirium was all over the place, and I thought the matchup was fairly even. With some Spell Shrivels in the main deck it should have been fine, but it turned out that the matchup was way worse than I thought, at least main deck, and I ended up 1-3 against B/G Control at the GP.
This is what we ended up playing.
I ended up 9-6 with 3 byes, which is once again a disappointing record. I lost to 3 B/G Control, 2 mirror matches, and 1 Mardu Vehicles. I felt I flooded basically every game of the GP and I reached the point where I was boarding out a land in every matchup.
There is a lot of hate for Smuggler’s Copter, which rarely connects. Natural State and Fragmentize are everywhere, and without a loot you are always going to flood in a 25-land deck with such a low curve.
We tested Thalia, Heretic Cathar for a very long time and in the end we chose to play her in the sideboard for a few reasons:
- Thalia is great in the mirror and vs. Mardu Vehicles, but is mediocre against B/G Control and Jeskai.
- In the mirror match, after lot of brainstorming with Calcano, we chose to cut all of our Reflector Mages.
- Because every creature in the deck aside from Selfless Spirit has a good enters-the-battlefield ability, you don’t really want to bounce anything.
- Reflector Mage, on the other hand, is great vs. Thalia, Heretical Healer and Gisela, the Broken Blade; and gets better post-sideboard in the mirror match.
- Since we thought that it was the consensus sideboard plan, Thalia, Heretical Healer would have been better post-side once there was no Reflector Mage to bounce her for value.
- It turned out that I got my Thalia Reflector Maged multiple times post-sideboard and I lost to Thalia, Heretical Healer game 1 at least twice.
- Theory is good, but practice is better. If a card is good, play it in the main deck like the winner, Gabrielius Kauklakis, did.
The sideboard was good and the sideboard plan against B/G Control was fine, Summary Dismissal definitely performed against it and R/B Zombies. Getting Emrakul’d is usually how games would end, so having this kind of protection was great.
Playing 2 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets was probably a mistake. One could have been a Fumigate—it’s unexpected and can get you back in the game where you have a bunch of planeswalkers but no way to get through.
The Bruna + Gisela plan is viable in the mirror match and it’s a route that you should walk because, if you meld them, Brisela is nearly unbeatable and Bruna and Gisela are just good cards on their own.
I would like to note that Quarantine Field can actually exile Brisela. I lost a game on MTGO where I couldn’t exile it because MTGO didn’t let me do it, and afterward I was sure I couldn’t do. I ended up not playing the Quarantine Field and then someone let me know that it was a bug and I should have been able to exile it. Classic MTGO.
If I had to play the GP all over again, this is what I would play:
And this would be my new sideboard plan:
Vs. U/W Flash
Despite everything I said before, I still think it’s correct to board out Reflector Mage. There are too many enters-the-battlefield abilities and you end up having too few targets.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is not great in multiples because you often have to cast it and emblem right away because you are facing a flyer that you can’t deal with at the moment. Also, you are boarding high-drops and you don’t want to have too many of those.
Vs. B/G Delirium
In this case, I mean the version with multiple Ishkanah, Grafwidows and Emrakul, the Promise Ends. I think the aggro version is way worse against you. I played against it, and Reflector Mages and Thalia were too hard to overcome. Countermagic is very good because you play like a Delver deck, playing threats and defending yourself with counterspells. The matchup is negative game 1, but gets better post-side.
Vs. Mardu Vehicles
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is bad—they have a fast start and a 4-mana ‘walker is not exactly what you want to be doing. Gisela, on the other hand, could be an auto-win—she’s impossible to race and if your opponent doesn’t have a removal spell or you have a Selfless Spirit to back it up, it’s game over. Archangel Avacyn is your best card and your opponent always has to respect it.
U/W Flash is definitely among the top 3 in Standard right now, but you have to be very aware of B/G Delirium. After GP Warsaw, I’m certain that it’s a bad matchup.