Balance

I’d like to start out by apologizing for missing last week’s article. As many of you all know, life and Magic are two separate things. Occasionally one gets in the way of the other and visa-versa. That’s what has happened to me for the last few weeks. I work in robotics and it’s typically not a straining job physically. However, I somehow managed to hurt my back, and after a trip to the chiropractor I found out I have Scoliosis.

While this will most definitely affect my Magic traveling, it will be something I will be able to overcome and continue grinding as much as I can.

I will most definitely be attending the Grand Prix Orlando tournament in October. For those who haven’t seen any information on this, you should definitely check it out! It’s looking to be one of the best non-qualifier tournaments I have ever been to.

Balancing life and Magic can be extremely challenging, occasionally. The fact remains that unless Magic is your primary source of income, you have a regular full-time job and, for many, a family as well. Traveling takes its toll, and is costly as well. It’s something I struggle with every day.

Now moving on from that into a subject that’s much more interesting, Standard!

Garruk

Guess who’s back!

I’ve been jamming a ton of Black/Green devotion decks in Standard trying to find the optimal build. This is about as close to the best deck as I think Standard can have. Having Abrupt Decay, Vraska the Unseen, and Gray Merchant of Asphodel alongside Thoughtseize and Hero’s Downfall is insanely difficult for most any deck to fight through. Factor in this sweet new Planeswalker to the mix of already game-changing cards this deck has at its disposal is just going to be something that people will have to be fighting through for quite some time.

For those of us who hate the Black Devotion decks: I’m sorry to say the problem isn’t going away soon. On top of having a bomb Planeswalker to add to the deck, the deck gets a better mana-base with Llanowar Wastes.

Lands (25)
Overgrown Tomb
Llanowar Wastes
Temple of Malady
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Mutavault
Swamp

Creatures (16)
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Pack Rat
Desecration Demon
Scavenging Ooze
Lifebane Zombie

Planeswalkers (3)
Vraska the Unseen
Garruk, Apex Predator

Spells (16)
Abrupt Decay
Thoughtseize
Hero’s Downfall
Underworld Connections
Sign in Blood

I won’t add a sideboard for now because I think that every sideboard should be up to the players to build. Copying deck-lists from articles is fine when you’re trying to play a certain deck. Unless you understand the full game plan in every match-up, and how exactly to board, you should build your sideboard yourself. Come up with your own boarding plan, and execute it.

There are Standard Opens every weekend, and it rapidly allows Standard to evolve week in and week out. I’m not sure what the top decks this weekend will be, but I do think that Garruk will be a powerhouse in whatever he’s played in. The card alone just has so many powerful abilities, and even more so, it’s in the perfect colors to be played right now.

Lets look at some of the choices for the deck, starting with the manabase:
4 Llanowar Wastes
4 Mutavault
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

I know having potentially 8 colorless lands can hurt, but the Wastes can make either color, and while the damage can hurt when you draw multiple copies, the Gray Merchant of Asphodel makes up for the life loss.

Mutavault is obviously one of the more powerful cards in Standard, and combines greatly with Pack Rat against midrange decks and Thoughtseize against control decks.

The Urborg is there as an insurance policy for when you draw too many of your colorless lands. Making it perfect for the deck as a singleton.

Creature-wise you play the same as the average Black deck, but you have a couple of Scavenging Ooze that can gain life and play perfectly with your discard and removal. On top of being a great threat, they also gain life to make up for the insane amounts of damage you’ll take from connections and lands.

You play the same average spell count with a couple of Sign in Bloods. This acts as a great draw spell and the 2 cards for 1 can matter a lot when keeping a 2 land hand. I personally think this is one of the better black cards the deck gained from M15 and I’m happy that it’s in the deck once more.

So there you have it. What I think is the best deck for the time being in Standard and something that would be a great choice for this weekend.

I hope you have a great time slinging spells this weekend!

Cody
cburton8223 on MTGO

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