Monday, November 3, 2014

Running with Scissors: Artifacts in Standard

Back in July, I wrote an article called "Blue/Red Artifacts in the M15 Standard." It is currently the most read article on the site with over 4700 views and it grows by an average of 100 views a week and it isn't even standard legal anymore. So today I want to share a couple decks for the newest incarnation of a standard artifact deck. One is a deck shown off during Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir (Hawaii) and one is my own take on the deck based on the cards I have available. So let's get started!

Ornithopter  Darksteel Citadel  Ensoul Artifact



Azorius Soul Blade

Todd Anderson's Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir Deck Tech

Creatures

x4 Ornithopter
x4 Phyrexian Revoker
x4 Hero of Iroas
x4 Heliod's Pilgrim

Land

x4 Darksteel Citadel
x4 Temple of Enlightenment
x4 Flooded Strand
x2 Mana Confluence
x4 Plains
x3 Island

Artifacts

x4 Springleaf Drum
x4 Ghostfire Blade

Planeswalkers

x1 Ajani Steadfast

Other Spells

x4 Ensoul Artifact
x4 Gods Willing
x2 Stratus Walk
x3 Singing Bell Strike
x1 Spectra Ward

Sideboard

x4 Master of Waves
x4 Stubborn Denial
x3 Suspension field
x2 Erase
x1 Mortal Obstinacy
x1 Ordeal of Heliod

I suggest you actually check out the actual deck tech by Todd Anderson. Back yet? Good. So, the original deck had four copies of Stratus Walk and a single copy of Singing Bell Strike. Then I saw this tweet:


So that make it perfectly clear that the deck had to do just that. Now, I have a lot of the core of this deck (except the Ghostblades that I bought just for this deck), but I lacked Ajani, Master of Waves, a couple Phyrexian Revokers, a couple Hero of Iroas, and pretty much everything from Khans of Tarkir because I opened one of the worst boxes anyone has ever opened. So I had to think about how to fix that, and I considered the Blue/Red Artifacts deck I had before. There were some pretty sweet cards in there like Lightning Strike, Shrapnel Blast, and others, so I figured maybe red wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Lightning Strike  Shrapnel Blast

Jeskai Soul Blade

2-2 at Red Battle Games, 18 October 2014 (Khans of Tarkir Game Day)

Creatures

x4 Ornithopter
x2 Hero of Iroas
x2 Phyrexian Revoker
x4 Heliod's Pilgrim

Land

x4 Darksteel Citadel
x4 Temple of Enlightenment
x2 Temple of Epiphany
x2 Temple of Triumph
x1 Tranquil Cove
x1 Mystic Monastery
x2 Mana Confluence
x2 Plains
x2 Island

Artifacts

x4 Ghostfire Blade
x4 Springleaf Drum

Planeswalkers

x1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion

Other Spells

x4 Gods Willing
x4 Ensoul Artifact
x3 Singing Bell Strike
x2 Stratus Walk
x3 Lightning Strike
x1 Shrapnel Blast
x1 Ephara's Enlightenment
x1 Spectra Ward

Sideboard

x2 Chained to the Rocks
x2 Erase
x3 Soldier of the Pantheon
x1 Mortal Obstinancy
x1 Suspension Field
x1 Ordeal of Heliod
x2 Stubborn Denial
x1 Shrapnel Blast
x2 Spear of Heliod

Yeah, this didn't go so well. Elspeth is way too expensive, the red was great for spot removal but with just four red cards in the deck, it isn't really that worth it. Also, I removed the single mountain from the deck prior to beginning the tournament which left me with two dead sideboard cards with Chained to the Rocks. I'm honestly surprised this went as well as it did. There were, however, two great cards in this deck, one of which wasn't in Todd's deck:

Ephara's Enlightenment  Singing Bell Strike

Ephara's Enlightenment boosts any card. You can give a 5/5 Darksteel Citadel +1/+1 and Flying, you can make Hero of Iroas a 4/4 with Flying, the possibilities are insane with this card, especially with Hero of Iroas and the zero cost Ornithopter allowing this to bounce and be recast.

Singing Bell Strike is the BEST card in this deck. Sure it isn't something like Ensoul Artifact or anything that will actually win you the game, but it locks down any threats an opponent has allowing your 5/5 to swing in on turn 3, 4, 5, and 6 before they get their creature back, and that's assuming they hit all their land drops. It's just amazing how great it is. I'm actually a little surprised that it isn't worth more. I mean, out of a booster box and a prerelease kit, I only have four, but it was a terrible box I guess.

Anyway... let's fix this deck. The reason I added red initially was for Shrapnel Blast and to compensate for the lack of four creatures and the Flooded Strand. I now know this was an overcompensation so I want to fix this.

Azorius Soul Blade

Creatures

x4 Ornithopter
x2 Hero of Iroas
x2 Phyrexian Revoker
x4 Heliod's Pilgrim

Land

x4 Darksteel Citadel
x4 Temple of Enlightenment
x1 Tranquil Cove
x2 Evolving Wilds
x2 Mana Confluence
x4 Plains
x3 Island

Artifacts

x4 Ghostfire Blade
x4 Springleaf Drum

Other Spells

x4 God's Willing
x1 Ordeal of Heliod
x4 Ensoul Artifact
x1 Ordeal of Thassa
x3 Singing Bell Strike
x2 Stratus Walk
x2 Stubborn Denial
x2 Ephara's Enlightenment
x1 Spectra Ward

Sideboard

x3 Erase
x3 Soldier of the Pantheon
x1 Mortal Obstinancy
x2 Banishing Light
x1 Ordeal of Heliod
x1 Ordeal of Thassa
x1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
x2 Spear of Heliod
x1 Master of Waves

I looked through all my boxes and binders of cards and found a single copy of Master of Waves that I did not sell back when it was really expensive. I added that to the sideboard along with my French Brimaz. I also had to remove Chained to the Rocks and removed Shrapnel Blast, which let me replace Suspension Field with two Banishing Light, drop in a third Erase, and a spare Ordeal of Thassa.

Brimaz, roi d'Oreskos  Master of Waves

I've always had a dislike for people who play foreign language cards because others don't necessarily know what it says and many times the person who plays it doesn't even know what it says. In this case, it's a mythic rare many people play and I happen to speak/read French, so I can translate it. And words such as "attack," "block," "creature," and "vigilance" are pretty obvious to identify on the card for non-French speakers. Anyway, let me get off my soap box and back to the deck...

Ordeal of Heliod  Ordeal of Thassa  Stubborn Denial

Main board has not changed aside from taking out the red, which I added an Ordeal of Heliod, an Ordeal of Thassa, an extra Ephara's Enlightenment, and I made sure to include he two Stubborn Denials in my original sideboard. Everyone runs some enchantment remover of some sort these days, and with Ensoul Artifact, losing it isn't a great option. With your 5/5 creature, one blue to counter the spell isn't bad, just leave the mana open.

Tranquil Cove  Evolving Wilds

Mana base is still not up to where I want it, but the essentials were kept. The only difference now between Todd's and my deck is that instead of four Flooded Strand, I have a single Tranquil Cove and two Evolving Wilds. They're a cheaper option and lack the ability to get an untapped land the same turn you play it, at least you have the ability to search and shuffle.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Azorius Soul Blade and how the deck can be built on a small budget.

No comments:

Post a Comment