G/W Tokens by Hunter Nance at SCG Columbus

Creatures (15)
3 Verdurous Gearhulk
3 Lambholt Pacifist
3 Sylvan Advocate
4 Thraben Inspector
2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Non-Creature Spells (20)
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
2 Authority of the Consuls
3 Stasis Snare
3 Heart of Kiran
4 Oath of Nissa

Lands (25)
8 Forest
8 Plains
4 Canopy Vista
4 Fortified Village
1 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard (15)
1 Lambholt Pacifist
1 Quarantine Field
1 Stasis Snare
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Heroic Intervention
2 Natural State
1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 Ajani Unyielding
1 Fragmentize
1 Fumigate
2 Sram’s Expertise

Summary

The last 2 Deck of the Days covered Jeskai Copycat and B/G Delirium, which seem like the 2 most important decks to take away from SCG Columbus this past weekend. Undoubtedly the third most important deck from the Open on January 21 and 22 was G/W Tokens, which many people believed would have a resurgence in the new Standard format. Of all the players who showed up, Hunter Nance was the most successful G/W pilot, bringing his planeswalkers and tokens all the way to the seminfinals before being dispatched by eventual winner Brennan DeCandio.

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One of the great things about G/W Tokens (in this format and in formats past) is that it’s a deck that thrives when it’s on the front foot, but can play very well from behind as well. The board control that this deck can put out is impossible to match by any deck, and that’s the big draw to the deck. G/W Tokens was a powerhouse of the format before Kaladesh, then fell by the wayside, but is now back again. What changed?

Firstly, Smuggler’s Copter was banned, which increased the life expectancy of both Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar exponentially. Secondly, two amazing cards were printed that fit perfectly into this deck; Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Heart of Kiran. Rishkar adds more +1/+1 counters to the deck without having to play clunky cards like Oath of Ajani, it hits hard, and occupies a mana cost that was previously a little awkward for the deck. Heart of Kiran gives the deck a lot of game against opposing planeswalkers at effectively zero cost. This is the deck where Heart of Kiran will be as close to a 4/4 flying vigilance for 2 mana as it will probably ever get. It’s evasive when most of the deck isn’t and it hits harder than most cards in the deck, making it a really nice fit for this strategy.

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In the semifinals, we saw this deck struggle against Brennan DeCandio’s B/G Delirium. Since that deck ended up winning the tournament, it will surely be a bigger part of the metagame at future Standard tournaments, especially SCG Richmond this weekend. Because of that, we have to make changes to this deck to combat it. One strategy that seemed to work for Hunter in his semifinals match was being the aggressor and trying to force Brennan to use his 1-for-1 removal spells as ineffectively as possible. In summation, be the beatdown, go wide, and stretch their removal (including overloading their copies of Ruinous Path).

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-2 Authority of the Consuls

+1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

+1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Sideboard

-1 Lambholt Pacifist

-1 Heroic Intervention

+2 Nissa, Vital Force

This is day 24 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 23 here, where we featured the deck that defeated this G/W deck in the seminfinals of SCG Columbus.

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