After falling short in day 2 of GP Montreal, I was sure I’d take a break from Standard, at least until the end of June. I hadn’t booked my flight to Vegas (an expensive trip I’m probably skipping) and the only event I really needed to prepare for was the upcoming SCG Invitational. Being qualified for things can get boring [Editor’s note: poor Roman. Gotta feel for him.], and I was ready to endure the coming Magic-less weekends. That is, until I bought my ticket to Grand Prix Omaha 24 hours ago.
Alright, let’s dive in!
It’s no doubt that Aetherworks Marvel is top dog right now, and will continue to until either a card gets banned or the next set release shakes things up. The deck is just that good and I don’t think there is any real reason to play another strategy. Mardu Vehicles and B/G Constrictor variants seem fine, but they’re not on the same power level as Temur Marvel. U/R Control has appeared as a contender, but I feel like Marvel strategies are adapting to defeat Torrential Gearhulk and company, especially with a bevy of sideboard options.
But I have a special place in my heart for red and green creatures…
R/G Energy Combo by Poporin on MtGO
Electrostatic Pummeler decks saw fringe play way back when Kaladesh released, but now may be their time to shine. In Montreal I played a Temur Monsters deck, flaunting such cards as Greenbelt Rampager, Longtusk Cub, and my favorite, Lathnu Hellion. But although my deck was packed with large threats, the one thing I was missing was trample. It’s easy to get stalled out by Whirler Virtuoso tokens, which can soak up a ton of Lathnu Hellion or Longtusk Cub damage. I wish I had been playing Invigorated Rampage in order to have more reach.
I’m a fan of the all-in Pummeler strategy, since a timely Blossoming Defense can help you get in all the damage you need and protect your creature. The worry I have in a heavy-Temur Marvel metagame is the presence of Dissenter’s Deliverance, which people are encouraged to mainboard due to Marvel’s dominance.
But taking a step back, can this deck below consistently beat Marvel?
Temur Energy by Matt Tumavitch at SCG Classic Baltimore – 1st
1 Dragonmaster Outcast
2 Tireless Tracker
3 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Dissenter’s Deliverance
1 Magma Spray
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
1 Confiscation Coup
2 Sweltering Suns
This is another way to fight the Marvel-fight. I’m a fan of beating down with Bristling Hydra and Glorybringer and having access to the 3 Negate in the mainboard. I feel like if I’m playing these cards already I should just play Marvel. Don’t get me wrong, this deck is sweet and has a lot of game against Marvel, but I’d rather be casting a cheap Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger than play a more midrange Temur deck.
Bant Aetherworks by Daniel Ward at SCG Classic Baltimore – 6th
This is another take on Marvel I’m a fan of. Marvel + Descend upon the Sinful is a match made in heaven and definitely gives an edge in the Mardu Vehicles and B/G Constrictor matchups, since Temur Marvel has no easy board wipes dealing with multiple creatures and attacking Gideon, Ally of Zendikar as is. Spell Queller is another good reason to play this version. I’m not convinced this has the most favorable Marvel matchup, since Descend and Servant of the Conduit seem kind of clunky. But I think this deck gets an edge by being both a turn 4 Ulamog deck and having an edge against Zombies, Mardu, and B/G with theaccess to Descend upon the Sinful.
Honestly it’s hard to pick a deck other than an Aetherworks Marvel variant, specifically Temur Marvel. The deck doesn’t always spit out a turn 4 Ulamog, but the threats are very diverse and it has such good game against every deck in the format. You have a lot of sideboard options and swapping out some Marvel cards like an Ulamog, a Marvel, and some copies of Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot for Tireless Tracker and Confiscation Coup can stop your opponents in their tracks. Although the idea of playing Woodland Wanderer or Electrostatic Pummeler excites me, I can’t go to a Grand Prix and not play the best deck in the room.
While I count down the hours until my flight leaves, I can’t help but get a bit excited thinking about the weekend to come. Keep your eyes out for me on coverage.
Looking for a way to battle Temur Marvel? A lot of players are looking towards U/R Control, and Jonah Gaynor gives you the run-down of possible card choices and arrives at his final list in this article.
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