Well gang, another week and another article about how Temur Marvel is the best deck in Standard. What minor tech has been developed or stumbled upon to alter your percentage in the mirror match? What new fangled sideboard plan will help you crush the slanted Esper Vehicles match up?

….Wait, kid. Speak up! No one can understand you with your face pressed into your shoulder. What are you talking about, I have no idea what dabbing is. I don’t know what ‘this format is gonna be lit AF’ means either…..Wait ………what got banned!?

Good thing I’m not banking on putting my kids through college on the back of my Standard collection, because these last 6 months or so have a been a financial nightmare* for me.

*Nightmare’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of dollars you’ve lost in investing in Standard cards that are subsequently banned*

Just when you think you’ve found a new archetype after they banned Felidar Guardian, they come and ban your dumb 4 drop legendary artifact. All jokes aside though, I honestly believe this banning is well deserved. Aetherworks Marvel was a boring and miserable card to play against, and while its grip on the format was never oppressive, it cast a tall shadow that dwarfed the rest of the format’s potential. It simply was exactly similar to the Copycat Combo. It was so much more powerful than the rest of the format, that it didn’t make any real practical sense to play anything else.

Sometimes you played turn 3 Saheeli Rai and then a turn 4 Felidar Guardian and won the game. Sometimes your opponent held up removal and you nickled and dimed them to death with a bunch of energy and card generating value dorks; Whirler Virtuoso and Rogue Refiner.

Similarly…

 

Sometimes you curve Attune with Aether into a Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot and play a turn 4 Aetherworks Marvel and immediately hit Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and win the game. Sometimes you whiff on your Marvel activation and you just nickel and dime your opponent to death with a bunch of energy and card generating value dorks; Whirler Virtuoso and Rogue Refiner.

The problem was overpowered busted cards surrounded with a competent and grindy midrange shell. Their A game plan was powerful enough that you had to tweak and morph your deck to beat it, but then you just lost to the grindy midrange B game plan. Both troublesome combos represent a minor flaw in recent Wizards of the Coast’s design and development, and hopefully things calm down and we don’t see a string of bannings like this in a long time.

So now that Aetherworks Marvel is finally banned (good riddance), what’s a spike to do?

Read all my outdated articles on Mardu Vehicles and learn to drive angry!

With Marvel gone, the format should open up considerably, but there is one card that still outshines the rest of the format.

The Gidfather.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is back on top as the most powerful 4 mana Mythic Rare in the format and you’d better believe that Mardu Vehicles is ready to make that abundantly clear. The deck has maintained its legs despite Ulamog’s ceaseless hunger, and if people are looking to durdle or brew, you can bet Heart of Kiran is ready to take big tasty 4 power sized chunks of life out of them. Mardu had the aggressive slant to put people on the back foot game 1, and all the midrange tools it needed to grind game 2 and 3. The deck is simply solid-to-great and will continue to be so. Pick it up if you have the cards and be rewarded.

B/G Constrictor first rose to prominence at GP Pittsburgh because it boasted a solid Mardu Vehicles matchup, and despite its weakness to 4-Color Copycat, it showed it could still hang in the Steel City. Mardu eventually found the right shell and 75 to morph into a midrange deck post board and Snake & Friends saw their best matchup get worse while 4-Color Copycat evolved and made B/G Constrictor’s worst matchup even more popular. The reptiles were forced to retreat back into their hiding holes.

BUT WAIT! 4-Color Copycat isn’t a deck anymore! And while Mardu might have gained plenty of tools, so did B/G! It looks like a solid deck if it’s in your wheelhouse and it should have plenty of tools to scrap Mardu Vehicles going forward.

So my recommendation from last week still hangs half true. Just replace Marvel with Mardu and you got my two deck recommendations. Mardu Vehicles or B/G Constrictor, either one you pick up should put you in a good position in the coming weeks.

If we had to dig further because you’re super stoked to register 22+ basic lands, you could try your hand at Mono-Black Zombies. The Pro Tour winning deck started off as the hot new thing to beat Mardu, and quickly fell to the Temur Marvel boogeyman. I personally don’t have a Grizzly Bears fetish, but if you do I wouldn’t fault you for sleeving up a black pile of 2/2’s. The shambling dead is proactive afterall, and that’s entirely where you want to be.

What about U/R Control you say? Throw that pile in the trash, the only red thing we’re interested in in the coming weeks is the red zone!

If you’re now happy with Standard and looking forward to your next Modern tournament, read this article from Riccardo Monico, where he outlines 3 decks that he thinks you should consider for your next Modern tournament.

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