With the SCG Open this past weekend in Cincinnati, Hour of Devastation has begun to make its impact on Standard. While many top decks from the previous format put up positive results, a few new archetypes made their way to the top tables. It’s important to note that a variety of decks will put up results the first week of a new format, since people are trying new strategies and just testing out with the new cards, so keep an open mind about the shifting metagame after the results from the Pro Tour.

Mono-Red Aggro by Jonathon Job at SCG Cincinnati – 6th

Creatures (28)
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
4 Earthshaker Khenra
2 Eldrazi Obligator
4 Falkenrath Gorger
2 Glorybringer
2 Reality Smasher
4 Soul-Scar Mage
3 Thought-Knot Seer
1 Hazoret the Fervent
2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

Non-Creature Spells (8)
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Magma Spray
3 Incendiary Flow

Lands (24)
15 Mountain
1 Dunes of the Dead
4 Ramunap Ruins
4 Sunscorched Desert

Sideboard (15)
1 Glorybringer
2 Hanweir Garrison
1 Reality Smasher
1 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Abrade
2 Invigorated Rampage
1 Magma Spray
1 Hazoret the Fervent
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Incendiary Flow
2 Sweltering Suns

It’s good to see Mono-Red put up a solid result week one of the new format, something that hasn’t been seen in a long time. This is a traditional week one strategy, playing a dedicated aggro deck to defeat decks that are trying to go a lot bigger or don’t have a solidified 75. As a red mage myself it warms my heart to look at this list. I like the various Eldrazi cards which can be cast off the nine desserts in the deck, Ramunap Ruins acting as a dual land in this way.


Although the deck is only playing three cards from the new set, they each play a vital role in this deck. Earthshaker Khenra is a solid haste creature with late-game applications, Abrade is a solid sideboard card (possibly mainboard-able), and Ramunap Ruins lets you cast all of your Eldrazi spells while providing some late-game reach as well. Although this is a classic case of the Mono-Red deck doing well week one, I’m putting my money on this deck doing well at the Pro Tour. You can definitely catch people off guard if they’re not prepared for a bevy of hasty threats.

4-Color Control by Michael Hamilton at SCG Cincinnati – 1st

Creatures (2)
1 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Linvala, the Preserver

Non-Creature Spells (31)
2 Dovin Baan
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
2 Cast Out
2 Abrade
1 Blessed Alliance
2 Censor
2 Essence Scatter
4 Glimmer of Genius
2 Harnessed Lightning
2 Magma Spray
2 Negate
1 Pull from Tomorrow
3 Supreme Will
2 Fumigate
1 Radiant Flames

Lands (27)
2 Island
2 Mountain
3 Plains
4 Aether Hub
1 Fetid Pools
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Irrigated Farmland
2 Port Town
2 Spirebluff Canal
3 Wandering Fumarole

Sideboard (15)
3 Glorybringer
3 Spell Queller
1 Chandra’s Defeat
1 Dispel
1 Essence Scatter
1 Forsake the Worldly
1 Jace’s Defeat
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Confiscation Coup
1 Radiant Flames

What an interesting deck to win the tournament! If a control deck was going to win week one, I’d for sure think U/R or Grixis would be its colors. There’s definitely a lot going on with this list, and I don’t know where to start. I always like looking at these kinds of decklists, decks with a lot of various answers to threats and unique mythics, but I’m not sure how practical it is.

This deck is definitely doing a lot of powerful things and was prepared to face against the various aggro decks of week one. I don’t think this 75 is entirely optimal, but it’s another week one deck that packed a lot of power and had basically answers to everything. I’d be shaky on playing this deck going forward once the metagame becomes more solidified, but if any control deck was going to place first week one, I’m glad it’s this one.

4-Color Emerge by Zan Syed at SCG Cincinnati – 3rd

Creatures (21)
4 Champion of Wits
4 Elder Deep-Fiend
4 Grim Flayer
4 Haunted Dead
4 Prized Amalgam
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

Non-Creature Spells (17)
4 Vessel of Nascency
3 Grapple with the Past
4 Kozilek’s Return
2 Strategic Planning
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald

Lands (22)
4 Forest
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Swamp
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Botanical Sanctum
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Hissing Quagmire
1 Lumbering Falls

Sideboard (15)
1 Distended Mindbender
1 Manglehorn
2 Tireless Tracker
4 Fatal Push
2 Negate
2 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
1 Never // Return

This is a throwback to the emerge decks of last year that were playing cards like Elder Deep-Fiend, Haunted Dead, Kozliek’s Return, and Vessel of Nascency. With Hour of Devastation, we have Champion of Wits and Strategic Planning to help bin Haunted Dead and Prized Amalgam, and to set up Delirium for our Grim Flayer and Ishkanah, Grafwidow.

I’d be wary of how this deck fares against the Mono-Red decks of the world, but Zan Syed definitely came prepared with four copies of Fatal Push in the sideboard. Elder Deep-Fiend will continue to be good until it rotates, and while I’m not sure this is the best home for it, I definitely like the synergy of Champion of Wits and Prized Amalgam.

G/R Ramp by Kwane Gunn at SCG Cincinnati – 32nd

Creatures (11)
4 Shefet Monitor
4 World Breaker
3 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Non-Creature Spells (24)
4 Abrade
4 Kozilek’s Return
4 Magma Spray
4 Beneath the Sands
4 Hour of Devastation
4 Hour of Promise

Lands (25)
4 Forest
2 Mountain
2 Game Trail
4 Hashep Oasis
4 Ramunap Ruins
2 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Sheltered Thicket
3 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods

Sideboard (15)
2 Crook of Condemnation
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Struggle // Survive
1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
2 Sweltering Suns

Mono-Red wasn’t the only archetype that saw a revival this past weekend. With Hour of Promise being able to find two Shrine of the Forsaken Gods and Hour of Devastation being able to clear a board of creatures and planeswalkers alike, G/R Ramp has found itself in the Standard spotlight once again. I’d definitely be aware of the various control decks people are playing if I were to pick this deck for an event, but I like Kwane’s four copies each of Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher in the sideboard to catch these decks off-guard.

Although there were a variety of new decks that put up results, B/G Energy, Mono-Black Zombies, U/R Control, Temur Energy, Mardu Vehicles, and most importantly, W/U Monument all put up copies in the top 16. Standard definitely has a lot of variety now and it’ll be interesting to see what decks put up results at the Pro Tour in a week’s time. I personally think decks like B/G Energy, Zombies, Temur, and W/U Monument will all see play with Mono-Red making a splash. I’d be interested in seeing if any teams come up with a solid Emerge list or U/R or Grixis Control list. With the old decks adapting, it’s time I adapted myself…

Bant Delirium by Roman Fusco

Creatures (14)
3 Tireless Tracker
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Gisela, the Broken Blade
1 Bruna, the Fading Light
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
3 Primal Druid
4 Thraben Inspector

Non-Creature Spells (25)
4 Censor
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Spring // Mind
3 Fumigate
1 Descend upon the Sinful
4 Cast Out
3 Dissenter’s Deliverance
2 Nissa’s Renewal

Lands (21)
2 Evolving Wilds
6 Forest
4 Fortified Village
1 Irrigated Farmland
3 Island
1 Lumbering Falls
2 Plains
2 Scattered Groves

Sideboard (15)
3 Negate
2 Essence Scatter
2 Sphinx of the Final Word
1 Quarantine Field
1 Cataclysmic Gearhulk
1 Immolating Glare
1 Descend upon the Sinful
1 Appetite for the Unnatural
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Blessed Alliance

I still think this deck is a force to be reckoned with. With more control strategies making their way into the format, I decided to play Censor in the maindeck and have more reach against control with cards like Sphinx of the Final Word in my sideboard. I definitely want to play more Standard events right now, and I’d be interested to see how Bant Delirium will match against the Pro Tour decks.

Until next week,



Discard spells are among the hardest to play with in all of Magic, and Riccardo Monico provides a guide to casting your Thoughtseizes and Inquisition of Kozileks in part 2 of his Hand Disruption in Modern series, found here.

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