Sultai Energy by Andrew Jessup at SCG Dallas – 1st
The first competitive Ixalan Standard tournament is in the books, and what a tournament it was! Some expected archetypes were at the top tables throughout the SCG Open in Dallas, but the real story of the weekend was the new archetypes and their impressive performances. One such archetype is the deck we’re featuring today, Sultai Energy, which put two copies in the top 8 in the hands of the Jessup brothers, Andrew and Dan.
Like many of the decks that came before it, this deck is primarily a Winding Constrictor deck, that looks to use the 2/3 snake to gain an advantage over the opponent over several turns. It attacks well, blocks well, and combines very powerfully with many of the cards in this deck, including energy-makers and +1/+1 counter-makers. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and Longtusk Cub are the other powerful 2 drop creatures in this deck. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner offers a consistent source of card draw on a hard to block body. The energy it requires to draw extra cards is very easily attainable in this deck. Longtusk Cub is similarly hungry for energy, but rather than drawing extra cards, its specialty is getting big and hitting hard.
Further up the curve, Rogue Refiner and Rishkar, Peema Renegade are powerful 3 mana creatures that both play very well in this deck’s overall strategy. Rogue Refiner replaces itself when it lands and is a valuable attacker, blocker, and reliable energy source. All in all, it’s the perfect value-based creature for any midrange strategies that can cast it. Rishkar, Peema Renegade is arguably the most powerful 3 mana creature to pair with Winding Constrictor, as it leaves you with a 4/5 and a 4/4 on turn 3, dominating most, if not all, boards that Standard can produce.
At the top end of this deck, there is Walking Ballista and Hostage Taker (and one copy of The Scarab God). Walking Ballista is the sole mana sink in this deck, and it has quite an impressive payoff. It is quite a strong creature on its own, but its powerful synergy with Winding Constrictor makes it an incredibly crucial piece of the puzzle. Hostage Taker is the only mainboard card in this deck from Ixalan, but boy is it strong. On turn 4 it acts as a temporary removal spell that demands a kill spell be pointed at it, lest it turn into a permanent one the following turn. However, in the later games, it is a 2 for 1 nearly every time, as it can exile and cast one of the opponent’s creatures (or artifacts!) in one fell swoop.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
-1 Spell Pierce
This is day 275 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 274 here, where we featured another Ixalan Standard decklist featuring Winding Constrictor, but this one has big, powerful Dinos!
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