U/B Midrange by saffronolive on MtGO

Creatures (23)
4 Champion of Wits
4 Gifted Aetherborn
4 Hostage Taker
4 Kitesail Freebooter
1 Noxious Gearhulk
3 Siren Stormtamer
3 The Scarab God

Non-Creature Spells (13)
1 Liliana, Death’s Majesty
1 Walk the Plank
4 Fatal Push
4 Lookout’s Dispersal
2 Vraska’s Contempt
1 Trial of Ambition

Lands (24)
4 Drowned Catacomb
1 Evolving Wilds
4 Fetid Pools
3 Ifnir Deadlands
4 Island
1 Scavenger Grounds
2 Submerged Boneyard
5 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Liliana, Death’s Majesty
2 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
3 Doomfall
3 Duress
3 Essence Extraction
1 Jace, Cunning Castaway
2 Negate

Summary

Ixalan is finally upon us now, with a SCG Open in the books in Dallas and the World Championships top 4 being played later on today (Sunday). We’ve seen a fairly diverse metagame emerge from SCG Dallas, while the pros competing in the world championships elected for a more limited number of archetypes. The deck we’re featuring today (by popular Magic personality SaffronOlive), aims to out-value its opponent in the mid and late game through powerful creatures and efficient spells.

In the early turns, this deck wants to do a few things with its cheap 1 and 2 mana creatures. Kitesail Freebooter is an excellent early game play that can permanently disrupt the opponent. Additionally, since it has flying, it’s also a good attacker that doesn’t frequently die in combat, like other similar cards that have been printed in the past. Siren Stormtamer offers a cheap flying attacker that protects Freebooter from removal spells, making it a very valuable card for this deck’s strategy. Additionally, this deck plays Gifted Aetherborn as a concession to Ramunap Red’s dominance in the format.

Champion of Wits allows this deck to bridge the early game to the late game, sifting through cards and putting cards in the graveyard for later use. Hostage Taker has already proven itself as one of the most valuable cards printed in Ixalan, serving as a 2 or 3-for-1 at its best. The Scarab God and Liliana, Death’s Majesty are the core parts of this deck’s late game, reanimated creatures turn after turn, representing card advantage that the opponent cannot keep up with.

Fatal Push is pretty much expected in black decks in Standard, Modern, and Legacy, but the other non-creature spells here are a little more unexpected. Walk the Plank garnered a lot of hype when it was first spoiled, as it kills almost all creatures in the format for just 2 mana, and the sorcery-speed drawback of it is less of a concern in this deck. Similarly, Trial of Ambition has been on the periphery of the format due to its inconsistencies against aggressive decks. Lookout’s Dispersal is very frequently a 1 mana counter spell in this deck, as 3 of the creatures in this deck are pirates, making it a valuable way to stunt the opponent’s growth or protect this deck’s valuable creatures.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Trial of Ambition

+1 Walk the Plank

Sideboard

-1 Jace, Cunning Castaway

-1 Doomfall

+2 Vizier of Many Faces

This is day 281 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 280 here, where we featured a Standard Abzan Tokens deck that looks to take the game as long as possible and grind the opponent out.

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