Before I start this article, I want to state that Spellsnare.com and anyone associated with it strives to make the Magic community a better and more welcoming place. The events that have been pushed into the limelight in the past week have been occurring forever, and it is unacceptable that we as a community allow harassment and hate to be spread based on someone’s job, gender identity, race, or anything else. The kind of behavior that has been exhibited is unfair and hateful, and I and everyone at Spellsnare condemn this sort of behavior. There is no room for that sort of hate here, or in the community.
With that said, welcome to another article! This weekend will be the World Magic Cup, and just to let everyone know in advance, Team Italy will bring home the trophy [Editor’s note: Incorrect. Freedom, Baseball, Apple Pie will reign supreme], so don’t be too discouraged if your country loses in the finals. I also have a Standard PPTQ coming up this weekend, and for the past two days, I have been wracking my mind over what deck I should play.
The way I see it, there are three options: Temur Energy, 4-Color Energy, and Ramunap Red. While some other decks are being played, such as U/W Approach or God-Pharaoh’s Gift, I think these three decks outclass all the others in terms of power level and consistency. If you feel more comfortable and have good plans to beat the big three with your Approach, GPG, or Mardu Vehicles deck, by all means play that instead, but if you want to play a deck that will always win games and has proven its worth time and time again, then stick to one of these decks.
Pros and Cons
Each of these decks has some different advantages and disadvantages, and I’m gonna go over them and how to decide which one is right for you!
Temur Energy has been the “boogeyman” for some time now, and the deck’s strength is evident: all of its cards are insane, at every point on the curve. Attune with Aether and Aether Hub facilitate the deck, and the combination of the two can even equate to a whole card in the form of a Thopter from Whirler Virtuoso. The deck simply plays good cards like Rogue Refiner, which can both attack and block well, and is always worth 1.5, and sometimes 2 cards, and Chandra, Torch of Defiance, which has the power to kill threats and gain card advantage as well. Temur Energy couples these card advantage tools with amazing threats like
Tarmogoyf Longtusk Cub, Bristling Hydra, and Glorybringer.
This amalgamation of good cards, plus other insane threats such as Whirler Virtuoso, makes up the Temur Energy deck. One advantage the deck has is that most times its curve is fantastic, so unless you have an answer at every point, you will quickly get trampled. Even if you do manage to answer some of their threats, their card advantage engine of Rogue Refiner and Chandra, will be able to get them back in. Not to mention, the top of this deck is insanely powerful, as drawing any of the energy payoff cards is absurd late game and the only real dead draws are Attune and lands, whereas anything else is great.
While the deck is insane, it does have some weaknesses. The first is that mainboard, it is fairly vulnerable to sweepers. The second is that there are cards in Standard that can just overpower the ones you play, even with how strong they are. The Scarab God is a fantastic threat against Temur, and can often take over a game by itself. The thing is that while the weaknesses are easy to exploit mainboard, Temur Energy has by far the best sideboard in Standard right now. Negate turns the control matchups from slightly unfavored to fantastic, and Confiscation Coup can take care of The Scarab God handily.
Without exaggerating, 4-Color Energy takes Temur Energy and throws in a Swamp and the most powerful cards in Standard. This immediately shows us it’s strengths and weaknesses.
Much like Temur Energy, the 4-Color deck plays some fantastic powerful threats, adding Vraska, Relic Seeker, and The Scarab God. This gives the deck a good matchup against traditional Temur Energy in theory, but the con side of this is that the deck loses some of its consistency. To begin with, the Swamp hurts the mana more than it seems, because you never want to draw it. The idea is that you want to get it with Attune with Aether, but this means that the deck has to cut down on Confiscation Coup and Chandra, Torch of Defiance because Attune needs to find black, not the second red or blue mana. This gives the deck fewer answers to opposing powerful threats, which are therefore even better against them. Secondly, the deck’s inconsistency leaves it dead to many aggro draws from Ramunap Red, a deck that Temur Energy has comparatively less trouble with.
The main pro to Ramunap Red is Hazoret the Fervent. When you get the red God after a good curve, your games are often “easy mode”, as the sheer power of the card and the fact that every land in your hand becomes a 3 mana Shock provides you with the reach you need to beat almost any deck. However, when you don’t draw the 4 mana threat, games become much harder. Another pro is the general reach the deck has, whether it be from burn spells or Ramunap Ruins. A final pro is when you start with Bomat Courier, it’s very difficult for you to run out of gas in the mid and late game.
Temur Energy packs Bristling Hydra, a card that with 3 energy becomes too big to burn out and big enough to eat attackers. It also blanks Ahn-Crop Crasher‘s ability with its ability to gain hexproof, diminishing the Red deck’s reach. That is one of the main cons for playing red, with the second being that sometimes you just don’t draw enough firepower, as is true with all aggro decks.
Overall, I am mainly interested in consistency, and since the power level of 4-Color Energy is only slightly higher than Temur’s and its consistency is significantly diminished, I have the two decks to choose from as Temur Energy and Ramunap Red at the moment. For this weekend, I think I will be piloting Temur, as I believe the deck is simply more powerful and loses to itself less than Ramunap Red. However, I think Red is a fantastic choice, and would recommend either of these decks to anyone who has a tournament before Rivals of Ixalan starts.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this article, and I wish you luck on your Magic journeys! I hope you’ll tune in this weekend to see Team Italy crush all the other countries, and have a great week!
While it may sound crazy, some players have been calling for a ban on some of Temur Energy’s most impactful cards! Read this article by Jonah Gaynor if you want to know why this doesn’t seem too farfetched.
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