SCG Atlanta is in the books, folks. With the top 8 consisting of 5 Mardu, 1 GB Delirium, 1 RW Humans, and 1 Mono Black Zombies, the dust has settled and Mardu Vehicles is still the top dog. Amohnkhet proved that it will be making quite the large impact on Standard though, as many new cards showed up in high-placing lists. First off lets just cut right to the chase; here is Andrew Jessup’s winning Mardu Vehicles deck:
Mardu Vehicles by Andrew Jessup
Boy oh boy, is Andrew Jessup good at Magic. His brother mentioned to me that he has gone 27-1-2 in the swiss rounds his last 3 Opens. That’s truly incredible and Andrew is a very deserving Open champion. He’s certainly one of the game’s best up-and-comers.
The list team MGG brought is truly beautiful too. They went for a BW base with a light splash of red which naturally leads this build to be less aggressive and more midrangy. On top of that they have the “go big” control plan post board with a slew of planeswalkers as well as more removal and sweepers. As I recommended last week, this list excludes Glorybringer and is still running Archangel Avacyn. It’s also worth noting Cut // Ribbons is an incredible new addition to this archetype. A two-mana removal spell is already something this deck was in the market for, but one that’s also a Fireball late game? It gives Mardu a weird source of inevitability since that plus Unlicensed Disintegration will close out games very quickly. Mardu is still top dog folks, and I don’t see that title changing anytime soon.
The next deck I’d like to talk about is an old favorite: BG Delirium.
BG Delirium by Brennan DeCandio
This is the list Brennan DeCandio (master of all things BG) used to top 8 the Standard Open.
Felidar Guardian is really what pushed this type of deck out off the format. Without Emrakul, the Promised End, it didn’t have a way to close the games fast enough to reliably beat the combo. Now that Mardu is the only real “deck to beat,” a slower delirium build of GB is better suited for success.
Brennan’s list surprisingly excludes Liliana, Death’s Majesty from the main deck, which many people thought was a huge boost to this strategy. The BG master disagrees though and chose to stick to his old Lilianas since they are good against Mardu. He mentioned that the new Liliana is only good in super grindy match ups and you don’t really need the help against those game one. Dissenter’s Deliverance is a card Brennan choice to exclude from his list. Most of the other lists I’ve seen have a couple copies, and I’m a big fan. I was very impressed with Manglehorn this past weekend though. The card just comes at a good rate, and even vs my Jeskai Control deck, appeared to be quite problematic in certain situations.
Aetherworks Marvel is another card that saw quite a resurgence this past weekend. It managed to take down both the SCG Classic and a MTGO PTQ. Two different versions nonetheless! Let’s check them out!
Bant Marvel by Sam Lowe
Here is the Bant version Sam Lowe took down the Classic with. This is also the same build Zan Syed and fellow MTGCardMarket writer Rudy Briska used to 10-5 the main event. This deck is a pure control deck looking to dodge every piece of removal in order to win with Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Fumigate and Cast Out are the huge reasons to play this version of the deck.
Cast Out is obviously just a great addition to any deck that can play it. It was the entire reason we played white in our Jeskai deck, and it continued to impress all weekend. Fumigate is also incredible in this format. There were a bunch of different decks I wished I had Fumigates for. Between Derlirium, Mardu, various GR and GW decks, as well as the Winding Constrictor, decks Fumigate has never looked so good.
This is the build that took down the MTGO PTQ. As you can see, both builds I’m highlighting here are more controlling than we’re used to seeing. This version plays the full four copies of Glimmer of Genius and Censor giving it that draw-go type feel. The side board plan of Tireless Trackers and Torrential Gearhulks is excellent when people are trying to attack your hand or deck (aka Marvels/Ulamogs).
This version of the deck can play a much more midrange game than the Bant deck due to Rogue Refiner and Whirler Virtuoso. I think it gives the list a bit more flexibility but is less focused as a result. Either way love it or hate it, Aetherworks Marvel is back in a big way and it’s here to stay.
I wrote about how I was assuredly going to be attacking last week. However my car mate Collins Mullen tricked me into playing his sweet Jeskai deck (which wasn’t a hard sell). Despite my mediocre 10-5 finish I thought the deck was quite good. With tighter play I would of 12-3’d the event and made top 8. Sometimes that’s how it goes though. Matt Wright (who built the deck) finished 16th going 11-4 with it while I finished in 37th. It wasn’t a bad first showing of the deck though, and I certainly plan to revisit it. Here’s the list we played
Jeskai Gearhulk by Dylan Donegan
Overall the deck was great. The two-mana counters do wonders for this type of strategy. My biggest concerns with the list we played was the lack of Fumigates (which I wanted all weekend) and only two Pull from Tomorrow. That card is truly insane folks. I’d say it is about as good as Sphinx’s Revelation 75% of the time which is more than enough. Every time I pulled for more than 5 I easily won. I wasn’t a believer until playing with it, but you should be playing the full set in your control decks going forward.
Another card I wanted in my side board was Spell Queller. I think it’s an excellent side board card vs the various Gideon decks, as well as Marvel and Zombie variants. While I think the Jeskai deck has potential, I’ll be looking into a cleaner U/R build of the deck going forward since Commit // Memory gives that deck a nice answer to Gideon.
I hope this article was helpful and caught you up on the format’s best decks. I’d expect to see all these decks (minus Jeskai) be a staple of Standard for the coming months. This format is so much better than the last though and offers a lot more deck diversity. Let’s just hope Gideon, Ally of Zendikar doesn’t rule the way the whole time.
Until next week,