Standard Deck Tech – R/W Legends

If you’ve been keeping up with Standard, you’ll have noticed that there are about four different things you can really be doing right now: B/G Delirium things, U/W Flash things, R/W Vehicle things, or Aetherworks Marvel type things. Well, today’s deck kind of falls under one of those categories, but only slightly.

Before Kaladesh arrived, I was a huge fan of the B/W Legends deck that had cards like Thalia’s Lancers, along with both Gisela, the Broken Blade and Bruna, the Fading Light to hopefully meld into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. At one of the most recent Opens, Andrew Tenjum tried to do just that with a similar legendary shell slotted into the R/W Vehicles skeleton. His efforts landed him an impressive 10th place finish. Take a look.

R/R Legends by Andrew Tenjum

Not only do we have the Thraben Inspector/Smuggler’s Copter package, we also have the Thalia’s Lancers/infinite legendary cards package (which is among one of my favorites in Standard, I’ll have you know). Let’s see if we can meld some Angel Horrors.

As you can see, we definitely seemed to struggle a little bit against the control decks. This isn’t really a deck that seems to have a ton of different options each turn, depending on how much mana you’re like to spend. We actually don’t really have many ways to play around things like Spell Queller or Spell Shrivel, short of simply not playing our spells, which is so much worse for us than the control decks in the format.

Tears of Valakut was an interesting sideboard addition that I hadn’t actually considered before. It’s great against cards like Archangel Avacyn, Smuggler’s Copters, or even existing Spell Quellers. Unfortunately it can still be “countered” by Spell Queller, as the 2/3 simply exiles the spell without actually countering it. Additionally, Selfless Spirit can also save a creature targeted by it. That being said, there aren’t any other removal spells that can get around those restrictions, and five damage is a lot better than the standard three.

I did feel like I boarded the Nahiris out quite a bit. There’s so much looting in the deck that some genuine card advantage would have been wholly appreciated. Aside from that, this format is actually pretty aggressive toward planeswalkers right now, what with all the vehicles and the sizable creatures. This makes is somewhat difficult to actually keep Nahiri alive while also killing a creature with her. While it’s definitely possible to take out something like a Smuggler’s Copter or a Grim Flayer with her, my experience is that she rarely lives afterward, and this is definitely a format where the person building their board presence is advantaged.

This deck is definitely the best of both the B/W Legends and R/W Vehicles worlds. I loved the Thalia’s Lancers package ever since it was unveiled, especially because it could search out a land if need be, and now it’s even better with the addition of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. This deck was a blast to play and took a lot of the monotony out of the traditional R/W Vehicles deck. I’m pretty sure it might be my go-to for now, but I might even consider swapping in two Gideons to the main deck, if for no other reason than because it’s nicer to have some variety in draws. If only planeswalkers counted as legendary permanents…

Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week!

Frank Lepore
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Frank Lepore

Frank Lepore has played Magic for over 20 years, in which time he has created popular columns like The Leporatory, The Lepore Report, and Modern Monday. In addition to a Grand Prix Top 8 and being a member of the 2014 Magic Community Cup, he recently added a Pro Tour Top 8 to his resume at his very first Pro Tour.
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Published:December 1, 2016

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