Cards n’Flux: Standard Overview 2012
By otakuman5000 On 3 Aug, 2011 At 02:18 PM | Categorized As Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

Cards n’Flux: Standard Overview 2012

By: Corlando

            Hello and welcome everyone once again to Cards n’Flux.  I am Corlando, your relatively handsome but very busy guide through the flavor and awesomeness of the Magic the Gathering card game.  This week we are finally going to take a look at the new standard format.  This discussion has been long in coming and I wish I had been able to talk about this sooner, but life gets in the way sometimes.  Anyway, before I become long-winded about what is going on in my life, let us dunk our heads deep into the new ocean of decks that currently exist in Standard.


As I am sure you all know, a few weeks ago Jace the Mind Sculptor and to an extent Stoneforge Mystic were banned from standard.  Why did Wizards do this?  It was because of a little deck called Caw-Blade.  Caw-Blade essentially operated around three cards.  Squadron Hawk, a little flyer who has the ability to call forth his friends from your deck to your hand; Stoneforge Mystic, a card that not only allowed you to search out your deck for your best equipment but also allowed you to play them cheaply; and Jace the Mind Sculptor who essentially existed to nullify any real threats and keep giving his controller card advantage.  This combo, spiced with deck builder’s personal preference in equipment, created essentially a noose from which the Standard format hung for several months.  Wanted to be competitive?  You have to play Caw-Blade.  What you don’t like playing Blue/White decks, good freaking luck.  Squadron Hawk was, and is still considered, the best equipment carrier, Stoneforge the perfect fetcher, and Jace the ultimate answer.  Only in the last few days of this dreaded combo did we actually see the occasional non-Caw-Blade deck make it to the top and only because Caw-Blade players were too concerned in combating each other than actually having a well-rounded deck that could cover its weaknesses.











Seeing that Standard was on its last few gasps, Wizards made the drastic move and banned cards from Standard play.  Jace the Mind Sculptor was completely banned from Standard while Stoneforge was relegated strictly to the War of Attrition Event Deck.  Squadron Hawk is still in, swinging its swords the best it can and he has even found a new friend in Puresteel Paladin.  This move plus Core Set 2012 hitting the scene has literally caused the deck pool for Standard to overflow.  There is now a deck for everyone to play and most cards are relatively within anyone’s price range.  At the time of this article, the most expensive card on the market is Jace, Memory Adept who is hovering around 30 to 40 dollars.  Let me show you all, my faithful readers, a few fun decks taking their turn in the Standard spotlight.


Who here likes burning stuff?  Well… you should probably go see someone about that.  However, if you like playing burn spells in Magic the Gathering, then there is no better time.  Currently Red Mages have the following spells in their holsters: Incinerate, Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze, Pyromancer’s Ascension, Flame Slash, Combust, Volt Charge, Fireball, Chandra’s Outrage, Goblin Guide, Goblin Arsonist, Goblin Wardriver, Ember Hauler, Koth of the Hammer, and Chandra the Firebrand.  The thing is there are much more.  Depending on the deck that you want to build you can go several different ways.  Goblins is a very viable deck in the format because of the multitude of low cost creatures plus Goblin Chieftain and Adaptive Automaton.  Inferno Titan can be a great finisher if you want to create a deck that has a stronger chance should games go long.  And of course the combo of Chandra, the Firebrand, Pyromancer’s Ascension, and Volt Charge is a nice way to burn the house down.  These are just a few ideas on how you can build your own fiery maelstrom.











Red really isn’t your speed? Me neither.  There was an incident in high school with fireworks and… it’s a long story.  How about Blue/White Control?  Yes, everyone loves a good Blue/White control deck… unless you are playing against it.  With the return of Oblivion Ring in M12, Blue/White control is a threat once again.  Not too long ago, I personally faced a Blue/White Venser control deck that I could not fight no matter how many baddies I summoned.  The major interaction in the deck was Venser, the Sojourner’s +2 ability to warp something out of existence then bring it back at the end of your turn.  This means the player with Venser has the ability to switch what Oblivion Ring is exiling by popping the O-ring out and bringing it back in, exiling the new threat.  This combo combined with great card draw from Jace Beleren, Wall of Omens, and Sea Gate Oracle, allows the player to go through their deck, find better answers for the threats, such as Day of Judgment, and kill off the problems.  After that, you wait to activate Venser’s final ability, which allows you to exile target permanent whenever you play a spell, and eliminate your opponent’s ability to fight back.  Now I’ll admit, I like the combo with Venser and Oblivion Ring, but I think we can go crueler.  My favorite idea is continually bouncing Stonehorn Dignitary, a creature that when he enters the battlefield revokes your opponent’s next combat phase.  Your opponent can summon all the creatures in the world, but will never be able to swing with them.  If you like winning in unique ways or just being cruel, this Venser deck might be just for you.












If you have been looking through the card lists, you have probably seen quite a few Black cards come down the metaphoric tube.  Cards such as Chancellor of the Dross, Phyrexian Obliterator, Cemetery Reaper, Call to the Grave, and Smallpox are all ready to bring their own flavor of havoc to the world.  In recent months, we have seen a few people trying to make this deck work.  Phyrexian Obliterator has been a pretty big key to the deck, but is there another option we could consider.  Call to the Grave might be a bit expensive for an enchantment, but if you combo it with Cemetery Reaper, you can have the game in no time.  At the beginning of their upkeep your opponent will have to sacrifice a creature to Call to the Grave and at the end of their turn you can activate Cemetery Reaper to get a 3/3 zombie.  Granted a 3/3 is nothing too serious, but then again that is all you really need if your opponent has no creatures.  Take a look at this combo.  Who knows, this might just become the core of your next deck.











Finally, we come to Green.  When Eldrazi first appeared, people rushed to create Green Ramp decks, which were designed to get the big guys out in no time.  Well today we still have those Big Green decks, but have the option to leave the ramp at home.  This is because of the new trinket from M12, Quicksilver Amulet.  All you have to do is pay four mana to put it onto the field.  Then every turn afterwards you pay four and tap Quick Silver amulet to summon any big guy you want from your hand.  Turn five Emrakul of the Aeons Torn anyone?  Talk about an early drop.  Granted, playing your big Eldrazi like this negates some of their abilities like Ulamog’s destroy target permanent ability, Kozeilk’s draw four, and Emrakul’s extra turn, but if you drop any one of these guys your opponent is as good as dead anyway.  “But Corlando,” some of you are crying, “the Eldrazi are about to cycle.  What will I drop with this trinket once they go?”  Well my friends you actually have quite a few options.  First up is Rune-Scarred Demon, Diabolic Tutor on a 6/6 flying stick plus you will activate his enter the battlefield ability.  Next is Furyborn Hellkite.  Just make sure to trigger his bloodthirst first so you can get a 12/12 flyer.  Next, any of the Praetors or Chancellors would be excellent choices.  And of course you have the one-shot robot, Blightsteel Colossus.  There are several creatures you can play with this little trinket.  Find your favorite and start bashing some heads.










Well everyone, the article is coming to a close but we have just enough time for the closing questions section:


1.  Are you happy with the new standard and its huge pool of decks?


2.  Is there a threat of Red decks becoming the next Caw-Blade?


3.  What do you think is the most powerful deck in Standard right now?


And with that everyone, the article is finished.  Feel free to leave some responses to the questions or your feelings on the article I am always willing to hear your comments.  And remember readers, “Etherium is Limited.  Innovation is not.”  This is Corlando signing out.

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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