The latest core set, M13, has been out for a while now. A couple Star City Game events have come and passed. What was good before, is still good now. Delver and Birthing Pod variants have not left their throne as King and Queen of the format along with a Jester deck like Frites slightly behind. Its a super fun deck to play so its worthy of Jester even if it truthfully isn’t the third best deck. But shouldn’t things have changed more than what has since M13′s release?
Thragtusk was heralded as the Delver killer. He (or she since a 3/3 dude does originate from it when it passes on) does quite well gaining life back from early aggression and not going away very easily once on board. But the fact he is a Beast means he is counterable. Cavern of Souls doesn’t quite enjoy the nature much, just the divine beings of humans, angels and spirits. Plus, with all the Blade Splicers running around, Thragtusk can’t really get into the red zone easily. The current decks just aren’t primed to abuse Thragtusk to its maximum potential. Thus why only a single copy has made it into Birthing Pod decks.
The other M13 card that has made a “splash” is Talrand. I still don’t know why he is summoning drakes as a damn merfolk. Very unflavorfull Wizards of the Coast! Nonetheless, he is appearing in decks and doing sweet things! Too bad the deck is just another variant of the power house that is Delver. Sadly, he might not even last very long in the spotlight for now. I’m hearing that just making two 2/2 flying drakes immediately with Talrand’s Invocation is just better than Talrand himself. Quite the opposite of Jace’s ingenuity to Jace the Planeswalker. Yeah, that is not a fair analogy but damn it, I love Jace!
The third card seeing play is Elvish Visionary and how sad that he immediately took the place of an amazingly aggressive Strangleroot Geist? I guess in a world of Blade Splicers and Restoration Angels, attacking isn’t a winning proposition. Getting that immediate card advantage from Elvish Visionary is quite nice, especially when it gets you to a Birthing Pod or makes Restoration Angel a 3/4 Flash Flying creature with Draw a card. That is bonkers folks.
By now, you should have picked up on a pattern. Right now, every deck is playing Restoration Angel and Blade Splicer. What kind of world are we living in where the aggro decks and the control decks want the same cards?! This is the fundamental problem with Standard right now. I understand Blade Splicers are usually in the side board of Delver, but it comes in very often. I don’t want to fight against the same cards every game, regardless of what deck my opponent is playing. I can’t think off the top of my head where something like this has occurred in the past in standard. Have we become lazy deck builders? Have we conceded that Delver is powerful or that Pod is simply too fun not to play? Did we decide to just hop on the bandwagon and ride it until Return to Ravnica? It is pretty crowded in here and I want off. I haven’t had much time to test or build many decks with my busy work and social schedule so I am guilty of following the herd. I tried my hand at Naya Pod at a PTQ last weekend in Springfield, MO. The deck just wasn’t to my liking. It doesn’t do anything powerful, just seems to have consistent draws. I’m glad I scrubbed out like I did, because I got to go see Batman! Spoiler, the movie isn’t as good as hyped.
So what is there to do? I challenge everyone out there to make a deck that uses Thragtusk to its full potential and battles well against Blade Splicer and Restoration Angel. Those cards are in the vast majority of the decks, so there should be ways to beat both easily with 8 sets being legal. The answers exist out there, we just need to find. I have ideas myself that I plan on sharing soon. Just waiting on Decked HD to be updated with M13. I need to see the actual cards for me to be able to brew efficiently. I know, weird, but I can’t other wise.
Until next time, happy brewing everyone. Here is to fixing the stale standard meta. Cheers!