A Guide to Bant Company

Petr Sochurek

Petr Sochurek

Hello everyone! This is going to be my first article for Hareruya. Initially I didn’t know what to write about, but then I found out that there is a Standard RPTQ this weekend, so I figured that an article about Standard might be the most useful to readers right now.

I finished 2nd at [GP Rimini] this past weekend with what I believe is by far the strongest option in standard: Bant Company, here is the list I played:


Petr Sochurek – Bant Company
Grand Prix Rimini(2nd place)

4 《Forest》
4 《Plains》
1 《Island》
4 《Prairie Stream》
3 《Canopy Vista》
4 《Evolving Wilds》
3 《Yavimaya Coast》
2 《Lumbering Falls》

-Lands (25)-

4 《Duskwatch Recruiter》
4 《Sylvan Advocate》
3 《Selfless Spirit》
2 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
4 《Reflector Mage》
4 《Spell Queller》
3 《Tireless Tracker》
2 《Nissa, Vastwood Seer》

-Creatures (26)-
3 《Dromoka's Command》
4 《Collected Company》
2 《Ojutai's Command》

-Spells (9)-
2 《Gnarlwood Dryad》
2 《Clash of Wills》
2 《Declaration in Stone》
2 《Summary Dismissal》
2 《Tragic Arrogance》
1 《Selfless Spirit》
1 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
1 《Tireless Tracker》
1 《Negate》
1 《Dromoka's Command》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya

I went to see my uncle, who lives in Australia right after the Pro Tour, so I didn’t have time to playtest at all and even though I have never played the regular Bant Company before, I figured it’s going to be the best choice for me. The deck is really strong and I used to play Bant Humans in the previous standard and the decks were very similar. Also creature decks, with which you have to manage your resources correctly, play around cards and figure out your position in any current game are my biggest strengths, so i settled on Bant Company.

As I said, I didn’t have time to playtest, so I just read a couple of articles and took a look at some recent Company decklists and took inspiration from those to finalize my decklist. The deck was great, but there are a couple of changes, that I would make to my list.

This is the decklist I would register now:


Petr Sochurek – Bant Company

5 《Forest》
4 《Plains》
1 《Island》
4 《Prairie Stream》
3 《Fortified Village》
4 《Evolving Wilds》
3 《Yavimaya Coast》
2 《Lumbering Falls》

-Lands (26)-

4 《Sylvan Advocate》
3 《Duskwatch Recruiter》
3 《Selfless Spirit》
2 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
4 《Reflector Mage》
4 《Tireless Tracker》
3 《Spell Queller》
2 《Nissa, Vastwood Seer》

-Creatures (26)-
3 《Dromoka's Command》
4 《Collected Company》
2 《Ojutai's Command》

-Spells (9)-
3 《Declaration in Stone》
3 《Summary Dismissal》
2 《Clash of Wills》
2 《Tragic Arrogance》
1 《Selfless Spirit》
1 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》
1 《Spell Queller》
1 《Negate》
1 《Dromoka's Command》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya

Before I go on about certain card choices, I would like to explain how I feel about the development of Bant Company in the current standard metagame. Going into the Pro Tour, Company had a clear target on it’s head, which lead to people choosing to play different decks from fear that the Pros will come up with something that completely crushes it. Some expected that and went even further and brought decks, that were good at outgrinding the decks which were supposed to have a good matchup against Company. This lead to a Pro Tour dominated by Emrakul decks and only a few Company decks. It might not seem that way, but believe me, 《Emrakul, the Promised End》 was everywhere at the PT. Despite that, both Luis and Yuta made top 8 with bant company and that was before they even knew, what deck was their actual enemy.

Bant Company is really good at adapting to beat certain decks and, people will also come up with decks that are good at beating those slow Emrakul decks (UR Visions) and Company has a good matchup against those. Basically all I am trying to say here is that Bant Company is by far the best deck in current standard and you should probably start practicing mirrors, if you want to do well.

The only matchup that I fear is the Jund deck that team Eureka played at the Pro Tour, they have a lot of removal to keep up with you, which gives them enough time to finish you with 《Emrakul, the Promised End》. Good thing is though, that the Jund deck isn’t very good against the rest of the field, so it’s not very popular and you can still beat it if you play well and have reasonable draws.

Card choices explained


You might be wondering about some of the card choices in my current list so I will go over the not-so obvious inclusions:

Selfless SpiritSelfless SpiritSelfless Spirit
Duskwatch RecruiterDuskwatch RecruiterDuskwatch Recruiter
Jace, Vryn's ProdigyJace, Vryn's Prodigy

3 《Selfless Spirit》, 3 《Duskwatch Recruiter》, 2 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》 – Some people don’t play with Jace and I don’t really understand why as the card is really powerful and a great Company hit. The only reason why I play only 2 main deck is that you need to be aggressive in many matchups and the preboard games are way faster, which means that Jace isn’t THAT good. Also, if you play too many legendary cards, you might get screwed by Company and I don’t think that the 3rd Jace maindeck gives you enough upside to justify that.

《Selfless Spirit》 is great – it protects your important creatures and is one of your key cards against 《Kozilek's Return》 decks. That being said, it’s really weak to 《Liliana, the Last Hope》 and it’s a low impact card on it’s own so I like to play 3.

《Duskwatch Recruiter》 is also great and I am not sure if there should be 3 or 4, but in my experience, you already have enough grindy cards in the deck and you are often tight on your mana, which means that you don’t have time to activate all the clues, play your cards and also activate Recruiter, which makes the card weaker especially in multiples. Also you often get to a boardstate, where you are already winning so much on card resources and the only thing you are looking for is impactful cards and answers, so that you don’t randomly die to something – it’s not that hard to find those, but in order to do that you need to have those cards in your deck (otherwise you just draw into more grindy cards and you don’t get anywhere) and you have to cut something and I think that the 4th Recruiter is the weakest card.

Spell QuellerSpell QuellerSpell Queller

3 《Spell Queller》 – This will propably raise the most eybrows, but 《Spell Queller》 is overrated – if you are not tempoing your opponent out and they have an answer to Queller the card is actually pretty weak compared to cards like 《Nissa, Vastwood Seer》 and 《Tireless Tracker》. It’s still obviously great in many matchups and often it’s just insane, so I still like playing it, but I don’t think it’s an autoinclude and I like playing the 4th Tracker over the 4th Queller maindeck.

Tireless TrackerNissa, Vastwood Seer

4 《Tireless Tracker》, 2 《Nissa, Vastwood Seer》 – These cards are insane and they are the reason why Company is so hard to beat – play them!

Ojutai's Command

2 《Ojutai's Command》 – Most of the people play 《Archangel Avacyn》 instead and I agree that Avacyn is a great card (especially in combination with 《Selfless Spirit》) and it’s probably better in the mirrormatch, but I still advocate playing 《Ojutai's Command》 instead. The card is just always great and it’s much much better against the rest of the field than Avacyn (black control decks, Emrakul decks, 《Fevered Visions》 decks) and it gives you a very powerfull answer to cards that people are trying to beat you with like 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》, 《Archangel Avacyn》 or 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》.

26 lands – I only played 25 lands at the GP and I regretted it the entire time. The matter of fact is that this deck is way way better at handling a land flood than a land screw – it is really hard to just flood out with cards like Nissa, Tracker, Recruiter etc. but you might suffer an unfortunate loss while land screwed. During the interview in the top 8 of GP Rimini, Shota Yasooka said that the most important card in his deck were lands and I have to agree with that.

Play 26 lands! (even with Nissa’s).

Sideboard choices


Clash of WillsNegate

2 《Clash of Wills》, 1 《Negate》 – Every good Bant Company list will include some copies of permission spells in their sideboard, because they are really strong against certain strategies like GW, black based decks etc. You could play more, but it’s really hard to find the room for them in the deck and you would be replacing 6,5s for 7and I would rather play other sb cards at that point – the games go pretty long postboard and you have additional draws from Jace and Trackers, so you should usually be able to find one when needed.

3 《Declaration in Stone》 – Despite the common belief, the Declarations are in the board mainly for the control matchups – you need to have some answers in your deck for cards like 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》 and 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》 and you can’t rely on commands against heavy removal decks. They are also great against the emerge decks, because all you want to do is to kill their enablers.

1 《Dromoka's Command》 – Humans, U/R

1 《Jace, Vryn's Prodigy》 – Jace is in the board for mirror and control matchups, where you want to board out 《Selfless Spirit》 and additional 2 drops in the sideboard is useful to replace those. Also in the right matchup Jace is just insane and it is a great value card that you can hit of Company and that is really important. It’s possible that you want to have the full 4 post board, but it’s risky to play too many legendary creatures, because of company as mentioned above.

1 《Selfless Spirit》, 1 《Spell Queller》 – In the right matchups, these are one of your strongest cards and I don’t see a reason to not play them in the board.

Summary DismissalSummary DismissalSummary Dismissal

3 《Summary Dismissal》 – 3 might seem like a lot, but there are a couple reasons for that – first of all I often board out some of the Companies – you need to cut creatures to make room for the sb cards and if you keep in all the companies the numbers just don’t work out and your opponents are ready for companies postboard anyway with cards like (《Hallowed Moonlight》, 《Dispel》, 《Duress》 etc.), which means that you won’t have as many 4 drops as it might seem.

In my experience from the 《Emrakul, the Promised End》 matchups you are usually crushing them with the value creatures (Nissa, Jace, Tracker, Recruiter) and you have all the answers for their big cards like 《Languish》 or 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》, then when they are on the brink of defeat, they resolve Emrakul and you lose. I don’t know why I should just accept that if I can easily prevent that by playing more copies of Dismissal – yeah it’s expensive, but so what – you need to keep it up only at the point where they can play Emrakul and at that point it is usually not that big of a problem.

Tragic ArroganceTragic Arrogance

2 《Tragic Arrogance》 – people are not playing with Arrogance in their board for some – to me unknown reason – the card is completely insane in the mirror and you should certainly play it. I saw people playing the 《Subjugator Angel》 instead, but I disagree with that – the Angel isn’t good in all of the games – sometimes it’s just really bad, whereas Arrogance is just great period. The argument is that you can find Angel with Recruiter, but in my experience, the games where Angel shines are the board stall games, where people just stare at each other and in those games you have a million clues and I prefer cracking clues instead of using recruiter, which makes the argument irrelevant.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed the article and I wish you good luck if you end up picking my list for any of your future standard tournaments.

Also you can add me on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/petr.sochurek.1 or follow me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/PetrKikac

Thank you for reading,
Petr Sochurek

Cards found in the Article


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