The Rising Sun: Deckwatch Vol.2

Atsushi Ito

Atsushi Ito

Decklists contain the essence of Magic.

The cards included in a decklist tell us a tale, they do also show us something about what its creator was trying to achieve.

In short, to try and understand a decklist is
to try and understand the creators mind.

This article is devoted to finding interesting decklists from the [] and introducing them to everyone.
Should you come across a decklist you like don’t hesitate to use it as inspiration or, tamper with it to make it into something of your own!

Without further ado, here are the 4 decklists that made the pick this time!

Standard: UB Control

Suzawa Atsuki – UB Control
Hareruya Weekday Standard (3-0)

4《Sunken Hollow》
2《Choked Estuary》
1《Blighted Cataract》
1《Geier Reach Sanitarium》

-Lands (25)-

3《Baral, Chief of Compliance》
2《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》
2《Herald of Anguish》

-Creatures (7)-
3《Fatal Push》
3《Horribly Awry》
2《Transgress the Mind》
2《Grasp of Darkness》
2《Scatter to the Winds》
3《Glimmer of Genius》
2《Yahenni's Expertise》
2《Engulf the Shore》
1《Rise from the Tides》
2《Trail of Evidence》
2《Liliana, the Last Hope》

-Spells (28)-
3《Metallic Rebuke》
2《Ruinous Path》
2《To the Slaughter》
2《Tezzeret the Schemer》
1《Fatal Push》
1《Baral's Expertise》
1《Confirm Suspicions》

-Sideboard (15)-

Baral, Chief of ComplianceDisallowTrail of Evidence

Vehicles, Saheeli Combo and BG Aggro currently stand at the top of the Standard food chain, when all decks are a known quantity there should be space for a Control deck to enter the fray.

While cheap removal is available, Control decks best catch-all cards, the counterspells, are all printed either costing 3 mana or have big downsides, so what is a Control deck to do in the current era? But of course, assemble your own 《Counterspell》!

To accomplish this we need 《Baral, Chief of Compliance》 in play, which allows our 《Scatter to the Winds》& 《Disallow》to essentially become 《Counterspell》with an upside. 《Transgress the Mind》 inches closer to《Thoughtseize》,《Glimmer of Genius》 becomes something on par with《Thirst for Knowledge》.

《Trail of Evidence》is key in Control mirrors and also helps the deck cast it’s 2 《Herald of Anguish》 at a reduced cost. The deck can also close out games in the blink of an eye with《Engulf the Shore》cast on the End-step followed by《Rise from the Tides》 as an additional finisher.

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Modern: UR Storm

GameOnSummerside – UR Storm
Competitive Modern Constructed League(5-0)

2《Steam Vents》
1《Hallowed Fountain》
4《Scalding Tarn》
3《Flooded Strand》
4《Spirebluff Canal》
1《Shivan Reef》

-Lands (18)-

4《Baral, Chief of Compliance》
3《Goblin Electromancer》

-Creatures (7)-
4《Sleight of Hand》
4《Serum Visions》
3《Thought Scour》
4《Desperate Ritual》
4《Pyretic Ritual》
4《Gifts Ungiven》
2《Past in Flames》
1《Empty the Warrens》

-Spells (35)-
3《Lightning Bolt》
2《Empty the Warrens》
2《Blood Moon》
1《Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite》
1《Iona, Shield of Emeria》
1《Shattering Spree》
1《Wear // Tear》
1《Unburial Rites》

-Sideboard (12)-

Baral, Chief of ComplianceGifts UngivenPast in Flames

The Modern Storm deck has a long history of battling with a bad case of “cards getting banned” disease. First it was 《Ponder》,《Preordain》and 《Rite of Flame》, next up was《Seething Song》and just recently《Gitaxian Probe》. Surely the loss of probe should spell out the end of the deck? No, just like Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, Storm will invitably come back to life.

The reason the deck was able to come back from the 《Gitaxian Probe》ban, is all thanks to the new and improved 《Goblin Electromancer》, a.k.a《Baral, Chief of Compliance》. The deck ends of cutting the 《$Pyromancer’s Ascension》and instead aims to cast a Turn 3 《Gifts Ungiven》into a Turn 4 near guaranteed Combo finish.

《Gifts Ungiven》searches up 《Pyretic Ritual》,《Desperate Ritual》,《Manamorphose》&《Past in Flames》. No matter which 2 cards your opponent gives you, so long as you have a Goblin or Baral in play you will be able to go off next turn.

For any deck that utilizes 《Gifts Ungiven》 the sideboard plan of 《Unburial Rites》 and a big creature is always great. With the Release of Kaladesh & Aether Revolt the deck also gained the much needed 《Spirebluff Canal》to help stop hemorrhaging life against the Aggro matchup.

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Legacy: WB Aggro

Sakamoto Hiroyuki – WB Aggro
Hareruya Cup(4-2)

4《Marsh Flats》
4《Verdant Catacombs》
1《Fetid Heath》

-Lands (19)-

4《Carrion Feeder》
4《Deathrite Shaman》
4《Gifted Aetherborn》
4《Grand Abolisher》
4《Hypnotic Specter》

-Creatures (24)-
4《Dark Ritual》
4《Fatal Push》
3《Cabal Therapy》

-Spells (17)-
4《Surgical Extraction》
3《Zealous Persecution》
2《Lost Legacy》
2《Pithing Needle》
1《Cabal Therapy》
1《Null Rod》

-Sideboard (15)-

HatredGrand AbolisherHypnotic Specter

The Black part of the color pie fits snuggly into any archetype whether it is Aggro, Combo or Control. Speaking of Aggro, we have the deck that won the 1999 Japanese Nationals known as “Suicide Black” or by the same name as the finisher spell《Hatred》. Few cards are as high risk, high return as 《Hatred》. A Turn 1 《Gravecrawler》followed by Ritual, Ritual into 《Hatred》and paying 18 life can lead to a lethal attack as early as Turn 2. It’s been 18 years since the original deck and this updated list takes advantage of a lot of recent cards.

The updated deck foregoes the Shadow creatures of old and settles for 《Carrion Feeder》, 《Deathrite Shaman》& 《Gravecrawler》as its 1 drops of choice. Utilizing the recently released 《Fatal Push》to remove pesky opposing creatures. However 《Gifted Aetherborn》also makes an appearance as a creature that is difficult to profitably block and makes for an excellent 《Hatred》target.

《Grand Abolisher》is a great addition to the deck, since it can serve to entirely nullify Counterspells, even if it does put some strain on the manabase. If you also add in 《Cabal Therapy》to the mix, there is a high likelihood you can push straight through the opponent’s defense.

The deck can also power out a 《Hypnotic Specter》Turn 1 thanks to 《Dark Ritual》or, Turn 2 through a 《Deathrite Shaman》. While the card might look weak, the random discard can absolutely ruin your opponent’s day, especially if they are on a combo type deck.

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Frontier: Hardened Scales

Kageyama Hiroki – Hardened Scales
Hareruya Cup(3-1-1)

1《Smoldering Marsh》
4《Wooded Foothills》
3《Windswept Heath》
4《Blooming Marsh》
4《Llanowar Wastes》

-Lands (22)-

4《Hangarback Walker》
4《Walking Ballista》
4《Elvish Mystic》
4《Winding Constrictor》
4《Avatar of the Resolute》
4《Managorger Hydra》
3《Rishkar, Peema Renegade》
2《Verdurous Gearhulk》

-Creatures (29)-
4《Fatal Push》
4《Hardened Scales》
1《Nissa, Voice of Zendikar》

-Spells (9)-
2《Nissa, Voice of Zendikar》
2《Aerial Volley》
2《Transgress the Mind》
1《Reclamation Sage》
1《Blossoming Defense》
1《Ultimate Price》
1《Skysovereign, Consul Flagship》
1《Liliana, the Last Hope》
1《Ob Nixilis Reignited》

-Sideboard (15)-

Hardened ScalesWinding ConstrictorManagorger Hydra

《Winding Constrictor》is currently played in a Tier 1 deck in Standard, but it doesn’t stop there, In Frontier the card has also been successfully added to the 《Hardened Scales》Archetype. Instead of White for 《Dromoka's Command》the deck goes black for 《Winding Constrictor》and the incredibly powerful new removal《Fatal Push》.

《Elvish Mystic》into a Turn 2 《Managorger Hydra》, or 《Hardened Scales》followed up by either《Hangarback Walker》or 《Walking Ballista》are frightening starts on the play. The deck also got an upgrade with the《Rishkar, Peema Renegade》 and 《Verdurous Gearhulk》combination which is just as powerful if not even stronger here than it is in Standard.

The deck is playing a total of 15 new cards from the Aether Revolt expansion, we are most likely still looking at a prototype of the new 《Hardened Scales》 archetype, it would not surprise me in the slightest if we have a new Tier 1 Frontier archetype on our hands here.

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I hope I managed to pique your interest with some of the decks showcased, should they not have caught your fancy, feel free to browse the deck database at your own leisure!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Until next time.

Atsushi Ito (Translation by: Emil Hoffman)

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