Techs of the week: MtG Edition

Greetings people, long time no see! It’s Kratos coming to you with a Magic article.

You might remember me from the techs of the week series (and lots of other pieces) in Hearthstone. For now, HS belongs in the past and I’m giving Magic a try again. The reasons will be discussed in another piece as a lot of different factors made me decide to switch.

This will (hopefully) be a weekly series that goes through the meta switches in Magic, both in arena and paper versions. When I say meta switches, I mean anything from a new deck emerging to a new card appearing in an established archetype, and so forth.

Keep in mind the meta is young so it’s still a bit shaky.

Let’s get to it!

1. The emergence of MonoBlue aggro:

Starting off with the most important news. Starcity Open in Dallas was won by monoblue aggro and I do believe that was not random. Lots of pros shared their opinion on the deck and on how the landscape was perfectly scaped for it to succeed at this point of the metagame’s circle. Apart from that, the deck is dirt cheap in both real life and Magic Arena. I’m already facing monoblue once every two matches in Arena and do not expect the numbers to go down save any big metagame switches this weekend.

All in all I think monoblue is a force to be reckoned with and we will see it a lot in the next few months, so be prepared.

2. The absence of Carnage Tyrant from Golgari (or Sultai)

For some time now this monstrous creature terrorized control and midrange players alike. People were adapting their strategies to beat the boogeyman. However, after the new set we are seeing fewer and fewer tyrants. What changed? Who’s to blame for the tyrant’s demise? Well, who else than Hydroid Krasis! It took Carnage Tyrant’s spot in Golgari (now Sultai) midrange as the win condition with short notice. In a very timely manner too, as with the new set came new mass removals and tools in general to mitigate the big hexproof threat. Esper in particular got Kaya’s Wrath as an extra tool to kill the dude, a card that is good in general so it doesn’t even require a spot in the deck that could be used elsewhere.

3. Esper Midrange is rising in popularity (and don’t say I didn’t warn you)

Here’ another deck out of the blue. Though it did not have a good performance in the latest SCG Open, I believe this deck will continue to rise in numbers and win percentage alike as it gets more fine tuned. Combine the threats it plays with the great quality of removal it has and you got a deadly strategy. Thief of Sanity can beat control and Sultai on its own. Teferi is still an amazing card. Also, having access to sideboard discard tools, permission spells and mass removal is a recipe for success. I really like this deck and I’m excited to watch it the following weeks.

4. Cast down has become as important as Doom Blade/ Go for the Throat were back in the day:

This card has been around for a while but never made a big splash to the meta. Sure, it’s a black spot removal for two, we’ve seen it so many times, what is so special right now? Well, the same thing it made such spells special in past metagames and the same thing is will always make them playable: threat types in Standard. When you can kill most of them with a single spell, it makes it an amazing card that you want multiple copies of. When threats are in the form of Niv Mizzet or Judith or Aurelia, cast down in particular is mediocre (if black creatures were prevalent Doom Blade was mediocre, if artifact creature had been prevalent Go for the Throat would have been mediocre etc.)

Here’s a list of creatures Cast Down kills right now: Goblin Chainwhirler, Runaway Steam-Kin, Wildgrowth Walker, Hydroid Krasis, Jadelight Ranger, Thief of Sanity, all the drakes from Izzet, Benalish Marshal, Ajani’s Pridemate , Gate Colossus and Gatebreaker Ram from that pesky gates deck and lots, lots of others. Basically all popular threats are non legendary right now, which makes me want to pack a full 4 copies of cast down in my 75.

That’s it from me, I hope you enjoyed my take on the latest meta changes.

Good luck and have fun!