September 22, 2016

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Daily Dose of Kaladesh – Standard Deck Tech – Bant Evolution – Part Two!

Welcome all to the continuation of my Standard Deck Tech for Bant Evolution on the 'Daily Dose of Kaladesh'. As we left yesterday, I was starting to narrow down from a large list of creatures, which creatures were best suited for the main deck, the sideboard, or neither. Let’s continue on!

Now I want to look at the four mana and above creatures which we will be searching for most of the times. I want to have creatures that have great enter the battlefield triggers that can be used over and over again with Eldrazi Displacer. Most, if not all of the creatures selected to be in this main deck will have only one copy of the creature. This allows for greater versatility in what you will be able to use in your deck. We will talk about ways to get them back from the graveyard a little later as well. With four Eldritch Evolution in the deck, it allows you to play a virtual five copies of any of these cards. I think that Altered Ego will be a key creature in this deck, allowing you to copy one of your trigger creatures that you already have in play if you need to use their ability again and you don’t have an Eldrazi Displacer available. Gisela, the Broken Blade is a very strong creature that will be able to help you gain life when needed. I think this type of creature is better suited for the sideboard when life gain is needed or you aren’t playing against decks that have Reflector Mage. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter is a card that I’ve been going back and forth on, in whether it has a place in the deck. It simply screams value, but is a slower engine for gaining card advantage. I think having her in the deck will be match dependant and will most likely be better suited for the sideboard.

Angel of Invention would be a very sweet card to blink with Eldrazi Displacer, but I’m unsure on whether pumping up all of my creatures will be that important. I would be inclined to say that it is more of a sideboard card. If life gain is needed, this could be brought in, but at 1 or 3 toughness, it won’t be that hard to kill. Arborback Stomper is definitely a creature that can both deal some damage and help you gain a ton of life. If you can get a blink recursion going with this creature, it will be very hard for any opponent to come back from you gaining five to ten life per turn. Archangel Avacyn is still a very strong creature and can still make a strong impact in Standard. Without Collected Company and most likely minimal Spell Queller’s in the deck, playing this card could become quite telegraphed. I still think there is a main deck spot for this creature as using it in situations where it is in play and you can sacrifice a creature to deal three damage to all other creatures could clear up the board.

A card that will be a key card in the deck to make sure that your opponents battlefield is kept in check is Cataclysmic Gearhulk. Since Cataclysmic Gearhulk is an Artifact creature, you will be able to keep two creatures on your side, with of course Eldrazi Displacer being the most ideal partner in crime. Having a partial board clear that can be reused and searched for will make this a powerful creature to have in the deck. Cloudblazer is a creature that has a small 2/2 body on it, but a ton of upside and value possibility. Right off the bat you will gain two life and draw two cards which is a lot of great value. If you are able to blink this with Eldrazi Displacer it will make it very hard for your opponent to catch up on the card advantage you will receive.

There will be some matchups where your opponent will not be able to deal with a large 5/5 creature very easily, especially one that punishes them for targeting it like Reality Smasher does. This is a great creature to have at your disposal if you are ahead in the matchup and want to push through some additional damage. Later in the game when card resources are low, this will be an even harder creature to kill. Reality Smasher could also help you get in some damage to kill a pesky Planeswalker as well.

Next up is the Legendary creature, Sigarda, Heron’s Grace. This is a great creature to have if you are playing against a Red burn deck or playing against a deck that targets you with a lot of spells. Having a 4/5 Flying creature will also be very pertinent in some matchups as well. I’ll have to check on creature totals to see if makes the main deck or the sideboard, but it will be in one or the other for sure. Somberwald Stag is an interesting creature that can be used like a removal spell, but I don’t think it is powerful enough to make the cut for this deck. There are just too many more powerful five drop creatures to have this in the deck or the sideboard. The next card I want to talk about is a great way to get a needed piece for your deck without having to sacrifice a creature with Eldritch Evolution. Thalia’s Lancers can currently search for Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Gisela, the Broken Blade, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter, Archangel Avacyn, Sigarda, Heron’s Grace, and possibly a Legendary Land if the deck decides to play one. The last creature to look at is the great Verdurous Gearhulk. This is a great creature for the deck as you will be able to spread out the four counters over your entire army, or make one creature really large to get in one big attack.

Now I’ll be looking at the spells that will take advantage of the deck. It is a no brainer that I’ll be playing four Eldritch Evolution. The next spell that I wanted to use would allow me to get value and take advantage of the deck that I’ve built up to this point. There are a lot of “one of” creatures in this deck that when they die will go to your graveyard. This means you won’t be able to search for them with Eldritch Evolution if you need them. Another thing that is key to this deck is in making sure that you hit your land drops so that you can get to the key six mana you want to achieve. Six mana will allow you to either Eldritch Evolution for one of your strong creatures or for Eldrazi Displacer and still have three mana available to be able to activate its ability to blink one of your creatures to get a trigger activation. Once you hit six mana with an Eldrazi Displacer in play you will be able to blink twice per turn, giving you a large advantage. The card I’m talking about is Grapple with the Past. Your creatures are your main resources in this deck, so being able to get what you need with this card will be very important.

Some sideboarding options for spells will start with Blessed Alliance. This is a great spell against aggressive decks as it allows you to kill some early threats. When played later in the game you can also gain four life with it as well. Dispel will be a great sideboard spell to bring in against removal heavy decks. Another option for white removal is to be playing some copies of Immolating Glare if there is a matchup where your opponent has a large threat that you aren’t able to deal with. With a large number of artifacts coming into the format, there will definitely be some decks that will be playing some artifacts. This would be a great use for a card like Naturalize. Negate will allow you to counter Planeswalkers or removal spells that your opponent might be playing as well. Pulse of Murasa could be a possibility for a sideboard card, but without easy ways to get cards into your graveyard, it is probably better to stay with Grapple with the Past. Summary Dismissal is a must have against Emerge decks as it can come in handy when you just need a hard counterspell (or exile as it happens to be).

The next cards we have to think about are the Planeswalkers that could work themselves into this deck. Nissa, Vital Force is a new Planeswalker that would work well with this deck. You will be able to use some of your plentiful lands to attack your opponent or you can use her to return one of your powerful creatures or lands from your graveyard. Being able to use her ultimate ability the turn after it comes into play could net you some major card advantage. Dovin Baan is an interesting Planeswalker in that it can help you build your board for the mid to late game where you will most of the time have the better of the creatures and board state. Planeswalkers in this deck fit very well into this deck at four mana, as most to all of your creatures and other spells are either three or five mana. Another strong four mana Planeswalker that works well in this deck and has already done well in its previous iteration is Tamiyo, Field Researcher. I can definitely see this continuing to stay in the deck and be key to breakup creature stalemates and help you gain some card advantage. The last Planeswalker to look at is one that will probably see some play in the deck, but most likely out of the sideboard, and that is Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. It can be a card that is hard to kill in certain matchups, and if not taken care of can start to deal some major damage for you as well. It can also be used as a last ditch creature to sacrifice to Eldritch Evolution if you need to.

Next I’ll look at the lands we will need for the manabase. Since we will be having multiple copies of cards such as Eldrazi Displacer and Matter Reshaper, we will need lands that produce colourless mana. That slot used to be filled by Yavimaya Coast, but that’s been rotated out with the loss of Magic Origins. Here are some of the best options for producing colourless mana.

Aether Hub will be a key for this deck as it will add colourless mana for the mid to late game, but will also allow you to get any of the three colours needed to cast all of your early game creatures. The fact that Aether Hub also comes into play untapped is not something to be overlooked. Blighted Woodland will give you the colourless mana that you need and also a chance to get some basic lands in the mid to late game. Most of the time you will want your colourless mana to stay in play though, so this might not make the cut. Next up is Inventors' Fair which comes into play untapped, can get you a steady flow of colourless mana and has the chance to have a late game upside of searching for a Gearhulk and gaining you some life. Being able to search for it with Thalia’s Lancers makes this an added bonus as well. The last colourless land to consider would be Geier Reach Sanitarium. It can provide a steady source of colourless mana while you can also search for it with Thalia’s Lancers.

So now we have thought through our many different types of cards for Bant Evolution, it is time to put together a final deck list. Here is the final deck list for Bant Evolution.

Thanks to everyone for reading this Standard Deck Tech for Bant Evolution. Throughout the Standard season I will giving tournament updates and adaptations to this deck based on the Standard metagame. Join me tomorrow as I do another Standard Deck Tech for an aggressive deck that uses the brand new Vehicles from Kaladesh.