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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Standard and I are still not Friends

I tried folks, I really tried. I found myself with no plans for a friday night, and a desire not to sit at home. So I decided to play constructed FNM. After a bit of research, and a quick glance through my meager Standard collection, I found that I could put something together drawing on the affinity concepts, and throw in a blade package for a certain leg up.

The synergy between certain low cost artifact creatures, Signal Pest, and Steel Overseer is simply too strong to be denied. Toss in some singleton cards I wanted to test out like Tempered Steel, and a variety of high end threats, and I felt like I had a deck worth plopping down 5 bucks and trying to make a run at it. Turns out I was on the right track, but still falling short.

The deck was capable of some explosive starts, often having 3+ power on the aggro available to swing on turn2. I was very often able to put my opponent on their back foot right out of the gate, but lacked the ability to finish out the game, no matter how good my opening position was. Eventually I would watch my team dissolve to removal, and couldn't survive their counter attacks long enough to drop any of my high end threats. If not for the consistent blade package, I don't thing I would have one a single game.

What this deck really wants is an early Tempered Steel. Dropping one on turn 2-3 just pushes the team over the top, shaving at least one one, and often multiple, turns off the kill. Potentially more important is it pushes the artifact weenie team out of the rang of much of the removal floating around out there, allowing the team to simply win on their own merits, or buying enough time for the high end hitt3rs to drop. My singleton copy of Tempered Steel simply was not going to cut it, so after an unremarkable 0-2 Drop evening, I set on making the deck better. A quick trade with a strong Standard player, looking to make the break into Legacy, turned two extra StP into another 3 copies of Steel, and I look forward to testing the improved build.

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