Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Have a brew with the Crew

"Ohh, we drink and we pillage and burn down your village, Yo-ho, Yo-ho!" - some Rowdy Bois
Ladies, Gentlemen, and not so gentle men, what is up. Dan here. We're a solid way into the Ixalan Standard season, and there are some spicy lists floating around. Sure, the top tables at GPs, Pro Tours, and various other events that none of us are qualified for are dominated by Energy decks, but at the humble FNM... sheer madness. Our local store does Standard on Tuesdays, and here were my pairings for last night:

  1. Construct Tribal
  2. Nayasaurs
  3. Gruul Deserts
  4. Sultai Gods
  5. Grixis Amulet
So... yeah. Shit is wacky. Right now, there is just a glut of crazy off-the-wall enablers in the format, allowing for a huge variety of shockingly powerful decks. Gruul Deserts might sound like jank (it is), but it doesn't feel like jank when they burn you out with the 10th activation of the very same Ramunap Ruins.

Sure would be a shame if that Sunscorched Desert pinged you for 1 again, wouldn't it?
So what to do? How can one single deck possibly compete with the huge variety of agro, midrange, control, tokens, combo, and whatever else these madmen come up with? Well, you have two choices. The first is to play Temur and call it a day, because your cards are just better.

BUT HERE ON TEAM HEAVY SALAMI, we are decidedly mediocre, and don't believe in good cards. So we'll take the second path. Make something shitty, surprise our opponents, and hope for good matchups.

"That card is garbage! I'll take four." - me
Sadly I'm not playing the Orrery in my brew. But, I do finally get to play my favorite card in the set - Rowdy Crew. The crew is teaming up with some of my other favorites, such as Lightning Strike, Bomat Courier, and Claim to Fame. Toss in all in the pot, give it a stir, and we got a frothy brew going. People, I'd like to introduce you to:

Click this for decklist!

OH baby. Now that's the good shit. Lightning Strike? Love it. Rowdy Crew? Perfection. Wily Goblin? You're god damned right, we are playing Wily Goblin. 

"Oi, get back 'ere with my hat ya monkey"
This list right here has some wicked chops, and is a blastyblast to play. Let's delve a little deeper, folks.



The Plan

Ok, so you got pirate-drunk on rum, bought all these cards, and are ready for some swashbuckling. But how? Don't worry, it's fairly straight forward, so our grog-addled brains should be able to cope.

The early turns play out like any aggressive deck. Play a Bomat Courier with one of your several two drops, turn on the heat, use your cheap removal to clear the way, and watch 'em sizzle. Scrapheap Scrounger is a time-tested beater, and Fathom Fleet Captain's menace lets us sneak on past an early blocker. 

If you untap with a Captain and another pirate, your opponent is going to be one sad homie. Generating an additional 2/2 menace pirate each attack is monstrous, and can quickly bury your opponent. The second pirate doesn't even need to be attacking to activate Fathom Fleet Captain, leading to the dream scenario of turn two Captain, turn three Wily Goblin, get a treasure, then use the treasure and your third land to make a pirate.

And then, as - well, if - we get to the mid-game, we have a decent amount of staying power. Claim to Fame snags a Captain or whatever back from the dead, and can even pump them up. A 4/1 menace haste is no joke, and let's us keep pressure going. Ruin Raider gets us some cards back as long as we attack, and let's be honest, if you aren't attacking you aren't winning anyways. And speaking of winning, we have a few ways to close out a game. Either the pure way, via smacks, or the zesty way, via Lightning Strikes and Cut to Ribbons' aftermath. 

Look at that goblin stealing a coin. He's so wily!
So that's nice and all, but then what is this dude doing? Oh, don't you worry, fellow pirate enthusiast. In addition to getting rowdy, the crew gives this deck it's engine. First of all, Rowdy Crew replaces itself by drawing three and only discarding two. A four drop beater that doesn't cost a card is a nice deal. Sure, the discard is random, and that blows, but many of the cards in our deck are just fine in the graveyard. Scrounger and our aftermath cards get value even if the crew throws them overboard. Dumping the captain into the seas may seem like a bad idea, but don't you get any salt on your eyepatch. Or I dunno, some other pirate-y saying.

Brought to you by MS Paint
Claim to Fame goes with Rowdy Crew like hard-tack goes with watered-down rum. Either side of the card excellent for us. If you discard your creatures, then Claim to Fame is still in your hand, and you can bring them back. If you discard Claim to Fame, then you can play your creatures the old fashioned way, and then use Fame to pump them and give them haste! It's the perfect crime. Then on top of that, hitting the Crew with Fame is absurd. If you were lucky and got the counters, that's a huge seven damage with both trample and haste. Yikes.

Discarding Cut to Ribbons isn't half bad either. We play a good amount of land, and even have Wily Goblin to get us more mana, so Ribbons for six or more isn't uncommon. And speaking of that crazy goblin, you know what feels better than Rowdy Crew on turn four? Rowdy Crew on turn three, of course.


Charting the course

So where do we go from here? Have we created the perfect deck? If you are asking that, I suggest you go back to that list and take another look, because we most definitely did not. There's a lot to optimize here.

After giving this a play, it feels torn between two worlds. Are we a midrange-y graveyard value deck, or an aggro deck? I think it needs to be refined to stick to a single game plan. The way I see it, we have three choices.

Option 1 - Aggro Beats

Goblins: winners of best flavor text, 1993-2017
We could make this deck a whole lot faster. I'd swap out some Fatal Pushes for Shock, cut down on Cut to Ribbons and lands, and toss in Rigging Runner. First Strike isn't too bad of a keyword, and it pairs excellently with the Fame half of Claim. Needing Raid to make this a 2/2 is awkward, since we can't both Fame it pre-combat and get the counter, but what are Goblins if not awkward?

However, this also adds another pirate to improve the odds of Fathom Fleet Captain being an allstar. We would also benefit a lot from Fell Flagship with this build. It's a new card type, which is bad news for Rowdy Crew counters, but adding power to a pile of creatures with keywords like Menace, First Strike, and Tromple could have an impact. I plan on giving this a try at either Standard Showdown or next Tuesday. I'll let you know how I felt as I 0-2 drop.

Option 2 - Graveyard Nonsense

Zombie pirates? Sign me up.
Going a bit bigger is an option as well. We can up our removal by adding in more Cut to Ribbons and some Never to Returns. We'd likely stray away from the pirate synergies. Cards like Seekers' Squire are excellent Claim to Fame targets, and explore helps us toss more in the yard. Plus we can run biggies like Combustible Gearhulk, which is huge, and either gives us cards or throws cards in the graveyard.

Going bigger greatly improves the impact of our Wily Goblins as well. Lili on turn four is a big girl, with six loyalty and a zombie to boot. I haven't really fleshed this idea out, so I'd need to look for some other good ways to take advantage of a full graveyard. If I get lucky and open a Lili, maybe I'll give this one a whirlydoo.

Option 3 - Gettin Grixy

Creature type lines are starting to get a bit zany.
Adding in blue opens this deck up a fuckload. We get some excellent evasive threats in Siren Stormtamer and Storm Fleet Aerialist, or actual good cards in Chart a Course and Hostage Taker. We'd also be able to play Admiral Becket Brass, which is a massive draw for me, cause I keep opening the damn card and have a ton. Plus then we get to hit them, take something, and say "LOOK AT ME. I'm the captain now."

The downsides are obvious. Three colors is much harder to support than two, especially if we still want to run double color cost cards like Wily Goblin, Rowdy Crew, or Walk the Plank. It's possible you can go all in on Grixis Pirates tribal rather than a Claim to Fame and Rowdy Crew deck. But honestly, why would you do that? Crew is life.

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So, that's what I'm playing! Hope you guys enjoyed the writeup. I'll be tweaking this deck for the next week or two to see if I'm able to hit a sweet spot. It's either that or keep jamming Jeskai, because Glorybringer is the business. 

In other news, we are back to recording events at Stadium Cards in Comics in Ypsilanti! We plan on doing a re-watch of the games and doing commentary over on our Twitch channel sometime soon. Be sure to give us a follow on the Twitter machine @Heavy_Salami for the freshest memes and updates on our magical shenanigans. Until next time, land lubbers!




Enjoy the deck? Think there's a better card I should be playing? Well, you're probably right. Let me know by shooting us a message using the form off to the right, or plop a comment right on this bad boy. If you're more of a social media cat, hit us up on the Heavy Salami Twitter!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LET'S. GET. ROWDY.

YO-HO, THE SAILOR'S LIFE IS THE LIFE FOR ME, YO-HO
Oh my lordy, hello everybody. This is Dan, and just like Jace boy up there, I've forgotten everything about Magic and am now a pirate. It's been a bit, but Ixalan has me purchasing a one-way ticket on the hype train. There are so many wild cards coming out, and whether you like old-timey Pirate debauchery, super-old-timey Dinosaur stompin', fish people, or vampires for some reason, this set has something tasty for you.

But what is most delicious? There's a whole lot of off the wall effects floating around, and it's tough to sift out what will hit and what will miss. I mean, gathering treasure could be a real win condition. Or it could be a total flop like a lot of other cards I wanted to be good.

Well, at least you tried.
I'm not going to lie, I'm only about 50-50 on my predictions for cards that will be good. Some cards I've correctly guessed (thank you, Dragonlord Ojutai), but with some I've been a little off base, like the ol' red Dark Confidant up there.

SO, I'm going to list off my top 5. What is it a top five of? I dunno man, flip a coin. Either these are gonna be the 5 worst cards in the set, or the 5 best cards in the set. I'm leaning towards the former, but we'll see what happens. Either way, they're cards that have me wicked excited.

Natually, I'm not going to list the obvious ones. That stupid 4 cost dino that draws a card when it takes damage is really good. I think we all agree you don't need my shitty opinion on it. Today we're lookin' at some of the more off-beat shitty stuff that I would be more likely to play. You know, the real zesty shit.


Oh I LIKE that
Your life total is lookin' a little too high, bub.

"What are we doing SHOOTING all these cannon balls that I could be using as maces?"

By god, let's get wacky. This one is going to get me and Gaige killed in 2HG for sure. It might even be us that casts it.

So it dies to Glorybringer, which is a huge issue. However, it pairs nicely with Arguel's Blood Fast, getting your life lower in order to flip and start the lifegain. If this card was a 4/5 it would be bonkers, but sadly we live in the real world and Wizards hates Orc Pirate Wizards. For some reason.

Menace Deathtouch is a pretty sick combo, and if this dude goes down he goes down swingin'. It could be a decent sideboard card for an aggro deck. Or not. Let's pre-order four just in case though.


For when you really need to kill that land.

Fuck that forest in particular.
So this is barely a land destro spell. It kills a whole lot of other shit, though, so i'll allow it. This seems fun for a ramp deck to sideboard in, especially if you're playing someone running the new flippy lands. Even though Hour of Devastation is still a thing, being able to slap this big mamba jamba to take out things like Carnage Tyrant and Vraska seems like a good option to have.

The past few years, ramp decks have had insane shit like Ulamog as a top end, so they could go bigger than any deck. These days it looks like ramp will be slinging Dinos with the rest of us Neanderthals, so Planeswalkers with high loyalty are an issue again. Well, until we drop a meteor on that forest.

Hatebears - with three toughness!


"X gonna give it to ya"
Obviously this card sticks out as a killer sideboard card against Felidar Guardian Ishkana Cloudblazer? But I think there's more to it. They also released Old-Growth druids, a 3/3 for G with a negative enter the battlefield effect. If enough of these effects show up, Tocatli begs to be a build-around for some janky deck.

I know that's not a great idea, but hey, none of mine are. It's still a good card even if that Standard Hatebear deck (Ooo Nimble Obstructionist could be fun) doesn't pan out. There are rumblings of modern decks like there is with every card, though, so we'll see. If you can pick up one or two cheap, I'd give it a whirl.

Vampires suck. Except this one, he can stay.

"Yarr we be sea vampires. Like brave Pirate Mosquitos."
This card is a doozy. In a WB control deck, this is a big, powerful finisher. Sure, it dies a bit too easily, but in a format with a good WB control deck, you should be able to exhaust their resources and stick this, at which point untapping probably ends the game. I mean, Harsh Scrutiny looks like a great card right now, so just take their Glorybringer with that. Whamo, Standard solved. Creature-light decks decks can use this as a Kalitas sideboard replacement as well. Vigilance is pretty dope, so you can get pressure going and start lifelinking without waiting for people to swing in.

And it's also an extra way to deal with Artifacts and Enchantments that's stapled to a win-con. Either way, I'm going to be picking up a few for EDH nonsense anyways, so we might as well try it in Standard too.


LET'S GET ROWDY, BOYS

"WHAT DO YA DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILORRR?!"
Come on man, why isn't this a Goblin Pirate? It's ok, I'll probably still play it so you win again Wizards. But anyways, this card is SO much fun to play with. I've been testing it with Gaige and man am I ready to get Rowdy.

My favorite is playing this with Claim to Fame and some spicy one-and two-drops. Pick your favorite, whether it be Kitesail Freebooter, reanimating a Siren Stormtamer, or just a good old fashioned Scrapheap Scrounger. "Oops, it made me discard Claim to Fame, and now I still have these 2 dorps!" Don't worry, you can just dorp them and tap a sassy two for some Fame and get to clobbering with your R O W D Y B O I S.

When it actually hits for counters, it's a legit threat. Honestly it's a shame that Prized Amalgam, Haunted Dead, and company just rotated out, because this would have been amazing in an Elder Deep Fiend deck. So while it may not end up being powerful in the current standard, there's a real chance that some new cards get printed that sends the Rowdy Crew off the rocker.

--------------------

Ayy that's it. We gonna be jammin' soon boys. The Pre-Release is conveniently on my birthday, so let's hope I crack some goodies. I mean, I won't, but it doesn't really matter because I already pre-ordered four Rowdy Crew. So it kind of feels like I won anyways.

Think of something Zanier? Do you too subscribe to Rowdy Crew hype magazine? Do you believe in life after love? Whatever you wanna say, drop a comment or send a message using the form on the right. Find our quips and dank memes, look for on the US Official Presidential National Communications System (Twitter) @Heavy_Salami!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

RW Control is kind of neat.

Is there a playmat with this art? It's dope as hell.
Sup people, Dan here. I'm back playing Standard, and I've actually won a game or two, so I figured I'd share a deck.

For a bit I didn't really write anything, cause honestly, my decks were hot garbage and I was a salty nerd, so I took a break to find a better job and start getting singles. Seriously, you don't even want to see the shit tier decks that I was trying to force. It doesn't hurt that I can afford good cards now, so I don't have to play with the watertrash that I had to before.

Someone tell me if you crack the code for this monster, because I most definitely have not.
But here we are, with the ballers, casting Nahiri and Glorybringer, and it feels good man. Real fuckin' good.

Since I didn't really have strong decks other than Eldrazi (which actually aren't half bad right now), I spent a lot of Amazon gift cards to put together a R/W prison style deck with a whole lot of control cards. It's turned out nice, so check it:


Let's Get ~Tropical~ Everyone

Alright, this deck is a little zany. I've been liberal with the one of's, so this deck is bad if you aren't super lucky like me. Here's what we do,

Nahiri is good, so I try my darndest to take advantage of all the insane shit she is capable of. The rest of the deck is removal, early blockers, and then later there are some big annoying critters to protect Nahiri. The lady herself also exiles dudes and different artifacts/enchantments, which keeps the board squeaky clean despite the hordes of zombies and Scrapheap Scroungers running around. Eventually she ults, and you probably win.

Seriously have you read that -8 ability? It only takes TWO ticks to get to 8! That's so speedy!
Her ult opens up to any of the fun-of's in our deck, assuming you like creatures. Or artifacts, I guess? Dunno what you'd grab. I had a Panharmonicon in from the sideboard once, then grabbed that puppy and cast a Linvala when I was at 2 life, so you can do that if you're a god damn madman. There is one flex slot in the sideboard that I keep changing. I have a Combustible Gearhulk there now, and I couldn't tell you why. I've had it come in instead of Chandra against decks with creatures too big for her ult to clean up, or planeswalkers, I guess. Attacking through a 6/6 first strike is rough for some decks, but whatever. You do your thing, I give you permission.

Tons of different exile effects make us hose Zombies, which is dope, cause like three dudes play that shit at my LGS. Sweltering Suns might be better than Kozilek's Return, but I have no control of my life and lost my copy of the card. Sometimes being instant speed is a good thing though, but your mileage may vary.



The Core Fours Or something more clever...

Use your four-ofs to eventually get to the part of your deck you need. Thraben Inspector blocks and digs us deeper into our deck, sometimes she gets feisty and boinks 'em, too. Eldrazi Displacer is a decent sized blocker at three mana, and his activated ability can stall a game out forever by exiling tokens, stopping attackers, blinking our value creatures, and just overall make me so happy. You have no idea how good it feels to chump Gideon with a Thraben Inspector, blink the lady, and be rewarded with another clue. It's the new Tireless Tracker, except way slower. Man, that card would be so good in this deck.

A match made in Innistrad. Love at first tentacle.
Anyhoo, Nahiri, the dopest card in this deck, is of course a four of. Aside from Never/Return, she's super hard to get off the table. Even just by chumping with a Thraben Inspector you get her to ultimate range, and then it's on the opponent to get some damage on her before you pop it off. Meanwhile, you're filtering through your various one-of's to grab the answer you need to defend her even more, whether it be removal, more blockers, or I dunno, another Nahiri? Why not.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention the synergies between Displacer and Nahiri. Blink their Avacyn or Heart of Kiran, and then it's nice and tapped for Nahiri to exile. Hooray!

The bigger bois

We've also got a couple cards that are two or three-ofs. These are all fine to draw, and help us get zany with our main cards. Harnessed Lighting and Declaration in Stone are both super strong cards against so many decks right now; exiling pesky gods, zombies, huge things, and early aggression. Harnessed takes down small ones, and honestly just getting energy is mana fixing for our Aether Hubs, which are just stupid, stupid lands. Seriously, they are just so insane in any red deck in Standard right now, letting them be three colors quite easily.

Oh shit, there's a promo of this?
Then the creatures are great five or six mana plays. You can ult Nahiri for them, which is the dream, but you can also tap five of those twenty five lands we're playing plop them down from your hand. Glorybringer is nutso. I can't believe I haven't been playing with this card. It kills so many things, cleanly answers Gideon, and lets us turn the corner extremely fast once we've taken control. Same thing with Goblin Dark-Dwellers - pop back more removal to kill a creature, menace for an evasive threat. Remember all those removal spells you cast early? They're back to clean up more. Angel of Sanctions is a nice hit too, getting rid of pesky high-loyalty walkers or big thingies.

I always type "dank-dwellers" cause i'm a fucking juvenile.
And you know, sometimes you grab you get to ult Nahiri, grab a Bedlam Reveler. You re-fill your hand (or fill your graveyard), then attack them cause it has haste. Duh. But first you cast a removal spell you just drew to trigger prowess, and you kill Gideon cause that idiot just kept making knights, and you just dec in stoned four of them. End of turn, he bounces back to your hand, so just cast him again on the cheap next turn, because you discarded or cast some spells. That will refill both yer hand and yard yet again. And by then you probably have something good going on in your hand or graveyard to do. If not, who cares, you just nuked the board and have a fat butt blocker chillin'. Then you go buy a lottery ticket, cause you got something good going on.


The Bad-ish news.

Ok, obviously that doesn't happen so perfect every game. This deck can miss, and it can miss hard. Sometimes you just don't draw the right piece, or flood out, or get too many colorless lands, or only get creatures when you need removal, etc. Not advised if you don't like to mulligan. That one cost black-cycling-instant that exiles 3 cards from our graveyard totally crushes us. Blue-counters are a bit rough as well, since we often tap out on our main phase. That's ok though.

Censor need not apply.
This deck may not win the next GP you go to. Minneapolis for me, so if you see a dude in a purple tank with a Salami on it, it's probably me. Assuming I'm still in good enough shape that it isn't embarrassing, even though it's totally embarrassing either way.

But I've definitely cranked through four or five FNMs undefeated, so it can at least win games against Zombies, RW Aggro, GB Counters, Tokens decks, UB Control decks, and a tons of other zesty stacks being played at my LGS. We actually have a wild meta going on right now, and it's great. The Marvel ban has made a huge impact on Standard, and it feels like a decent place right now.


The >>>Future<<<

Hour of Devastation comes out soon, so that's neat. Good and bad things come with that for Nahiri and the Eldrazi. The good is the new mechanic Eternalize. Cheap chumps early that come back as real threats late is absurd for our deck, and we can even just discard one with Nahiri and alt-cast them just as a big guy.

We get Solemnity, which is fucking nuts. Do you have any idea how spicy of a hate card that's going to be? RG Energy, GB Counters, and one of the toughest creatures for our deck, Bristling Hydra, completely nuked. And Nahiri still goes up. Oketra's Last Mercy seems hilarious to play against anything aggressive. Cast early and be able to live for five mana to cast it again with Dark-Dwellers. Suck it nerds!

Amonkat
I can't wait to see the RW split card too, as much as I hate their layout. They seem to be a lot stronger this time, and if one half costs one and the other half costs two, like some sort of removal, it's probably going to be a new four-of. I swear to god if it's a shitty five cost threaten I'ma be so pissed.

Crook of Condemnation for Control decks is going to blow, though. It doesn't replace itself like Relic does, and costs mana, but being able to target a card at instant speed is scary. Reason/Live looks nutso as well, and I do not look forward to people playing that against me. Supreme Will, Nimble Obstructor in Spirits decks, and Chandra's Defeat all seem like a bad time as well. WE WILL SEE, I S'POSE.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this! Be sure to start checking in on us right here, on Twitter @HeavySalami, and just kind of around. Someone should check in on Gaige too, cause I haven't seen him for like a month. Luckily we are renting a place together in a week, which is gonna be a hoot and a half. Expect more dumb decks, and maybe even streaming to pick back up on our Twitch Channel if we get real motivated somehow.

Like the deck? Have suggestions or a way better deck to share? Think Nahiri's stupid? That's fine, but you should know you're definitely wrong. Whatever is goin' on for you, shoot us a message by using the form to the right, or sends us an email at heavysalami@gmail.com.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Amonkhet Predictions

Neckbird, Lord of the basement dwellers

Hoo boy it has been a long time since we had something up. I was thinking it was the beginning of March but it was actually February. Oh how time flies when you've been drunk for 2 months straight. Just don't tell my bosses "But if you were really drunk for two months straight I'm sure they knew." Oh they definitely knew but I don't need anyone taking their side.

We've been gone for so long because standard has been fairly uninspiring lately. Any time Dan or I have an idea for a silly deck we end up not doing anything with it because we know it just won't compete with Mardu Vehicles or Cat Combo. Normally our silly decks can be somewhat competitive but in the current standard, unless were playing against other homebrew decks we just can't compete.

Also, I'm not gonna lie, I've been super lazy lately. I have a couple ideas for articles that I just haven't felt like writing yet. Every time I have a minute of free time I usually just spend it getting furious as I try to climb the ladder in competitive Overwatch. No matter how bad it gets I just keep coming back to her because it can only get better right? Wrong. It's a trash game and I'm a trash player so now I'm running back to Magic in hopes that she can forgive me and take me back in her warm, safe embrace.

With all that out of the way I wanted to write this because this is my favorite feature we do. With some spoilers have being released this week and official spoilers starting next week, I wanted to put out the Heavy Salami predictions so that when were write we can sell our psychic abilities to the police and get our own TV show where we use Magic cards like tarot cards and we find peoples lost animals and predict the weather in cities that start with the letter "P". "Well what's the weather like?" There's a 90% chance of it being shitty with a possibility of scattered sadness. Next week it looks like disappointment and regret.

I wanted to do a prediction on what the Masterpieces would consist of but since those are already spoiled, it's a bit hard to do. I will say that I did predict that Counterspell and Wrath of God would be printed and that the cards would look Egyptian. With that as an intro to my predictive capabilities let's go to the things we don't know yet.

It Will be a Shard Block

We already know that Nicol Bolas is Grixis colors and we got his spell Dark Intimations in Aether Revolt giving us a preview of Grixis as well. Each shard will also have an associated "clan" of sorts that will fit into Egyptian themes with corresponding mechanics.

Grixis - Zombie/Mummy - This wedge will probably have graveyard shenanigans as we can expect from blue, black, and red. To differentiate mummies from just straight up zombies they will probably have something to do with creating a weaker token to fit in the flavor of "preserving the organs."

Jund - Scarabs - Jund will be super annoying bug tokens with some sort of poison mechanic that isn't poison. Like venom, or toxin, or bad-ness. If you get hit by X number of creatures with "bad-ness" in a single combat you lose the game. You know, like you were swarmed with scarabs and died. But weaker than poison because it doesn't stay with you. I mean think about. I can fight off one scarab and live, but like 100? Or maybe even 5? That sounds pretty rough.

Esper - Sorcerers/Wizards - Yes wizards are somewhat of a basic creature type in the world of Magic, but think more of the Egypt "sorcerers" who used illusions and card tricks to pretend they had magic so the pharaohs wouldn't kick them off the top of the pyramid. They'll have some ability that'll block a creature without actually blocking like "during combat on your opponents turn target creature becomes block because he's so spooked by your illusion magic and the pharaoh lets you live another day."

Naya - Cat people - We already know there's gonna be cat people from the spoiled booster art. That's what Naya will be filled with. Cat people gladiators. It will have some new aggro mechanic that helps the common cat rise up against the oppressors. It will be the opposite of Esper and be something like "when this creature attacks, target creature an opponent controls also attacks your opponent because only together can we break free from the chains of the dragon pharaoh.

Bant - Anubis's - Anubi? Anubiseses? I don't know what the plural is of Anubis, but that's what Bant will be. They'll be the gladiator sorcerers that are really running the show in Amonkhet. No I'm not biased because Bant is my favorite three color combination, that's just the way it is. The Anubis clan will be all about relics and heiroglyphs mostly dealing with enchantments and auras but in a new way. Vague enough for you? Good me too.

Gideon is Super Gonna Die

I mean think about it, it would be most appropriate that the guy who's "indestructible" is the first to go. Plus with Wizard's wanting to keep a super team of five, it's about time they cycled someone out and brought in a new friendly face we can hangout with for a while. Nicol Bolas will probably eat him or sacrifice him to a god, or eat him and declare himself god. On the note of new friends...

Elspeth is Coming Back

Elspeth died sure, but on a plane with a bunch of gods. Where are the planeswalkers now? On a plane with gods you say? Well Elspeth used her super planeswalker abilities to negotiate with a Theros god to be revived in another world in exchange for leaving Theros because all of the gods are sick of planeswalkers since planeswalkers are stronger than the Theros gods. So it's a win-win for everybody. I guess except for Gideon. It's cool, he'll come back way down the line as a black planeswalker when Liliana gets bored and leaves when she decides to go do her own thing.

We're Getting Either a BG or BR Planeswalker

In standard we obviously have a planeswalker for each mono-color but we also have a planeswalker for every combination of two colors except for black/red and black green. We have Kiora, Sorin, Arlin Kord, Dovin Baan, Saheeli, Nahiri, Ajani, and Tezzeret. We will probably get something like:

The face of fear in Amonkhet

Bugzzy would obviously be Jund and his mission is to make his scarab babies cover your body. Swarm is the name of the mechanic I made up earlier that allows you to win the game if X number of scarabs do combat damage to a player in a single combat. Bugzzy either lets you swarm your opponent or he gets all beefy from your scarab sacrifice. Is he balanced? Who knows. Is he flavorful? Again, I don't know, I've never had scarabs. Scabies on the other hand, I've had that. I've had lots of that.

When you're a cat pharaoh, the world is your litter box

You would think Cleocatra to be Naya because she is a cat, but she ascended beyond the foolishness of cat gladiators or catiators if you will. She is now queen pharaoh and joined grixis using her cat magic to summon her army of mummies to squash anyone in her way. Also because she is pharaoh she can have all the catnip and naps she wants and if the pharaoh wants to knock your glass wares on the ground, then she will.

Some Other Cards We Can Expect to See:

Overcompensation For Mardu Vehicles


This is what Heart of Kiran looks like on drugs

Mardu Vehicles is strong. Real strong. We need some real good artifact removal and sometimes when you go too far in one direction you over correct in the other. Copter got banned because Wizard's was nice enough to realize that a reality where Copter and Heart of Kiran are in the same standard together means that there would have only been one type of deck in Standard. The banning was unfortunate, but maybe they'll decide to un-ban it when they give us this fresh "Kills Mardu Vehicles" card.

Something That Accidentally Makes Cat Combo Better

Maybe if we stand still no one will notice

Wizards play tests and looks at what might happen with the release of new sets. Sometimes simple cards get overlooked and just make silly things happen to the standard meta. With Mardu Vehicles being so prominent it's pretty safe to bet that a card slips through the cracks and accidentally makes cat combo better. If will either be something to help you get the pieces you need, or just an alternate way to combo out, but it's coming like an Egyptian train. "What's an Egyptian train?" I'm pretty sure it's just a bunch of pyramids chained together...

A Card Creates a New Powerful Deck


If you don't understand the art, go play Kirby Super Star
Along the same lines as the card mentioned above, there will be a card that synergizes perfectly with something else in print and creates a different standard deck now that Mardu Vehicles was been shut down by over correction. As soon as spoilers start officially, someone will look at this card and go "Oh if I pair it with this other card I just instantly win, perfect." And that's just the way it goes sometimes. At least we'll be oppressed by a new deck for three months.

A Flavorful Board Wipe That is Almost Standard Playable

The real joke here is red players thinking they could ever get a board wipe
My other pick for this card name was Sandstorm but I felt like that would be a white card. Amonkhet seems like a really neat and flavorful world so we're bound to get something like a worse Fumigate in a different color. Red seems like it would be neat, but it will probably either end up in black or we'll get a soft board wipe in blue. Green will just get more things to feed the snek deck. No removal needed outside Walking Ballista.

New Mechanics



Wizard's has been great with the flavor of the last couple of sets and they aren't going to quit anytime soon. We'll definitely be getting some sort of mummy mechanic having to do with bringing things back and preserving their organs. Or maybe we just get some mechanic about worshiping cats, which isn't too hard to believe because some people are already worshiping a cat combo. Something like the above card would be neat, because you're essentially putting your pharaoh in a tomb but then they come back as a mummy/zombie but you can still have a new/same pharaoh on board. I'm sure if this were ever printed, this would be the thing in Amonkhet that fuels a ridiculous new Standard interaction but hey, I'm not R&D...yet...


I give Wizard's a hard time about all of the things I expect to be printed in upcoming sets, but for any Wizard's employees who ends up accidentally finding this just know that according to my psychic abilities I can see a not too distant future where Standard is super. Wizard's changed a lot in a short period of time. They went from three set blocks to two set blocks while simultaneously dropping core sets. They also fairly recently decided to have Standard be four blocks long rather than the initially decided three blocks. All of this together is going to take some experimenting and some work to get a Standard where we are seeing four or five different decks placing in major events. Each block that has come out has been great and things are only going to get better. In the meantime, I'm going to hide behind the internet and make jokes about Standard at Wizard's expense with my 1000% accurate predictions. But just know Wizard's my wallet may not love you, but I sure do, and I know that even greater things are to come.

And readers, please know. We may disappear from time to time but we are never truly gone. We will bring you new articles from time to time and we are hoping to get more consistent with our salami streaming. We like to throw things around on twitter so check us out @Heavy_Salami and if you don't hear from us for while, know that our salami will always be in your hearts.





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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Some budget brews for me's and you's.

Who said cheap wasn't sexy?
My fellow dorks, it is Dan! I am just vibrating in anticipation thanks to the new Standard season starting to rock and roll. Man, is it something else. Sneks, Cats, Eldrazi, and even a couple of wackier decks have put on a show at the past few big tournaments, and are showing everyone that there's plenty of room to innovate.

Meow. There are now thousands of me.
There is, of course, the looming threat of Standard resembling the apartment of the insane cat lady down the street thanks to the Felidar Guardian combo, but I don't think that's going to be the case. I see this as a golden land of opportunity, where something zany can carve out a niche by preying on the weaknesses of meta decks. Well, at least I want to see it that way. What I really see is me losing on turn four quite a bit, but whatever. Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs in order to make room in your fridge for more eggs.

So. You don't like cats. You enjoy playing Magic, but you also like your money. You like eggs. How in the heck are you supposed to smash these angry cats and +1/+1 counter decks without buyin' an assload of expensive cards? Don't worry buddy, the Heavy Salami blog is a safe place of healing, and we cater to the poor and fiscally minded.

In this article, I'm going to open up my brain to you (not the gross porn part) and share some of the brews that we've been thinking of. Each of these decks have some components to keep them fighting against the top tier decks of the format, and none will break the bank, checking in right around the $50 range. If you're looking for something new to try, these are a few lists that won't land you in poverty.

Will these win the Pro Tour? Probably not. Ok, definitely not. Will they pick up some prizes at FNM? Sure will! But why just talk about potential and whatnot, when we could just take a lookie-loo at the decks themselves. Not all of these are fully tuned, mind you; these are just concepts. Some small tweaks may be necessary to keep them competitive at your local store, so keep that in mind as you go over the lists!


Bork Bork, Doggo Tribal


Required apparel for playing this deck.
Gruul Werewolf Tribal has been a dream for quite a few people ever since Shadows over Innistrad was released, and I think its time has finally arrived. The addition of Metallic Mimic as a pseudo-lord makes some of our anemic one-drop creatures have some punch in the late game. The premium removal spell Moonlight Hunt is a house against the Jeskai Combo Cat deck as well. It can kill a Felidar Cub if you have a few creatures, and it can even take out a Gearhulk that has been flashed in to block during combat. Here's the list:


Kessig Prowler and Village Messenger get the party started. A flipped Messenger is a very quick source of damage, and the Prowler puts on some hurt early, with the ability to pump up later. We of course have the Mimic to make our guys swole as time goes by, while Duskwatch and Silverfur Partisan help us keep truckin' through removal (Note that Silverfur Partisan and the tokens created are wolves not werewolves; pay attention to what you want to name with Metallic Mimic!) Other than biting them in the face, Shock is one of our ways to interact with Saheeli or other Planeswalkers. Blossoming Defense insulates us against point removal while also punching through more damage, or triggering Silverfur Partisan.

The deck is quite weak to boardwipes, so consider the new card Heroic Intervention for the sideboard to make your guys indestructible if you think your opponent will be packing Fumigate or Radiant Flames.

Is $70 a bit too steep for you? I understand. You can shave a whopping $35 off that price tag by dropping the dual lands from the deck, and replacing them with basics. This will put the deck right around a cool $40, and a majority of the cards are just draft chaff, so they shouldn't be too hard to get.


Bant "Can't"

Do you sometimes play Magic and think "Man, it would be sweet if instead of all of this interaction, we were just kind of hanging out." Look no further, friend.

Your opponent's face for the next 45 minutes.
There are several "fog" effects in Standard right now that prevent damage, and generally annoy your opponent. We're seeking to combine all of these into a pile, and actively avoid any sort of win condition. Here's what our scientists formulated:


We have eight whole copies of fog effects, a fog-esque enchantment, an artifact that shuts down Planeswalkers or dudes, some boardwipes and creature removal, and card draw. Shielded Aether Thief gives us a blocker when we don't have a fog ready to go, and he also gives us an energy sink until we need Deadlock Trap or Consulate Surveillance. Incidentally, his energy sink can get us more foggies. Hooray!

The goal of the deck is to mill the opposition out. Not to like you know, actively mill them, but to just be a witness to their own self-destruction. Perpetual Timepiece and Wildest Dreams let us grab used fogs from the graveyard and ensure we don't lose the mill race. Authority, Stasis Snare, and Deadlock Trap fight the combo. Then you chill and tell your opponent about your life problems that you definitely have because you're playing a fog deck.

To save another $10 or so, you can drop the duals for basics. Aether Hub is sadly necessary, since we need to have three colors, and will often have the energy to use to make sure this is a multi-colored land.


Radical Rakdos Robots

Actual footage of this deck in action.
Sometimes, you gotta go fast. This deck tickles me in all the right ways. You play cheap dudes, then you smack your opponent in the face. Beep boop here's our equipment:


We have Bomat Courier and Inventor's Apprentice to get rockin' right away, and the curve just gets stronger as we go. Scrapheap Scrounger is a solid recursive threat, Pia gets two bodies, eliminates blockers, and pumps up our jams. Then finally Slamjam Freejam tops off our curve, and often comes out well ahead of schedule thanks to Improvise.

Artifact synergies abound in this deck as well. Syndicate Trafficker let us sacrifice Implement of Combustion or Servo Schematic for sick value, and Scrap Trawler is just the tits, turning our Trafficker and artifacts into a real engine.

Shock, Unlicensed Disintegration, and Implement of Combustion are affordable answers to the Cat Combo, and none of them are useless against other decks. Even the mopey Implement of Combustion serves as fodder for Syndicate Trafficker that replaces itself, or as a mana-rock for our Improvise cards.

Overall, this is the deck I'm most excited about, as it can put on the hurt quickly, and has enough interaction to compete with heavy hitters. Need it cheaper? Again, drop duals for basics and you'll hang onto almost $30, making this list extremely cheap.

Wanna go the other way and get fancy? Adding in Fatal Push and Spire of Industry will push this over the edge. Revolt is insanely easy for us to activate between Syndicate Trafficker, Implement, Pia, and Bomat Courier all being one-cost sacrifice outlets. Get out of here, Kalitas, you just got shoved.


Combo Cat-ish

I love this new Felidar card everyone has been talking about!
Guys, I won't lie to you, this deck is terrible. But hey, the blog is called Terrible Magic, so it's not like we tricked you into this or anything. The goal of this deck is to gain a bunch of life, and then steal a win from real decks using either Aetherflux Reservoir or Felidar Guardian. And here is how you'll do that:


Shit-tier cards like Chaplain's Blessing become a blastyblast when you cast them multiple times from your Graveyard, thanks to Harness the Storm. Cathartic Reunion drops the first copy in for us, and helps us dig for combo pieces we need. Authority of the Consuls can gain us life, and is also a cheap answer for the inferior Combo Cat deck. Galvanic Bombardment ends up being a great removal spell, and with Harness the Storm, it can be a low-cost boardwipe.

You know, I don't even know what else to say about this. That list is poetry, and is a ringing endorsement for itself. You will more than likely never win a match, but by gawd you'll try. If you do accidentally win a game, be sure to comfort your opponent, because they'll probably feel quite bad after losing to this.

Again, duals swapped for basics will lower the price tag. Nothing else in the deck is all that moveable though, since it takes a specific set of jank to get something like this rolling.

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That's it for today, folks! Don't worry, the Heavy Salami Horrible Stuff workshop is always tinkering away to make nonsensical budget decks, and we'll be sure to share them with you as they roll out. There is just an absurd stock of goofy cards in Standard right now, and I think brewers are going to have a fun time in this format.

Like watching brews in action? Oh boy, you came to the right place. Heavy Salami has recently obtained the equipment to start doing some recording, and we now have our very own Twitch channel! Click on these words to be dropped off there. Tonight at ~7 PM EST we'll be streaming a few games from Stadium Cards and Comics, if you'd like to check it out. (Time may fluctuate a bit due to work duties. Follow us on Twitter for updates.) We are hoping to start up a weekly stream of our local stores' Standard events, along with other fun such as Magic Duels, deck techs/tests, and general buffoonery. We'd love for you to join us!

Thank for reading, everyone. We hope one of these decks calls out to you and gets you many weird stares. Keep on brewin', dudes and ladydudes.

Did you enjoy this slice of Heavy Salami? Have your own budget deck you'd like to share? Want some of our new stickers, tokens, or other meat-themed swag? Let us know! You can drop a comment below, or send us a message using the form off to the right. As always, you can also reach us on Twitter @Heavy_Salami.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Revolt Tower Wednesday

Don't be a sheeple and conform to consulate standards. Revolt!

Well it's been a long time since we've had a Wizard's Tower Wednesday and since we have a new set that we haven't talked about, it is way past time we tell you what great cards to now add to your Wizard's Tower. Also I'm sure you'll read this on Thursday since it's being posted late but just know it was Wednesday when it was written so it still counts. Aether Revolt was a super fun set to play both in pre-release and in the Star City Games Open in Columbus. It has provided a lot of good cards and a lot of not so good cards that could find a loving home in your tower.

Some of you may be returning readers (all 4 of you) and if so skip on down to the "card analysis" and see what cards you may have pulled that could be good for this format. For those of you who have managed to misclick your way here, and aren't sure what Wizard's Tower is check out our first article that goes into detail about the format and gives you some starting ideas on what to put in your initial tower. If you are really lost and don't know what Magic the Gathering is, then you are beyond helping. Or I guess you could just google it and come back here if it piques your interest...


Turns out the secret to a second life is a second set of hands
Everytime I think I'm going to build a new deck archetype Wizard's decides to print something like this and I just want to try Black/White lifegain again. This card seems super fun but will be really hard to work into a standard deck effectively. All anyone has to do is kill this before killing you and you still lose. This is still a problem in Wizard's Tower but there will be less focused removal so you'll be more likely to go back to your starting life total. If you've ever wanted to double the time it takes to play a game of Wizard's Tower then this card is perfect. It's also a 5/5 flyer and although it's a little expensive you can still do some damage with it. It will definitely be a fun card to add to your tower.


Better than a hidden sock pile *badum tss*
This card also seems like a lot of fun because there are always permanents leaving the battlefield in this format. Between constant boardwipes and bounce spells and just general destruction and chaos this card will get you some value. You'll get a servo at the end of everyone of your end steps and if for some reason you won't get a servo naturally, you can just sacrifice a creature to scry and then get a servo anyways. This is a just a nice quaint enchantment that you can use as an almost infinite servo to scry machine if you play your cards right. Me? I never play my cards right and end up with 2 lands and no creatures on turn 12. "What do you do with all of your cards in hand?" Sire of Insanity.


Brought to you by the people who created Slap Chop and Shamwow
Hangarback Walker's younger brother with a little more siege equipment could find a lovely storage place in your Wizard's Tower. This card is nice and balanced for this format. Even late game it won't be unmanageable. And any time you have extra mana you can resupply your ballista to get ready for magical combat. The best part about this creature is that not matter what someone does to get rid of it, you can just remove all the +1/+1 counters in response and either kill some creature or send a message to whoever is trying to hurt your beautiful giant walking crossbow. This is a fun and balanced card that can only enhance your tower playing experience. The only thing that would be better is if you had a walking trebuchet.


I'm really not 100% sure what's happening here so it's hard to make a funny caption
Any sort of removal will always be good in Wizard's Tower, but removal like this will be better. Your opponent may have a giant threat on board that you need to deal with but what things will they get as a replacement? Will they get better or worse things? Do you use this on your own shitty creature to try and luck into a better one? How long is cheese good for after being left out and should I have eaten it? I won't call this a boardwipe because it isn't, but it gives you a lot of freedom to change the board to your liking. You can get rid of multiple threats at the cost of potential different threats, but you can just deal with that when those happen. I'll tell you right now that you should always play this card but it will never work out in your favor.


Ajani hates nets because as a young cub he got caught in a paper bag once and almost died

If you want to break up your friend group but aren't sure how to do so, just throw this card into your Wizard's Tower. When that moment finally comes where someone draws a boardwipe and is ready to clear the board and start anew, you just bust out this bad boy and ruin all friendships. Not only are will your creatures not die, but they also won't be able to target them with anything after. It's a good card but it's not over powered, it will just sway the game in favor of whoever played it. That's ok though, because sometimes you need that in order to wrap a game up anyways. If you have this in your deck, just always have a counterspell ready. Or even better use Insidious Will to just copy this and keep all of your creatures alive as well.

I remember from Literature class the first sentence of your final paragraph is supposed to restate all of your thoughts, so in conclusion: I like Wizard's Tower, I'm bad at Magic, bad cards make good Tower components, I like cereal but not 2 week old cheese, and above all, I am a Heavy Salami. I'd apologize for lack of content but sometimes we can't write about Magic because we have to go play Magic. We went to the Aether Revolt prerelease and then the weekend after was the Colombus Open sponsored by Star City Games. Rather than write stuff we built decks and did testing with them for the open. We obviously lost but we had a lot of fun. Now that Magic events have slowed down a bit expect more writing. Bye bye for now friends!





Already put Aether Revolt cards in your Tower? Get some sweet pulls during pre-release? Seen any good movies on Netflix lately? Send us a message or leave a comment and let us know. Also if you hate reading but like funny things feel free to follow us on twitter @Heavy_Salami where we say things in 140 characters or less. We also have a Twitch channel that we like to broadcast our Tuesday Night Standard games and do terrible commentary on it so check that out at twitch

Monday, January 09, 2017

Aether Revolt State of the Burn - Red

For anyone who missed it, we're doing commentary for our local store! Check it out on our Twitch channel by clicking these words. Or, for more info, here's the news post (Click here)

Dear diary: Spoilers were good to me today.
Hey there, my fellow burn players. It's Dan, and I'd like to try and bring you all some comforting words. Red ain't dead. Despite Standard becoming a Black Hawk Down situation with the loss of our beloved Copter, we will persevere. As some of you may have known, I've been dabbling in burn for a while now. Being a filthy MTG hipster, rather than do the regular old B/R Madness decks that have been running around in Standard, I went for a spell based deck. Is it correct? Probably not. Does it work? At FNM it sure does!

But Aether Revolt is out now. Copter is banned. Emma is banned. No more Reflecting. The game has changed. This set is lookin' tasty, and aggro/burn players everywhere have a lot to be happy about, despite losing one of the strongest aggro cards. Bans and new cards splashing into the pool are guaranteed to shake up the meta, so there's a good chance a new set of decks will emerge as top doggos of Standard. Is burn one of them?

In this article we're going to go over the available aggressive cards in the new set. Some are poised to be all stars, some may be one-ofs in the sideboard, but all give us more tools to try and boink our opponents in the head with. If you're looking to count to 20 as fast as possible, and think Grim Flayer and Spell Queller are stupid cards, join us, brother/sister.


The Red Menace

So I figured I'd start this up with the most obvious aggressive color - Red. Throughout Magic's history, Red has been the color of choice for speeding through games, and it has remained up near the top all the way to Aether Revolt. If you want to go fast, everyone says that Red is "Pretty schmexy."*

*Only I say this.

"Someone sabotaged our ship?! I better light it on fire, too." - Chandra, the Worst Engineer.
While not the best rate at three mana, Hungry Flames does a decent Searing Blood impression. It can take out a lot of the common threats in Standard, and nugs your opponent for a lil' bit as well.

I'd be surprised if this sees a ton of play, as three mana is quite a bit in a burn deck. However, a burn deck that can play a long game like the Fevered Visions deck could use this to keep the board clear while still pushing damage through.

This card makes me want to play through Skies of Arcadia again. That game was the best.
We'll get to Kari Zev herself in a second, but since we're better than the animals we'll start with the Expertise to keep things alphabetic. Team Heavy Salami isn't full of savages. Anyways, Kari's Expertise is a card with a lot going for it. "Threaten" style effects are always decent sideboard cards for aggressive decks. They get rid of a blocker while getting you another attacker, and this one does even more. Tacking on a free two-cost spell is spectacular in an aggro deck, where you want to deploy all of your cards as fast and efficiently as possible.

What good cards do we have to cast for two or less? Tons! For starters, oh I don't know, Kari Zev, Skyship Raider seems appropriate. Not to mention the tantalizing possibility of Incendiary Flow, Harnessed Lightning, Collective Brutality,  Veteran Motorist, or - well, there's a lot.

This seems like a spicy sideboard card, and depending on how creature-heavy the meta is, we could definitely see this played in the main.

Kaladesh has been a great block for Monkeys.
Besides being one of the sickest looking characters in the block, Kari Zev is a heck of a card. First Strike and Menace is a strange set of keywords, but they are surprisingly effective together, preventing an opponent from using a Servo or one-toughness critter to double block and kill Kari. Bringing in a legendary 2/1 attacking is massive - more damage is obviously good, but this gives decks a sure-shot way to activate the new Revolt mechanic as well. Ragavan has bananas to eat, so he dips at the end of combat.

Standard is full of powerful token makers like Gideon, Hanweir Garrison, and Sram's Expertise. We've also got a dope synergy card with Reckless Bushwhacker. Kari Zev fits perfectly into this suite, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see a R/W or Mardu Tokens deck pop up with Kari as a key player.

Body massage, who want's a body massage?
One of my favorite cards! Hooray! Shock, while a far cry from Lightning Bolt, has always been a passable spell. In limited we can all expect this to be an all-star, since cheap removal is always good, and the backup of a bit of reach to the face is a nice option to have. But does this little guy have what it takes to come into Constructed play this time around?

For a long time now, three toughness has been the name of the game. Spell Queller, Reflector Mage, Lambholt Pacifist, Smuggler's Copter (RIP), Sylvan Advocate, and an asston of other highly-played early game cards have that magical three for their butts. Not great news for good ol' Shock. More versatile removal like Harnessed Lightning or Unlicensed Disintegration are the Red weapons of choice.

However, the new Saheeli Rai + Felidank Cub combo is threatening Standard with a Splinter Twin-esque turn four deck. Shock is one of the best ways in the format to break up the combo in the early game. If they -2 on Saheeli to copy their cub, this leaves Saheeli at only one loyalty left. Since Shock can target a playa, it can be redirected to finish off Saheeli before they blink her and combo out. If you do have to play against this deck, be sure to keep Saheeli under five Loyalty so a Shock can take her out after a minus and they can't get wild.

The verdict? Shock looks great! At the very least, it will be an impactful sideboard card. It's able to take out several early cards that have seen play - Servant of the Conduit, an Un-pumped Grim Flayer, and several different one drops. The added bonuses of breaking up the Saheeli combo and being able to damage a player are just gravy. And if a mono-Red aggro deck surfaces, and if I have any say in this, it will, then I would expect Shock to make the main deck.

Wranglin' varmint! Just like back on the homestead!
Though I think Kari Zev's Expertise is generally stronger, Wrangle is another card worth looking at. It can only grab dudes with four or less power, but at only two mana, this is excellent to get rid of an early blocker and put through more pain. Not to mention there's even a new sacrifice outlet, Yahenni, just in case you're more into gobbling creatures than giving them back.

Again, this seems mostly to be a sideboard card, and Expertise looks better overall. But if you're looking to play very low to the ground, saving a mana may be worth it for you.

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We've got some zesty ones this time around. Red is lookin' hot, and I would expect the color to remain competitive. Prepare your Thermo-Alchemists and Fiery Tempers, because Standard might be heating up, even without our helicopter gunship support.

"DAN WAIT. What if I want to be aggressive with other colors?" Then you're a stupid idiot. Jk, don't worry, there's plenty for you too! Black and White got some spooky new aggressive tools, and even Blue and Green have some strong early-game cards. Keep an eye out here for a follow up article in which I'll cover the other four clearly inferior colors, in case you want to be a dirty mudblood and muddle the purity of your burn deck. Until then, happy trails, friends!

Did I miss one? Think one of these guys is actually cardboard garbage and doesn't even deserve to be considered? Share the knowledge, mang. Drop a comment below, or send a message using the form off to the right. You can also tweet opinions/vitrol at us on Twitter @Heavy_Salami!