KLD Standard Plans

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I wanted to apologize for that. I’ve been really excited about the new Standard (good bye, CoCo!) but haven’t had much time to play until this week outside of my LGS’s weekly Standard FNM. Here’s a brief rundown of my experience and plans so far.

During prerelease weekend I went to my store’s “big” tournament on Saturday (47 people, 6 rounds with a cut to Top 8) and went into Round 6 in 1st place with a lock on Top 8. My round 6 opponent didn’t want to intentionally draw, however, and I ended up playing out the match and suffering my first loss of the day. In the end I took 3rd/4th in the Top 8 which was good for another 11 or 12 packs of KLD in addition to having opened a Promo Nissa and a Combustible Gearhulk. During the prerelease I had opened a playable pool of RG Energy Beatdown cards and rode that to victory time and again. This led me to look into that strategy as a potential constructed deck. After some testing I didn’t like it, but work kept me so busy I didn’t actually plan what to bring to week 1 of KLD Standard.

I showed up to the first FNM of Kaladesh with a GW Tokens list that still had Origins/Dragons cards in it! 15 minutes before FNM started I was frantically unsleeving now-illegal cards and trying to find replacements. I ended up just jamming some still-legal sideboard cards into the mainboard and ran with it. I went 2-2. Having not prepared an adequate list I was nowhere near prepared to deal with Smuggler’s Copter and got truly wrecked by it (OGW Nissa does not love Smuggler’s Copter).

For week 2 I once again had plans to come up with a deck but showed up to FNM with about 30 minutes to go with no idea what to play. So I went with Mono-White Eldrazi (Eldrazi Displacer, Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, and friends). I crushed my first two rounds in 2 games each but then drew almost all lands for every other game that night. Once again I went 2-2. This time felt more like bad luck than just being unprepared. I honestly think the TKS -> Reality Smasher plan is still incredibly strong even in a Smuggler’s Copter world. But I’ll admit that the list had not been tested or tuned and likely needed some serious improvements.

This week I’ve actually had some time to test on X-Mage as well as take the time to build a list that I like. I’ve decided to buy into the Grixis Emerge hype (we’ll see if it lasts) and I traded for / bought the cards I needed to play the following list:

//Main
4 Aether Hub
4 Cathartic Reunion
2 Choked Estuary
4 Elder Deep-Fiend
2 Foreboding Ruins
4 Haunted Dead
4 Insolent Neonate
4 Island
2 Key to the City
3 Kozilek's Return
2 Minister of Inquiries
3 Mountain
4 Prized Amalgam
2 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Smuggler's Copter
3 Spirebluff Canal
2 Sunken Hollow
1 Swamp
2 Wretched Gryff

//Sideboard
SB: 3 Collective Brutality
SB: 3 Invasive Surgery
SB: 1 Kozilek's Return
SB: 2 Lightning Axe
SB: 2 Lost Legacy
SB: 2 Negate
SB: 2 Summary Dismissal

As you can see the list if mostly based off of the second place list from the recent SCG Open which was piloted by Zach Voss. I took some of Eric Froehlich’s advice from a Channel Fireball article about the deck and decreased the need for B mana to make the mana base more consistent. I’m not 100% sure I made the right choices, but it’s been feeling okay in testing so far. I am tempted to move the Lightning Axes to the mainboard and get rid of either a few Neonates or the Ministers because 6 one drops feels like too much and while they can still crew Copters I just want better things to draw later in the game. Also, in testing online, I’ve found a number of scenarios where I want just one removal spell to deal with a problematic creature (like an Eldrazi Displacer if the game goes long, or a Kalitas) and it might be nice to have those potential answers in Game 1.

That’s my plan for now, just thought I’d share it. I’m not sure how Grixis Emerge will do in the future meta game for this Standard but right now it’s feeling pretty sweet and the deck is really fun to play!

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