Unified Team Standard at WMC 2017

by Lee Shi Tian on 01 December 2017, Friday

Lee Shi Tian

 

Unified Team Standard at WMC 2017

The World Magic Cup is always one the best experiences for me as a place to gather all players among the world in a single tournament. Unfortunately, this year I have to pass down the captaincy to my Hong Kong fellow Yam Wing Chun as it clashed with a close friend's wedding.

For some reason, I had three important weddings to within the period of October to December and all of them fell right on the weekend of a Premier Event. I decided I should keep my decisions consistent and skip all of them unless it is Pro Tour or World Championship. So this year I will be sitting out and watch the live coverage!


However, it doesn't mean I didn't research the format. I assisted Team Hong Kong in their playtesting both with Team Sealed and Unified Standard. Today, I would like to talk about my personal deck choices for Unified Standard.

Overall, the Standard format is not that complicated. We have 2 types of top decks as the anchor, followed by a White-Based deck as the third choice - since it is the only color left "untouched".

 



The Hazoret Deck

Ramunap Red is a clear choice for the Hazoret deck as it does not take up lots of nonbasic lands. All the other Hazoret decks like Mardu Vehicles or Black-Red Aggro require Aether Hub to support the mana base. While there is no way the Energy deck giving up Aether Hub, I have a bold guess we will see close to 100% of the team playing Ramunap Red in world magic cup.

 

Abrade Chandra, Torch of Defiance Glorybringer



Ramunap Red is also the most consistent Hazoret deck in the format. Tuning it to beat mirrors could be the way to go. Also, there should be less Temur Energy decks due to the clashing of Abrade, Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer. I believe the position of Ramunap Red is even better in the tournament.

 

 

The other option for the red deck would be Ben Stark's Desert Red at Grand Prix Atlanta. However, I am not a big fan of not playing 4 Hazoret in a Mono Red deck. However, here's the list for reference.

 

 

 

The Energy Deck

 



As I said before, Temur have the problem of clashing with Ramunap Red. I dislike the idea of playing a deck without 100% best choice of cards. Therefore I think Sultai Energy and Four-Color Energy is the best choice for the Energy deck.

 



Four-Color Energy is built to beat the midrange matchup. The greedy mana base is one of its weaknesses against Ramunap Red. However, the inclusion of Whirler Virtuoso does help the match up a bit when you draw the perfect mana.

On the other hand, Sultai has a better match up against Ramunap Red with a better mana base. Yet, Ramunap Red now could easily have more Glorybringer in their sideboard in expectatation of a higher number of Sultai in the tournament. Glorybringer is the card which beats Sultai in my experience. Having a reasonable sideboard against it could be the key for Sultai to success.

About energy mirror match, Four-Color Energy has a better set of card choices for playing the long game. Strong sideboards like turn 3 Nissa, Steward of Elements on the play could easily run over for either side.

I believe the choice between what deck to beat will be one of the key factor on choosing the energy deck.



The White Deck

The white deck is the wild card of the tournament. At the moment, I think there are two established decks can fit the slot.

 

 

 

Drake Haven Abandoned Sarcophagus

 

According to Corey Burkhart, he was beating Energy decks all weekend at Grand Prix Portland. This is definitely a good choice for a tournament you will have at least ⅓ chance facing an energy deck. The massive number of mass removals is certainly a good way to fight cards like Blossoming Defense.

 

God-Pharaoh's Gift Angel of Invention


White-Blue God-Pharaoh's Gift is a proactive deck choice for the slot. The raw power and consistency of the deck is a big selling point of the deck. It would not be rare to see all three decks being proactive decks.

 

Spell Pierce Negate


Another factor would be the split between Spell Pierce and Negate among this deck and the energy deck. The power of Spell Pierce depends on the length of the game. UW God-Pharaoh's Gift and Sultai Energy both have a shorter game compare to their alternatives.

White-Blue Cycling and Four-Color Energy tends to drag the game much longer and chance of Spell Pierce becoming a blank card is much higher. They will need Negate to cover the slow matchup. In that sense I think White-Blue Cycling and Four-Color Energy should not be played at the same time as Negate both plays a big part of their sideboard game plan. If the team chose Four-Color Energy as their second deck, the last deck should be White-Blue God-Pharaoh's Gift instead of White-Blue Cycling.

So this is my general idea flow for Team Unified Standard in World Magic Cup. Let's see if my prediction will be accurate. I will be at my home rooting Team Hong Kong and I believe you'll be supporting your own National Team too!

See you next week!

@leearson




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