Tag Archives: faeries

$5k Standard Tourney — G/W Tokens Report and 3 Lessons

August 7th through August 9th, Superstars Game Center hosted a $5k Standard event. Friday the 7th was an early bird, main flights on Saturday and then the official day 2 on Sunday.

(If you’re looking for my 3 main take-aways, those are at the very bottom of this report).

I played in the Early Bird flight on Friday as well as the main flight Saturday morning.

My Friday decklist consisted of the following:


You’ll notice a few differences first off:
Lack of Sable Stags and a Sunpetal Grove. This was simply a matter of accessibility.

Generally speaking, the difference between a number of G/W decks I’ve seen, there are no mana producers included in the deck. The turn 3 w-w-w for Spectral Procession is great but after careful consideration, I considered the mana producers a dead card after turn 3. This deck archetype really needs to focus on putting out the beats and in a big way. So far as the Nobel Heirarch, the exalted ability is not that great of a factor since I’ll typically be attacking with more than one creature–in fact, as the name tokens implies, I want a bunch of them out there. :)

The turn 3 slot lightens up a bit with Glorious Anthem dropping from standard with the release of M-10. Honor of the Pure easily takes Anthem’s place in this deck.

The G/W tokens builds presented here also have a pretty big curve, from 1 to “7″–counting Martial Coup as a 7cc spell. However, mana-cost for mana-cost, the creatures and threats presented by this deck are extremely efficient. Rather than just one creature that demands spot removal (Cloudgoat Ranger), G/W Tokens can run Captain of the Watch. Even with the removal of the “main creature” (Ranger & Captain), the board still has a bunch of token creatures. With 4x Honor of the Pure, I’m hard pressed to find a game in my notes where it wasn’t a deciding factor–meaning, I had it in play.

The deck also runs 4 planeswalkers, 2x Ajani Goldmane and 2x Elspeth, Knight Errant. If I were to play in the tournament again tomorrow, I would switch it to 4x Ajani. From all the matches played, Elspeth’s ability is slightly under-powered & anti-synergistic for this particular build, whereas Ajani’s ability to give all my creatures vigilance and +1/+1 is ridiculously powerful.

Day 1 I ran 2x Knight of the Meadowgrain, and on Day 2 I ran 2x [card]Gaddock Teeg[card]. There was quite a bit of discussion over these two cards Saturday morning. Despite finally deciding to run Teeg main and K.o.t.M. SB, I do think that the Knight is better for game one’s. Essentially my rational for this comes down to the fact that if I need Teeg against an opponent, I want 4x which I can do at SB anyway. Contrast that to “blindfolded,” I’d rather have a 2/2 first strike, lifelink–which can easily become a 3/3.

There’s also the 2x Harm’s Way with an additional 1x in SB; I believe this card is extremely important. It seems like such a simple spell but the flexibility in it’s execution cannot go under-stated.

I’d like to thank Pedro for helping me come to the realization of how important and how much I need to run Harm’s way and Knight of the Meadowgrain. :)

With all the deck details out of the way, here’s a quick review of all the matches, etc.

Rnd 1: Fairies
Game one he wins on the back of a Bitterblossom, Spellstutter Sprite, Broken Ambitions, Vendillion Clique, and[card]Mistblind Clique[card]. Surprise surprise! ;-)
In came the Stags and Gaddock Teeg, out went Martial Coups and Elspeth.
Not much in my notes but I won the next two games. :) Game 2 handidly with him taking huge hits and me ending at 20. Game 3 there was a minor race but I had the faster/bigger beats with him going from 12 to zero.
Rnd 2: R/B Aggro Can Win
His start was a bit slow this game and was fairly uneventful ending with me at 22 and him going from 6 to 0. Game 2 I make a critical mistake and mistap my land (Sunpetal Grove into Windbrisk Heigtts–Sunpetal was my only white source and I had 3 or 4 forests in play!!). Had I had the white open, I could have used a Harm’s Way to take my opponent from 3 to 1 and then had the open alpha on the backswing. Dang! Game 3 he wins with me having a slower start and taking fast early beats from mounting in intensity to my demise.
The loss here is a bit sad because it resulted in me being randomly paired with LSV next match. doh!
Rnd 3: vs. LSV piloting 5cc (list here)
His build features Baneslayer Angel at 3x. Game 2 I was able to use Path on one, but he proceeded to drop another two and then add in the Cruel Ultimatum just for the heck of it. lol. Good times playing with Luis and getting to chat with him a bit. It’s not easy to get attention or one-on-one time with a pro. Funny highlights: Game 1 his lifetotal ending at 46–that includes a bunch of beats from a Baneslayer and a Cruel Ultimatum. Game 2, he “only” got to 24 life. Fun times!
Rnd 4: Jund Agrro
Game 1 I established an early Honor of the Pure and a Finks. He did drop an early Putrid Leech which after two activations was Exiled via the Path. I dropped token generating creatures and smashed face. Game 2 I dropped an early Finks again matched by a Leech. The life swing was too much, especially after I dropped a second Finks. With an Honor out, I was hitting for 8 per turn. Ouch.

With my record at 2-2, I was already out of the contention for the 8 slots open for Day 2 (Sunday, top-32 single elim). I decided to drop from the tournament. I wanted to discuss decks with a friend who just qualified by going 4-0 (and could Intentionally Draw the next two rounds). I also wanted to watch another round of LSV playing and then head home a bit earlier (11:30pm) to hit the sack for an early start Saturday morning.

Day 2: (entering this Sable Stag less. :( )
Rnd 1: Like the day before, Rnd 1 is matched against a Fairies deck
I lose game 1. Game 2, I drop beats quickly and sweep. Game 3 a similar occurrence. Gaddock Teeg was a champ both games.

Rnd 2: G/W Little Kid (not tokens)
First off, I start the round with a game loss. Because I was sitting around yammering and debating away about my build (ie Gaddock Teeg vs Knight of the Meadowgrain as 2x MD), I was rushing when I filled out my deck registration. What’s funny is that the decklist started off with full names, such as Ajani Goldmade and Elspeth, Knight Errant but the judges announced they were taking lists as I was filling it out. Apparently when I reached Windbrisk Heights, I was so pre-occupied with finishing the list, I only wrote “Windbrisk.” Oops.
Anyway, I take the loss in stride and win the next two games in a row.
One was pretty close with me only at 6, and I taking him down to 0 from 12 (Game 2).

Rnd 3: Jund Aggro
Game 1, I mulled to 6 on the Play. He quickly goes from 20 to 14 to 5 to 0. I ended at 13. Game 2, he establishes an early board position and smashes me down from 15 to 8 to 4 to zero. In Game 3, unfortunately, the high land count (25) came to haunt me as a drew 6 lands in a row. Any card other than Honor of the Pure or a land would have won me the match as he was only beating in with a lone Putrid Leech.

Rnd 4: Merfolk
On the Play I have a fairly good 7. The game is extremely close but Wake Thrasher proved superior to my army taking me from 9 to zero. Game 2, he has an extremely good draw with a number of counters and the right merfolk to quickly end the match.
2-2-0 doh. i have to undefeated from here out to q’ for the next day

Rnd 5: Merfolk
This round I start off with a game loss for being a bit late. (Was grabbing a bite to eat and ended up being about 30 seconds late–enough for a game loss. doh!!!)
Despite the handicap, I won both games quickly. There was a bit of a Cryptic Command action game 2 (officially game 3) that was doing a good job of stalling the ground forces of a casted honor of the pure into a sepectral procession into a Captain of the Watch. He simply didn’t have enough outs and I had great, great draws both games.

Rnd 6: Fairies
The only really intersting event occured in game three. Unfortunately for my opponent he had to mulligan to 5. He drops a turn 2 Bitterblossom so I was prepared for an uphill battle. He drops a second Bitterblossom on turn 4 or 5. By this point though, I’ve been able to captialize on his hand-size disadvantage, including the lack of counters that could have potentially stopped an onslaught from a Knight of the Meadowgrain. In the end, I’m pretty sure the double Bitterblossom is what killed him.
4-2-0 (Just one more round to go for qualification!)

Rnd 7: R/B Aggro (with Demigod of Revenge)
First game I was able to get 9 pnts of damage in one swing but he was able to keep the beats coming faster, including the casting of his Demigod.
Game 2 featured my second blunder of the day. I dropped a turn 2 Knight of the Meadowgrain. On my turn 3 (eot actually) he casts Lightening Bold targeting my Knight. I not only had mana open but I had the Harm’s Way in hand (would have targeted him). As the match played out, I’m convinced this mistake cost me the match, somewhat reinforced by the fact that he ended the match at 1 life and me drawing 3 lands in a row. :(
End of my chances at the $5k Superstars had open.

Three Simple Take-aways

  • Play Harm’s Way carefully.
  • Pay attention to board position, mana accessibility and deck registration.
  • Last but certainly not least: Be on time.

Regionals: Reflections

Well, after a rather grueling set of computer science exams I’m back and ready to talk Magic. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Regionals were last weekend and I’ve got some stories to share.

We left Edmonton at 6 in the morning on the 16th, and got into Calgary at 9:30, with plenty of time to tweak my decklist. I met two other players, both named David, and we chatted about our decks and the expected metagame. Between the three of us we had a black-white tokens player, a Blightning player, and a Faeries player (myself), and I leant out a few Reflecting Pools and Windbrisk Heights to the tokens deck because I wasn’t using them. All I had to hope was that those cards didn’t end up across the table from me.

After decklists were collected and all the participants were given either a promo Hellspark Elemental or a Path to Exile, the tournament was ready to begin.

Here’s the deck I ended up using:


Round 1: Maes
A first-turn Aunties Hovel elicited a groan from myself as I prepared to face what was probably one of the decks worst matchups, the Blightning Deck. The fact that I didn’t draw a Bitterblossom the whole game was a blessing in disguise, because I was able to survive his barrage of burn spells and efficient creatures. Vendilion Clique was the MVP of the game, with it both sucking up a burn spell and taking out a Flame Javelin from his hand when it came down. Eventually, my cliques (both Vendilion and Mistbind) just got there and pulled out the victory, with me hanging on at a single point of life.

In game two I was able to capitalize on the presence of Vendilion Clique into a turn 4 Mistbind Clique to keep up the pressure on Maes’ crew of red beaters. The game ended up being decided by him playing a Thought Hemorrhage to make me discard a Loxodon Warhammer, instead of playing a Flame Javelin on my Mistbind Clique. With him at 6, he forgot to realize that I had a Faerie Conclave that would deal exactly enough to push his life total to zero.


Round 2: Taylor
Taylor is a prominent online personality on the Alberta Magic forums, viewable at www.sc2gg.com/magic, and this was the first time I had played a constructed match against him. After winning round 1 against Blightning, I was hoping that that would be the only red-black deck I would see for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, that was not to be, as Taylor used a first-turn Aunties Hovel to put a Mogg Fanatic into play. When I managed to Vendilion Clique him, I saw a hand full of cards like Hellspark Elemental, Anathemancer, and Demigod of Revenge. Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed and started to shuffle up for the second game.

Taylor hit a bit of a land flood in the beginning of the game, which I capitalized on. By Cliquing him out of his best cards and keeping up the pressure, I was able to win with 11 life remaining. However, I did see that Taylor had sideboarded in Banefire, which promised to be difficult to deal with.

In the third game, Taylor and I traded blows for a while, but he was able to land a set of two Anathemancers, which took me down to a sparse 3 life, and he had one ready to unearth. Then I made my second biggest mistake of the tournament. With both the mana open and a Cryptic Command in my hand, I foolishly said “OK” when Taylor asked me if his intentions to attack were valid. Rather than tapping down his creatures and coming back to win with a Faerie Conclave that I had in play, I had no option but to bounce one of his attackers and chump the other with my man-land. Drawing no answers to the Anathemancer in his graveyard, I passed the turn and promptly lost.


Round 3: Chuck
Chuck, it turns out was playing Twinsanity, a deck that uses Sanity Grinding and Twincast to mill the opponent. Fortunately, this deck is one of Faeries’ best matchups, and I was able to simply use Bitterblossom and an array of counterspells to stop his deck in its tracks, and game 2 was very much the same.


Round 4: Lane
Lane is one of the better players at Wizard’s Comics in Edmonton, and he had also made the trip down to Calgary to play in the tournament. I knew he was playing either Black-White Tokens or Bant, based on what I had seem him testing at FNM, and it turned out to be the former. Unfortunately, a pilot as strong as Lane combined with a deck like his turned out to be quite an obstacle for me, a slightly above-average player with a deck that had only a 35-65 matchup pre-board.

I landed a turn two Bitterblossom, but Lane had the ever-present Zealous Persecution, as well as Tidehollow Sculler and Kitchen Finks to bolster his side of the board. I managed to keep Glorious Anthem out of his hand with Vendilion Clique and Thoughtseize, but a timely Cloudgoat Ranger and Ajani Gomdmane spelt defeat for my Faeries.

I brought in the big guns out of the sideboard for game two, including 3 Infest, 2 Evacuation, and two more Thoughtseize in the hopes of making it harder for the tokens deck to stabilize. Alas it was not to be, as my Evacuation only delayed the inevtable as a double Bitterblossom for Lane proved to overwhelm me, while he gained life from Kitchen Finks.


Round 5: Ian
Ian was playing Jund Ramp, a deck that I hadn’t tested against. All that I needed in the first game was a Scion of Oona, a Spellstutter Sprite, and a Loxodon Warhammer for me to end the game at 30 life.

Out of the board came Sower of Temptation, as Faeries can often not handle Chameleon Colossus, as well as Thoughtseizes to strip him of any potential threats, However, he had a fast start witch Kitchen Finks and Chameleon Colossus, and none of the cards I drew were of any major consequence.

In the third game, I resolved an early Bitterblossom which basically won the game single-handedly, although a late Mistbind Clique was able to ensure that the game was mine. The hand disruption that I had (7 slots total) was more than worth it to ensure that the likes of Chameleon Colossus and Broodmate Dragon never saw play.


Round 6: David
Believe it or not, this was not one of the two David’s that I hung out with before the tournament. This was actually a guy I had played at FNM the week before, and had lost to with a worse version of the same deck. He was also playing the same deck, and the match started off much the same as it had a week prior. I was able to take the first game easily, only having to play carefully around a Qasali Pridemage.

I knew from the previous week that David would have Scattershot Archers in the board, so I brought in Infests to kill them. Sure enough, David played the Faerie-killer on turn one, and was able to back it up with a second one. I didn’t see any Infests, and I lost to his perpetual onslaught of creatures.

Game 3 was a lucky one. When David tried to cast his archers on turn 3, I had Spellstutter Sprite. David then played a Path to Exile, in hopes of being able to resolve the Scattershot, but I animated my Mutavault by tapping itself to ensure the counter resolved, and I was able to fetch another land. The next turn I resolved a Mistbind Clique on his upkeep, and believe it or not, did the same thing 3 turns in a row, effectively Time Walking the deck that had no answers. Sure enough, my 4/4 fliers came in and won me the game.


Round 7: Lorenzo
Lorenzo is the brother of Marcel, an Edmonton player who has played on the Pro Tour. He’s almost as good as his brother, and I was happy to see the 5-colour control sitting across the table from me, as the matchup is generally slanted in Faeries favour, although the presence of Volcanic Fallout is something to be worried about.

In the first round, I countered all of Lorenzo’s spells and resolved a Mistbind Clique during his upkeep, and Bitterblossom was able to seal the deal.

In game 2, I made the worst mistake of the tournament. I kept a hand consisting of Underground River, double Bitterblossom, Mistbind Clique and triple Cryptic Command, thinking that if I didn’t draw a land I could always come back in the third game. A foolish mistake, to be sure and I didn’t draw another land for two turns on the draw, and promptly lost the game. The final nail in the coffin was Lorenzo casting Thought Hemorrhage, naming Cryptic Command without any prior information and stripped my hand, dealing 9 points to my head and eliminating my most powerful spells from the game. I blame this loss on myself 100%, as I got greedy.

In game 3, I got hit with multiple Anathemancers and Lorenzo was able to resolve a second Wall of Reverence after I Thoughtseized one of them. Anything I tried to play was countered by the likes of Broken Ambitions and Cryptic Command.

Overall Record: 4-3

Well, I was happy with my decks performance. If I could re-do it again, I would have tried to make better plays, but for my first large-scale constructed tournament, I am satisfied. My tiebreakers gave me a 23rd place finish out of 96 original entrants, although I was just out of the prizes.

High Points of the tournament:
-Meeting both Davids who showed up at 9:30 with a twelve pack of Coke which he shared
-Getting 3 packs from one David’s prizes because I lent him cards
-Meeting Sean, another member of Power 9 Pro, and seeing him qualify for nationals

Low Points of the tournaments:
-Getting Thought Hemorrhaged for 3 Cryptics and 9 damage
-Not making top 8

All in all, it was a great tournament, and the top eight decks can be found here. I may or may not be going to Grand Prix Seattle, but If I do, be sure to come and say hi, the bright orange shirts are hard to miss.

The New Faeries Archetype – UWb (Part 2)

Hello again, and welcome to part 2 of my look at a new blue-white-black faeries deck. For those of you who forgot, or are brand new to the site, this is the deck we developed last time.

UWb Faeries: 61 Cards

Sideboard: 15 Cards

The day after I built this deck, I took it to a Standard FNM to see how it played. So without further ado, let me delve into the coverage.

Round 1 vs Matt Tang (Turbo Fog)

Matt Tang is one of those guys that makes playing competitive Magic a blast. You may recognize him as a certain angel from this last Halloween, and yes, I was Mishra that day.

At least once every few months, Matt likes to bring Turbo Fog to the table, and although it can get annoying, it’s fun, and he has come up with some great twists on this classic deck.

I lose the die roll and Matt opts to play first, leading off with a Seaside Citadel. Keep in mind that I didn’t know what he was playing, but I guessed a Bant aggro deck. I matched his tri-land with one of my own, and we exchanged land drops for a few turns, namely a mutavault for me and a wooded bastion and plains for Matt.

I made the first play of the game on turn 3, when I resolved a Jace Beleren, whose loyalty went to 2 to net me an extra card. Matt responded in turn with a Plains and an Oblivion Ring to stop my blue planeswalker from netting me any extra cards. We played lands for another turn until I was able to animate my Mutavault and champion it in favour of a Mistbind Clique during Matt’s upkeep. He made a plains and said go, so I promptly swung in with my 4/4. He tapped his plains for a Giorno Sacro, or for the non-Italian speakers, Holy Day. Fortunately I had a Spellstutter Sprite who was able to ensure that my clique was able to connect.

The next turn was much the same, except with a Scion of Oona on my board, yet again came down the Holy Day, going uncountered this time. Matt made a Mistveil Plains and then shipped the turn off to me. I declared my attackers, but was met with yet another Gioro Sacro, which I attempted to Cryptic Command. Unfortunately, he had a Pollen Lullaby waiting in the wings, which showed me a Bitterblossom on top of my deck.

Matt made a Vivid land on his turn and resolve a blue Story Circle. I responded afterwards with the Bitterblossom that has been sitting on top of my deck. Matt passed his turn and I discarded Jace in favour of keeping Vendilion Clique mana up, which i used after his draw step to see nothing in particular worth taking.

On my next turn, I bounced his Story Circle with my Cryptic Command and swung in with my faerie rogues (forgetting I could now attack freely with my blue creatures). The life totals were now 18-14 in my favour.

Matt laid down his Story Circle next turn, again naming blue. His Angelsong put a stop to my tokens and it was promptly replaced on the bottom of hid library with Mistveil Plains.

At the end of Matt’s last turn, I bounced his Story Circle with a Cryptic Command, and swung in for 6 points of damage. Lo and behold, an Angelsong was Matt’s Fog variant of choice and I promptly resolved yet another Cryptic Command to ensure my team go through.

After Matt laid his Story Circle down, I played a Scion of Oona in the hopes of pumping my faerie tokes for lethal, which was met by Path to Exile. I had the Lapse of Certainty to back it up, but it was to no avail as a second Path brought the Scion down. At this point, I remembered my Mutavault, promptly animated it, and swung in for lethal anyway.


I boarded out my 2 Mark of Asylums and my Path to Exiles, in favour of Thoughtsiezes and Countersqualls to get rid of most of his Fog effects before they had a chance to work their magic.

Matt led with a Vivid Meadow, which I matched with an Arcane Sanctum. Out came a Wooded Bastion and a Scattershot Archer, and I groaned at having boarded out my Mark of Asylums. On my turn I played a Reflecting Pool into a Thoughtsieze, which, much to my dismay, revealed a hand of Font of Mythos, Wrath of God, Wooded Bastion, Firespout and Path to Exile. It seemed that Matt’s entire sideboard had been in preparation for this matchup. I took the Firespout, and went down to 18.

Matt made a blue Story Circle and passed the turn. I made a land and passed, which opened me up to another shot by the archers. Matt tried to make a Font of Mythos, which was promptly countered by a Countersquall.

I played a Mutavault next turn, and Matt went on the offensive. He attacked into my Mutavault, which was promptly hit with Path to Exile, yet saved by a timely Countersquall. Another Thoughtsieze on my turn took out a Howling Mine, and a Vendilion Clique met a hand of naught but land.

Matt later tried to make a Scattershot Archer, I sent it to the top of his deck with a Lapse of Certainty, although another one quickly came down to take its place. His next turn Scattershot was met with a Cryptic Command, and a Runed Halo was stopped with a Countersquall. I was gradually starting to win the war of attrition.

Unfortunately, here’s where the misplays started. Between me playing a Scion of Oona to save my Vendilion Clique from getting hit with Path to Exile, but I forgot that Scattershot Archer would not only kill the Scion afterwards, but all my other Faeries as well. Playing a Bitterblossom didn’t help matters, at least until I could champion it for a Mistbind Clique. The next few turns were easy, and I was able to secure a 2-0 victory.

1 Win – 0 Losses.

Round 1 vs Jason (Esper)

The first play of round 2 was an Ethersworn Canonist, which remained the only relevant permanent on the board for a few turns. My Vendilion Clique came down, but it was bested by an Ethersworn Adjudicator. A Path To Exile was not enough to stop his Esper army, which gained a Master of Etherium and a Master Transmuter.


I brought out my Mark of Asylums in favour of Jace and another Lapse of Certainty and shuffled up for game two, playing first. I unfortunately kept a 5 card hand with an Arcane Sanctum as my only land. Two missed land drops later left me with a Bitterblossom, yet nothing else to defend me from a Master of Etherium, pumped by multiple Mind stones. Any more of my cards I tried to resolve were countered by the likes of Countersquall and Broken Ambitions, and I conceded shortly after.

1 Win – 1 Loss.

Round 3 vs Craig (Sigil of the Empty Throne.dec)

We both traded lands for a while, and then I was able to resolve a Vendilion Clique, nabbing a Sigil out of his hand, albeit leaving a second one behind. He played a Prison Term to halt my Clique’s attacks, and it wasn’t until my 5th turn that either of us found an land and another card to play, in my Jace Beleren, althought it was met with a Broken Ambitions.

Craig tried to resolve a Wall of Reverence, but I countered it with a Cryptic Command. Without another source of land, he began to discard cards. when he got the land he needed, I was ready for his spells with an assortment of Mutavaults and Spellstutter Sprites.

When Craig attempted to accelerate his mana with a Mind Stone, I dropped a Spellstutter Sprite, and a Sage’s Dousing tried to stop it. Luckily there was another Sprite waiting in the wings to counter the Mind Stone before it resolved.

I was able to resolve a Vendilion Clique after Craig took his draw, but it was promptly hit by Pacifism. On my turn however, I bounced his Pacifism with a Cryptic Command, and by animating a Mutavault, I swung in for lethal.


In game 2, we traded lands for a few turns until Craig made an Augury Adept, which was met by my Bitterblossom. He was able to resolve a Mind Stone, and when he tried to pacify a token, I had Scion of Oona for backup.

The next turn meant a Jace Beleren for myself, and a Wall of Reverence for Craig, although it was countered by a Spellstutter Sprite. After a Vendilion Clique revealing a hand full of land and a Cryptic Command to bounce one of his land, he quickly conceded.

2 Wins – 1 Loss

Well, for a player who had never played any type of Faeries deck before, I thought I did relatively well. With my only loss to some mana screw against an Esper deck, I was happy with my performance, and was awarded with second place.

Do you guys remember Matt and his Turbo Fog deck from round 1? Well, in round 3 he was paired up against Matt the store owner, who was piloting a mono-white weenie deck. After the round was up, there was an interesting board position to look at.

Yes, there are 7 Oblivion Rings on the table, many of them affecting each other.

Yes, there are 7 Oblivion Rings on the table, many of them affecting each other.

On a parting note, in the wake of Pro Tour Kyoto, I would like to talk about the matchups this deck has with the ever-present red-white deck affectionately known as Cruise or Boat Brew.

When facing down the Cruise deck, tempo is everything. Playing as many cards like Lapse of Certainty and Mistbind Clique are crucial to coming out on top. Save your Cryptic Commands for the big threats like Cloudgoat Ranger, Siege-Gang Commander and Spectral Procession. In addtion, playing your Vendilion Cliques during combat to serve as a kill spell against threats like a 2/2 Figure of Destiny or a Reveillark.

You’ll obviously want to bring in Celestial Purges for games 2 and 3, in addition to Marks of Asylum to reduce the power of Ajani Vengeant and Siege-Gang Commander. The extra lapses will also help you here, and Bitterblossom is great in a war of attrition.

With the right sideboard choices, and some tactical playing, this Faeries deck can have an extremely solid matchup against one of the most popular decks in the format, the red-white Cruise deck.

This is getting long, so I’ll say goodbye for now!

The New Faeries Archetype – UWb (Part 1)

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first article here on the Power 9 Pro website. My name is Zak, and I hope that I’ll be here for quite a long time. If you’d like a bit more info on me, feel free to click on over to my bio.

The Faeries archetype is one that has dominated the last year of Standard play, and these powerful winged creatures have even gone so far as to make a splash in Extended as well. Unfortunately for those who favour the Faerie tribe, Wizards has made a very blatant attempt at fixing the power level of the Faerie deck with new spells like Volcanic Fallout and Scattershot Archer.

The reason that these two cards present a threat to the current Faerie strategy is simply because they are uncounterable. Between Cryptic Commands, Broken Ambitions‘, and other counterspells like Remove Soul and Negate, a large portion of any faeries build is sunk into a suite of counterspells. While Scattershot Archers can be countered, it’s coming down in the early game cannot. Aside from a lucky removal spell, a turn one or two Scattershot archers is enough to significantly halt the progress of the Faerie deck. Between spellstutter sprites, vendilion cliques, scions of oona and the ever-present faerie rogue tokens courtesy of bitterblossom, a resolved archers can make it near impossible to mount an offense.

The answer to both of these threats started as a joke at my local store. The store owner said that faerie decks will have to start playing white to allow for Mark of Asylum. Believe it or not, this enchantment effectively hoses the two new Conflux threats, in addition to giving the fae a stronger matchup against any sort of red deck wins variant. So, I promptly ordered a playset off eBay, and when they arrived I started to design what would hopefully become the new faeries deck.

The first thing I needed to do was to create the skeletal framework for the deck; the cards that are auto-includes. In short, that’s almost all of the blue spells.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll know that the faeries deck must absolutely have a playset of cryptic commands at its disposal. The sheer versatility of this card makes it invaluable to the Faerie archetype.

On the cheaper end of the counterspell spectrum we have Spellstutter Sprite, a card that works wonders in the early game to prevent your opponent from coming out at full force, in addition to giving you a 1/1 flier. Again an auto four-of, Spellstutter Sprite is too good to pass up.

The big beater of the faerie deck has always been Mistbind Clique. Traditionally cast on the opponent’s upkeep, the Clique allows you to basically Orims Chant (sans kicker) your opponent, while giving you a 4/4 flier to beat in with. The champion ability is a great way to hide a Bitterblossom that’s coming close to killing you, or abuse the comes-into-play abilities of something akin to Vendilion Clique.

The last card that needs no questioning as to its place in this deck is the Morningtide enchantment Bitterblossom. Making Faerie Rogues each turn is a powerful effect that is basically the reason that Faeries survived in Standard as long as it did. Unfortunately, I only have 3 of these cards, so that was what I built the deck with. If any of you are building this deck at home, I strongly recommend a full playset of Blossoms, you won’t be disappointed.

Now the time has come to build outwards from our basic Faerie deck. I designed this deck to be a very control-oriented build that offers lots of ways to halt the opponent in their tracks. Fresh out of Conflux come some of the best white control cards for this deck, including the card that put the thought of a white faeries deck in my mind, Mark of Asylum.

After numerous deliberations and metagame choices, I decided to play two of the marks mainboard. These allow for a jump start against decks like blightning and five colour control that maindeck Volcanic Fallout. These slots are very much dependent on the metagame, and I was expecting a lot of red decks to try and outpace me in game 1 with Volcanic Fallouts and other burn.

The follow-up to the Mark of Asylum is Path to Exile, Hailed as the new Swords to Plowshares, Path can kill almost anything for a single mana. With less black in the deck than was run traditionally, a white kill spell is welcome, especially one with such a cheap mana cost.

Because this deck wants to control the opponent’s attempts at defending their life totals, Lapse of Certainty seems like a perfect fit. Not only does this card fill out our three-drop slot nicely, it can be close to a Time Walk when used early, and is almost always good for you to get a few more damage in without having to worry about your opponent drawing new spells.

Because the deck still needs some beatdown power, Scion of Oona and Vendilion Clique are great ways to bring up your team’s power level at the end of your opponents turn. In addition, playing Vendilion Clique after your opponent takes their draw for the turn, giving you a view of what’s to come in the following turns. Scion also makes your faeries largely resistant to spot removal spells, in addition to doubling the power of your bitterblossom tokens.

Due to last year’s rotation of Ancestral Vision out of the Standard environment, many faerie decks have adopted the blue planeswalker Jace Beleren as their card-drawing engine of choice, and over time, Jace proves to be an invaluable asset as a one-sided Howling Mine, and his +2 ability can keep him going for as long as your opponent fails to kill him.

To round out this deck’s suit of counterspells, I chose Broken Ambitions, as it stays relevant throughout the game, as long as you keep mana open. This is a great way to stop an opponent who taps out and overextends his board position, and the milling part is sheerly a bonus.

To finally round out the red-deck wins matchup, many faerie decks (including this one) choose to run a single Loxodon Warhammer to both gain life as well as beef up the faerie tokens our deck makes into more formidable attackers.

When developing the land base for this deck I began to lament the fact that I had not invested in a full set of filter lands. Due to this, my mana base was much more pain-intensive than I would have liked. However, basic things like Mutavaults and Reflecting Pools are still there, so it’s not bad at all, and the curve is quite smooth.

For the record, here’s the decklist that I built.

UWb Faeries: 61 Cards

You may question the 61 card deck size, but I didn’t feel comfortable cutting anything. However, keep in mind that zero testing had been done with this deck when I made it, so this was the list I decided to play at the FNM that night. However, there was still the matter of the sideboard that I had to attend to. It’s mostly intended to shore up the spots where a full playset of cards wouldn’t fit in the main deck, in addition to fixing up some of the decks weaknesses.

Sideboard: 15 Cards

The thoughtseizes are primarily for 5 colour control, whereas the lapses are for any deck that needs to resolve big threats like Siege-Gang Commander and Cruel Ultimatum. The Marks are obviously for Red decks and those that would play Scattershot Archer, while the purges take out various Jund decks and RW Cruise. The Countersqualls are there to help in the mirror match and against 5-colour control. The final Jace is just against slower decks so that we can draw into extra cards to pull out the win.

As I play this deck more, the sideboard will likely evolve. This was intended to help me modify the cards that were working well or not, as well as provide matchup-specific answers.

Because this article is getting long, I’m going to stop here. We’ve built the deck, and in the next part, I’ll talk about the FNM I took it to, as well as some in-depth match analysis.

See you next time!