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The Long Forgotten Sons - Alec Collins (12/15/2013)

This is a really exciting time of year! The holidays are right around the corner, the weather is changing (in Florida we go from summer to less hot summer), and Standard is finally starting to calm down into a well-defined format. Players have found some of the best cards, the best interactions and synergies, and have put them in to winning decks. Generally you start to see fewer and rogue brews as the format fleshes out. So, what does this mean for us home brew folk? Well, it gives us a couple of real boogie men in the format to build against and, oh man, this Standard season has got some real good ones. Mono Black Devotion, G/R Devotion, Esper Control, and Boros Aggro seem to be the defining decks. All of them are extremely powerful decks. However, all of them also have very specific weaknesses that we can exploit. And how, dear reader, do I plan to exploit them? Well of course by calling on the Bind
Bind
BindSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
182
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Counter target activated ability. (Mana abilities can't be countered.)Draw a card.
er Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Duel Decks Divine vs. Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
s once again for some fringe cards from the past sets to help bring the top decks to their knees. After a few days of searching and testing, I believe I have found some old favorites to shake up the format a bit. Please join me in welcoming back to Standard play Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
, Sire of Insanity
Sire of Insanity
Sire of InsanitySet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of each end step, each player discards his or her hand.
, and Assemble the Legion
Assemble the Legion
Assemble the LegionSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a muster counter on Assemble the Legion. Then put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the battlefield for each muster counter on Assemble the Legion.
!

Now stop with the wild speculation. I am not saying we are going to play a four color deck with all of these cards (queue the sighs of disappointment). What I am saying is that these cards, when used in their own respective shells, can really decimate the top decks in the format right now. Let's take a look at each card and see how we might use them to beat down Standard.

We are going to start with one of my favorite cards that just hasn't seemed to find a good home yet; Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
. On the surface, Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
can be a little confusing. A 4/4 flying body that gives your opponent an extra card at the beginning of your upkeep? That seems kind of bad, right? I can see where people see that. However, I will politely disagree. While it is true that Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
does give your opponent an extra card every turn, it also has the potential to deal a pretty hefty amount of damage to them in the process. Think about it as a double edged Dark Confidant
Dark Confidant
Dark ConfidantSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
81
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
. I'm not saying that Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
is the same or better the Dark Confidant
Dark Confidant
Dark ConfidantSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
81
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
. I'm just saying that Dark Confidant
Dark Confidant
Dark ConfidantSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
81
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
is good because it generates you card advantage while dealing minimal damage because your deck is built around that. Your opponent might not be equipped to deal with all that extra damage they take on your upkeep, especially if they are playing a lot of 5 and 6 drops. That can really eliminate the advantage they get from an extra card and put you ahead. It also, of course, gives you the extra card you need to grind out card advantage. So why hasn't he seen more play? To be perfectly honest, he is in a rough guild. Dimir and blue-black decks in general have been severely handicapped in power level. However, with the rise of the Mono Black Devotion deck, I feel that all of that is changing. You can basically play the Mono Black deck that splashes a bit of blue. I have found that it gives you significant advantage over other Mono Black players. It gives you access to bounce spells that can deal with permanents that black has a hard time dealing with (Planeswalkers, Artifacts, Enchantments, etc). It also gives you access to Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic RiftSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
35
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
which, if you get up to 6 mana, can actually act as a temporary sweeper that also takes care of non-land permanents. Last, but not least, it makes your mana a little smoother for a very important threat, Nightveil Specter
Nightveil Specter
Nightveil SpecterSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
15
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Min Yum
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever Nightveil Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of his or her library. You may play cards exiled with Nightveil Specter.
. I think most of us will agree that Nightveil Specter
Nightveil Specter
Nightveil SpecterSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
15
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Min Yum
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever Nightveil Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of his or her library. You may play cards exiled with Nightveil Specter.
has made a very significant splash as of late and for good reason. In the mirror match it is just pure card advantage, like a free Dark Confidant
Dark Confidant
Dark ConfidantSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
81
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
. Being able to cast it no matter what mana you have is a significant upside and a good reason to splash blue to play Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle Seer
Duskmantle SeerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Wizard
Rarity:
M
Number:
159
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, each player reveals the top card of his or her library, loses life equal to that card's converted mana cost, then puts it into his or her hand.
. So that is why I like the Seer right now. It is extremely strong against Mono Black for card advantage and diverse threats and it is also strong against Esper and G/R because it punishes them for playing expensive cards. The only deck I don't like it against is Red based fast aggro. They don't care about their life total and giving them an extra card is bad news. Board the Seers out and just play like a normal Mono Black deck as it has a pretty solid matchup against red aggro anyway.

Moving right along to my next criminally underplayed card, let's take a look at Sire of Insanity
Sire of Insanity
Sire of InsanitySet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of each end step, each player discards his or her hand.
. Most of you will probably recall this guy making a heck of a splash when Dragon's Maze was released in a lot of Jund
Jund
JundSet: Planechase 2012 Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Whenever a player casts a black, red, or green creature spell, it gains devour 5. (As the creature enters the battlefield, its controller may sacrifice any number of creatures. The creature enters the battlefield with five times that many +1/+1 counters on it.) Whenever you roll chaos, put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens onto the battlefield.
lists. Sadly, Sire faded out of the spotlight as quickly as it arrived. To tell you the truth, dear reader, I have no idea why. In a world where control decks are relying on Sphinx's Revelation
Sphinx's Revelation
Sphinx's RevelationSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
M
Number:
200
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
You gain X life and draw X cards.
to keep them afloat and midrange Black decks are playing Russian roulette with their life totals to draw extra cards, Sire is very well positioned to come back. I feel that he would probably be best in, once again, a Mono Black devotion type shell that focuses on hand disruption and removal. You still get to play all of Mono Black's favorite goodies, plus you get access to even more removal and hand disruption. Hand disruption is one of the most powerful effects in Magic, and Sire of Insanity
Sire of Insanity
Sire of InsanitySet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of each end step, each player discards his or her hand.
is one of the best. Making your opponent discard their hand at every end step while you keep grinding out card advantage with cards like Underworld Connections
Underworld Connections
Underworld ConnectionsSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Enchant land Enchanted land has "{T}, Pay 1 life: Draw a card."
is pretty insane card advantage. Pair that up with Thoughtseize
Thoughtseize
ThoughtseizeSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.
and Rakdos's Return
Rakdos's Return
Rakdos's ReturnSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
M
Number:
188
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Rakdos's Return deals X damage to target opponent. That player discards X cards.
and your opponent will never keep a card you don't want them to. Plus you get access to all the removal you could ever want. Dreadbore
Dreadbore
DreadboreSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
157
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Destroy target creature or planeswalker.
, Hero's Downfall
Hero's Downfall
Hero's DownfallSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Destroy target creature or planeswalker.
, Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
, all the burn you can imagine, and even a real sweeper in Anger of the Gods
Anger of the Gods
Anger of the GodsSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Noah Bradley
Text:
Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.
. Obviously this deck is going to have an incredible matchup against control, it has Mono Black's good matchup against red based aggro, and it is decent in the mirror match. This deck can struggle sometimes against the G/R Devotion decks because all of their threats are just so huge, but hitting your removal and maybe boarding out the Sires in favor of more removal is a good idea in game two. This is the deck I'll be running on MTGO for a while so I'll let ya'll know how my dailies go.

Last, but most certainly not the least, let's look at my last card; Assemble the Legion
Assemble the Legion
Assemble the LegionSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a muster counter on Assemble the Legion. Then put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the battlefield for each muster counter on Assemble the Legion.
. What can I say about this card? Assemble the Legion
Assemble the Legion
Assemble the LegionSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a muster counter on Assemble the Legion. Then put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the battlefield for each muster counter on Assemble the Legion.
is the threat that all control decks crave. It is difficult to deal with, it stabilizes your board with blockers, and it also provides inevitability. If your opponent does not deal with it, it will kill them through sheer man power. I feel that Legion fits best in a UWR Control strategy, but I have seen it recently popping up in Naya
Naya
NayaSet: Planechase
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
You may play any number of additional lands on each of your turns. Whenever you roll {C}, target red, green, or white creature you control gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each land you control.
Control and even a BWR Control deck (that one was nice and spicy). I like the classic UWR mostly because I feel Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
and Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
are must play cards if you plan on running control. Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
manhandles the creature decks while Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
is there to mop up anything that doesn't die to the Verdict. Couple those cards with Aetherling and Assemble the Legion
Assemble the Legion
Assemble the LegionSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a muster counter on Assemble the Legion. Then put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the battlefield for each muster counter on Assemble the Legion.
as your finishers and you have a pretty powerful control deck brewing. In testing this kind of deck, it is the one I am most impressed with. It has a solid game against the creature based decks, it takes Esper to town because you have a threat that is hard for them to handle and a trump for the counter war in Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
, and it doesn't have the trouble against aggro that most control decks have because it has access to Anger of the Gods
Anger of the Gods
Anger of the GodsSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Noah Bradley
Text:
Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.
and Chained to the Rocks
Chained to the Rocks
Chained to the RocksSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
R
Number:
4
Artist:
Aaron Miller
Text:
Enchant Mountain you control When Chained to the Rocks enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Chained to the Rocks leaves the battlefield. (That creature returns under its owner's control.)
out of the board. I am super excited to try a list soon.

So those are the cards I think can shake up the format just slightly. To be honest, this Standard season is some of the most fun I have had playing Magic, so I really hope it stays that way. But anyway, give these cards a shot.

Thanks for reading ya'll. As always you can find me on Twitter at @Alec_MTG. You can leave me a comment and a rating below (I love feedback). Send me an email at acollins1773@yahoo.com with comments, questions, memes, or philosophical debates. Also, I am still looking for suggestions for the Impossible Brew challenge. Send me the name of a bulk rare, I will attempt to build around it, take it to FNM, and write about all the hilarity that will ensue. Thanks again everybody.

Keep brewing out there!


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