Saturday, March 7, 2015

Deck Tweaking: Kevin Jones's UWR Midrange (Standard)

While the Timmy and Johnny players are over there drooling over spoilers, I thought I'd share some thoughts on a deck I played last night and found to be highly enjoyable in Standard.
Kevin Jones took second place at the SCG Premier IQ last weekend in Baltimore with this deck and, to me, one key element of being a Spike is recognizing a good list and tweaking it to the current meta, then piloting it successfully.
The following is what I shared on the r/spikes subreddit this morning. I'm hoping their feedback helps me nail down the ideal UWR Midrange list for the SCG Open this coming weekend in Fort Worth.
So I really liked Kevin Jones's deck from the Premier IQ last weekend in Baltimore (
I played it last night at a semi-competitive FNM and did some extra playtesting against tier 1 decks afterward.
Here are some thoughts I have on the list. Please share some feedback--this deck is definitely on a precipice of being competitive. It has all the SB tools to take its unfavourable matchups and make them winnable in games 2 and 3.
The deck is all about spells that are fairly versatile (burn is removal and burn, walkers are threats and defense, Mantis is a wall to little aggro and a clock... etc.)

Land I had some classic variance-induced land screw last night. Just stalled at 3 land a couple of games. No big deal--that's variance. However, I noticed I had games where all I drew were tap lands and some where I could only draw pain lands. This is probably just the nature of Standard right now but I wouldn't mind reducing the number of CIPT lands by 1. Will experiment.

Creatures Seeker of the Way was underwhelming. Mantis Rider was a champ. Rabblemaster was his usual self--lightning rod for removal and occasionally an easy win. Soulfire... I barely ever drew him.
I'd like to cut the Seekers to add 1 Soulfire and 3 more spells--probably two Jeskai Charm and another counterspell.

Spells The one of Disdainful Stroke needed to be a two of. I would love to have a Jeskai Charm or two, as well, as it makes blocking with Mantis Rider stellar and is a great way to gain life with Soulfire. Also, I didn't like having 4 delve draw spells. I think 1 Cruise and 2 Dig is plenty. I'm going to test that to get in an extra spell (Negate or Dissolve.)

Walkers and Enchantments LOVED having Elspeth and Sarkhan in the main. This deck is all about versatility and these walkers did a great job. No changes here. Outpost Siege is, as we all know, amazing. I'd like to run two but don't think there's anything to cut for it.

Sideboard Being able to go full control-burn is excellent. I often just cut Rabblemaster for the board wipes and play into them with my Mantis Riders. Treating the Riders as disposable forces your opponent to commit to a board state. Brimaz is a nice option in the aggro matchups because you get to Anger away their board and keep your guy.
I'd like some artifact hate but it's just not good in Standard... it may just be the local meta but Obelisk of Urd is a power house. I have to counter it (thus the increase in counterspells main deck.)

At this point I'd probably put two Dissolve in the board over 1 of the Negates and 1 of the Strokes since they're in the main now.
Anyway, that's my jumble of thoughts on the deck. Let me know, please, what you all think of my updated list here: