Really, quite devoted to tempo

Just because I was curious, here are all the 24+ point decks from the Standard portion, broken down by archetype:

Blue Devotion – 6 decks
Gruul (Red) Devotion – 2 decks
Azorius Control – 1 deck
Black Devotion – 1 deck
Esper Control – 1 deck
Naya Aggro – 1 deck
Orzhov Midrange – 1 deck
Red Devotion – 1 deck

Broken down by category:

Tempo – 6
Aggro – 4
Control – 2
Midrange – 2

RTR Standard – Golgari Zombies

Brains…or failing that, plant food

As I mentioned in my post about a Jund list, I did try to build an update on Black/Red Zombies. However, the addition of Golgari to Standard puts an understandable pressure (or incentive) on playing green in any Zombies deck. The build below came together after some tinkering and it’s surprisingly effective and resilient.

The Scavenge ability on Slitherhead is quite powerful, as is the ability to profitably pitch a Gravecrawler or Slitherhead to Lotleth Troll.

Dreg Mangler’s haste is also pretty important, as it makes it risky to leave yourself naked against what might otherwise be a slower aggro deck without apparent reach.

Golgari Zombies

Abrupt Decay
Blood Artist
Lotleth Troll
Dreg Mangler
Geralf’s Messenger
Underworld Connections
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Golgari Guildgate
Grim Backwoods
Overgrown Tomb
Woodland Cemetery
Cavern of Souls
15 Sideboard:
Crypt Creeper
Golgari Charm
Sundering Growth
Liliana of the Veil
Vraska the Unseen

RTR Standard – Dread Jund

With Farseek, all things are possible

My happiness at the return of the shocklands is only matched by my happiness at already owning a set of shocklands.

One of the extra-fun features of the new Standard is that Farseek is cleverly written to be able to search up nonbasics as long as they’re typed. This means that, as we saw back when Ravnica itself was in Standard, many decks will want to touch green to give them access to superlative mana fixing.

The Jund build below actually began life as inspiration in the middle of a frustrated effort to build an updated Black/Red Zombies list. It’s quite a bit of fun and gets good mileage out of both Dreadbore and Abrupt Decay.

Dread Jund

Abrupt Decay
Gatecreeper Vine
Borderland Ranger
Liliana of the Veil
Falkenrath Aristocrat
Garruk Relentless
Huntmaster of the Fells
Rakdos’s Return
Bonfire of the Damned
Blood Crypt
Evolving Wilds
Golgari Guildgate
Kessig Wolf Run
Overgrown Tomb
Rakdos Guildgate
Rootbound Crag
15 Sideboard:
Pithing Needle
Golgari Charm
Rakdos Charm
Curse of Death’s Hold
Blasphemous Act

The area under the (Delver) curve

Pretty much inspired by PV’s excellent article about aggro-control this week, I decided to take a couple of the major players right now and lay out their “cards that you can play and that matter” along the turn curve (which is sort of the mana curve, but accounting for things like acceleration):

These are cumulative curves, meaning that the things you can cast on the first turn also count on the second, third, and so forth. The Wolf Run and Strangleroot (R/G Aggro) curves drop off because the early acceleration cards don’t count in the mid-to-late game.

What’s interesting, in light of Paulo’s thesis, is how Delver forms a smooth curve that comes up over the top of the other three archetypes. Esper Control has a similar curve, but is a consistent two turns late.

As a final note on this quick conceptual knock-together, the Delver curve as shown assumes paying the Phyrexian costs for those cards where it applies. Obviously, it’ll push a little bit toward the start of the aggro curve if you instead pay full price.