Sugar Water (an Alara Reborn Standard deck)

Following my experience with G/W Angel of Love at Regionals, I came away with the feeling that (1) I make play errors (hey, that’s not news) and (2) the deck was not adequately positioned to take down tokens builds or just end the game generally. These are two sides of the same coin, really.
Since Regionals, I’ve figured out that G/W alone does not support the big-giant-threat (BGT!) archetype I’m going for here, although I do think the archetype is nearly and yet not quite viable in G/W alone. As a first pass, I moved into the full Naya colors, which gave me access to Thoctar and the younger, pissed off Ajani. This deck was nice, but really moved the deck much more firmly into the midrange, rather than letting it express its BGT aggro nature.
So, as much as I was trying to avoid making a Doran deck, I decided to venture into splashing black from Maelstrom Pulse (to help deal with those tokens are restrict the B/W long game), using Murmuring Bosks as just another comes-into-play-tapped tri-land. From there, I relented and added in the Siege Tower.
And it turns out that version of the deck is working reasonably well.
Once again, the deck name comes from a random song title.
Click through to the extended entry for deck list and comments.

Sugar Water

24 Creatures:
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Doran, the Siege Tower
Kitchen Finks
Battlegrace Angel
13 Spells:
Path to Exile
Behemoth Sledge
Maelstrom Pulse
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
23 Land:
Murmuring Bosk
Treetop Village
Wooded Bastion
Twilight Mire
15 Sideboard:
Garruk Wildspeaker
Primal Command
Identity Crisis

This operates on the same principle as the old build, namely keep dropping gigantic threats while packing some useful removal and disruption. From the old build, I removed the two wishy-washy main deck Pithing Needles (which are nice yet inconclusive), and the never-functional Austere Command. The deck also loses the accelerating Farhaven Elf package, in its place shuttling in four copies of effective 5/5 for three, Doran, the Siege Tower. Doran is, of course, a beating, with the bonus side effect of making aggro choices like Demigod and Bloodbraid hit for less. The slots vacated by the Needles and the one Austere have been filled by Maelstrom Pulse, with a bonus Pulse courtesy of the removal of a land (I was drawing more than I needed).
The mana base is still in process – I’m trying to balance the color needs of the deck with not bleeding from painlands and avoiding taking gigantic Anathemancer hits to the face. I’ve retained the four Treetops because they are amazing. Also, now that Doran is in the deck, there’s actually a chance of using him to hit an untapped Bosk, which is pretty much only relevant when you do have Doran in hand, so that’s nice all around.
The sideboard tries to address the R/x, Faeries, Five-Color Control, and Elves matchups. As before, Condemns and Primal Commands come in against R/x (although this deck now has a better game one against that broad category of decks, too). The Terrors are for Faeries, where you want to be able to murderize Mistbind Clique at will. The two Identity Crisis (Crises?) are for Five-Color Control, although I haven’t really tried that yet, either.
Note that the deck’s sideboard plans against tokens at this point is “run the main deck.” With the Pulses, I actually have the main deck set up the way I want it against tokens. I have eight cards versus many of the tokens, eight cards versus Bitterblossom, and twelve cards versus Sculler, all in a package that has giant beaters that make the late game untenable for the tokens deck.
As much as playing a W/B/G feels suspiciously like me reverting to type, I really like this build, and its degree of aggro-ness has only gone up from the prior G/W version. I’m definitely looking forward to beating down with a Sledged up Doran in the near future – most likely this weekend at the PTQ.

4 thoughts on “Sugar Water (an Alara Reborn Standard deck)

  1. I have some concerns about this list. It’s definitely missing a 5th or 6th 1-drop like Birds of Paradise next to the Hierarch. This will give it some speed probably needed and should do the 2nd-Turn-Doran-Trick more often. I know that it dies to the Thresher, but when you have the Thresher you won’t need the Bird anymore.
    Next is the Angel. In your current list Wilt-Leaf Liege is a better alternative as it’s Blightning-proof and having a 7/7 Doran is quite impressive. I am not sure, if the lifelink is needed, though. It would also easy the need for WW.
    As for your mana base you might need to maximize having G on your 1st turn. Because I am bad with mana bases, that’s all I can say there 🙂
    Now that you are having access to B, try squeezing some Zealous Persecution in your board to fight B/W with its own weapons.

  2. Thanks for all the excellent input.
    I kind of sigh at including something like Birds*, although you’re so very right that it would smooth things out tremendously. I’ll try a version with two more one drops today and see how it goes.
    *Because I am allergic to do-nothing late-game topdecks. Anyway. 🙂
    As for WLLs versus Graces…I actually had a test version where I was trying to run both, which is kind of funny. 🙂 That said, I like the lifelink, as it can put the game almost immediately out of reach for R/x decks. However, that could also easily be me being stuck on a bad idea, so I’ll have to try swapping in the Lieges and seeing how they work.
    I’m not sure if Persecution is going to be good or not; it depends on how well Tokens players have learned to play around it (so maybe early in the season, like this coming weekend, it’ll work better?).
    Once again, thanks for all the excellent commentary.

  3. I like the deck, i never play black. What is the plan against twinsannity decks maybe take out the primmal commands for wheel of sun and moon or runed halo the first to fight milling with the second you name sannity grinding or anathamancer or wathever you like and i think wilt leaf needs to go in the main instead of the angels
    Or maybe you can try the knight of new alara

  4. I’m considering revising the main deck down to three Angels and three Pulses, adding in two Birds, and then a sideboard like this:
    3 Condemn
    2 Guttural Response
    2 Terror
    3 Faerie Macabre
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    1 Battlegrace Angel
    3 Primal Command
    I pulled the Garruks, as I just want to bring in Primal Commands against 5CC instead.
    The plan against fog/mill variants is to side in the Commands and the Responses, so that I can resolve a Comamnd through countermagic (and you only really need two Responses because, as Flores says, “They give you all your cards”).
    I’m still quite attached to the Graces, though. The lifelink is just such a beating.
    Right now, I’m focusing on the G/W Overrun matchup, to see if I need to change anything up (I’m leaning toward bringing the Needles back, for example…shutting of Heights is pretty good).

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