A viable Standard deck in the making?
My most recent Examiner article….
So, the “Soul Sisters” deck was a surprise this past weekend at the StarCity Games Open in Denver. 6th place for a life-gain deck is impressive (though it can be argued that its success was totally based on the surprise factor). Looking at the deck list, however, you can see that the life expectancy of this deck is short (both because of people being more aware of it now, and that several cards will rotate out of Standard October 1).
A few of the deck’s key cards rotate when M10 and Alara Block leave Standard on October 1. Most notably, these cards include Ranger of Eos, but also Soul Warden (which leaves the deck as Soul Sister singular). The loss of Ranger of Eos almost cripples the deck as it is currently configured. So, I thought about what is currently available in the future Standard (since we haven’t seen much of the goodies from upcoming Scars of Mirrodin) and put together this list. I opted for a wider variety of creatures and spells (most of which cause life gain) in order to compensate for the lack of Ranger of Eos creature tutoring ability. Unlike Soul Sisters as it currently stands, this deck is far more expensive to put together.
Oh, and by the way, I love Silence. Why it doesn’t get much credit is beyond me.
Also, I’m assuming there will be something Scars of Mirrodin that replaces Path to Exile. For the record, this deck would definitely run that.
Soul Sister Transcended
I almost ran 4x Squadron Hawk. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, since the hawks allow you to consistently hit a creature drop for Soul’s Attendant life gain (which you aren’t guaranteed any longer due to the lack of Ranger of Eos). I simply wanted to run some other cards in addition, specifically main-decking a Linvala, and the Transcendent Masters and Student of Warfares. I’m surprised the Students weren’t in the original Soul Sisters deck since they are great to tutor up with Rangers of Eos if you’ve already pulled your Serra Ascendants. Perhaps they were simply too much money?
Obvious additions would be Baneslayer Angels, but you have to own them to play them. I think I’d run 2x of them, dropping out the 2x Student of Warfare. I also kind of wanted to run 2x Elixir of Immortality. If we’re going to run life-gain, this is pretty cool, since it is a renewable source. Another possibility in this vein was Ajani’s Mantra. Cheap, but I felt the slots could be better served with a third Ajani Goldmane, a Gideon Jura (because, I mean really, why not?), and an Iona, Shield of Emeria. Plus a few additional lands to help pay for those higher cost creatures and additional level ups.
For an optional budget build, I had an idea of running a Defender version of this with Wall of Omens, Perimeter Captains, and Roc Eggs in place of the pricier creatures. Perhaps even some Wall of Reverence, at least until Alara block rotates out.
But I think a really fun idea would be Allies, making use of Ondu Cleric and Talus Paladin for life gain. Throw in some Narrow Escapes and you can rinse and repeat, plus gain life for the Narrow Escape itself. Or you could skip the Narrow Escapes, and with Ondu Cleric in play gain life and some buddies with Join the Ranks (this is the option I went with and actually lead me to remove the Survival Caches). With this build you wouldn’t need Soul Attendants at all. It’s a much more budget build than the one above, but I think the Sun Titans are well worth it here because so many of the cards are pullable (and thus reactiviting the Ally abilities!) with the Titans’ ability. Also, I really wish Mystifying Maze worked on any attacking creature, not just your opponent’s. It would have lead to some fun Ally interactions.
Spells (11)” />
Thoughts, comments? Post comments or tweet at me @CarlsonJJ.
I know this won’t be Standard legal much longer, but I had a fun thought of running a deck with Putrid Leech and Momentous Fall. Drain my life, pump the Leech, attack, at end of turn sacrifice the Leech to draw cards and gain my life back. I then threw in some other plays well with “sacrifice” things, and voila!
Sac it to me
What do you think?