Hexproof
Decks That Almost Won Pro Tour to Surprise Your Friends With

Justin Clouse | 23 Oct 2015 15:10
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Aristocrats

A bunch of players keyed into the fact that Zulaport Cutthroat is almost Blood Artist and almost Blood Artist is a compelling enough reason for a bunch of different brews of Aristocrats-style decks. The basic idea behind these is to leverage creatures, often through sacrifice and recursion, into incremental advantage until you can pseudo-combo them out. For instance, casting a Whirler Rogue to make Nantuko Husk unblockable then eating up the board for massive damage, as well as draining with the Zulaport Cutthroat around. Sometimes you just Fireball them out by eating your board up. The deck takes advantage of a lot of sticky creatures that either create multiple bodies when they enter play or replace themselves when they die. It was especially exciting to see a number of different builds. They were certainly all Black, but we saw them commonly hitting Green, Blue, or both along with Rally the Ancients still being a strong reason to go White. So the verdict is still out on what the best version is, though these decks do sort of live and die based on the number of Anafenza, the Foremost seeing play.

Tokens

We came very close to saying "Sam Black cracked Standard again". The Bant tokens list he designed and played was uniquely targeted at attacking specific aspects of the current metagame. It goes wide against Red decks and spot removal, nice Wild Slash bro. Along with being grindy and resilient against the controlling decks, and it doesn't hurt that you can end of turn a Secure the Wastes and untap into a number of Glorious Anthemn effects to just kill and unprepared opponent from seemingly nowhere. Along with the Bant Tokens, there were some Jeskai Tokens list making the rounds as well, with one of them Top 8-ing. While you lose some of the options Green affords you, like Den Protector, Jeskai Ascendancy continues to be an excellent card if you're given the time to set-up. Not only is it buffing your team, but it's smoothing out your draws and fueling up Treasure Cruise!

Mardu Superfriends

The last deck that stood out to me on the bubble was Mardu Superfriends. This particular list jammed four different planeswalkers, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Ob Nixilis Reignited, for a total of eight in the deck. While this isn't the most super of superfriends build, this Mardu build forgoes counterspells for discard and a ton of removal. It wants to grind advantage by having multiple planeswalkers slowly take over the game. I'm not sure how I feel about having a bunch of planeswalkers against a field of Mantis Riders, Den Protector, and Wingmate Rocs, but clearly a few folks were able to make it work.

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