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Can Standard Be Fun? YES -Bant Mill/Ramp Perfect Guide-

2018/06/23 00:00 

    • Grzegorz Kowalski
    • Hareruya Pros Blog

Hello! Grzegorz Kowalski here, and today I have something new, and I hope, exciting for you!

Goblin ChainwhirlerTeferi, Hero of Dominaria

Standard is dominated by 《Goblin Chainwhirler》, and 《Teferi, Hero of Dominaria》. We have two-archetype format, which used to be really boring, right now, ale historically. Problem with this kind of format is simple, two decks are more powerful, than the rest of the field, and protect each other really well. You can build a deck, that has an edge in match up versus UW, but then you probably have a very bad match up vs. RB. It also works in the other way, you can play Mono Red, and use 4 《Hazoret the Fervent》 to beat RB, but you will have hard time against control.

Hazoret the Fervent

Usually you have lower edge in your good match up, than disadvantage in your bad match up, which means tier 2 decks are close to unplayable at competitive scene (we can see that, looking at Top 8 of recent GPs and PT) .

I tried to work on that, and I think I came up with a decent solution. First question we have to ask ourself is what's the best strategy versus 《Goblin Chainwhirler》, and what can we do to beat 《Teferi》 control.

I believe the best way to beat 《Goblin》 is don't play x/1 creatures, or even more, don't play creatures at all, to make cards like 《Abrade》 or 《Unlicensed Disintegration》 bad, at least game one. With control, things are not that obvious, but I think 《Ipnu Rivulet》 + a way to stop opponent's 《Teferi》 is the best way to go.

So how do we attack current metagame? Just combine two things above! Bant Ramp, here we are!

This is my current list. It's not perfect, and I'm still working on this deck, but I have really high hopes. I was close to play this at Grand Prix Copenhagen 2018, but in the end I realized, that I don't have enough time to tune it after Pro Tour Dominaria, and I played stock Esper Control list. I still have a week before Grand Prix Singapore 2018 though, and there is a big chance I'll try it here!

Ipnu RivuletSandwurm ConvergenceHour of PromiseEmblem Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

With Bant we can win games in few possible ways. The most common one is to mill our opponent with 《Ipnu Rivulet》, we can also lock them with 《Sandwurm Convergence》, or simply outgrind and kill with random tokens from 《Hour of Promise》 or by 《Teferi's Emblem》. Usually game plan depends on match up, so I'll try to show you how to play versus most common decks in current Standard, and later, how to sideboard against them.

GAME PLAN:

Mono Red:

Hazoret the Fervent

Very good match up. White cards match up well against red. Our goal is to stop their early pressure with 《Seal Away》 and mass removal, and later we have enough card advantage and mana to do everything we want. Win condition doesn't matter, because when take control over the game, we will eventually find a random way to kill opponent.

Fight with Fire

Post board be aware of 《Fight with Fire》. Thanks to 《Settle the Wreckage》 at some point they will have enough mana, so it's important to keep your life total above 10.

Authority of the ConsulsGift of ParadiseFumigate

《Authority of the Consuls》, 《Gift of Paradise》 and 《Fumigate》 are helpful here , so it's not a hard task, just remember to avoid taking damage early more than necessary.

Red Black Midrange:

Angrath, the Flame-Chained

Here things are different. The more midrange-ish RB is worse match up for us. Preboard is usually fine, as they have a lot of dead cards, and we don't, so we should take control over the game around turns 5-8, and build enough advantage to win the game later.

DuressArguel's Blood FastChandra, Torch of Defiance

Postboard, when they switch dead removal with discard and 《Arguel's Blood Fast》/Planeswalkers we're in trouble. With 《Negate》 and 《Sorcerous Spyglass》 we should try to stop opponent's planeswalkers, and play one for one until we draw 《Pull from Tomorrow》 in the midgame. They can't answer our topdecks, so if we draw 《Pull》 later, and then play it for X=5 or more, we'll be in a great shape to win the game.

Pull from TomorrowSandwurm Convergence

My main plan to close the match in this match up is 《Sandwurm Convergence》, but if they discard it early, don't worry. Games are long, and grindy, so mill plan is also an option.

《God-Pharaoh's Gift》:

God-Pharaoh's Gift

Good match up, our main goal is to stop them from resolving 《God-Pharaoh's Gift》, but even if we can't, we have maindeck 《Scavenger Grounds》 that we can find with 《Hour of Promise》.

Scavenger GroundsHour of PromiseIpnu Rivulet

They're drawing a lot of cards, and milling themself so try to survive with 《Settle》 and 《Fumigate》, and mill them with 《Ipnu Rivulet》 eventually.

BG Constrictor:

Winding Constrictor

Bad match up. Game one is good for us, in a similar way as versus Red Black Midrange. 《Fumigate》 and 《Settle》 are great against 《Winding Constrictor》, and they don't have many ways to interact. Postboard they are better prepared, than RB.

Glint-Sleeve SiphonerDuress

《Glint-Sleeve Siphoner》 protected by 《Duress》 is a nightmare. We can't stop him with 《Negate》 or 《Spyglass》, which was our main plan in RB match up. It's really hard to outgrind them in the midgame, and they will slowly get an advantage each turn.

UW control:

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Great match up. All we need to do is to stop 《Teferi》 from resolving, or kill it. Never cycle 《Cast Out》!

Cast Out

They don't have many ways to win the game, and have so many dead cards. Use our mana advantage to draw more cards, and mill them. Latest UW versions don't even run 《Commit // Memory》, which is the best card against us combined with 《Torrential Gearhulk》.

Scavenger GroundsIpnu Rivulet

In case they do have it, keep 《Scavenger Grounds》 untapped, while going for win with 《Ipnu Rivulet》.

Sideboard Plans

Mono Red:

Against Mono Red

Out

Pull from Tomorrow Pull from Tomorrow Hour of Promise
Spring // Mind Spring // Mind
Sandwurm Convergence Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

In

Authority of the Consuls Authority of the Consuls Authority of the Consuls
Lyra Dawnbringer Lyra Dawnbringer
Ixalan's Binding Ixalan's Binding

Don't board out 《Negate》. Even though they look bad, often the only way for Mono Red to win is by casting kicked 《Fight with Fire》. It's important to have an answer for that, when you stabilize. Protecting 《Lyra Dawnbringer》 turn 5 or 6 also works great, and usually wins on the spot.

Red Black Midrange:

Against Red Black Midrange

Out

Fumigate Fumigate
Settle the Wreckage Walking Ballista
Seal Away Gift of Paradise

In

Lyra Dawnbringer Lyra Dawnbringer
Ixalan's Binding Ixalan's Binding
Sorcerous Spyglass Sorcerous Spyglass

Against 《God-Pharaoh's Gift》

Out

Walking Ballista Pull from Tomorrow
Hour of Promise Seal Away
Sandwurm Convergence

In

Torrential Gearhulk Torrential Gearhulk
Negate Negate
Naturalize

In (Against《Gate to the Afterlife》 ver.)

Torrential Gearhulk Torrential Gearhulk
Sorcerous Spyglass Sorcerous Spyglass
Naturalize

《Negate》 is unnecessary against Mono Red version.

BG Constrictor

Against BG Constrictor

Out

Pull from Tomorrow Pull from Tomorrow
Spring // Mind Spring // Mind
Hour of Promise Sandwurm Convergence

In

Lyra Dawnbringer Lyra Dawnbringer
Torrential Gearhulk Torrential Gearhulk
Sorcerous Spyglass Sorcerous Spyglass

Against UW Control

Out

Settle the Wreckage Settle the Wreckage Settle the Wreckage Settle the Wreckage
Seal Away Seal Away Seal Away Seal Away
Fumigate Fumigate

In

Torrential Gearhulk Torrential Gearhulk Lyra Dawnbringer Lyra Dawnbringer
Negate Negate Sorcerous Spyglass Sorcerous Spyglass
Naturalize Jace's Defeat

Tips and Tricks:

Gift of Paradise

Put 《Gift of Paradise》 on your basic lands if possible. This way you're protecting yourself from 《Field of Ruin》, and don't lose your 《Gift》, when you decide to sacrifice a desert for value.

《Teferi》 and 《Gift of Paradise》 are a great combo. It's possible to play 《Teferi》 turn five, with a 《Settle the Wreckage》 back up. Unbeatable for any aggro deck.

Shefet DunesHostile Desert

In case you don't have lands in graveyard, you can sacrifice 《Shefet Dunes》, and in response for its ability activate 《Hostile Desert》 by exiling 《Shefet Dunes》 (or another desert, that you used for 《Dunes》). This way it gets +1/+1 effect for free!

Walking Ballista

《Walking Ballista》 is here to kill a 《Bomat》/《Siphoner》 early, or to make a value in the late game. Don't cast it turn two into an empty board, they will have removal for it, which otherwise would be useless. Always cast 《Ballista》, when you can get some value immediately.

Conclusion

This is all I have for you today. Deck is nice, and I really like it, although it has some issues. The biggest one is for sure mana base. We play 3 colors, with double costs in each of them, and 3 colorless lands. Sometimes I'm just losing to myself, but when mana works, I feel like I'm unbeatable in majority of match ups.

I'll try to work on my list, and I hope I'll be able to improve mana base. If so, it's very likely I'll play Bant in Singapore, so if you want to know how deck goes on competitive field, keep your eyes on coverage!

See you next time,

Grzegorz Kowalski

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