I found this deck online a few days ago, and I was immediately interested. It had won a PTQ in Brazil. Every spell in the maindeck can be played at instant speed, so the idea is to put a threat into play and protect it/counter opponent spells. If they don’t play anything, you continue to put threats into play.
This sounds pretty ideal at first, but unfortunately the matches don’t always play out perfectly. The deck requires a lot of skill, knowing when to play aggressively or defensively, knowing which cards to play around, and knowing when you can get away with sneaking in a point of damage here and there, as you often find yourself just a few points away from lethal. A lot can go wrong, and the deck isn’t the most consistent. I wouldn’t recommend it in a big tournament, but I think it’s a perfectly fine choice for FNM, especially since the cards themselves are cheap. It was certainly a fun, although difficult, deck to play and I hope you enjoy the matches!
My round 1 opponent was running the Esper midrange deck that placed second at Grand Prix Shizuoka. At the time, I had no idea what was going on (should have done my homework) so I wasn’t playing around a lot of cards. Looking at the decklist, the matches should play similarly to the mono-black control matchup (more on that later). Their list is light on instant speed removal and our creature matchup better than their smaller ones. As long as we are careful not to let Obzedot or Desecration Demon resolve, this matchup should be winnable. One thing to be aware of is playing around Detention Sphere. You want to make sure you get value out of your creatures before losing them to Sphere, and sometimes you can use Simic Charm to counter it.
As with most midrange matchups, the actual game play will depend on the shape of the starting hands. As for the sideboarding, I would definitely keep all of the counters and card draw. Even though our opponent has some aggressive creatures, I don’t want to bring in sensory deprivation. Our creatures don’t need that much help more help in combat especially if we bring in Frilled Oculus, so we can leave Triton Tactics in the board as well. It’s just too situational of a card in this matchup.
Mono-red burn should be a favorable matchup in theory, and I think I was a little unlucky in this round. You just want to make sure you keep your life total high, and use the element of surprise to gain card advantage. Unfortunately, your deck doesn’t have any sort of inevitability, and the red deck can draw burn spells to finish you off, so at some point, you’ll need to shift gears and clock them. Horizon Scholar + Opportunity does a pretty good Sphinx’s Revelation impression.
The WB Humans deck is another good matchup. It’s probably a little easier than the mono-red matchup since they lack burn and first strike in the form of Ash Zealot. The most important card to play around is Brave the Elements. You want to trade aggressively in order to avoid a massive buildup and lethal alpha swing. As mentioned in the match, you don’t want to play out all of your sensory deprivations post board. In fact, sensory deprivation might not even be a good card to side in. It may be correct to leave them in the board and bring in extra creatures.
Overall, this deck is fun to play when you’re ahead, but a little demoralizing when you’re behind. The card quality is awful and the deck relies on tricks and surprises to catch up. Once you show your opponent the Briarpack Alpha, it’s difficult to get him again with it. I do think the deck has the tools to win against any of the decks in Standard right now; you just have to play very well, with a good knowledge of the meta-game.
Thanks for checking out my content and I hope you enjoyed!