After getting my hands on the likes of Spell Queller, Rattlechains and Mausoleum Wanderer, I was set to play some Standard this season. However, I sold my Selfless Spirits during the spike (which is still on-going), so I wasn’t able to play until a good friend from our playgroup loaned me his playset. And ready I was.
Standard UW Spirits by Treach, current iteration
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
4 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
4 Nebelgast Herald
2 Bygone Bishop
2 Spectral Shepherd
4 Reflector Mage
4 Port Town
4 Prairie Stream
My first Standard tournament went decently, I tied in the first round in a mirror match, lost to BW Control, then won two games, which was enough for a 5th place finish with a score of 2-1-1. Not that bad considering it was my first time playing Standard Spirits, and after the tournament I made a few changes (removed one Avacyn and two Glimmer of Genius, added fourth Reflector Mage and Nebelgast Herald and one Blessed Alliance). Needless to say, my second outing was even better as I won against UB Amalgam, RW Equipments and RB Amalgam before ID-ing with UW Flash in the finals.
While Queller is definitely good, and Selfless Spirit is indeed an annoying thing, the show was ran by Nebelgast Herald and Topplegeist on the back of Rattlechains and Spectral Shepherd. On one occasion, I bounced my Topplegeist during my opponent’s EoT so I could play it twice during my turn to tap his blockers and seal the deal, thanks to Shepherd. On another occasion, with Nebelgast and Rattlechains out, Topplegeist not only stopped attackers, it also allowed for a counter-attack, tapping at least two bodies with the help from Nebelgast. Don’t let me get started with the boardstates when you have two Nebelgasts out, it’s just crazy awesome. I managed to play a tribal tempo deck in Standard and I am loving it. Many games I won one turn before my opponent did, as my creatures are not the best blockers, but evasion and tapping are the keys to the victory (race).
However, Topplegeist is also great as a 1-drop, since we wish to play tempo and have to start attacking as soon as possible, and early creatures with flying do their job despite being 1/1, especially when followed by a 2/1 two-drop. For that reason, I play 8 one-drops (Wanderer being the better one to start the game, of course).
Reflector Mage is probably the king of tempo, and while it lacks flying, it was decent with removing blockers or stopping my opponent from developing his or her board. It was also turning sideways from time to time, but it’s main job was to sit back and block the ground attackers, mostly buying time for my flyers to hit face.
Needless to say, Thursday Standard tournaments are not the most competitive ones, but if you look at the deck, you can see it’s budget, and I suggest it to anyone who loves to play tribal, tempo, evasive threats, or all of the above. You could probably get the deck for below €/$ 100. UW Flash might not be the best match-up tho, since it can go bigger than us (Hi, Avacyn) and is not much slower while packing more disruption and hard to remove threats (Hello, Gideon).
As far as sideboard goes, I love the fact that I have counterspells and additional removal. I could up the number of Declaration in Stone and Fragmentize, but all in all I didn’t board a lot since you just tempo out opponent’s creatures (tap, bounce, remove). It may not be the strongest deck around, but it is fun indeed.