Brewing with M15

Welcome back! Today we’re talking about brewing with M15. I’ll cover just some of the possibilities that the cards from Magic 2015 create, and fair warning, this will include four [card]Chord of Calling[/card] builds—sorry, I get excited when I can play with a toolbox deck. We have nine Standard and two Modern lists today, which surely won’t cover everything possible in the format (sorry about that), but it’s a good start! Once again, I can’t predict what the metagame is going to look like to be able to tune the Standard decks and sideboards, so I will suggest four sideboard cards for each build that should cover some of the weaknesses of each deck. I will, however, take a stab at the sideboards for the Modern decks as it is a pretty well defined format.

Standard

[deck title= Jund Walkers]
[Creatures]
4 Sylvan Caryatid
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Dreadbore
2 Mizzium Mortars
3 Anger of the Gods
4 Hero’s Downfall
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Liliana of the Dark Realms
3 Xenagos, the Reveler
2 Liliana Vess
3 Nissa, Worldwaker
2 Vraska the Unseen
1 Garruk, Apex Predator
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Blood Crypt
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Stomping Ground
2 Temple of Abandon
2 Temple of Malice
4 Temple of Malady
3 Forest
2 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Jund Walkers is a deck that should be able to grind out its opponent with the card advantage provided by its endless parade of planeswalkers. It sports fourteen planeswalkers and zero targetable creatures, making decks that run removal really struggle to do anything since they have so many dead cards. It should give Mono-Black Devotion fits, as they just won’t be able to kill your planeswalkers since they can only run four [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card] to deal with them.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Destructive Revelry[/card], [card]Duress[/card], [card]Pharika’s Cure[/card], and [card]Slaughter Games[/card].

[deck title= Slivers]
[Creatures]
4 Galerider Sliver
4 Manaweft Sliver
4 Predatory Sliver
4 Leeching Sliver
4 Syphon Sliver
4 Blur Sliver
4 Thorncaster Sliver
3 Sliver Hivelord
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Hive Stirrings
3 Chord of Calling
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Mana Confluence
4 Sliver Hive
2 Blood Crypt
2 Breeding Pool
3 Overgrown Tomb
3 Stomping Ground
2 Temple Garden
3 Mutavault
[/Land]
[/deck]

Slivers may actually be competitive for the first time in many many years now that the tribe has hit a critical mass of playable cards in the same Standard. This angry hive should be able to race most of the other aggro decks since it can easily find whatever sliver it currently needs with [card]Chord of Calling[/card] while also putting pressure on. It has a ton of options for the sideboard that can tailor the hive to fight any threat.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Belligerent Sliver[/card], [card]Constricting Sliver[/card], [card]Diffusion Sliver[/card], and [card]Sentinel Sliver[/card].

[deck title= Junk Chord]
[Creatures]
1 Brain Maggot
2 Cartel Aristocrat
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Voice of Resurgence
1 Banisher Priest
4 Courser of Kruphix
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Sin Collector
1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
1 Eidolon of Blossoms
1 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Scion of Vitu-Ghazi
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Hero’s Downfall
2 Whip of Erebos
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4 Chord of Calling
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Malady
4 Temple of Plenty
3 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

The Junk Chord deck is all about value. It can tutor for a variety of threats to complicate its opponent’s plan. This deck should remind players of the [card]Birthing Pod[/card] decks that currently dominate Modern, but without ways to actually combo. If you can get this deck into the late game, it should be able to just grind its opponent out with cards like [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] and [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card].

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Banishing Light[/card], [card]Lifebane Zombie[/card], [card]Sin Collector[/card], and [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

[deck title= White Weenie]
[Creatures]
4 Dryad Militant
4 Judge’s Familiar
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Imposing Sovereign
4 Precinct Captain
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Brave the Elements
2 Launch the Fleet
4 Spirit Bonds
2 Spear of Heliod
3 Ajani Steadfast
[/Spells]
[Land]
18 Plains
4 Mutavault
[/Land]
[/deck]

White Weenie got a couple interesting toys in M15 that may push it over the top. First, [card]Ajani Steadfast[/card] will play a lot like [card]Ajani Goldmane[/card] did when Kithkin was a deck in Standard, pumping all your creatures over your opponents, but with a better plus-one ability. Second, [card]Spirit Bonds[/card] can generate you a fairly sizable spirit army that can also help protect your better threats. And finally, [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card] can help to shut down those pesky comes-into-play abilities your opponents might want to use.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Banishing Light[/card], [card]Banisher Priest[/card], [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card], and [card]Rootborn Defenses[/card].

[deck title= Big White]
[Creatures]
4 Judge’s Familiar
4 Precinct Captain
4 Boros Reckoner
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Heliod, God of the Sun
3 Avacyn, Guardian Angel
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Celestial Flare
4 Banishing Light
2 Spear of Heliod
4 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
2 Mass Calcify
[/Spells]
[Land]
14 Plains
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Temple of Enlightenment
2 Temple of Silence
[/Land]
[/deck]

There seem to be a lot of one-sided [card]Wrath of God[/card] effects showing up in Standard, but [card]Mass Calcify[/card] can actually be abused in this Big White build. If the deck curves out with creatures, it can cast [card]Mass Calcify[/card] or an [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card], on turn four off of [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card], a card that just keeps getting stronger with every set printed. If the game doesn’t go big, it will play out like a grindy midrange contest, which could allow the deck to generate incremental advantages with [card]Heliod, God of the Sun[/card], and [card]Spear of Heliod[/card].

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Blind Obedience[/card], [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card], [card]Planar Cleansing[/card], and [card]Wall of Essence[/card].

[deck title= G/W Chord]
[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
1 Aegis of the Gods
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Voice of Resurgence
1 Wall of Essence
1 Banisher Priest
1 Boros Reckoner
4 Courser of Kruphix
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Yisan, the Waderer Bard
1 Eidolon of Blossoms
1 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
1 Archangel of Thune
1 Scion of Vitu-Ghazi
1 Angel of Serenity
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Garruk, Caller of Beasts
4 Chord of Calling
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Plenty
2 Mana Confluence
10 Forest
3 Plains
[/Land]
[/deck]

This is essentially the Junk Chord deck, but without the hand disruption. It has a lot more options for main deck sideboard cards that it can grab with [card]Chord of Calling[/card] though, which makes up for the lack of black cards. This deck also has a few additional ways to dig for the creatures it wants with [card]Yisan, the Wanderer Bard[/card], and [card]Garruk, Caller of Beasts[/card].

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Banishing Light[/card], [card]Centaur Healer[/card], [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card], and [card]Ready/Willing[/card].

[deck title= Archangel Combo]
[Creatures]
4 Kiora’s Follower
1 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Voice of Resurgence
1 Reclamation Sage
2 Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
1 Eidolon of Blossoms
2 Fathom Mage
2 Horizon Chimera
4 Archangel of Thune
1 Prime Speaker Zegana
2 Prophet of Kruphix
1 Progenitor Mimic
1 Soul of Ravnica
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Detention Sphere
4 Chord of Calling
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Temple of Plenty
3 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

This is a deck that hasn’t had any success yet, but with [card]Chord of Calling[/card] and [card]Yisan, Wanderer Bard[/card], it may have finally hit a critical mass of good threats. When this deck finds a matchup it doesn’t like, it can sideboard into an aggro deck or a control build, which makes it able to fight against most archetypes. For those that still don’t know the combo, it is [card]Archangel of Thune[/card], [card]Horizon Chimers[/card], and [card]Fathom Mage[/card]. When you draw a card, you gain a life, putting a counter on all your creatures. Repeat until you have enough power on the board to kill your opponent.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Banishing Light[/card], [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card], [card]Negate[/card], and [card]Wall of Essence[/card].

[deck title= B/G Rock]
[Creatures]
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Courser of Kruphix
3 Reaper of the Wilds
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Hero’s Downfall
4 Underworld Connections
2 Liliana Vess
4 Nissa, Worldwaker
2 Vraska the Unseen
2 Garruk, Apex Predator
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Temple of Malady
4 Llanowar Wastes
2 Mutavault
5 Forest
5 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

It may be news to some of you, but I love Rock decks and usually try to build them every time a new set comes out. This time is no exception, and I feel very optimistic about this version of B/G Rock. While it only really gained three cards, those three cards are no slouches. These planeswalkers allow you to run fewer actual creatures, but the creatures you do run are all quite good themselves. Of all the lists in this article, this one is second on my list to try out—right behind the last Standard one I’ll cover in just a moment.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card], [card]Duress[/card], [card]Lifebane Zombie[/card], and [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card].

[deck title= Chain Veil Combo]
[Creatures]
4 Kiora’s Follower
4 Sylvan Caryatid
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mizzium Mortars
3 Anger of the Gods
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
4 Ral Zarek
3 The Chain Veil
3 Xenagos, the Reveler
3 Nissa, Worldwaker
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Breeding Pool
4 Steam Vents
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Temple of Mystery
3 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

Who doesn’t want to just jam a bunch of planewalkers into a deck and still be playing combo? With [card]Nissa, Worldwaker[/card], or [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card], paired with [card]Ral Zarek[/card] and [card]The Chain Veil[/card], you can generate infinite planeswalker activations to essentially win on the spot. This deck also gets to run seven sweepers in the main with the potential of more in the sideboard, making life for aggro decks quite miserable. It should also be able to sideboard into a planeswalker control deck if it wants to fight other control decks.

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Back to Nature[/card], [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card], [card]Dissolve[/card], and [card]Negate[/card].

Modern

[deck title= 8 Rack]
[Creatures]
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Raven’s Crime
4 Shrieking Affliction
4 The Rack
4 Thoughtseize
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Scepter of Fuge
4 Smallpox
4 Waste Not
4 Wrench Mind
2 Dismember
4 Liliana of the Veil
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Overgrown Tomb
4 Temple of Malady
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Ghost Quarter
1 Forest
7 Swamp
[/Land]
[Sideboard]
1 Darkblast
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Life from the Loam
1 Scepter of Fugue
3 Drown in Sorrow
3 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Leyline of Sanctity
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

The Magic community pretty much tailored [card]Waste Not[/card] for this deck, which was already having minor success even before getting such a powerful card. This deck’s biggest issue was running out of gas while its opponent made topdeck after topdeck, so drawing extra cards and making extra creatures is a great bonus for doing what you were already doing.

[deck title= Affinity]
[Creatures]
4 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Chief Engineer
2 Steel Overseer
4 Vault Skirge
2 Etched Champion
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mox Opal
4 Springleaf Drum
4 Cranial Plating
4 Thoughtcast
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Inkmoth Nexus
3 Glimmervoid
1 Island
[/Land]
[Sideboard]
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Spell Pierce
2 Thoughtseize
2 Spellskite
2 Torpor Orb
2 Whipflare
2 Blood Moon
1 Etched Champion
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

[card]Chief Engineer[/card] seems like a pretty weak card at first, until you realize that it can make Affinity kill a turn quicker than it already does—with the proper draw. The only downside is that it’s not an artifact itself, but neither was [card]Atog[/card] and Affinity ran that guy for a very long time.

That’s all I have for M15. In a couple months, I’ll be back to brew with Khans of Tarkir. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

Thanks for Reading,

Josh Milliken

@joshuamilliken on Twitter

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