Brewing with M15

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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 Chord of Calling 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

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 Hero’s Downfall to deal with them.

Sideboard Suggestions: Destructive Revelry, Duress, Pharika’s Cure, and Slaughter Games.

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 Chord of Calling 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: Belligerent Sliver, Constricting Sliver, Diffusion Sliver, and Sentinel Sliver.

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 Birthing Pod 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 Whip of Erebos and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.

Sideboard Suggestions: Banishing Light, Lifebane Zombie, Sin Collector, and Thoughtseize.

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

Sideboard Suggestions: Banishing Light, Banisher Priest, Hushwing Gryff, and Rootborn Defenses.

There seem to be a lot of one-sided Wrath of God effects showing up in Standard, but Mass Calcify can actually be abused in this Big White build. If the deck curves out with creatures, it can cast Mass Calcify or an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, on turn four off of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, 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 Heliod, God of the Sun, and Spear of Heliod.

Sideboard Suggestions: Blind Obedience, Hushwing Gryff, Planar Cleansing, and Wall of Essence.

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 Chord of Calling 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 Yisan, the Wanderer Bard, and Garruk, Caller of Beasts.

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

This is a deck that hasn’t had any success yet, but with Chord of Calling and Yisan, Wanderer Bard, 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 Archangel of Thune, Horizon Chimers, and Fathom Mage. 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: Banishing Light, Mistcutter Hydra, Negate, and Wall of Essence.

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: Drown in Sorrow, Duress, Lifebane Zombie, and Mistcutter Hydra.

Who doesn’t want to just jam a bunch of planewalkers into a deck and still be playing combo? With Nissa, Worldwaker, or Xenagos, the Reveler, paired with Ral Zarek and The Chain Veil, 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: Back to Nature, Cyclonic Rift, Dissolve, and Negate.

Modern

The Magic community pretty much tailored Waste Not 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.

Chief Engineer 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 Atog 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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Josh Milliken

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