Hey guys. Last time I said that I was going to be spending my time attempting to figure out Gatecrash standard. I did a lot of brewing with new cards I liked as well as upgrading some of the current popular decks. I did a good bit of testing with friends against what we considered to be the best obvious deck, Mono Red/Boros. The deck was already good, but the addition of Boros Reckoner really puts it over the top. That card is very good.

I’m pretty sure I went about 5-30 against red with all of the different decks I liked. At that point we just decided to figure out a good version of the red deck. I’m not one to complain when I get to play some mountains. The white splash was something I went back and forth on a lot. Playing the four Boros Charms main deck on the 8 duals was too risky for me, so I decided that, if I was going to be splashing Boros Charm, it would be a 2-2 split in the main and board. Up until the night before the tournament I still wasn’t sure if the splash was correct, but I decided to run it. My reasoning was that when Boros Charm is good, it is very good and will win you the game. No control deck can beat a well-timed Rootborn Defenses. I felt like having a card with that impact was worth the strain on the mana.

This is the first time I’ve listened to the advice of playing aggro in a new format. I really liked my chances going in to the tournament because I felt like I was playing the strongest deck in the room, and that’s a pretty good feeling. The only downside was that I assumed 200 or so other people probably had the same deck.

Barely Boros

Main Deck:
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Rakdos Cackler
2 Stonewright
4 Ash Zealot
2 Lightning Mauler
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Hellrider
2 Thundermaw Hellkite
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Searing Spear
1 Brimstone Volley
2 Boros Charm
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Clifftop Retreat
15 Mountain

Sideboard:
1 Thundermaw Hellkite
2 Boros Charm
4 Volcanic Strength
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Skullcrack

I won’t go into detail about the rounds because my deck did what it was supposed to do: Curve out and beat the people trying to do something new or different. Boros Reckoner surprised me the entire day though. I knew the card was good, but man, he was really good.

Tournament Summary:
Round 1 –Cameron Canaday – BantHexproof – 2-0
Round 2 – HerbieHatlee – GrixisHexproof – 2-0
Round 3 – Blake Gilliam – Esper Control – 2-1
Round 4 – Cody Baker – G/B Zombies – 2-0
Round 5 – John Biddle – Naya Midrange – 2-1
Round 6 – Ryan Cruz – Mono Red – 2-1
Round 7 – Lawrence Mullen – Naya Humans – 2-0
Round 8 – Cliff Weixler – Pedal to the Medal – 2-0

This round was on camera.

Round 9 – Joseph Herrera –Naya Humans – Intentional Draw

He was the only other undefeated player and he also happened to be a friend that was staying with me for the weekend. We went to Chik-fil-a during the round so we wouldn’t be starving by the time we had to play top 8.
Round 10 – Brian Braun-Duin – Human Reanimator – Intentional Draw
Top 8 – Ryan Lee – Jund Midrange – 2-0
Top 4 – Brian Braun-Duin – Human Reanimator – 1-2
The top 4 split made this loss sting a bit less.

After the tournament I still was not sure if the white splash was correct. There were a number of Supreme Verdicts around, but I only played against one deck that had it. As far as sideboarding goes, Boros Charm and Lightning Mauler are usually the first things I take out. After that, it depends on the match-up and how you’re trying to set up your deck. If I was boarding out the Thundermaw Hellkite, I also took out a land. A sideboard guide wouldn’t be that helpful because of how diverse the meta is right now. Also, I don’t really like guides. One of my favorite lines from a Gerry Thompson article was something close to: “If you can’t figure out how to sideboard with a deck then you shouldn’t be playing it.” Not word-for-word but you get the point.

After I lost in the top 4, I chose to get store credit, instead of taking the cash, and I bought BUG Delver. It was the first time I played a non UR Delver deck in a Legacy open. I wanted to buy BUG midrange, but I didn’t end up having enough to get the Jaces after I bought all of the duals and goyfs. It was nice to play something different, but I did pretty awful. I’m not a fan of the deck because it occupies a weird spot between tempo and control. I’d be interested in playing a more controlling version of BUG in the future for sure.

As always, thanks for reading. If you have any comments or questions you can put them below or get me on Twitter.
Andrew Schneider
@On__The__Grind (double underscore)