2011 Community Cup Format Strategy: Unified Standard

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The 2011 Community Cup formats have been announced! Check out the article here. Use this thread to disuss strategies and suggestions to the Community Team for the Unified Standard format!

The 2011 Community Cup will be held at our Renton Headquarters from June 15th - June 17th! 
Michael Robles Community Manager Wizards of the Coast Twitter: @michaelrobles
Decks to consider:

- U/W Cawblade
- Valakut
- U/R Exarch Twin
- Kuldotha Rebirth
- Fauna Shaman Naya
- Vampires / Mono-B control
- Inkmoth Nexus infect. I'll give a decklist on bottom.

And some lower-tier decks, just to round it out:
- Knights
- Furnace Celebration
- Elves
- Grand Architect

Here's my decklist for the Inkmoth Nexus deck:

18 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus

4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Contagion Clasp
4 Expedition Map
2 Explore

4 Giant Growth
4 Groundswell
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Primal Bellow
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Withstand Death
Decks that aren't very parasitic to the pool :
Infect (UB, Mono G or BG)
Grand Architect
Kuldotha Red or Mono Red
Vampires or Mono B

The split options :
Valakut or RUG (Titans)

Caw-Blade in some form should be an obvious inclusion.

Not sure how much a Fauna/Vengevine build has to intersect with Valakut, but it is an option.
Okay, spent some time and assembled decklists. Most of these are based on recent successful decks from the StarCityGames Open, modified so there's no card overlap. Several are incomplete as a result.

CAWBLADE

4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
6 Island
4 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tectonic Edge

4 Squadron Hawk
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Emeria Angel
4 Mirran Crusader

1 Batterskull
2 Condemn
2 Jace Beleren
2 Dismember
3 Into the Roil
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of War and Peace

****THIS DECK NEEDS 6 MORE SPELLS****

VALAKUT

2 Avenger of Zendikar
2 Inferno Titan
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Primeval Titan

4 Nature's Claim
4 Summoning Trap

4 Cultivate
2 Explore
4 Growth Spasm
2 Khalni Heart Expedition

5 Forest
11 Mountain
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Raging Ravine
4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

GRIXIS TWIN

3 Spellskite
1 Consecrated Sphinx
4 Deceiver Exarch

4 Splinter Twin
4 Preordain
2 Dismember
2 Go for the Throat
2 Spell Pierce
4 Mana Leak
3 Duress
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 See Beyond

4 Island
2 Mountain
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Darkslick Shores
2 Halimar Depths
4 Scalding Tarn



INK-FECT

18 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus

4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Contagion Clasp
4 Expedition Map
2 Explore

4 Giant Growth
4 Groundswell
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Primal Bellow
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Withstand Death


VAMPIRES

4 Bloodghast
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
2 Hero of Oxid Ridge
4 Kalastria Highborn
4 Pulse Tracker
2 Vampire Hexmage
4 Vampire Lacerator
2 Viscera Seer
1 Dark Tutelage

2 Dismember
1 Doom Blade
3 Burst Lightning
2 Go for the Throat
2 Arc Trail

6 Swamp
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Lavaclaw Reaches
3 Marsh Flats
2 Verdant Catacombs


KULDOTHA RED

4 Contested War Zone
13 Mountain

3 Flayer Husk
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Guide
1 Goblin Wardriver
4 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest

1 Chimeric Mass
2 Devastating Summons
4 Kuldotha Rebirth
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mox Opal
4 Panic Spellbomb


GRAND ARCHITECT

4 Grand Architect
3 Precursor Golem
3 Wurmcoil Engine
4 Treasure Mage
4 Everflowing Chalice

+ more cards

FAUNA G/W
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Vengevine
3 Baneslayer Angel
4 Lotus Cobra
1 Precursor Golem
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Acidic Slime
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobyte
1 Sun Titan
1 Brutalizer Exarch
3 Birthing Pod

+8 more cards
i'd definitely put myr superion in the Grand architect deck...and there was another artifact innew phyrexia that would be great in the deck i think,..Phyrexain Metamorph
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
It's challenging, of course, to find eight decks that mostly want to play different cards.  Alas, there aren't 32 Jace, the 76 Ticket Sculptors in the pool, so you can't play 8 Tier 1 decks.

These decks are fairly self-contained:

W or WG Quest for the Holy Relic
W Tempered Steel
U Grand Architect
UR Pyromaster Ascension and/or Splinter Twin
B or Br Vampires
R Kuldotha Red
RG Valakut (or G Eldrazi Ramp)
G Infect

The combo-ish aggro decks have the benefit of being fairly self-contained, but put you at risk of angering the MTGO shuffler.

A key decision will be, which Jace-based deck to play?  Even if Darkblade is the best Jace deck, it does monopolize Jaces, Stoneforge Mystics, and Creeping Tar Pits.  So maybe some form of Jace-Tezzeret control would be better, as it would allow the Stoneforge Mystics to be used elsewhere.
I think it would be a bad idea to have a Caw-Blade deck. Let me explain: Mystic and Big Jace are the 2 best cards in the format, hands down. Putting both in the same deck would make for a super-powerful deck but 7 poorer other decks.

My suggestion: put 2 Jaces in UW, 2 Jaces in UR and the Mystics in a mono-white deck, e.g. Soul Sisters. Here's my attempt:

1. WU Planeswalkers
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tectonic Edge (26)

4 Wall of Omens
2 Sun Titan (6)

2 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, the Mind Scupltor
2 Gideon Jura
1 Venser, the Sojourner
1 Karn Liberated (8)

3 Condemn
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Spell Pierce
2 Mana Leak
1 Negate
4 Spreading Seas
2 Stoic Rebuttal
3 Day of Judgment (20)

2. UR Splinter Twin
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Halimar Depths
10 Island
8 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn (26)

4 Deceiver Exarch
4 Sea Gate Oracle
2 Inferno Titan (10)

4 Preordain
3 Spell Pierce
4 Into the Roil
2 Mana Leak
3 Pyroclasm
2 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, the Mind Scupltor
4 Splinter Twin (24)

3. Br Vampires
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Lavaclaw Reaches
2 Marsh Flats
6 Swamp
2 Verdant Catacombs (22)

4 Pulse Tracker
4 Vampire Lacerator
3 Viscera Seer
4 Bloodghast
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
4 Kalastria Highborn
3 Vampire Hexmage (26)

3 Burst Lightning
2 Duress
4 Arc Trail
3 Dark Tutelage (12)

4. Gr Valakut
2 Evolving Wilds
5 Forest
11 Mountain
4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
2 Verdant Catacombs (28)

4 Lotus Cobra
4 Primeval Titan
2 Inferno Titan
1 Avenger of Zendikar (11)

4 Explore
3 Khalni Heart Expedition
2 Cultivate
4 Harrow
3 Slagstorm
4 Summoning Trap
1 Green Sun's Zenith (21)
5. W Soul Sisters
4 Glimmerpost
4 Kabira Crossroads
15 Plains (23)

4 Serra Ascendant
4 Soul’s Attendant
4 Ajani’s Pridemate
4 Leonin Relic-Warder
1 Inquisitor Exarch
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Suture Priest
4 Phyrexian Metamorph (33)

1 Mortarpod
1 Sword of Body and Mind
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Batterskull (4)

6. R Goblins
4 Arid Mesa
15 Mountain
4 Teetering Peaks (23)

4 Goblin Guide
4 Spikeshot Elder
4 Ember Hauler
4 Goblin Chieftain (16)

1 Burst Lightning
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
4 Staggershock
4 Koth of the Hammer (21)

7. G Elves
18 Forest (18)

4 Arbor Elf
4 Copperhorn Scout
4 Joraga Treespeaker
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fauna Shaman
1 Sylvan Ranger
4 Elvish Archdruid
4 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Vengevine
1 Acidic Slime (34)

2 Beast Within
3 Lead the Stampede
3 Green Sun’s Zenith (8)


And for the 8th deck, I'm not really sure. Black is underused in the previous decks, but the pool of playable black is shallow. On the other hand white is fantastically diverse and we could cram a 4th white deck in here! So it's between:

8.1. Bu Infect
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Inkmoth Nexus
8 Swamp (24)

4 Necropede
4 Plague Myr
4 Phyrexian Crusader
2 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon (14)

1 Despise
2 Duress
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Contagion Clasp
3 Go for the Throat
4 Tumble Magnet
4 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas (22)

and:

8.2. W Hawkward
4 Contested War Zone
14 Plains (18)

4 Memnite
3 Ornithopter
2 Glint Hawk
4 Signal Pest
2 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Steel Overseer
3 Vault Skirge
4 Porcelain Legionnaire (26)

4 Mox Opal
4 Dispatch
4 Glint Hawk Idol
4 Tempered Steel (16)



There it is, have at it

MtGO ID: louigi
UG Allies: Xenowolf



This is the latest standard deck I have been helping to test with. It lacks some important cards I am sure but it works fairly consistently. One of the main tricks is Xenograft + Timberwatch Ranger = infinite wolves. The one thing it lacks is a means to become hasty. So I tossed in Blue Sun's Zenith as a kill with Haribaz Druid. Essentially any successful gen wave should be enough to go off if you have a druid ready and a BSZ otherwise it takes an extra turn.  Currently seems to win on turn 5 or so.

Winter.Wolf

UG Allies: Xenowolf



This is the latest standard deck I have been helping to test with. It lacks some important cards I am sure but it works fairly consistently. One of the main tricks is Xenograft + Timberwatch Ranger = infinite wolves. The one thing it lacks is a means to become hasty. So I tossed in Blue Sun's Zenith as a kill with Haribaz Druid. Essentially any successful gen wave should be enough to go off if you have a druid ready and a BSZ otherwise it takes an extra turn.  Currently seems to win on turn 5 or so.

Isn't phyrexian metamorph just almost strictly better than clone?

Unless someone wants a deck that actually combos with the metamorph (aka new soul sisters or something).

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Yes indeed. If you are offering to donate 4x that to me Im most grateful. Otherwise I play with what I have and expect others to improve on the list. At 8 tix a pop won't be gettng those any time soon.

Winter.Wolf

Yes indeed. If you are offering to donate 4x that to me Im most grateful. Otherwise I play with what I have and expect others to improve on the list. At 8 tix a pop won't be gettng those any time soon.

Well, that's why CC members have god accounts from now until the end of the cup ;)

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Yes indeed. If you are offering to donate 4x that to me Im most grateful. Otherwise I play with what I have and expect others to improve on the list. At 8 tix a pop won't be gettng those any time soon.

Well, that's why CC members have god accounts from now until the end of the cup ;)



Joe maybe you missed the point? This is a test deck. Not a deck list designed and engineered for the team to play. I did make some of those for the modern format. The benefit to being able to actually test with it as opposed to simply giving theoretical lists for them to try is I get to see how it interacts with what is currently being played by them and point out weaknesses/strengths etc. And posting it so others can improve on it or use it or whatever. So feel free to relist with  better cards.

Winter.Wolf

I really like the concept of Unified.  It's a great concept which throws a whole new wrench into deckbuilding.

If I were to make a list of 8, I'd go with something like

1. UW CawBlade
2. WW Tempered Steel
3. Br Vampires
4. WW Suture Sisters
5. Elves!
6. UR Exarch Twin
7. Eldrazi Green
8. UB Infect

Notably absent are Valakut, UB Control, and RUG control.  All of these have key pieces being taken by a better deck.  Other possible options would be GB Pod, Big Red, UG Genesis Wave, WW Quest.  Honestly, the fact that you even can get 8 good decks in a unified standard format says good things for the current viability.
Must say, I love LSVs singleton deck. Quite aweome ;)