(State of the Meta is a litmus test and commentary on the relative health, stability and from time to time problem issues with the trends in the Standard Metagame.  Zac Clark chimes in weekly with his findings and feelings about Magic’s flagship format.)

Rant Control

Something’s got to change.  Going to time in rounds blows.  Between the Thragtusk decks and the Sphinx’s Revelation decks (I play the latter) this format is too grindy.  I like that there are like 28 decks in the field.  Seriously, I think that it’s great, no deck can truly be dominant in that sort of format.  But.  I think that too many of those decks would not exist if not for the poorly thought out “trump” card of this rotation.

Of course, we know this already, Thragtusk and Sphinx’s Revelation are second chance cards.  They are in this format to make control work.  THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT.  Control does not work without either one of those two cards.  Despite what Brayan Rodriguez would have you believe (The dream will come alive in Gatecrash, Brayan!), Grixis fails because it doesn’t have these two cards.  What does this really mean?  The power creep on cheap creatures is the real problem.  Wizards has pushed the Aggro cards so hard that they had to put these second chance cards into the format so that Control can stay relevant.

I think Kadar Brock said it best recently, though he was quoting someone I don’t remember.  “You spend more time winning when you win with Control.  Games last longer while you’re winning with Control.  When you win with Aggro, its fast you do it quick and it’s over.  The high from winning is over much faster with Aggro.”  It’s in Wizard’s best interest to make us happy, to release those endorphins so that we keep on buying that cardboard.  But we need to be doing this in a reasonable amount of time.

We need Control.  It’s important to have that foil in the Meta-game otherwise it’ll degrade to format full of midrange decks.  Aggro decks would win at first, then midrange would be the smart call and from there it would just be a battle between the best midrange decks.  Most midrange decks, currently, easily destroy aggro and are geared to beat Control with their own well-timed trumps.  If that happened then the overall value of blue cards would dwindle, Matt Jones would likely become the richest man in the universe, and really who wants that?

TNM last week was so Aggro heavy that Li was even playing RDW.

Grim Forcast 

The next two weeks of Standard are gonna be like the first two weeks.  Aggro decks versus decks that beat aggro decks.  This is a dismal meta to be a durdle magus in.  The rounds go to time each round, and the culprits were mostly the same players.  I can only suggest that if you’re gonna play control try to learn your lines of play and understand that you will have a limited amount of time to play the round.  If you’re midrange, you really have absolutely no excuse to go to time.  This is combat math, not astro physics.  Do you swing or do you hold back?  Of course there are plenty of decisions in aggro, but your toughest one is whether to keep your opening hand or mulligan to a stronger six.

Whatever Gatecrash looks like I really hope Wizards makes the game less time intensive, because all this going to time all the time is really really annoying.  AND THAT’S COMING FROM A DEDICATED CONTROL PLAYER.

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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