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Greetings! Last Friday, Captain’s Log Vol. 2 was released. I mentioned in passing that I still had to secure my seat at the upcoming Mythic Championship in London. I’m happy to announce that the very next day, I qualified through the Top 8 at the Online Regional Qualifiers. White Weenie splash blue – or Azorius Aggro as some call it – got me there. I switched away from Mono Blue which I played at the Mythic Championship, even though it won that tournament. I’d like to go through the strengths and weaknesses of my new deck. I’ll also discuss some card choices and why I think it was the right choice for this current metagame. I will also shortly describe my matchups and of course include how I sideboarded in each of them.

A Great Metagame Call

Why White Weenie splash Blue is good

Unbreakable Formation from Ravnica Allegiance

Unbreakable Formation from Ravnica Allegiance

So why did I choose this deck for the Regional Qualifiers? I think it is well positioned in the current metagame. Firstly, it has a great matchup again Mono Blue, which just won the Mythic Championship piloted by Autumn Burchett. At the same time, it punishes slow strategies like Esper Control and Nexus decks. Unfortunately, the most popular deck online still is Sultai, a tough matchup for Azorius, but by no means unwinnable. I would even argue that we’re only slightly behind in the matchup.

This deck is classic aggro. Filled with one-drops and a very low curve, you want to get ahead on the board from the start and finish the game before it is too late. This deck does the first part very efficiently on its own. Furthermore, this deck can go really wide. Cards like Unbreakable FormationUnbreakable Formation, Benalish MarshalBenalish Marshal, Venerated LoxodonVenerated Loxodon and Legion’s LandingLegion’s Landing allow you to flood the board with creatures. At the same time, they buff your team to a size that’s hard to handle. The weakness of the deck is its lack of reach. Once Azorius Aggro falls behind, it struggles to close out the game. So make sure you mulligan any slow hand, even if contains powerful cards. Throughout the 7 rounds of the online Qualifiers, I mulliganned about 40% of the 7 cards hands.

White Weenie splash Blue

The Azorius Aggro list that qualified me for London

Benalish Marshal from Dominaria

Benalish Marshal from Dominaria

First let’s have a look at the decklist.

Azorius Aggro by Martin Dang

Creatures (26)
Dauntless Bodyguard
Skymarcher Aspirant
Snubhorn Sentry
Adanto Vanguard
Tithe Taker
Benalish Marshal
Venerated Loxodon

Spells (14)
Legion’s Landing
Baffling End
Unbreakable Formation
History of Benalia
Conclave Tribunal
Lands (20)
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
12 Plains

Sideboard (15)
Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
Baffling End
Negate
Tocatli Honor Guard
Disdainful Stroke
Island
Demystify
BUY DECK

There’s is not much to say about the main deck other than Baffling EndBaffling End have worked wonders. It’s effective against most decks in the format. I see many decks play Hunted WitnessHunted Witness, but I think the card has too low of an impact. And even though Tithe TakerTithe Taker has proven its worth, I believe it’s a mistake to play less than four Adanto VanguardAdanto Vanguard.

I was very happy with the sideboard in general. However, I might exchange a NegateNegate for another DemystifyDemystify. The DemystifyDemystify is great in the mirror, but also good against cards like Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation, Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta and Curious ObsessionCurious Obsession.

Now that we know the list, let’s look at the matchups and how to sideboard.

The Top-Tier Matchups

Sideboarding against Sultai and Mono Blue

Tocatli Honor Guard from Ixalan

Tocatli Honor Guard from Ixalan

Sideboarding against Sultai

Sideboard Out (6)
Conclave Tribunal
Unbreakable Formation
Skymarcher Aspirant
Sideboard In (6)
Tocatli Honor Guard
Baffling End

As mentioned, this matchup is not in your favor, but if you get to Baffling EndBaffling End their Wildgrowth WalkerWildgrowth Walker and they don’t draw the right sequence of answers, you can clog up the board pretty quickly and overrun them.

After sideboard you have Tocatli Honor GuardTocatli Honor Guard to stop their early game, and the matchup becomes more even.

Demystify from Ixalan

Demystify from Ixalan

Sideboarding against Mono Blue

Sideboard Out (3)
Unbreakable Formation
Conclave Tribunal
Sideboard In (3)
Baffling End
Demystify

This is the main reason why I landed on this deck. The matchup is very good and since Mono Blue just won the Mythic Championship, I expect it to rise in popularity.

Mono Blue won’t kill you fast and they hardly have any removal or good blockers, so you’re mostly free to do your thing. You just need to save your removal for Tempest DjinnTempest Djinn or creatures with Curious ObsessionCurious Obsession. If you do that and remember to play around Merfolk TricksterMerfolk Trickster, your opponent can’t race you.

The Slow Matchups

Sideboarding against Nexus and Esper

Negate from Rivals of Ixalan

Negate from Rivals of Ixalan

Sideboarding against Nexus

Sideboard Out (7)
Conclave Tribunal
Venerated Loxodon
Unbreakable Formation
Plains
Sideboard In (7)
Island
Negate
Disdainful Stroke
Demystify

Game 1 seems very favorable for Azorius Aggro since the opponents have very few answers for creatures. They’ll hope to play a fast Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation and combo off, but it will often be too late.

After board they’ll most likely board in annoying creatures, but I don’t think adding removal is the correct way to go about it. Just stick with the original game plan. Fill up the board and they will struggle to deal with you.

Disdainful Stroke from Guilds of Ravnica

Disdainful Stroke from Guilds of Ravnica

Sideboarding against Esper Control

Sideboard Out (10)
Benalish Marshal
Plains
Conclave Tribunal
Unbreakable Formation
Venerated Loxodon
Sideboard In (10)
Disdainful Stroke
Negate
Island
Baffling End
Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

Hyper aggro decks are usually good against hard control in game 1, and this is no exception. Cards like Dauntless BodyguardDauntless Bodyguard, Tithe TakerTithe Taker, Adanto VanguardAdanto Vanguard, Legion’s LandingLegion’s Landing and Unbreakable FormationUnbreakable Formation make the deck resilient to sweepers. As long as you keep their boardwipes in mind, it should be a piece of cake to steer the deck to victory.

After sideboard it become trickier. They will board in Thief of SanityThief of Sanity and Hostage TakerHostage Taker. There is not much to do about Hostage TakerHostage Taker, other than boarding out the expensive Benalish MarshalBenalish Marshal. If we fill up the board, it’s not that bad if our opponent takes out one creature with Hostage TakerHostage Taker. After all, it will cost them 4 mana during their own turn.

Their greatest threat is Thief of SanityThief of Sanity, which is why we increase our numbers on Baffling EndBaffling End. If it manages to hit you, the game will quickly spin out of control.

The Rest of the Field

Sideboarding against Izzet and the Mirror

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants from Core Set 2019

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants from Core Set 2019

Sideboarding against the Mirror

Sideboard Out (5)
Adanto Vanguard
Dauntless Bodyguard
Sideboard In (5)
Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
Baffling End
Demystify

This matchup is quite interesting even preboard. Try to go wide.  Benalish MarshalBenalish Marshal is often key here. Use your Baffling EndBaffling End and Conclave TribunalConclave Tribunal to deal with that and don’t waste them on early targets.

Often, you cannot afford to pay 4 life for Adanto VanguardAdanto Vanguard, so they’re out. Ajani, Adversary of TyrantsAjani, Adversary of Tyrants is great to resurrect creatures you traded off with. The planeswalker forces your opponent to deal with it, before it just makes your creature too big to handle. Often poor attacks are necessary to get rid of Ajani. DemystifyDemystify is incredibly strong in this matchup to take out Baffling EndBaffling End and give you an instant 3/3. It also deals with Conclave TribunalConclave Tribunal and even has another good target in History of BenaliaHistory of Benalia.

Baffling End from Rivals of Ixalan

Baffling End from Rivals of Ixalan

Sideboarding against Izzet Phoenix

Sideboard Out (2)
Legion's Landing
Unbreakable Formation
Sideboard In (2)
Baffling End

I only played this matchup once, but it seems favorable. Your opponent will use turns to set up their draw. In turn, that gives you time to set up a good board presence. Your opponent has no mass removal in the main deck, so it will be difficult for them to catch up once they fall behind.

Note that this sideboard plan only applies if they play the version with Enigma DrakeEnigma Drake. If you haven’t seen any Enigma DrakeEnigma Drakes, I would just swap an Unbreakable FormationUnbreakable Formation for a NegateNegate.

Don’t Underestimate Diversity

The current Standard format is wide open

Snubhorn Sentry from Rivals of Ixalan

Snubhorn Sentry from Rivals of Ixalan

I almost choose this deck for the Mythic Championship, but my main worry was the bad matchup against Sultai. However, I underestimated how diverse the Standard format is nowadays. The most popular deck doesn’t even represent more than 15% of the total field! Also, I realized the matchup isn’t even that bad after I played it quite a few times.

The deck is great, and you should try it out for yourself! If you want some fast matches, and combat math is something you can do, then this strategy is for you.

I am very happy to have qualified for the Mythic Championship in London, so I can help my team forward as we aim for those top prizes. I hope you’ll find similar success with this deck.

 

This article was written by Martin Dang in a media collaboration with mtgmintcard.com

Martin Dang

Martin Dang

Martin Dang is a Danish professional player and #mtgdad. He won Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir in 2015 and GP Liverpool 2015.